The Landing Page: If You Build It, Will They Come?

We’ve all heard that, “If you build it, they will come.” But for a landing page, that applies only when you build it right.

Since by definition a landing page exists outside your main website, odds are you’re creating it for a specific purpose. It follows that a good first step to an effective landing page is to determine just what its purpose is.

Obvious? Sure. But you’d be surprised how often people overlook that step. So, first decide if your landing page’s job is to provide information, create interest or awareness, generate leads, or complete transactions. Then build the page to suit.

Creating an Effective Landing Page

Here are four key elements to creating an effective landing page:

1) Consider the source. You increase relevance when you customize a landing page to its referral source. If you sell outdoor gear, you might take one approach with people responding from a hiking magazine ad, and quite another with people responding from an article in an environmentalist publication.

2) Gather data. As I wrote in an earlier post (see “Building Your Own Email List”), the most productive e-list you will ever use is the one you build yourself. At a minimum, request a name and email address from each visitor, along with permission to send them email in the future. The more value you offer in return (like information, publications and/or incentives), the more information people will hand over. Remember to state that you keep all information private.

3) Clicks are nice, deeds are better. Include an easy-to-complete call to action, making clear what you want visitors to do, and how it will benefit them.

4) Keep It Simple. Animation and showy graphics are fun and can increase results, but too much can confuse, prolong download time and even drive people away.

Customizing and Testing

What is prohibitive to test in other media can be easy and affordable online. Test and track different approaches, headlines, colors, appeals, offers, etc., and you’ll soon learn which work best for you. The information you gain can guide future efforts as well.

So, go ahead and build that landing page. Do it right, and the prospects will come.

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