For many of you, the term “landing page” will probably make you think of a special web page which you’ve created to work with a particular offer. In reality, the landing page is simply the page where a visitor has joined your website, so if you’ve just quoted your domain on your letterhead or in an advert, the landing page will be your home page. If you’re just sending people from (say) a banner advert directly to a normal product page on the website, the product page is the landing page. It doesn’t have to be something that’s been specially created. If Google sends someone to a news release page you’ve written, that becomes the landing page. Every page on your website can be a landing page.
I’m going to list three reasons why a landing page might not “work”. These won’t surprise you, and indeed, if you were designing a special landing page to operate in conjunction with a promotion, these are the sort of things you’d insist on avoiding. But every page is a landing page, so does every page on your website avoid these mistakes?
1. There’s no obvious call to action at the end. Having got a visitor this far, possibly at some expense, are you then going to forget to ask them to do what you’d like them to do?
2. The real content is hidden. This could mean hidden by distracting design, or hidden by marketing-speak, or just hidden by menus, links and other page “furniture” which really isn’t helping the cause.
3. The page doesn’t deliver on the offer which led the visitor there. Don’t forget that what led the visitor there might be a headline on an ad or something as basic as a link on another web page. Where are the visitors coming from? What did it say there that they would find? Did they get that?