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With social media and review sites occupying an important space for small businesses, it can be easy to feel your website is taking a back seat to other channels. While these other media are definitely important, you don't want to underestimate the power that your web real estate has to draw traffic and, especially, generate leads.
When you're looking at how you can improve your website's performance, the one feature you definitely don't want to overlook is the landing page. For years, online marketers have used this term to describe something that is essentially a sales tactic--a way of getting people to focus on taking one specific action. However, no matter what type of business you're in, using your website to drive action should be what your website is all about.
How landing pages work
We've already covered the goal of a landing page, which is to get people to take a specific action. The other important thing to understand is that you can customize your landing page based on how customers have come across your website. In an ideal world, you have a different landing page for people who click on an ad you run, who open an email directed at them, or who find you via content marketing or other avenues.
A good landing page is explicit about what you're going to get from a page and how to get that thing. A good marketer knows that different angles are going to appeal to different audiences, so they'll tweak their landing pages to work with the variety of customers coming in from each source.
When you're trying to figure out what kinds of content will work best for a specific landing page, keep in mind what that audience's context is and how you might be able to speak to where they're coming from. I mean that quite literally.
If you're dealing with people who are coming from local search, especially from mobile, you want to figure out a way to have lots of local content. You need to make a landing page that feels incredibly localized. Depending on where you're located, you might even want to narrow down to the neighborhood in terms of how specific your content gets.
The same idea can be applied to leads coming in from social media. If someone's coming from Twitter, make sure your Twitter feed is on there to create a connection between where they're coming from and where they're going. The same advice applies to people coming from Facebook or LinkedIn.
Focus on lead capture
At the end of the day, the goal of a good landing page should be to serve as your lead capture workhorse. How do you make that happen? Offer something of value, and get people to sign up for your mailing list in return. White papers, eBooks, research reports, and workshops are great ways to make this happen.
The thing is, no matter how great your offer, you're not going to make any gains on conversions unless you use your landing page to sell it effectively. Be specific about why people need what you have, and demonstrate why that's true with video, audio, images, and a strong (and effectively placed) call to action.
Ready for a landing page? Work with your web designer to create the specialized, targeted page or contact your web host to learn about the development tools available to help you create one. It's important that the page seamlessly integrate with your site to help you maximize conversions and/or lead capture.
If you can create customized landing pages to appeal to a variety of customers you want to target and convince them it's worth their time, then you'll see why it's truly the most important feature you can have on your website.