the more experienced internet marketer or SEO expert, this should
really be a no brainer, however it always surprises me just how many
bad landing pages there are out there on the web. Landing pages are
very important and can do wonders for not only your conversion rate,
but also your cost per click for say paid
advertising such as as Google AdWords.
Landing pages are described as
pages that users get to after clicking a paid advertisement or external
link on a serp (search engine results page), however I like to think a landing page is any page on your website, where visitors land, or view, which in most cases is every page on your website.
Most of you should know by now, that while the homepage is the 'main' page on a website, there are many users that will find your website through a sub page in a search result, and eventually leave without ever actually seeing the homepage, so while your homepage may be the best looking and coolest page on your site, some people won't even see it.
What does this mean? It means that the pages that users
are landing on are the pages that you are going to have to work on to
convert them into doing what ever it is you want them to do, such as
buying your product or signing up to your newsletter, or even visiting
a certain page.
If you ask me, landing pages should clearly communicate to the customer what you want them to do, and be centered on a particular topic. There are people out there who will disagree with me, but its best to have each landing page targeted towards one specific topic, in which you don't really talk about anything else. If you are running some sort of PPC advertising such as AdWords, this will help here too, as you can now send a user who clicked on your ad for 'MP3 Players', to a page that talks only about MP3 Players, which will help in many ways.
Another thing that really helps is to use short, easy to read text. Do not write really long paragraphs of boring text, instead write some clear text in bullet points that is easy for users to read and follow, in other words assume the people reading your page are stupid, and guide them into doing what you want them to do.
There are many other tips I could write here, however what I have always found is that different industries differ in results. What works for a real estate estate website may not necessarily work for someone selling shoes online. It really comes down to testing. You may have a good looking page that does convert users, but you really won't know how good it is until you do some testing and test different variations. Having an image placed on the right hand side of your landing page may well convert users more then having it on the left, it seems stupid I know, but its true, so make sure you test.
While it may seem like a lot of work to optimise your landing pages, and it is, if you do take the time and do it right, you will reap the benefits, guaranteed.