The 10 commandments of landing pages

Nobody wants to make a crash landing in unfamiliar and hostile territory when they’re travelling.

It’s the same when they’re using the web.  

Garden with a wooden "enter" sign

You need your to give potential customers clear instructions. What exactly do you want them to do and what will they get out of it?

So you have to make sure the most important pages on your website are doing a good job. But which are the most important pages on your website, you may be wondering?

Well, that depends.

If you’re in business to maximise your sales and get a great return on your marketing investment (and I hope you are!), the most important pages on your website are your landing pages.

Today we’re going to focus on landing pages. Sometimes they’re called squeeze pages, but they’re both the same thing really. Landing pages are key to converting visitors into customers (or subscribers). They’re vital if you want your advertising to be successful.

I could go into a LOT of detail about landing pages, but here isn’t the place. If you join my Inner Circle, or do my Intro To Email Marketing Mini Course, you’ll find out much more about landing pages and how to create pages that convert.

I’m keeping it simple here. You’ll have everything you need to make a start with my 10 commandments of landing pages:

  1. Each landing page shall have one goal, and only one goal.

Keep it simple and focused. Decide what the objective of this particular campaign is, and make sure every word on your landing page leads the visitor towards that goal.

For example, on my 49 Ideas page,  I don’t talk about anything except what the ideas will do for you and why you should sign up. That’s my goal: to get you to sign up to my email list.

  1. Your landing page shall follow on logically from the advert or link that brought your visitor to it.

Make sure your landing page delivers the promise that led your visitor to it in the first place. If you attracted someone with the promise of information about something – give the visitor some information. Not all of it, to be sure; but enough so that they don’t feel duped.

If there’s a disconnect between the ad and the page, your visitor will disconnect from the page because they don’t find what they expect to find.

  1. Your landing page shall not be filled with pointless images and graphics.

If you do use images or videos on your landing page make sure they’re relevant. Make sure they add something to the message and add value for your visitor.

Otherwise they’re just a distraction.

  1. Your landing page shall have no means of escape.

Speaking of distractions… make sure your landing page has the minimum of links. Just a link to the homepage and contact will do.

As I said before: your landing page should have one goal and everything on the page should be leading the visitor to that goal. Don’t give your visitor an easy escape route with links or sidebars or other distractions.

One of my pet hates is seeing landing pages with social media links on them. For the love of all that is holy, WHY? Why would you encourage someone not only to leaveyour landing page, but to go to the land of kittens and distractions? Where they’ll instantly forget what they were doing and won’t take the action you want them to take!

  1. Your landing page shall have lots of white space so it’s easy to read.

Take a look at the landing page again for my 49 Ideas email series. There’s lots of white space. The lines are fairly short and the first line in each paragraph is indented slightly.

That’s so it’s easy to read. Always keep readability in mind when you’re writing a landing page (or anything else, for that matter).

  1. Your landing page shall load quickly, lest your visitors give up in disgust.

Why? Because people will not wait for a slow page to load. Think about your own browsing behaviour; do you wait around for really slow pages to load? Nope, didn’t think so. In fact, if you’re anything like me, you get really pissed off when presented with a slow page.

  1. Your landing page shall not be duller than watching paint dry in fog.

It’s a huge feat getting someone to click on your link and arrive at your landing page in the first place. So for goodness’ sake, don’t waste the opportunity by sending your visitor to sleep when you do have them there!

  1. Your landing page shall not be greedier than Mr Creosote.

When someone honours your landing page with their presence, they come looking for something. For value. So make sure you deliver value. Don’t give them the hard sell and push push push for their email address, contact details or cash.

Make sure you have something of value to give your visitor in return for their details. If you provide something of high value to your visitor, she won’t object to giving you her details.

  1. Your landing page shall always have a headline.

Your landing page’s headline will reassure your visitor that they’re in the right place. It will follow on from the ad or link that brought them there. And it will lead them into what you’re promising on your page.

  1. Your landing page shall have a strong call to action.

Think of your landing page as a direct mail letter, because this is direct response marketing after all. If you’re not after a response, you shouldn’t be writing a landing page.

So give it a strong, clear call to action – and repeat it. Your visitor should be left knowing exactly what she needs to do now.

That’s the basics of landing pages. Today’s homework is to put a landing page together for yourself. Choose a goal, and get writing!

Speaking of goals, how are you getting along with yours this year? Got a tricky problem you still can’t fix? Or a question you’ve been going over… and getting nowhere? Get my perspective and Borrow My Brain for half an hour over Skype. Good eh?

Borrow My Brain, here.

TTFN,

Vicky

Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

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