If you're running an online advertising campaign such as Google Adwords or Overture (Yahoo! Search Advertising), you should make sure your visitor lands on a page that follows through on what the advertisement promised. If someone cannot find what they are looking for on a web page within 10 seconds of arriving, they will usually hit the "back" button and look somewhere else.
The special page made just for an advertisement is called a landing page, because the visitor "lands" on the page after clicking on the advertisement. Your advertising campaigns' landing pages (or sales pages) will probably be the most important pages on your website in terms of getting new business.
Yet many small business owners have never even heard of a landing page, and instead are wasting money needlessly by sending visitors from advertising to the website's homepage, where new visitors are less likely to find the information they need to become customers.
You can find good landing page ideas simply by searching on Google or another search engine, then clicking on the "sponsored" links on the right-hand side.
But if you need a good start, try this template. Just replace the brackets and their contents () with the recommended content.
Landing Page Template
[Heading with Hook--Make sure you use your keyword at the beginning of the heading--the very first word(s) of the heading, if possible; this heading should be the same as or very similar to the headlines of your advertisements]
[Hook: Make an argument, beginning with a hook that relates to the heading above, and the text of the advertisement that links to this page. This paragraph should be one to three sentences. Make sure you use your keyword at the beginning of the first sentence--the very first word(s) of the first sentence, if possible. Put the keyword in boldface so visitors who are scanning the page for it will see it easily.]
Why do you need to buy [keyword] from [your business's name]?
Unique selling point 1 [keyword] Unique selling point 2 variation on [keyword] Unique selling point 3 [keyword] [Call to action--buy, get, request, contact us. Use the keyword in the call to action.]
[Way of taking action--telephone number, buy button, contact form]
Make sure the telephone number, "buy" button, and/or contact form are very prominent, so prominent that the visitor will notice them immediately when he or she opens the page, even though they are at the bottom of the screen.
The above section should take up most or all of one screen view, roughly 600 pixels high (the traditional screen height of laptops and small monitors). Set your screen resolution to 800x600 and see how many lines you can fit in without having to scroll to see the bottom of the page.
Relatively few visitors will scroll further down the page--maybe 30 t most. The rest will either convert, click deeper into your site, or hit the "back" button. Of course, you should not neglect those visitors who do scroll further down the page, so provide some information for them below.
Not Sure You Need [Keyword]?
Need more information on [keyword]? Here are some important facts about [Keyword] and [your product or service's name].
[Unique selling point 4--use the keyword or a variation of it] [Unique selling point 5] [Unique selling point 6]
Contact Us to Get More Information about [keyword]
Call us, email us, or use the form below to ask a question or request a free, no-obligation proposal.
[way of taking action--phone number, buy button, contact form]
Here you should insert more information for the page-scrollers--all those visitors who have indicated their interest by scrolling this far down the page, yet who have not taken the action suggested above in the call to action.
This is a great place for testimonials, detailed lists of the features of your product or service, comparisons with the competition, and other information useful to a buyer who needs to be informed before making a decision.
Tips for Writing a Sales/Landing Page
The page should have some kind of navigation options for people who like to click deeper into a site before taking an action such as contacting you or buying. Roughly half of your conversions will likely come from visitors who clicked deeper into the site before deciding to take action.
You should use one or two carefully selected images on your landing page. More than two will simply distract the visitor and make the page load too slowly for some visitors.
Only use more than two images if you need the images to convey your unique selling points--i.e., you're selling art, graphics, landscaping, real estate, or something else whose reason for buying is mostly visual. Images of people using your product or service are ideal. The more relevant the image is to what you are offering, the better.
Strongly consider putting a contact form on your landing or sales page. There will always be people who feel they need information that isn't on the website. Or maybe they just don't want to spend time sorting through the information on your site. For the same reason, you should place your telephone number in a prominent position on the page--the top right corner is a popular spot.
Of course, if your product or service generates so little revenue that you can't afford handling pre-sales communications, don't include contact information on the page.
After all, the goal of your business website's landing page is to make money.
About the author:
Joel Walsh has written more articles on getting sales and leads from your business website content: http://upmarketcontent.com?business website content [Web publication requirement: create live link for the URL/web address using "business website content" as visible link text/anchor text; if offering for re-publication (article bank, aggregator, or clearinghouse), link text/anchor text not required.]