Landing Page: Why am I here?

There has been a lot of talk lately about the landing page.  I want to preface this article with a little bit of my own mission statement.  As a blogger, and as an optimizer I have a lot of friends and social media contacts that are interested in SEO but don’t really know where to start.  My goal for 2010 as I’ve covered before, is to make the basic SEO techniques readily understandable and accessible to everyone.  So if you’ve got a great understanding of SEO, my blog is probably not for you, but if your head is already cocked in that HUH!? angle, keep reading.

I have a web site.  Most businesses do.  A lot of what I see, as maybe an internet snob but more accurately as a web developer, is that web sites are created BEFORE an Audience Analysis has been done.  Take a moment to think about who might visit your site?  What are they looking for?  Have you asked your customers why they visited your site, what they hoped to take away from reading your pages?

How easy is it to get directions to you if you have a physical location?  How obvious is it what you do, or what your site is about?  Do you give someone an actionable step they can take to contact you, or purchase a product, or request a consultation?

If you have a web site that is mostly just text on a page, that is ok, but what takes web site VISITORS and turns them into converted web site CUSTOMERS is a well planned out landing page.  When I arrive on this page, what is it you want me to do?

If you log onto the new Image Freedom Web Site you will see that I have moved away from the “hit you with text” approach to a homepage.  There are a lot of different theories about your homepage, but I subscribe to the idea that when I visit a site, I want quick and easy answers, and I want access to a next step.  Is that next step a contact form, a video, a phone number?  Whatever that is, it needs to be easy and obvious.

So using my own site as an example, you’ll see that I included a welcome letter, first of all.  This is something I decided to do after attending the Business Building Boot Camp hosted by @AliciaSanera.  This welcome letter focuses on building a relationship between the new visitor, and myself.  I stopped trying to sound like the smartest guy on the planet, I stopped trying to hit the new user with a ton of information, and instead I sent the message “Hi, my name is Matthew, and I’ll tell it to you straight”.

So my landing process, comes from a place of invitation and welcome.  Now that the reader has seen they’re dealing with me, a real person, someone who will be invested in their success, they’re more likely to go to the right and contact me for a consultation.  Very soon we’ll also be adding some SEO for Newbies videos to that page and those videos will also end with a request for action, “click here to contact us” “click here to learn more about X” and what have you.

So think about, as you’re working with your web developer, or you’re building a web site yourself, what is it you want your visitors to DO once they arrive at your site?  A little bit of planning goes a long way here, and helps us move away from the “OMG WALL OF TEXT” mentality of web development.

One message, one invitation, one call for action.  That is the recipe for success.