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.
Landing pages are indeed the ones that attract the most attention. So make sure you take advantage of it and design it as good as you can. Always try to be cautious about making it look full because you can’t advertise everything. Target at something and stick with it!
Rashmi – Thanks for stopping by and sharing your ideas on this topic. I am sure you have some experience doing the same and have learnt from experience what a landing page should really contain.
note – you are not providing your website url with your comment, it would be nice to link back right?
Oh i didn’t notice that. Thanks a lot for answering and good job for having such a great blog. It is definitely in my daily blogs-to-visit list!
Rashmi Sinha recently posted…Google Apps for Business
Thanks so much for putting up my views along with so many other wonderful bloggers here Praveen!
Those are great deatils about how to make an effective landing page Praveen! I guess those who have landing pages would surely benefit from this information.
I for one, as have already expressed my views above, really never found the need for one, not as yet. Perhpahs I am a freelance writer and my goal is different presently, and for me the home page or the about me section is good enough. What matters most is the content, which should be good.
I agree about landing on pages of a few bloggers that have their landing pages talking about themseleves and have their social profiles on them. I also really can never make out where do I head next, and it’s only if I find the word ‘blog’ written somewhere do I proceed further. 🙂
I guess if any one is really looking for conversions or if you are wanting people to sign up for your newsletters etc, you can have all that at the end of your post (above the comments) too.
Thanks for sharing and discussing about a wonderful topic 🙂
Harleena – Thanks for all your inputs and it really helped me and am sure other readers to understand more about the concept.
I agree with your thoughts that as a blogger without having anything to sell, we are happy with our traditional about me section to let our readers know more about our blog and writing experiences.
Of course there are some websites with confusing landing pages as you have mentioned, and i am sure they take a hit just bcoz of that. It takes a well designed page to really add value to a site.
I like your idea that for blogs a post should serve as the landing page. That’s often how people discover a new blog – they find one particular post that resonates.
“all topics the blog offers at a glance” – that sounds like a good approach: make the topics available on the side or top or bottom for that one introductory post the user happens to land upon. And a good design always helps great content shine.
Leora – I am sure you have some wonderful ideas up your sleeve for a good design. Thanks for sharing some of them here, i would recommend any startup blogger or website designer to get in touch with you when it comes to such internet marketing concepts.
thanks for stopping by.
Glad you put all our responses in one single post Praveen.
It seems to be the consensus is that most people prefer the blog over the landing pages. I can see the benefit with both in all honesty but I just have my personal preference. I know that a lot of people when they are building up relationships don’t want to have several different sites, they prefer it to be all in one.
That’s what I love about these types of questions. Everyone has their own opinion and at time some of us may be able to see things in a different light.
Great job Praveen.
Adrienne – Glad you liked the way this post ended up to be. I agree that most of us thought in similar manner about the use or mis-use of a landing page on personal blogs.
yea, these responses do open up some doors for thoughts and one can easily get opinionated by reading them and following up with each one of them.
Thanks and have a great day ahead!!
Hi Praveen, This was really interesting to read everyone’s comments on landing pages. Brilliant point that each post of a blog is really a landing page!
It’s interesting that most people don’t want a separate landing page. They want to see the blog content. You’re right, ads don’t belong on a landing page.
Thanks for sharing this interesting article with us, Praveen!
Carolyn – Glad to see your comment. I was really glad that all you awesome bloggers replied to my small survey and I could consolidate everything into this post. It seems like a good brain-storming session and I would love to have one of these again soon.
Thanks for your contribution.
Great post buddy. Landing pages are necessary.
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Thanks for this informative share. Landing pages are important for every website. I completely agree that having good and effective content on a landing page is very good.