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Search Marketing Guide: How to Write a Landing Page That Converts

If you’re paying for click-through’s from Google or another search engine, you want to make sure your investment provides a return. You do that with a landing page.

Searchers click-through to your page because your ad captures their attention and creates interest. Your landing page now needs to build on that interest, turn it into desire and, ultimately, get action.

To be effective, your landing page needs to work like a sales letter. It needs to be designed around a very clear objective – the action you want – and it needs to employ all the motivating and persuasive tools necessary to get the job done.

Whether it actually is a sales letter depends…

YOUR GOAL GUIDES THE APPROACH

You have to clearly define what it is that you want the visitor to do. The format you use to achieve that varies depending on the objective. Even though dozens of variations exist, there are really only two objectives . You’re trying to get the visitor to either…

– Give you their email and possibly other information for your mailing list, or
– Buy

If you want them to buy, then throw all the logs on the fire. Put a long-form sales letter on your landing page that they just cannot resist. Be sure it uses an appeal that matches up to what the visitor was originally searching for. That will increase your chances of making a sale.

But don’t expect a high rate of conversion — even if your letter is strong enough to bend steel. Research keeps telling us that almost no one buys immediately when they’re shopping online. Conventional wisdom says a prospect has to see your message at least seven times!

The reason you won’t often sell straight off the landing page goes back to the very reason the visitor got there in the first place — the search engines. When a visitor arrives from a search, it’s just too easy to back up and compare prices, find other sources, and shop around.

MOST MARKETERS WANT AN EMAIL ADDRESS

Which is why so many landing pages just try to collect email addresses. It’s still not EASY, but it’s eas-ier. And actually, it leads to more sales in the long run.

The tried and true approach is to offer a free “something” in return for signing up for the e-mailing list. It used to be enough to offer a free subscription to your newsletter, but that rarely works these days. Too many newsletters flood the e-waves and few contain any useful information (present newsletter excepted, of course). Seachers realize they’re just signing up to get a lot of sales pitches.

No, you have to offer something more. A book or software or an audio or video tutorial — something with real, immediate value.

And that’s what your landing page copy sells.

YES, YOU EVEN HAVE TO SELL YOUR FREE OFFER

It seems odd that we have to put out so much effort just to give something away – but we do. The only difference is that you can usually make your pitch relatively brief. The key is to have a good giveaway. If the searcher really wants it, you don’t have to say as much.

That’s especially true when you’ve featured the giveaway item in your pay-per-click ad. You can usually just…

– Confirm in your headline that the searcher has arrived at the right place to claim their prize
– Prove it’s worth having with a benefit-heavy bullet list
– Explain briefly that their email address is required because of your delivery method
– Present an easy to use form for them to input their email address.

You can ask for anything on your form, but most marketers restrict the required blanks to capturing an email address and a name. The more you ask, the more you have to sell why you need it.

The actual email form is most often linked to an autoresponder service these days. You use the autoresponder service to handle your follow up and ultimately sell the prospect who’s just been added to your mailing list.

FINAL WORD

To see a good example of a landing page, check out master marketer, David DeAngelo’s minisite: DoubleYourDating.com

You may even want to sign up and get on his email list to see the kind of email marketing campaign he conducts.

It’s a mistake to pay for traffic and then send it to a generic home page. Create a landing page that sells exactly what you offered in your ad.

And if you really want to reach the heights of Internet Marketing achievement, focus on building your e-mailing list. Like the (richest) guru’s say, “the money is in the list!”

Copyright 2005 Ronald A Murphy. Permission to reproduce this article in any form is freely given so long as the text and this credit stays as is without modifications.

Copywriter and Designer, Ronald A. Murphy is an Internet Marketing specialist — on the net since 1996. Murphy writes mini-site sales letters, landing pages and order pages, sales emails and autoresponder copy, online newsletters and articles for marketing, joint-venture proposals, web site content and other marketing focused materials.
One of just a handful of talented web professionals who can deliver both copy and design, Murphy offers clients unique advantages of faster turnaround, lower costs, and easier control because he handles the complete project for them.
For more information on copywriting and design for Internet Marketing, visit his site at RAMurphy.com. There you can subscribe to his newsletter, R A Murphy’s Copywriting and Design Tips. You can also read Murphy’s Blog on Copywriting and Design for Internet and Direct marketing at RonaldAMurphy.com.

Source: High Quality Article Database – 365Articles.com

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