Every page has three components: Sponsored (or paid) Results Featured Results (also sponsored) Organic Results
Be sure to cite the source: Howie Jacobson’s “AdWord for Dummies”: The first type of page is the most straightforward. If a user searches for a very specific product â€• say, the iPhone 3GS â€• they should be taken to a page exclusively devoted to that product. It's important not to waste a user's time by taking them to a page about Apple products or smart phones in general. The question they're asking with their search is, &quot;Where can I buy an iPhone 3GS?&quot; The simplest answer is &quot;Right here!&quot; Of course, you may be a competitor with a different product to sell, like the Palm Treo. In that case, you might want to consider a &quot;turn-the-corner landing page&quot;: the user thinks they want an iPhone, but you want to convince them that, if what they're looking for is a sleek and powerful smart phone, the Palm is the way to go. It's a more difficult sell, but worth a shot.
Which one of these needs to be revised? That’s right: number 2. The first message is extremely clear: the vendor is selling the latest iPhone. The third message is extremely clear as well: the vendor is selling a refurbished Sequential Compression Device. What’s a Sequential Compression Device? A specialized medical instrument that reduces the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis in immobile patients. Got that? Neither did I, but I’m not in the market for devices designed for long-term care facilities. A user who was would know exactly what that last example was all about. Simple doesn’t necessarily mean fewer words or syllables. It means speaking a language that your target audience understands. The third example above does exactly that. And what about the second example? A perfect example of what happens when SEO trumps clarity: every possible smartphone-related keyword is included in the list, but it’s not clear what I can get on that page. If I searched for “Palm faceplate”, for instance, I want to go to a page that offers me Palm faceplates, with a big, clear message across the top like “Best prices on Palm protective faceplates.” The fact that a vendor also offers Blackberry car chargers and Nokia bluetooth headsets isn’t relevant to me, so I don’t want to see a page cluttered with that kind of information. Just offer me what I’m looking for.
Losing a user at any other stage at the process is justifiable: they might be looking to solve a different problem than the one you've identified; your offer might be out of their price range; or they might just be the type who aren't going to be convinced to turn away from a recognizable brand name (for instance) no matter how compelling the support you've amassed in favor of your product. However, there is no good reason to lose a user in the middle of the conversion process. There's really only one way to do so: making the conversion process too complicated. Which leads to perhaps the most important rule of landing page design: make the conversion process as simple as possible.
Whitespace is your friend: The first and easiest mistake you can make in graphic design is to feel that you need to &quot;fill up the space.&quot; You don’t. Rather than starting with a blank slate and trying to fill it up, figure out exactly what elements you need on the page, and position them in the cleanest, most attractive way possible. As in the design below, this often means surrounding particularly important elements - like phone numbers and contact forms - with a good deal of whitespace. It makes them more prominent, and draws the user's eye to places you want them to focus. Avoid light type on dark backgrounds: Perhaps because it was a default option in the early days of blogging, a surprisingly large number of Web sites use light type against dark backgrounds. Whatever the reason for this trend, avoid it. If you’ve spent time following Hanny’s tips about what to write for your landing pages, you don’t want the words obscured by the background. Dark type on light backgrounds is easier to read than light type on dark, and the text on your landing page must be easy to read. Clearly set out your headlines and subheaders: Some words on your pages are more important than others, and this should be clear from the design. In the example below, &quot;Elevated Member Benefits,&quot; &quot;Elevated Markets&quot; and &quot;Elevated Technology&quot; are the high-level points the page is communicating. For users who want more details, there are bullet points below. But, the really important stuff is in larger, more prominent type, just like it should be. Don't use Flash: By using Flash for all or a portion of your landing ipage, you are asking the user to wait for your message. Those with slow connections might not want to wait for it load and leave before they ever see it. Others might have Flash turned off, or never installed in the first place. The sooner everything loads, the sooner your message can be seen-and a conversion made. Don’t clutter your page with too many images or icons: Use images and photos, but not too many. Graphical elements are the most prominent parts of any landing page (sorry writers!) but the effect is lost if there are too many. A logo, a photo or two, maybe a few clear icons that help communicate your points - that should about do it. Anything else will be an unnecessary distraction.