The Landing Page Handbook: Part 1

This is the first in a three-part blog series on creating a landing page. The goal of this series is to explore a few simple ways you can improve your advertising numbers by adjusting the web page that first respondents see and interact with. It’s a part of the advertising process that is completely measureable, and completely controllable, yet ignored or misunderstood by the majority of companies.

The landing page is vital. Too often it’s ignored, left the same as it’s always been for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s left out of the picture altogether.

What is a landing page? It’s the page someone lands on after clicking through an ad, or the page someone is directed to from a print or outdoor advertisement. It’s usually built separately from the main website to control the actions of the visitor.

Why use a landing page? Landing pages give us measureable and controllable places to send responders to our ads, and allow us to get the most bang for our advertising buck.

The goal of the landing page may be for the visitor to fill out a form, make a purchase, donate money, or take some other necessary action. If they take that action, we consider it a success. The goal when improving a landing page is to improve the percentage of visitors who take action, to improve the success rate.

The first tip is a simple one if you think like a consumer: create a seamless transition between the look and feel of the ad and the look and feel of the page.

If I click on an ad, and land on a page the looks different than the ad I clicked on, I’m confused. Whether I know it, or its subconscious, I see something that doesn’t make sense to me. Our brains create an expectation of where we’re about to end up when we click, and the closer the page gets to that expectation, the more at home we will feel.

If you have a general branding or design look on your marketing campaign, create a landing page that carries those same characteristics. Same colors, imagery, fonts, headlines.

You will create a feeling of comfort and trust among responders that will make them more likely to take action.

It’s easy to test. When you start a new campaign, create two landing pages. One that follows the old format you’ve used in the past, and one that’s modeled after the ads, and compare the success rates of both.

Later this week we will explore two other ways to improve your landing page performance.