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Does Your Landing Page Leave a Good First Impression?

Jason Roy

A landing page is any page that traffic is directed to from a source other than one of your own pages, so it could be your main page, or it could be any page within your entire site. Of course, the main goal is to get people to your page, but without making a good impression when they arrive, they are not likely to stay, let alone venture any further into your site.

A good landing page provides the information the person was looking for and also provides additional information they can find easily through that initial page.

When using a pay-per-click traffic campaign, many marketers make the mistake of placing their home page as the directed link. Most home pages are not specific enough to a search, and therefore, the user is left to “figure it out” on their own…which by the way, they could, but won’t in most cases.

Landing pages allow you to take control, placing only what is necessary on the page without added distraction. The landing page provides the information the user was searching for, generates more click-thru's, and helps the search engines prioritize your page against the competition in a more simplified manner.

Google and other search engines are all about relevancy, so their main goal is to locate exactly what their users request as quickly as possible, and your goal is to give it to them. 

What Should a Landing Page Offer?


A landing page should offer exactly what it promised in a clear and easy-to-understand way. A  marketing campaign that is geared towards organic dog food should have a landing page that provides the information on that topic first and foremost, not an entire list of other dog foods with the organic food somewhere in the background. People want instant gratification, and if your landing page does not offer that, well, except not only your visitors to be let down, but for your conversion rates to be let down as well.

Landing pages should be simple in design, meaning links, buttons and overly zealous navigational bars for the entire site should be omitted, leaving behind only the necessary design. Take a look at Velaro...

  • SEO – Search engine optimization should be used when creating the landing page, continue the same strategies here as you do for your entire site. Creating several landing pages per keyword group is a great way to monitor what optimization efforts are working and what ones are not, so you can use them as a tool to better your marketing strategies for your entire site.
  • Site Entrance – Although there should not be an overwhelming amount of links or buttons on the landing page, you do want a way for visitors to enter your main site and explore everything you have to offer.

Take a look at Wistia's landing page, it is simple, yet very effective. The placement of the call to action with the contrasting colors really draws attention to what they want you to do...

  • Clear Headlines with Direction – Users want to be told where to go and what to do next, they do not want to figure it out on their own. A good landing page provides clear headlines that offer direction, such as click here, read this, continue now….etc. The headlines could be as simple as “Lose weight now”, “Start saving $1000 a month today” or “Don’t get left behind”.
  • Clear and Concise Language- Landing pages that use clear and concise language outperform those with jargon that the everyday user does not understand. Do not try to outsmart your audience; you will be left all alone with your arrogance. Use bullet points to break up information for users to quickly get what they need without reading long paragraphs.
  • Friendly Language – Landing pages that use languages such as “we” and “I” seem to be more concerned with their own business and not their customers. Landing pages, as well as websites that use “You” instead of “I”, tend to do much better with conversion rates.
    Example: We build better websites…
    Example: You deserve a better website…
  • Security – If you are requesting the user to enter their information, purchase a product, or even just to enter your site, you better have it secured. Security seals not only help users feel safe, they actually keep them safe.

A good example of what a good landing page looks like is similar to a mobile site page. When you search on your smartphone or another device for an answer, you are given a very specific list of sites that offer the answer you seek. When you enter those sites, the ones that are well optimized for mobile viewing are stripped of many of the details that would be found on their main page. These are very similar to landing pages, so when creating yours, try for a simplified version of your original page that offers everything the visitor needs, without too much clutter to distract them.

What Not to Include on a Landing Page

There are a few sure-fire ways to put a bad taste in your visitor's mouths with a bad landing page design. The most important rule about landing pages is to NEVER forget to include the promised information or product that led the user to the page in the first place. A few more things you do not want in your landing page design include:

Long Sales Letters: Avoid putting too many details about the product or service in the landing page. The page should not appear to look like a long sales letter, but yet a place that offers exactly what the user needed.

Pushy Requests: Do not try to squeeze a name and email address out of your visitor to obtain the information they asked for…the job of the landing page is to give the information up freely, not to bully them into submitting their information. Do not pressure visitors with hard sales, you want to find a way to entice them to take the next step, but you never want to push them into it.

Including Content on Your Landing Page is OK, As Long as it is the Right Content

No one is telling you to eliminate content on your page, content can actually be a big help when it comes to SEO, especially on the landing page.  Basecamp is a great example of how the right content can really help boost your landing pages' SEO, as well as conversion rate.

They offer an in-depth landing page with tons of information, but as you notice, they also make sure that they lead the reader’s eye to the form. The information is all in the right places, says the right things, and best of all….does not lead readers away from the conversion goal of the page.

When Should Landing Pages Be Used?

Not all websites are cut out to be landing pages, but there are sometimes when they really work.

  • Pay-per-click ads – A different landing page should be created for each set of keywords or keyword phrases.  This allows you to test out different groups and track the results for better marketing techniques in the future.
  • Product launch- When a new product is launching, a landing page is a great way to generate a buzz and increase anticipation.
  • Segment offers – If you have several different ad campaigns running at once, segmenting them into specific groups is ideal. Not everyone will be interested in a printable coupon or an online redeemable discount code, so create a landing page specifically for each type of offer that caters to specific types of shoppers.
  • Target Audience – If you have a product or service that can be promoted to several different types of consumers that’s great, but a one size fits all marketing campaign will not work. Landing pages can be created to market the same product to different audiences with unique ads.
  • Social Media Sites – Landing pages are a great way to target a specific group within a social media platform.
  • A landing page is not designed to replace any marketing campaign, only to enhance them.

Summary

Landing pages can be an effective marketing tool if they are used correctly. They should offer a quick, clean and clear answer to the user's search. If you include too many distractions on the page, they will never find what they were looking for and simply move on to one of your many competitors’ sites. A good landing page leaves a good impression on the user and makes them want to learn more about what you have to offer. Make the user feel as though THEY are important by telling them what they will gain or benefit from your product or service, NOT what YOU can do for them and how great YOU are! 

Thank you for reading. Continue your journey of learning through our site SEOSiteCheckUp.com. Don’t forget to take advantage of our free SEO tools!

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