Landing Pages are those web pages that are designed specifically to promote a business or a product or even request permission to sign-up for newsletters and feeds. It is very important for this page to build trust in the reader from the very beginning and ensure that there is not too much information or too less information in the page. Since this is the page that the visitor is directly lead to in hopes of making a sales-lead, one also has to keep in mind that it has the right information which any visitor might be interested in the website. Landing Pages play an important role in internet marketing for a company as it leads visitors to leads and to potential sales!!!
So having a great first impression of a website makes all the difference whether your landing page makes or breaks your online business. If poorly designed, the visitor might just exit your page causing your bounce rate to go through the roof.
What makes an Effective Landing Page
1. Instant communication to the online visitor as to what you can do for them
2. Convincing content as to why to pick you over a competitor
3. Point to the next step to be taken
4. Be specific and to the point to avoid any friction
5. Do not over-do or stuff-up your landing page with too many offers or products
6. Have a simple form with limited fields and good navigation
7. Finally, one should always keep in mind that the content of a landing page is more important than that of a homepage!!!
Do Personal Blogs need a Landing Page?
I have been surfing around and visiting many bloggers and their websites and many a times have come across personal landing pages of a blogger where he says what he writes about and has links to his social profiles. Some of these pages, to be honest, are so boring and all these are again repeated on his sidebar or in the “About” section. I should say that I wasnt quite attracted to the way it pops up ( and even has some CPC ads on them) and without any direction, i am completely lost where I should go next.
So, I started thinking, if you are not running an online business or offering some services, do you really require a landing page? If one thinks so, then what makes “quality content” of a personal blog’s landing page? What are the benefits of having this as against a standard “About Me” page? All these questions really bothered me and I started out a group discussion on Google+ and asked my fellow blogger friends what they thought about the same.
Here are some of their answers in the form of conversations:
Holly Jahangiri – “I prefer the blog to have all those features without need of a “landing page.”
“How to navigate” should be clear, too – good blog design principles would apply, and a landing page wouldn’t help most blogs improve navigation. If you had a number of different sites, each aimed at different audiences, a landing page could serve as a “table of contents” to direct people to the right site or blog. You may have a different landing page for new visitors, depending on what sort of “action items” you want to lay out for them (and frankly, that might be preferable to pop-ups). Examples and some actual testing might be helpful, too. You know, we all say we hate, loathe, and despise pop-ups, but studies show they work – for highly motivated audiences who land on your site from search, and are already in the market for what you’re selling, anyway. So regardless of our expressed preferences, you might want to run a test.”
“If I land on a blog and actually wonder where to go or what to read, I don’t stick around long. It should be pretty clear and intuitive, or you’ll lose me anyway. On the other hand, if I’m just wandering around on the Internet, and the blog design is eye-catching, articles look well-written and/or interesting, I’m going to at least skim one or two of them. If you cannot design a blog, what makes you think adding a landing page is going to HELP? (That’s a rhetorical, theoretical “you,” by the way – not you, personally.)”
Hajra Khatoon - A blog could be all great and the person won’t be motivated; you just have to have the right “crumbs” for them to keep following… :). Content and also a little idea of what is going around; a good header handles that. I have landed on anonymous blogs and wondered what happened; but not because I wanted them to have a landing page per se but for a lot of other reasons.
Adrienne Smith – “I know some people that have landing pages on their blogs and I understand why. They cater to a more professional clientele that haven’t incorporated the idea of blogging quite yet so they need to still appear professional to their prospective clients. But me personally, I don’t like them. The ones I’ve visited have no direction and you just need to look all over the site to find out how to get to their blog. ”
“All blogs need to have tabs at the top of their site that are visible so their readers can find things easily. That’s a must.”
Leora Wenger – “I haven’t found blogs confusing if they are single author. For example, Adrienne’s blog has her smiling face, and most of the posts are written by her. It’s not hard to pick up what is going on. On some multiple author blogs or ones that have a lot of guest posts, that’s when I might get a bit more confused – what is the common thread? Why is this post here? Maybe there could be a better introduction? Regarding your original question about landing pages, I did one for Twitter about three years ago, partly because my site is much more than one blog. Another problem with landing pages is multiple clicks… how long is it going to take until I find something I really want to read… or has the author already lost me?”
Carolyn Mohr – “Landing pages can help or hurt. They have to be well designed and not confusing. I have found some landing pages difficult to navigate.”
Harleena Singh – “To me, a blog is not a website – its different. I don’t have a specific product or services, hence, nor any special page to sell them. However, every post of my blog is a different product in a sense. I think for blogs the ideal landing page is the home page, where all its content is splattered on a platter. So, answering your question more directly – landing page is not a necessity for blogs (for me its home page).
On second thoughts, for a blog, every post is a landing page. I publicize the links to different posts each time (not to my home page or any landing page), and expect the visitor to like the content, which may prompt them to further look around for more related and interesting topics. This action and time is what matter most – and how well and speedily the other options are presented determines the conversion or the visitor, else its just an increase of the bounce rate.
When I visit any blog, I look for more interaction, liveliness, and the design has to be more responsive. When I land on any blog, I would like to see an overview of what all it showcases, and how different it is or how interesting is its USP. Creativity works – I like the magazine styles, but sometimes even the simplistic overtones impress me a lot. In the end, what matters is the flow of words or the content that is written, and if draws me to it.
I like to see all topics the blog offers at a glance – lots of pictures too, as each one says a thousand words in itself. Yes, I need a bird’s eyeview to put it precisely. Highly intuitive and developed nagivation is essential to keep me glued to the blog, besides its swiftness. And if the works succeeds in impressing me, then I would be curious to know the details of the author, otherwise, I might hardly bother. If I did, then I’d still prefer a separate page for the bio.”
Over To You: Now that all these wonderful writers and bloggers have expressed their thoughts, what do you think about having a landing page of your own? Do you think it benefits and brings in more visitors back to your website by encouraging them by perhaps asking to sign up for your feeds or newsletters? Do share your experiences on this topic and we can learn more from each other.
Thanks to all you bloggers for sharing your personal ideas and thoughts on this and help make this post more meaningful with quality content from your words.