Landing Pages: Cheaper, More Productive Than Pay-per-Lead Advertising

Relying on a third party to deliver lists of leads is frustrating. Sure, there are plenty of names with titles that look good on paper, but for every 100 "pre-qualified" names, only one or two will result in an actual lead. The situation becomes even worse when paying a third party to identify the Web traffic they're driving to your site. Two options present themselves: one, pay a premium for all (or some) named leads in addition to raw unidentified traffic, or two, concentrate on cost effectively driving as much traffic as possible to tailored landing pages that will qualify those click-throughs at no cost.

Think about these two options for a minute. With option one, some potential leads will be identified for you--but you'll have to repeat this premium price-based model with EVERY online advertising vendor you work with. With option two, you have complete control over what information those click-throughs see when they get to your site. If designed smartly, those landing pages will weed out tire-kickers and identify real leads. Quality landing pages will also work with ANY traffic being generated by ALL your advertising and marketing efforts--on- and offline.



Need more convincing to shift your strategy to leverage landing pages? Bellwether and dominant industry force, Google announced in December 2005 that its keyword bidding system actually takes into account landing page relevance. This decision was based on what its users were telling Googlethey want to click through to relevant content, not a homepage where they have to navigate further to find what they want.

So how do you create effective landing pages? This is a process that you need to really think through to make sure landing pages work as hard as they need to for your particular marketing efforts. Here are a few important considerations:

  • Copy. Effectively communicate information that is as relevant and specific as possible to the advertisement, news listing or keyword that drove the traffic to your site. Make it easy to find the information visitors want--it's better to be plain and simple than flashy and confusing. Consider keywords that define your products or services, and make sure they're prominent on the landing page.

  • Design. Make your landing page easy to navigate. If customers want to purchase blue widgets, make it easy for them to do so. Place your most important information above the "virtual fold" (the area of the page viewable before scrolling) to inform your visitors they are in the right place.

  • Registration. Required registration pages can be a helpful tool in determining who visits your Web site, but be sure to provide a taste of the benefits of registering before asking for information. That way, visitors will understand what they are getting into , nd you won't risk turning them away immediately.

  • Upkeep. Make sure all relevant ads, listings and keywords link directly to the corresponding landing pages that contain product or service-specific information, rather than too-general pages like your homepage. Constantly, continually, unfailingly check for broken links, correct HTML, and make sure your linked landing page is (and remains!) relevant to your advertising text or keywords.

    Like just about every other aspect of online marketing, this process is not formulaic. Basic considerations like those listed above are as universal as you'll find. The key is to think about your audience and what they need from you, and then mold that information around the aforementioned framework. Taking the time to think this through and develop crisp, direct and functional landing pages will more than reward your time and effort.

    Strategic landing pages will empower your marketing efforts by drastically reducing the payout of exorbitant fees for so-called pre-qualified or named leads. Refocus your energy on driving traffic from ALL your marketing efforts to your site and let crisp, targeted landing pages qualify the leads for you.

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