Read an excellent article recently by Dr. Ralph Wilson, one of the leading Internet marketing gurus, on "best practices" in landing page design.
First, what is a landing page? As opposed to, for example, the homepage of your law firm's website, which serves as a gateway to other sections of the website, a landing page is a web page designed to persuade visitors to take a very specific step such as:
- Register for an event
- Download a free white paper
- Sign up for an email newsletter
Visitors are usually directed to landing pages from promotional communications such as an email invitation, or a Google, e-newsletter or banner ad. The landing page thus represents the mechanism by which a marketer hopes to achieve a tightly focused objective such as lead generation, event registration, or subscriber growth.
As an example, see this landing page that eLawMarketing designed to generate leads for our website development services by offering a free white paper entitled Upgrading Your Law Firm Website. Prospects arrived at this landing page by clicking on a link in an email newsletter ad that we had purchased:
Because landing pages are intended to persuade visitors to take a specific step, any element of the landing page that distracts your visitor from taking that step must be eliminated. This means, for example, landing pages should NOT include links to other pages on your website that will take visitors off your landing page and distract them from taking that critical step you were hoping for. As MarketingSherpa has put it: "It's a mathematical certainty that every link on your landing page that doesn't result in conversion will decrease your response rate."
For the same reason, you do NOT want any of the navigational tabs or links normally appearing on your website to appear on a landing page. A landing page is about conversion, not branding.
If you look back at the link above to the eLawMarketing landing page I mentioned, you'll see these principles in action - no links - just simple copy focused on getting visitors to complete and submit the form (which doesn't ask for very much information - another rule of thumb being that the more information you ask for, the lower your conversion rate will be).