You wouldn’t play tennis without a racquet, would you?
The machine hurtled fuzzy green balls at me with a “fwoom, fwoom” sound every 10 seconds or so. I dodged most of them, but occasionally got pegged in the chest, stomach, or some place worse.
“Fwoom, fwoom.” I was on the court. I was dressed in snazzy tennis gear worthy of Wimbledon. I had top-of-the-line footwear. I kept my feet moving.
I just didn’t have a racquet.
The only ball I was able to return across the net bounced off my head. Not only was I missing every shot, but I was experiencing bodily injury.
RANT WARNING – If you are already using landing pages for your targeted banner advertising, you can proceed to my article about landing pages for dynamic display ads on ClickZ. Everyone else, pay attention.
You don’t have to be a tennis pro to know that this is insanity. Yet thousands of businesses across the Web are using targeted banner advertising to drive traffic to their home page. Smart marketers with effective email campaigns are sending clicks to pages that don’t call the visitor to take action; to buy, call or download.
Landing pages are pages that are specially designed to catch visitors, taking them directly to information that they are interested in, and asking them to become a prospect or a customer.
We can use a landing page anytime we know why someone clicked through to our site. If we know what they expect, it makes sense that we would create a page to specifically address their needs.
How do we know what the landing page should say?
We know exactly what a visitor is looking for when they click on an ad or link that we created because we wrote it. If we wrote the ad, and it caused them to click, wouldn’t you assume that the page they come to should address the offer made by the ad copy?
This shouldn’t even be a question in your mind (and for most of my readers it isn’t).
Pardon my exasperation
I don’t like to be rude, but can you imagine what my tennis instructor would have said if they’d seen me getting pummeled by a ball machine because I forgot my tennis racquet?
If you want to score points, you need to have all of the basic equipment. In the game of online advertising landing pages are basic equipment.
Your Home Page Won’t Do
The primary job of the home page is not to convert visitors into leads or sales. It’s job is to funnel buyers to pages that either provide information or call the visitor to take some action… or both.
Your home page has a lot of work to do, and as a result, it will probably contain the most links of any page on your site.
Paying for an ad that promises “Software that will improve your business,” and then asking them to sift through a page full of links (About Us, Contact, Our Products, Home, News, etc.) is conversion suicide.
Why not bring them to a page that says “Our software will improve your business, and here’s how.” Then explain why it is good for them and how it works. Then tell them how to get more information, or invite them to purchase.
Why Landing Pages are Important
1. Landing Pages will make you more successful by generating more leads, sales and business.
2. Landing Pages will make your visitors love you more. There is no better brand experience that finding what you’re looking for.
3. Landing Pages will cut the cost of your advertising by increasing your conversion rates. As the cost of generating new clients, you can put more into your advertising.
4. Landing Pages will keep me from ranting about landing pages
Technique and Practice Are Important
In tennis, how you swing your racquet will determine how many times you score. It is the same with landing pages.
How would you like to learn almost everything you need to know about landing pages in just two days?
The first ever Conversion Conference is happening May 4 and 5, and I can get you $100 off of the price of admission.
I know of no other opportunity to learn from the best conversion experts and Web site optimizers in the industry.
The Keynote is being given by Jakob Nielsen, the champion of fast and cheap ways of improving user interfaces.
Use the promo code CCW510 when you register for Conversion Conference 2010 to get your $100 discount. Early bird rates end April 10.
This is one of those shows that should pay for itself quickly. Think of it as tennis lessons with a profit.