When you advertise your online business using Web ads or email messages, naturally your goal is to increase site traffic. But you also want to convert the new visitors into loyal customers. It's not easy, but a good landing page that builds on the ad copy can be an effective way to accomplish that goal.
Targeted Landing Pages Work Best
The best landing pages are targeted to specific advertising campaigns. Suppose we were to launch advertising campaigns for Search Engine Power Pack and Browser Photo. We'd need two separate landing pages: one targeted to the Power Pack ads and one to Browser Photo. Each landing page would discuss the individual product and emphasize its features and benefits.
That's the essence of a landing page: it's where visitors "land" when they jump to your site from an email or online ad. Visitors expect the content of the landing page to reflect the ad content. If not, you've wasted their time and your ad budget.
For instance, suppose that we advertised our "browser compatibility tutorial" as part of an online marketing campaign for Browser Photo. Visitors would naturally expect that link to take them directly to the tutorial. But what if it linked to our home page instead? There's no direct link from the home page to the browser compatibility tutorial; it's two levels down inside the site.
Some visitors may have enough patience and interest to search for it, but many would just click away in frustration. What an easy - and unnecessary - way to irritate visitors who've shown interest in our products!
Components Of A Good Landing Page
A good landing page builds upon the brief ad copy to give visitors more information. Don't be afraid to create a separate landing page for each promotion campaign. You spend a huge amount of time, effort, and money creating online ads. Doesn't it make sense to also consider what visitors find once the ads bring them to the site?
1. Get to the point. Make your points quickly and directly. The landing page content should be easy to scan and contain the information promised in the ad. If the ad text offers "3 simple tips to increase site traffic," then the landing page should keep the promise. This helps build trust with visitors.
2. Include a call to action. Use a prominent text link or button to encourage the visitor to go deeper into the site and find out how purchasing your product or service can help them even more.
The promised 3 tips to increase site traffic should whet the appetite of visitors and make them want even more great information. This is where you include what marketing professionals term the "call to action."
Something like: "Learn even more search engine secrets with Search Engine Power Pack!" That link would take visitors to the full Power Pack information and subscription page - hopefully resulting in a number of new customers.
3. Keep a consistent look and feel. Visitors should never click on a page in your site and wonder: "Where am I?" Use the same look and feel (colors, layout, fonts, images, navigation, etc.) in your ads and landing pages as on the main site pages.
This is particularly important when you're sending out HTML email. Because you can format that anyway you want, it's a great opportunity to emphasize your site's brand and create a visual connection between the ad and the Web site.
4. Don't try to collect too much personal information. Be careful what you ask for, or you may get nothing. If you have a free, downloadable white paper or research report, it's ok to collect a name and contact information. Most online visitors don't expect you to share really valuable data completely for free.
Naturally, you want to know who's responding to your ad and it would be nice to be able to follow up with them with more information or additional non-invasive ads (adware and spyware certainly don't count!).
5. Feed the spiders. Get a double benefit from your landing pages by submitting them to search engines. Search engine spiders love landing pages that contain lots of good, keyword-rich test.
In fact, landing pages are obvious targets for search engine promotion because they are so targeted. Search engine visitors love them because they get taken directly to the relevant information they were searching for.
When you deep submit landing pages, you bring in traffic from visitors who may not have seen your ad, but are good, targeted traffic just the same because they've been searching on your targeted keywords. You get the benefit of advertising without the expense! Use Search Engine Starter to deep submit individual Web pages.
Most of these suggestions deal with the content of your landing pages. Good content is critical to your success, but you also need an attractive design to keep and hold human visitors.
Establish Trust With Page Design
Your landing page should be just as attractive and carefully designed as your home page. It's the first page a visitor sees when he clicks on your ad, so it has as much impact as your home page.
As we discussed in our February 2003 Webmaster Tip, a good design helps establish credibility. Without it, visitors just won't take your online business seriously. Remember that you aren't just selling a generic product or service. You also have to convince online customers that it's safe to buy from your site.
Right or wrong, visitors equate a good-looking site with a trustworthy site. Use our Browser Photo tool to verify that your page design displays reliably across browsers.
Test And Evaluate Before Launch
Study your server logs to determine how many visitors arrived via the email or online ad. That's where too many analyses stop: "Hey, we got 5,000 new visitors after that last PPC ad went up!" That's seems like a success until you look deeper and find out that only 15 out of 5,000 visitors actually bought your product.
Increase your chance of success by conducting usability testing on the landing pages before you begin the marketing campaign. You can catch errors that break page display and experiment with different text and layouts before you spend a lot of money on a marketing campaign.