What's in a Landing Page?
By Vickie J Scanlon
What's in a landing page? First and foremost it is a very good marketing tool if done correctly. But what is the structure of a landing page and how do you use it in the advertising process?"
Purpose of Landing Page
The basic purpose of a landing page in online marketing is to motivate, to inform, to persuade and to sell the product or service to the visitor that landed on your well-designed page. That sounds pretty good.
To begin constructing your landing page, you need to consider page structure, your words, and your keywords in the total mix. If you do it right you will get sales, or convince someone to fill out a form or survey, etc. I'm sure you get my meaning.
Structure of a Landing Page
When a visitor clicks on your landing page, he/she should see the following structure.
The headline should do three important things:
· Grabs the attention of the visitor
· States the purpose of the page
· Compliments and coincide with your banner or ad
You have only one moment to grab the attention of the visitor, thus, the heading should entice the reader to continue on to the next paragraph or subheading. So choose your words, font style (Arial, Verdana are good choices), font size to your advantage.
And remember, if the headline does not compliment or coincide with your banner or ad, they, your target market, are gone.
The body should consist of the following:
1) Paragraphs -- Paragraphs should be short with white space. Why? Most people will hit a site, but not read it word for word. Then what do they do? They scan the page. Which brings me to the next important part of a land page—sentences.
2) Sentences – First, sentences should be short, snappy, too the point, and without twenty dollar words. You have to assume scanners are in a hurry; they want the information as fast as you can give it to them without putting them to sleep, and without having to pull out a dictionary.
Second, the first sentence of every paragraph should contain the summary of the paragraph. "A Call To Action"(Buy Now! Try Now!) should appear throughout the body of your copy, as well as, at the top and bottom of your page.
Bold subheadings – Bold subheadings should identify the topic of the paragraph or paragraphs that rest under the subheading. This will allow the skimmer to read or skip the paragraph – in search of the information they are most interested in.
3) Bulleted Information – Bulleted information is a lifesaver. Bullets help to condense copy into short, thorough, easy to read, sentences without being boring. Utilize them.
According to Eyetrack III Research, a smaller typeface encourages more focused reading, while larger type encourages scanning. With that little tidbit of information, you may want to experiment with font size in the body of your copy.
As you can see from the structure of the body, we are looking for a tight-written page with well-defined bold subheadings and bulleted information – to ease the scanner/reader through the copy without having him/her click away.
Things To Consider
· Place the most important information above the fold.
· Avoid distracting material in the sidebars. If the information in the sidebars distracts the visitor – focus is lost and that could mean a lost sale.
· Add pictures or a form if relevant, but be careful about size.
· Put your "Call To Action" above the fold, at the end, and balanced throughout the length of your text.
Keywords and SEO
As with every other web page on your site, keywords are important. Your landing page content must be keyword rich, but not keyword stuffed, for the search engines and your targeted traffic to find you.
Once the content is completed, then you should make sure that you optimize your landing page for the search engines. Images should have an alt tag description. Try to describe your images with specific descriptions. Example: If you have a picture of a Schnauzer, put 'alt=Schnauzer', not 'alt="dog"'--Go for the specific description not the generic. Why? When you do a search, would you look for dog or Schnauzer? In most cases, I would bet on the Schnauzer.
PPC, SEO and Keywords
If you are writing your landing page for a Google Ad (PPC advertising), again, make sure that your landing page is relevant to your keywords and to the text of your ads. There are two reasons to heed this advice: 1) Your traffic will click away and go elsewhere to find the information they are seeking; 2) Google will penalize you.
You should also optimize your landing page for any searches people will conduct through the search engines. Yet, another avenue to quality traffic. However, if you should use several landing pages for the same product, with only slight wording variations, it would be wise to index only the general landing page and have your robots meta tag include a "NOFOLLOW" so they won't be indexed – this will prevent the search engines from incurring duplicate copy penalties.
Google Adwords New Algorithm for Landing Pages
Google now assigns quality scores to landing pages, to determine the positioning, pricing, and other factors. A recent change in Google's algorithm for landing pages affected many established websites. This change caused hardships for some, for others it closed their business.
Thus, if you do not want to be penalized with higher bid prices for your keywords, or a shift in page positioning of your ad you should follow keep the following information in the back of your mind when developing a landing page.
1) Relevant content
2) Links to page that provide relevant and accurate information related to ad
3) Your landing page should have at least 500 words (which isn't much).
4) Remove all adsense ads on your landing page.
Testing Your Landing Page
Testing your landing page is important. You will need to tweak your copy on a continual basis until you feel comfortable with the copy and it is providing the results you want.
To conclude, landing pages can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Design it correctly, follow the rules, and it will be your successful friend for life.
About the Author
Vickie J Scanlon-- She has been working on the Internet as an affiliate marketer and an avid researcher -- Visit her site at: http://www.myaffiliateplace.biz for free tools articles on affiliate/internet marketing, ebooks, affiliate opportunities, computers, software utilities, tech accessories, travel accessories and more.
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