Thrusting a data sheet into their hands and walking away

Last week I introduced the idea that a landing page for a product advertising campaign and a standard product page might not need to be different things. As soon as I mentioned “landing page”, I started getting emails from many of you asking for an example of what a good landing page for a product advertising campaign should look like. I’ll come on to that tomorrow, but today, I’d really like to define what a landing page is, because it’s important.

A landing page has been described as ‘a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search result or advertisement’ and usually displays directed sales copy which is a logical extension of the link. In other words, having been given a taster of what’s on offer, the visitor gets the full story and is then led on to make an enquiry, buy a product or respond in some other desired way.

If you want to see a classic example of what we’re talking about, read How we made $1 million for Moz by Conversion Rate Experts. This shows the idea that ‘long pages don’t sell’ to be a myth. The creators of the landing page in the article studied the corresponding face-to-face sales presentation for the product, and noticed that at least five minutes was needed to make a good case. They realised that they should at least test out an equivalently long landing page – and that meant a very long page indeed. But it worked.

So, we know that a landing page is a full online sales presentation, which aims to create an enquiry or sale from someone who may have seen no more than a few words in a search result or advertisement. That can be quite a significant journey.

The argument I’m making at the moment, however, is that every product page on your website should do that job, and therefore every one is, in a sense, a landing page. So the question is: do your product pages aim to convert someone who arrives on them from elsewhere into an enquirer? Or are you just doing the online equivalent of thrusting a data sheet into their hands and walking away?

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