By Matt Jackson
Whether your advertising streams concentrate on PPC, SEO, newsletter advertising, or a combination of these and any other advertising models, the landing page is one of the most important factors to consider. Primarily, the landing page needs to closely match your visitors’ requirements but it also needs to be set up to convert and persuade those visitors to take the desired action. A desired action can be anything from signing up for a free newsletter or offer to making a purchase – a landing page should lead visitors towards this conclusion.
Meeting Visitors’ Needs Through Page Relevancy
The landing page needs to be relevant to those that visit it. This means researching your visitors and, specifically, what they are looking for. Search engine visitors can be more difficult to read, especially if they have arrived via a long-tail or non targeted keyword. However, the inclusion of SEO and PPC keywords identifies to the visitor that they are on the right page and that the page offers the information they want.
Page relevance has been mentioned within various Internet marketing discussions, and it’s important in landing optimization too. The landing page has to be as relevant as possible to the ad or link that directed a user to that page. When setting up PPC ads, banner ads, and article ads, this should be a simple concept. You know the keywords and you know the content of the ad that led your visitors to that page.
Page relevancy only becomes more of an issue for SEO campaigns. While you undoubtedly target certain pages to specific keywords, visitors have a nasty habit of using completely different keywords and still finding your page. The positive about this is that the keyword they use is more than likely found somewhere on that page, even if it is buried deep in the text.
The underlying moral is that the more relevant the page, the more targeted the visitor and the more targeted a visitor, the more responsive they will prove to be.
Stand Out From The Opposition With Your USP
Identify your USP, or Unique Selling Proposition, and package it so that your visitors can’t live without it. A Unique Selling Proposition is the one thing that makes your service stand out from the service of your competitors. It can be anything from cheaper prices to a personable service to a bunch of free giveaways.
The USP has to offer an advantage to your user. Better profit margins is not something that will attract people to purchase your products. Competitor analysis and market research are vital components to identifying your USP. You need to have intimate knowledge of your own product and service, as well as a similar level of knowledge of your competitors. Identify the stand out reason, or reasons, that make your website the best choice.
Once identified, the USP should become one of your biggest selling points. It should be identified and clearly defined early in the landing page copy and reiterated at an appropriate time later in the page. If you can include it as part of the tag line to your company or advertising campaign then that’s all the better.
Keep Your Visitor’s Attention By Beating The Fold
Beat the fold. In website terms, the fold is the bottom of your web page that is viewable without having to scroll. You should attempt to get all of the most important information across before the fold gets in the way. Another particularly nasty habit that modern surfers tend to adhere to is laziness. In many respects it’s our fault, as Webmasters, too.
We’ve created a virtual world where information is available at the click of the button. We’ve introduced and helped popularize features like video streaming that make information even easier and quicker to access. The result is that visitors take this speed and ease for granted. Clicking the scroll button may not seem a particularly testing action, but it is one that many of your visitors will avoid.
Fortunately, help is at hand in the shape of best practice web content writing. It is considered honest, reliable, and decent (as well as more effective) that you should summarize the contents of a page within the first paragraph. In fact, within the first short paragraph. Legitimately, and without going into finer details, we read and digest information on a computer screen much slower than from paper and to make allowances, landing page copy needs to be direct and use shorter sentence and paragraph structures.
Record Results And Test Changes
A good landing page is an effective one that converts visitors to customers or persuades them to complete your desired action. So, test your page. Get a good analytic package that includes masses of information and keep an eye on results. Make slight alterations rather than huge changes or blocks of changes – test the new page and then repeat the change and test process again until you get the best possible conversion rate.
Reduce Outgoing Links To An Essential Minimum
Don’t link out to too many pages and even try to minimize the number of navigation links you have above the fold. Links and navigational links are designed to stand out from the rest of your content and, you guessed it, surfers are easily distracted. Don’t go out of your way to move the navigation menu on landing pages, but if you’re designing a site from scratch try to keep those pesky and distracting elements down to a minimum (and that includes Flash pages).
Offering Incentives To Buy
If all else fails, offer an incentive. Give something away that offers true value. Offer a discount on larger orders or free shipping on all orders. Yet again, we go back to the irritating habits of surfers and consumers and one of the strongest of all those habits is looking for something for nothing, or something extra for no extra. Write an ebook, source re-brandable software, offer free shipping or three items for the price of two. Do something to grab your reader’s attention.
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