Typically, a company website is divided into various sections including the home page, product and/or service pages, a blog, an "about us" page, and contact / location information. If the brand has experience with marketing their products and services online, they will strategically place Calls To Action throughout the site. Sidebars may contain contact forms, headers may contain a large phone number, and product pages will include prominent Add to Cart buttons.
These brands have many different goals. Typical goals include:
- Increase newsletter signups
- Increase signups for a trial service
- Increase product or service sales
- Increase social network sharing
- Increase RSS subscriptions
- Increase PDF or whitepaper downloads
Companies often devote a full preferred landing page to only one or two of these goals, but a good landing page can help with each of these goals, as well as with any other specific goals your brand may have.
Wait, What Exactly Is A Preferred Landing Page Again?
Preferred landing pages are pages on your site that are singularly devoted to achieving one precise goal. Every word, every image, and every link on the page is designed to convince visitors to complete whatever action is needed to achieve the goal. There are no distractions to lead visitors away from the goal. The only action they can possibly take on a landing page, other than using their browser's back button or closing the browser tab, is the action that will lead to a conversion.
Use A Landing Page For Each Goal
Let's take a closer look at the six typical goals outlined above.
- Increase Newsletter Signups - You may have a short newsletter signup form in your sidebar, or within a popup. Each of those forms should also have a link to a dedicated landing page where users can be fully informed as to why they would benefit from your future newsletters. People are wary of clogging their inboxes with yet another boring, marketing-laced newsletter. A landing page can address those fears and show the real value of your offering. You have an entire page to make your case, as opposed to the simple form headline in your sidebar or popup.
- Increase Signups for a Trial Service - While it's fairly easy to convince users to try before they buy, a designated landing page for a Trial Service can really pinpoint the benefits they'll receive. This is a great place to include a video that shows them exactly how the service can solve a problem without any financial commitment on their part.
- Increase Product or Service Sales - If you offer lots of products or services, you won't generally want to create a separate landing page for each one. That's the job of the individual product pages, after all. However, landing pages are the perfect opportunity to increase sales for special promotions, new products, or hard-to-sell products. These pages won't look like your standard product pages. Instead, they will be laser-focused on benefits, using video, testimonials, and social proof to quell any possible purchasing fears.
- Increase social network sharing - You won't find many examples of landing pages built specifically to increase social network sharing, but this can be your chance to stand out. If a customer has purchased from you, include a link to this landing page in the "Thank You" page as well as in the confirmation email. Give your customers an incentive for sharing the news about your brand. The landing page might contain a link to a Facebook page, that when "Liked" will earn the customer a discount or a chance to win a prize, for example. You can also take this opportunity to showcase positive Tweets and other social mentions on the landing page, while encouraging your customers to share with their friends.
- Increase RSS subscriptions - This landing page is your chance to showcase your best blog posts, giving visitors a taste of what they'll be missing if they don't subscribe. You can also offer an incentive for subscribing here, such as a free how-to guide. No one wants to dig through hundreds of old blog posts to determine if there's value in signing up for your future blog posts. Use a landing page to highlight the best you've offered in the past, and list some teasers for outstanding posts that will be written in the future.
- Increase PDF or Whitepaper downloads - PDF and whitepaper downloads are often technical in nature and time-consuming to read. A good landing page will present enough "gold nuggets" of information along with compelling teasers to prove to your users that their time will be well spent.
Create a Landing Pages Plan
Now it's time to take action yourself. Make a list of each of your site's goals. Be comprehensive. List every action you hope a visitor might take. Once you know your goals, take the time to consider how a preferred landing page might enable you to increase the conversions for each and every goal. You may decide that a landing page isn't right for all of them, but you may also realize that some conversions might be significantly boosted with the help of a dedicated landing page.