Don’t compromise the design of your landing pages

While some people think of a ‘landing page’ as any page where visitors enter a website, in marketing terms we consider it to be a special page which is created to fulfil an external advertising offer. For most of us, a landing page would be designed to make visitors complete an enquiry form. However, it could also be used to get them to the right information in a way that the original advert could not do directly.

The key to a good landing page is simplicity. That means a powerful message and the minimum of distractions – especially links. One of the big mistakes many companies make with landing pages is to piggyback on their standard site template, with all the usual navigation at the top and in sidebars. A landing page should only give visitors one thing to do: make an enquiry. If there’s a link to anything else for people who really don’t want to enquire, it should be quite secondary. If your standard site CMS is not able to do this (ditching all the furniture around the page), you may need a special system just for landing pages.

My favourite approach is having a separate setup of a CMS like WordPress in its own subdirectory, just for landing pages, using its own template. An even simpler approach, with no CMS involved, would be just to have a plain HTML template which you can modify, and then upload the pages via FTP. But that does require you to be able to edit an HTML page!

There are some fabulous resources online discussing what works well in landing pages. Remember, you’ve spent a lot of money to get good visitors to your page. Spending time getting more of them to convert into enquiries should be a no-brainer.