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The Importance Of Landing Pages

By Zaithyn Galter Published 06/9/2009 | Marketing
The landing page is the page that appears when a potential customer clicks on an advertisement or a search engine result link; the page you land on . This page is an extension to the advertisement or the link and is optimized with relevant keywords and phrases for the purpose of being indexed by the search engines.

The way to think of your landing page is as the front door to your business. It needs to be easy to open, inviting and display a friendly look. As you sell products or services on your e-Commerce site, your landing page invites readers in to browse. We have some considerations for you to think about as you construct your front door.

The first thing a visitor sees after he clicks on your ad is your landing page. Keep in mind the research about where hot spots are on the screen above the fold and upper left side of the screen. That is the area on your page to create copy or pictures that you want customers to see first. Headlines need to be in bold. Make sure visitors know the product or service you are promoting. Your message should be clear to the reader, and it should define the value of your product or service. This is a good spot for pictures or videos, because both the medium and positioning will get your customer s attention.

Keep It Simple

Your page needs to be well organized. Columns may help, but remember that a single column results in more conversions than multiple columns. The flip side of that issue is that search engines look for columns, just as the human eye does. It s a good way to organize content on your page. Take a look at the composition of your page and minimize columns if at all possible. Keep your copy easy to read and understand. Visitors will click on to another web site rather than wade through what reads like a foreign language.

Try to minimize the number of click required to complete a purchase. Retail stores lose customers if their service is lacking. And your site will lose customers if the purchasing process is lengthy or difficult. Whether it s online or in a retail store, customers just won t put up with hassle. Try to make buying your product or service as easy as possible; preferably, one click on the landing page should get the customer to the page to complete a purchase. No e-Commerce site reaches 100% click through rate. But yours will increase if you make the process simple.

Brand Consistency

Finally, it s important to remember branding is part of your strategy. Some of what we have talked about here will need to be tweaked for your particular site. You won t want a page full of energy if you determine a less forceful approach is desirable. Likewise, a calm and pastoral page won t work if you want an edgy feel. The tone of your page needs to reflect the branding you are trying to achieve. Tone and brand need to complement each other for maximum appeal for visitors.

If you keep the front door concept in mind as you create your landing page, your chances of visitors becoming customers will improve.

Two Types of Landing Pages

There are two basic types of landing pages, both defined by the type of site you are running or the type of Internet business you are conducting.

A reference-landing page clearly presents information that is relevant to the visitor. These can include text, images, relevant links, or other dynamic elements relating to your business. Reference landing pages are most effective when they meet the objectives of their publishers or authors, which may be associations, organizations or public service agencies. In many instances, reference-landing pages are used for PPC campaigns and their effectiveness is measured by the click through rate and the proceeds paid from advertising that they are used for.

A transactional landing page is exclusively designed to persuade a visitor to do business or complete a transaction. The goal of the transactional landing page is the sale of a product or service. If information is to be captured, the page will usually withhold information until some minimal amount of visitor information is provided, typically an email address and perhaps a name and telephone number as well enough to "capture the lead" and add the prospect to a mailing list.

Landing Page Headlines

The headline on your landing page is the first thing that people see when they follow the link from an advertisement or email. Headlines are the most important element of your landing page, as it will either grab your visitor s attention or turn them away.

Use a headline that clearly states the biggest benefit to the visitor. If you tell them exactly why they are there, its more likely they will stay longer and convert from being a visitor to a customer.

In addition to giving a strong value-add statement, keep your headline positive and upbeat. Remember, the sole purpose for a headline is to grab your reader s attention.

Landing Pages and Pay Per Click Campaigns

Pay Per Click (PPC) is an Internet marketing or advertising technique whereby visitors are directed to an advertiser's website after clicking on an advertisement, and the advertiser pays for each visitor on a per-click basis.

In PPC campaigns, the landing page should be customized to present the searcher with exactly what they re looking for and provide the most relevant and focused results. Basically a PPC landing page is any page on your site where searchers land when they click a link on a search engine results page.

Landing Pages for Your Email Marketing Campaign

The layout and content of your landing page can make or break the success of your email marketing campaign. The first page that your visitors see when they click the link from the email in their inbox should mirror the email itself.

Your mailer and the landing page should be consistent in both content and format, conveying a clear message of your event, sale or offering. Recipients should be able to connect with your home page easily, accessing information by clicking on multiple links throughout your mailer and landing page.

Unlike other marketing strategies, results from email campaigns are easily measured. Results are reported in terms of opens , which report how many people saw your offer or newsletters, and click through rates (CTRs) measure how many people actually clicked on the links in your email.

Test Your Landing Pages

Whether you are using landing pages for a PPC advertising campaign or email marketing campaign, how do you know if the page you designed is effective? One of the best techniques used to test the effectiveness of your landing page is A/B split testing.

A/B testing allows you to test two landing pages against each other in real-time. The two web-based offerings need to be almost identical; almost, meaning that you make just one change between the two versions or your advertisement or landing page. This one change can be just about anything; it can be simply changing the background color, text color, adding a photo or graphic, changing the text arrangement, or changing your headline. Both versions of your advertisement will be live at the same time, allowing you to compare the results of their effectiveness against each other.

Tony Mandarich owns & operates Mandarich LLC, a full-service web media business specializing in web site development & optimization, video production, photography & Internet marketing. More information visit- http://www.mandarich.com/PPC/pay-per-click-management.html