Getting The Most Out Of Your Small Business Website’s Landing Page
What is a landing page? And what difference does it make what I get out of it? Well, the military has its “landing zone” for helicopters where they set down the assault troops (a big deal if you’re fighting a war!) and the Internet has its “landing pages” where your cursor settles after you click on a hyperlink (a really big deal if you’re running a web business!). Or, taking the hyperbole out of it and quoting an excellent book on the subject, Landing Page Optimization by Tim Ash, “The landing page is the first page that a visitor lands on as a result of your traffic acquisition efforts.” “Acquisition efforts,” I might add, that you just paid a pretty price for! Putting it even more succinctly and tying it into something you’ve probably already experienced, your landing page is the same as your “Destination URL” in your Google ads.
And how do you get the most out of that landing page? Simple, by making sure your customer can find what you want him to find and act as you want him to act with as little effort and confusion as possible! It’s fine if the object of the page is to tell him something about your business. It’s great if the object is to sell your product. But be very careful about doing both at the same time on the same page. Remember, you only have about ten seconds to catch his attention before he’s off to another more focused site and you’ve lost a sale.
Big established companies with lots of departments can afford to inform customers all about themselves on their landing pages, their histories, their world-renowned CEO’s, etc. With their enormous advertising budgets they can blow off potential customers without raising a sweat. But with small businesses like yours and mine every click costs an appreciable portion of the budget and every lost sale is painful; for that reason we can’t afford to amuse our customers and stoke our egos with our life stories (although this writer does throw his life story in on another, less critical, page!).
Decide what you want your customer to do when he lands on your landing page. Guide him with as little text as possible and provide him with only the tools he needs to bring about the action that best suits your business aim. Google, for example, provides potential customers to its search page with little more than a logo and a search box in the middle of a great white space– and still makes more money than all the other search engines and their ad-cluttered pages
If you’re a small businessperson trying to survive on the web your landing page is the most important part of your website. Keep it simple. Decide what you want the page to do for you and how best to get that across to anyone landing on it. Who knows, you might even make some money!