The secret to creating an effective landing page
We've all heard the stat in one form or another - the average Internet user spends around 3 seconds on a webpage . Even if that average was 30 seconds, it would still be important to get your message across as quickly and effectively as possible in order to convert visitors into readers, fans or customers.
Because of this, the landing (home) page serves a completely different function from the rest of the site. It's job is to generate enough interest that the visitor takes action. But how?
There's a couple of guidelines that you might want to consider when planning a landing page. The first and probably most important is:
Any given service or product most likely has a degree of complexity about it. This could be in the terms of service, the manner of use, the legal implications and so on. While this is important, reams and reams of complex, technical language is a sure fire way to put a potential customer to sleep. No one wants to read the fine print... at least not straight away. Don't put any of this information on the front page - there's no point, because at this stage the visitor hasn't decided whether your offering is worth their time.
Instead, focus on what the visitor can expect to gain. Even in this case, it can be difficult to really distill the information you want to get across into bite sized chunks. Rattling off a huge list of benefits and reasons as to why you're better than anyone else is also going to put everyone to bed. Consider individual strong points as detail that can be used to close the deal if the visitor explicitly requests more information - for now, we are still working on the bait.
Take your distilled message - hopefully no more than a single sentence - and put it into a visually simple and uncluttered setting. Making the visual aspect of the landing page aesthetically pleasing won't hurt your cause either. Don't be afraid to use space liberally. Having a pleasant, wide open landing page with a simple, clear message is a great way to engage your visitors. They don't have to work to understand what they are looking at and this make it easy for them to take action.
The next guideline to consider has to do with catering for different personality types:
In effect, your initial message might be enough for the early adopter type, who may want to sign up immediately. Not everyone is quite so adventurous. Some people might like a little more information before they bite. Some people like to know everything before they take a step. Your job is to make it easy for the early adopter, the more cautious and the know-it-all to access the information they need. For exampe, have a sign up box for the early adopter, have a want to know more link to some of the strong points (as mentioned earlier) for the cautious person, and something like take the grand tour for the know-it-all.
By distilling and clarifying the essence of your offering, you make it simple for visitors to intuit what they are looking at. Making it easy for them to understand what to expect goes a long way to capturing them as readers or customers. Good luck...
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