- By Cathy Goodwin
- Published 11/17/2008
- Writing for the Web
Independent professionals often struggle to develop landing pages that convert browsers to buyers. Many fail because they don’t realize that landing pages are not the place to display your creative talents. They follow formulas that are have been tested over and over again. They use very specific copywriting and design techniques. And they are completely open about their purpose: getting visitors to take one specific action before leaving the page. (1) Decide exactly what ONE action your visitors should take. Do you want them to sign up for your ezine? Buy a product? Call for a free sample consultation? Develop the page to motivate readers to take that one action. (2) Help visitors resist temptation to click away to another page. If you have a traditional website, your home page is designed to motivate readers to click away to other pages. If you are a service professional you want visitors to go to your “about” page and your “services” pages. But your landing page should be completely self-sufficient.
(3) Create an invisible design that readers won’t notice because they’re so busy reading the message. Choose black type on a white background. Use images to direct readers to follow the message you create in your text: arrows, underlines, big exclamation points. Handwritten marginal notes have become trendy
. (4) Create headlines and copy to solve the visitor’s painful problem. People browse for fun stuff while they’re sipping cappuccino in a live bookstore. They go online when they’re lying awake all night, wondering how they’ll ever get answers to their toughest challenges. (5) Make the copy easy to read. Use bullets, lots of white space, colors and headlines. On the web, most readers will scan your copy. Some readers will just skim through the bold and highlighted copy, all the way to the end. So apply bold type to the phrases you want your readers to notice. Then read through the copy to see if your bold text makes sense without reading anything else. (6) Force your readers to choose. They can leave the page but if they click on anything, they’ll go to your shopping cart. Period. Independent professionals often want to include a link to their free ezines or even another product. If you do, then create an exit pop-up with the message, “Not ready? Then sign up here…” (7) Direct traffic to your landing page. Whether you use Pay-Per-Click, article marketing, press releases or any other traffic building technique, send readers to your landing page, not your home page.
Domain names and hosting have become cheap. So many savvy marketers create keyword-rich domains for every product they want to promote heavily. Then they create 1-page web sites with just the landing pages.