My Marketing Thing

4 hard questions and 7 nifty tips for your landing page


Landing page example cartoon


You know those guys in goggles and white jumpsuits on the tarmac waving paddles at airplanes? 

A ‘landing page’ is like one of those guys. Waving at your target market – showing them that you are their guide for a secure place to rest and have their needs met.

Imagine how annoying it is when a whopping big airplane ignores all your expert waving and goes to land somewhere else.

Let’s not have your landing page experience this public rejection.

What is a landing page exactly?

Okay, a landing page is one way to create sales from pay-per-click ads and e-mail campaigns – or even from social media (like a Facebook profile page). It is sometimes known as a ‘lead capture page’ 

Here’s how a landing page works in conjunction with an AdWords campaign:

  1. A person searches for something on Google 
  2. They click on your AdWords ad which matches those search words they used (AdWords ads are usually on the right hand side of the search results page – more AdWords info here)
  3. The person who clicked on your ad finds themselves on your landing page – a page tailored to their exact needs….

A landing page could be considered a full page advertisement online. A full page ad with a coupon box. Why the coupon box? Because giving your visitor a way to interact with you is what the paddle-waving is all about. 

A landing page generally involves luring your visitor to fill out a form of some kind. This might be to receive a free report, a free e-book, or a free sample of a product. Or the form may promote an actual sale of a service or product.

The form asks the visitor for their an email address – maybe perhaps a name and telephone number as well. Enough to ‘capture the lead’, add the visitor to your mailing list and get some kind of relationship started.

Some people build an entire business on a landing page, by-passing having a website altogether. 

4 ‘hard’ landing page questions:

  1. What are you offering?
  2. Who do you wish to appeal to?
  3. Why would they be interested in your offer?
  4. What do they need to do to participate/buy?

Once you’ve nailed the answers to these questions, you can start working on a layout for your landing page.


What does your landing page need to be?

‘Focused and simple’ is the key to creating a successful landing page.

What was that again?

Focused and simple.

One more time…

Focused and simple.

Yep, you’ve got it!

7 nifty tips…

The visitor needs to know what’s being offered quickly and easily. 

  1. Write down 5 great reasons for your visitor to take action, put them in bullets and pop them at the top of the page, next to your main photo or even above it.
  2. Write from the visitor’s perspective (i.e. what their key concerns are and how you can help).
  3. Make sure it is super-clear what you want them to do to take up your offer.
  4. No technical web design gizmos (you can’t assume what apps your visitor has on their computer and you don’t want long download times).
  5. Keep your visitor on the page – avoid links to more information because you tend to lose them when they leave.
  6. Back up your claims with traceable testimonials.
  7. The key photo, bullets and headline should all appear ‘above the fold’ – visitors shouldn’t have to scroll down to read them. 

The more costly an item is, or the more unique it is, the more content will be needed to convince a buyer to opt-in


The subscription area

If possible, just ask for an email address so you can start as many new relationships as possible and get more registration info down the road. If you need – and I mean really NEED – more information for what you are selling: ‘phone number’, ‘title’ and ‘company’ is doable (if relevant). Just remember: the more details you ask for the less they are likely to opt-in.

Extra tip:
Have a big button with an enticement ‘Sign up now’ or ‘buy now’ – whatever is relevant (not just ‘submit’ or ‘click here’)

The subscription process

If someone leaves a field on the form blank, make sure it’s easy for them to fix it. Clearly indicate the field they left blank, and explain what they need to do. Don’t wipe the whole page blank and make them start over.

Look at the resolution page, or what is sometimes called the ‘encore’ page. That’s the page you get after someone has submitted their information for that PDF download or made a purchase or subscribed to a newsletter.

DON’T leave them with: “Thank you, you’ve been subscribed.” At the very least, have a link with: “Return to Home Page” Better still, you can offer them a subscription to your newsletter, give them an incentive to take a survey, etc. 

How do you gauge its success?

A visitor doing what you want them to do (i.e. fill out your form and submit) is known as ‘a conversion’. The success of your landing page can be measured by its conversion rate – i.e. the percentage of visitors who complete the desired action. 


Prior to launch, ask those you know in your target market about your page.

  • Don’t tell them what it’s about first
  • Give them five seconds to look at the page 
  • Ask them what their impression of it was
  • Ask them what they remember from it
  • Ask: “What would make it clearer for you?” 

Testing different content elements live

You are able to change your landing page anytime you want to see if another approach might work better. Here are some elements worth playing around with:

  • different subject headers
  • how many fields you ask for in your request form 
  • the length of your copy 
  • your Pay Per Click target phrases

Change one thing, and assess. Then change another thing, and assess. Don’t change too much at once or you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t.

If visitation averages just a few seconds, and you aren’t attracting the subscriptions you are after, then it’s obviously not grabbing their attention.

Test in all browsers. Make sure your page looks okay in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari (recent versions, not just the latest version).

There’s no guarantees

People don’t want to be hounded. This means they won’t sign up for just anything. The more specific the offer, the higher the response rate and the closer you will be to attracting the people you want to reach. 


This post was written by Megan Hills.  Megan is a writer, cartoonist and marketing consultant who enjoys take-off and landing equally. Find out more about Megan


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