Apparently today is the day to discuss landing pages. At the office we’ve been proactive in studying landing pages for both organic and paid search purposes. Hell, we even launched a long awaited microsite for our clients to profit from…. though, it did come about three months after we had hoped.
Why? Because landing page optimization and design is critical… and when you get it right, you cash in big time.
So, here are some links that all crossed my Google Reader this morning that are worth checking out:
- Advice on Landing Pages from the Experts, More Details on the SEOmoz Contest & Our First Landing Page Submission by Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz
- Create a Landing Page That Works by Michael Fleischner of MarketingProfs
- Organic Landing Pages: A Case Study by Galen De Young of Francis SEO
- Seven Steps to a Better Landing Page by Jennifer Laycock of Search Engine Guide
Each of the above highlight various areas to focus on. Rather than just regurgitate this information though, I’d like to discuss the “Provide Something Free” tip from Fleischner and how it has impacted our performance.
Here is what Fleischner offers on the point:
Encourage action by offering something free in exchange for name and
email address. If you’re actually selling a product from your page,
consider giving added bonuses for making a purchase. The more you offer
at the price point you’ve identified, the more value you create for
your potential customer.
Good, valid points — but there’s a bigger issue at hand… you’re missing an easy opportunity to snag vital visitor information. When you go grocery shopping, you love seeing the little taste testing stations, right? Well, the same principle applies here — with the results magnified.
At the market, you inhale the free food and your on your way. It may have been so great, you were prompted to buy it. If not, and it was horrible — you walk away and never associate with the product again.
But that cannot happen with free things given to you online… Unless the marketer is brainless. If you come to my web site and I’m selling green widgets, and I’m willing to give you a free tutorial on how to make the most of your green widgets — you’re going to jump at it. And even if you don’t buy a green widget from me, I’ve been successful… I got you engaged in something.
What if my tutorials were awful? What if you were hoping for so much more? Inevitably, I have your contact information… and for that, you’ll be marketed towards. You can’t walk away. You can’t act like you never came by. You did, you acted upon an interest — and that was recorded.
And that’s the real goal, isn’t it? A landing page is in place to convert someone for the sake of your business or growth. While my personal experience is to simplify landing pages as much as possible, providing a free promo of one kind or another is a necessary evil. Capturing that elusive contact information, especially if you’re pushing the visitor to a third party — is critical.
You can walk away from the supermarket samples… but you’ll have to delete all the mail sent your way from a landing page freebie.
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