The beginner’s guide to landing pages


If you’re a web marketer, the easiest way to attract subscribers, leads and customers is to set up landing pages on your website.


It’s where people can get a feel for you and it’s the virtual business card swap. So why is it also the most overlooked part of a web marketer’s strategy?


Firstly, what is a landing page?


It’s a purpose built page on your website where people “take action” of some description. Visitors could ‘buy now’ or ‘sign up for a free trial’, but as a marketer, this article is about attracting leads and subscribers.


In short, the way to do this is to offer a premium piece of content, in exchange for the person’s name and email address.


Your online business card swap


You’d always take business cards to a work meeting or function, wouldn’t you? The reason is because if you meet someone interesting or who has the potential to be a customer, you need to swap details to continue chats later. Normally you’ll meet lots of people and a handful of those you’ll swap details with.


Exactly the same happens online


You’ll get a certain amount of visitors to your website and some will be interested in finding out more about you. Not in a pick up the phone kind of way, but in a let me download something so I can get a feel for them way.


The idea is to offer something appealing on your landing page, in exchange for their email address, so that you can continue the conversation later.


Why is this ‘email exchange’ so commonly overlooked?


I think a lot of marketers who are new to the web, feel apprehensive about requesting people’s email address for fear of upsetting them with future contact.


However, this is the wrong way of looking at it. If people are sufficiently interested in your content, your obligation as a marketer is to provide more information that they may find useful.


Keep it easy!


We all have loads of distractions when we’re surfing the web – lots of tabs open, messages popping up, emails coming in, Facebook open, tweets floating past, and of course the work you are meant to be doing!


So if someone makes the ‘click’ to come to the page where they can download your content, for goodness sake make it a smooth, easy and distraction-free experience! Or else, they’ll lose track of you, and you’ll lose your chance to stay in contact with them.


Anatomy of a great landing page


The basics include removing “the leaks” on your landing page. In other words eliminating links, or conflicting calls-to-action that distract your visitor. Yes, this includes getting rid of phone numbers and your main navigation!


Good landing pages also provide social proof that the download is worthwhile. Things like social media shares, testimonials and mentioning how many other people have downloaded it, reassure the visitor that they should download it.


The final ingredients are: a privacy statement saying you’ll keep their email address private, a simple form where you only ask for what you need, and nothing more, and a nice big button to download your offer.


If you’d like to see my best performing landing page, check out the Web Strategy Planning Template – feel free to download the PDF too!

Adam Franklin is the co-author of 'Web Marketing That Works', a professional speaker, and co-founder of Bluewire Media.