Is It a Landing Page, Landing Path, or Landing Experience?

10/11/2007

- Danielle Leitch, Exec. Vice President

What exactly are these? They are typically dedicated web page(s) – built for sole use within a specific marketing campaign and most commonly not linked within the navigation of the website. Landing Pages go way back in Internet Marketing, but have recently evolved tremendously. (Hence, the path and experience references used within our industry.) Although the idea has always been to keep these pages very clean and simple (so conversion is inevitable) there is also a need to provide the user a good experience on this page, just as you would within your site.

So the question becomes how to set up your “landing” efforts to best suit the goals of your marketing campaigns and the needs of your customers. I am very much a fan of creating an experience for searchers or site visitors, based upon their expressed needs or intent, more specifically what led them to the site or web page. However, certain instances may call for more of an involved experience to land someone within (almost a micro-site feeling) while other efforts may do better with a simple and straight-forward page. The more personalized the experience, whether it’s a landing page, path, or more, the better the campaign will perform. Here are some examples to provide you an idea of how to create compelling Landing Pages.

Your current website likely has to serve a variety of needs internally and for the user – including functionality, usability, SEO friendliness, aesthetics, multiple products and markets, etc. It can be an overwhelming task to try and excel in all those areas – especially for every product, marketing opportunity, or offer, and for each target market segment. This is where the idea of "Landing Opportunity" (page, path, or experience) can work to overcome some of the challenges of one website having to serve the needs of many people and products and marketing messages.

With the upcoming holidays, this is a great time to start using landing opportunities for your online marketing campaigns. If you are promoting a product or special offer within a banner or rich media ad, use a complementing theme on the landing page to follow up after the click. Capturing users’ interest post-click is as crucial as it is pre-click – maybe more since the click is how you may be billed.

Another important tactic to consider is multivariate testing of your on-page promotions to determine which yield thee best results. Begin the process by creating a compelling landing page, with some easy-to-adjust fields/images for testing variables that a designer could quickly modify for you during testing. If you are without a designer on staff, try Google's new Website Optimizer beta program (a part of the Adwords interface), which allows you to make modifications to an HTML page for testing without altering the programming code for the site. By designating certain fields or areas on the page as testing variables and then setting up images or messages to test, Google’s system will automatically create all possible combinations of each image and message, plus report on results. This tool is a great solution for those on a limited budget or who don't have many internal design resources or marketing support, but still need to produce strong results fast.

What has worked within your marketing campaigns – pages, paths, or an experience?
Email me – I am always interested to learn what others are doing with success.

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