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3 Steps to Better Landing Pages

I find that there are terms I use regularly in my SEO and web work that many small business owners don’t know. If you’re unfamiliar with landing pages, read on.

MD-80 by a Nose  

What is a landing page?

A landing page is a page where a visitor first arrives on their way to an important action you want them to take on your site.  It can be part of your main website, or a standalone page designed specifically to get traffic from an online campaign.

Why are landing pages important?

You only get your visitors’ attention for a split second.  You need to use every trick in the book to persuade the visitor to take the next action, whether it be signing up for a list, or adding an item to their cart.  The landing pages are the drivers of revenue and business.  They are the money pages.

How can I make better landing pages?

The first step is to understand the purpose of the landing page from the customer’s perspective.  When a customer comes to your site, it’s because they did a web search and your website came up as one of the first results.  When they click on the result, are they getting what they are looking for?  You need to make sure you immediately add value to the customer experience.  In other words, what can you do for them?

Step 1:  State your benefits to the customer immediately.  I was working with an attorney client on her site.  When I first landed on the site, I was given a bunch of information about the law office, generic bland information, and no real call to action.  The client wanted to be known for employment law for businesses, so I told her she needed to state the value proposition loud and clear as soon as the visitor hits the page: Jones Law Helps Businesses Keep From Getting Sued by Their Employees.  Now it is abundantly clear who she is and what she does and for WHOM.

Step 2:  Make the landing page match the acquisition channel.  The notion of a Home Page is somewhat outdated.  Yes, it is important to have an easy to follow navigation structure for your website, but there should not be a one size fits all home page that all your visitors go to.  Why not?  Because there is not a one size fits all way that your visitors are finding you.  Big companies like Expedia literally have MILLIONS of landing pages, all optimized for a particular campaign, a particular channel, a particular CUSTOMER.  You don’t have to make millions of landing pages, but you can cater to your different customer segments’ needs with different landing pages.

Step 3:  Track your conversions.  You cannot improve what you are not measuring.  It’s not enough to simply create landing pages and hope for the best.  You need to create the pages, track the marketing channels, then track how each page is converting for each marketing channel.  It gives you the opportunity to improve the experience for your visitors as well as understand that the right triggers are to get your visitors to take action.

Even the smallest, most simple websites can take advantage of the benefits that landing pages have to offer.  They help you tailor your message to your users and get better results.  Create 5 landing pages this week and start handing out links to see how your conversions improve.

Photo:  Doug  via  Compfight

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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