We all do it – surf the web using our favorite search engine to find goods or services. After plugging the keyword phrase into the search box and pressing enter, we quickly review the listings on the first page (sometimes, we might go as far as the third page, but not very often). However, whether a listing appears on the first page or even the next couple of pages is purely a function of relevance (or popularity). The more relevant a link is, the better the position it receives from the search engine(s). The ranking “game” is a chicken or egg scenario – the more popular the site, the better the ranking–the better the ranking, the more popular the site. There are many strategies to achieve better positioning; but, there is one excellent way to increase conversion rates.
Often, websites do a poor job of holding their prospects attention once they get them. The prospect, only too happy to find the website with the product or service they are looking for–quickly becomes disappointed when they find the site too challenging to navigate. If the searcher cannot quickly find what they need, they click off and go to another site. The quick “in and out” will actually hurt a website’s relevancy, as compared to the site that retains the searcher. A simple solution can be employed with the use of a “landing page.”
Where Does the Search Link Take Them?
There are two likely paths a “search link” will take the inquirer–to a website or a landing page. But, the latter is a better strategy for converting prospects to patrons. There is nothing worse or more prone to losing a prospect than a website which takes time to navigate (or is confusing, or both). When conducting searches, the speed at which the viewer can find the information they are looking for is numero uno! If the search result ultimately takes them directly to the website instead of a landing page, that’s okay; but, only if the information being sought was the first thing they saw. But, usually it’s not.
The Landing Page
Only a small percentage of organizations use a landing page. However, those who do, have a clear advantage. Most searches are conducted for the purpose of locating goods or services. A landing page is an opportunity to grab the viewer’s attention–converting them to a patron with a “call to action” line and relationship establishment. A properly constructed landing page ensures this happens “quickly and easily,” without forcing the viewer to navigate the entire website.
The landing page is an ideal tool because the searcher gets to quickly see what they are searching for. There is nothing more frustrating than having to scour for information buried behind some link within a website. “Search” is all about conversions! The better the placement and the easier it is to conduct transactions, the higher the conversion rate.
Effective Landing Pages
The construction of an effective “page” is critical on many fronts. Besides higher conversion rates, it also helps to measure the effectiveness of different campaigns. When an organization runs multiple marketing campaigns (either sequentially or simultaneously), it is a “given” that each campaign should be measured to determine its effectiveness. Campaigns should be scrutinized using web analytics to see what worked and what did not. The ultimate goal of a landing page is should be conversions – quickly and easily converting searchers to patrons. Several campaigns can be run simultaneously, each with their own landing page. Again, employing measurement tools is critical to determine the campaigns that pull the most traffic and conversions.
The well-designed landing page should make it easy for the viewer to conduct commerce. The page assumes the viewer is coming to that site to conduct some type of transaction. As such, the page embeds critical information (what the viewer wants to know) right out front. If the product or service is what they want, for the value they perceive is fair, a transaction will ensue. This occurs without having to muddle through some poorly designed website. The landing page is all about converting “viewers to patrons.”