How many of you have ever wandered around a department store looking for a simple but elusive item? How many times have you gone from one department to the next wishing someone would tell you exactly where to find what you’re looking for?

As a customer this is a frustrating experience, and the store just might lose you as a customer.

Here’s a question: When someone clicks on your banner or PPC ad, are they directed to your home page? If your answer is yes, then you may have many customers needlessly wandering around your department store, too.

So, for successful web marketing, here’s where landing pages come in. A landing page is the page visitors should reach after clicking on your banner or PPC ad. The landing page has two main goals: 1) convince your visitor to stay, and 2) move the visitor toward the action you want them to take.

Great! How do we accomplish these two goals?

1. Use a Headline that Clearly Refers to the Ad They Clicked On

Experts agree this is critical to an effective landing page. Your visitors saw something that caught their eye, piqued their interest, and that’s why they clicked on the ad. What they see next, the place the ad leads, should correspond with what got them interested in the first place. This is what will maintain their interest for a while longer and keep them from clicking on the back button.

2. Give Your Visitors a Clear Call to Action

Whether you want them to click on the “add to cart” button, call a toll-free number, or download a free trial of your software, this must be crystal clear, and the copy on the landing page should lead them to take this step.

3. Write Quality Copy

Here, the word “quality” says it all. Write a clear, persuasive message. Present benefits, advantages to your target visitor, why they should consider your offer; this is exactly what they want! Don’t go off on a tangent. Needless to say, there should be no spelling or typographical errors. And use vocabulary that is appropriate to your target audience.

A preview of the landing page testing get to know sheet.

4. Remove Clutter

This goes especially for navigation bars, images, and links to other pages within or outside your web page. Remember, you want to keep the visitor focused on your landing page until you can convince him to take the action you want him to take. You can’t afford to have him wandering around your website or worse yet, leave your website entirely.

5. Test Your Landing Page

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. You might have to test several landing pages until you find the one that gets you the conversions you want. And this is our ultimate goal: conversions! That is the metric you should really care about, the one that takes the customer from “Just looking!” to “Where do I sign?” If you design your landing pages with this important goal in mind, then you’re in business!

A graphic that shows the anatomy of a landing page which includes your headline, your image, call to action button, body text, and signs of trust.