Look at the average web site for a large business and it can sometimes feel like there’s an army of people behind the scenes adding new sections, new videos, new images and other assets.
Now look at the average web site for a small business. You’re probably looking at a fairly bare-bones portal with a homepage, an “About Us” a “Contact Us” and perhaps a few links to social media accounts.
Before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight: there is nothing wrong with a simple web site. If it’s easy for customers to navigate, responsive to the screen sizes of mobile devices and loads quickly, you’ve covered 90 per cent of what such sites are supposed to do.
Like any aspect of running a small or medium-sized business, though, things don’t stay the same for long. Just as you add new products and services, additional staff or multiple locations, web sites need to evolve to reflect everything the firm has to offer. This is where a good landing page strategy can make a small business site look just as sophisticated as one operated by a larger entity.
As the name suggests, landing pages are intended to be something that customers arrive on from somewhere else -- not necessarily by visiting your home page but through a link on social media, through an e-mail newsletter or some other channel. Tools like Marketing Cloud can help coordinate how this works and maximize the results, but first let’s explore how you should think about landing pages and what a best-in-class approach looks like.
While an SMB web site should always have “evergreen content,” such as basic contact details and what the firm’s mission and value is to its market, landing pages offer a way to be more dynamic and timely to pursue a specific objective. These could include:
New Product And Service Introductions: Even if a small business already has a page that lists its products and services, the latest offering may have required considerable upfront investment to develop and, as such, may deserve more explanation and focus.
Coordination Of Related Content: If a company sees through its analytics that visitors are hopping around the site to find the same pieces of information, landing pages can provide a bit of special assistance by putting all the details in one place.
Special Promotions: When you’re offering a discount, a bundle or a limited-time trial, you need something that may have a shorter shelf life than the rest of the content on your site.
Lead Generation: Landing pages are the ideal place to create forms that capture details about people who may be willing to give their information in exchange for a white paper, research study, webinar or other marketing asset.
Once you’ve established your goal, it may be fairly straightforward to outline the content on a particular landing page. It’s important to remember, however, that landing pages are like living, breathing marketing campaigns rather than foundational or cornerstone content for the site. It’s all too easy to forget:
Where visitors will be landing from: If you’re promoting specific details about a landing page in a newsletter, make sure the details you’re talking about are high up on the page rather than buried under other verbiage. Similarly, make sure there’s some way to find landing pages for those who want to come back later through your home page vs. the original channel they used.
Brand consistency: Landing pages are great because, in some cases, you may have a bit more leeway with the design and layout than you do with the other templates that make up the company web site. Make sure, however, there are all the appropriate links to contact information, privacy policies and other details. Think of these as mini-web sites or microsites related to your main site.
An alternative call to action: Maybe someone will arrive at the landing page and decide they aren’t interested in the new product, or taking advantage of a special promotion. Perhaps they don’t want to give over information and become a sales lead. That’s fine, but make sure they have somewhere else to go that continues their experience with you. This could be a link to your blog, an invite link to your next event or other marketing assets.
Sadly, the Internet can sometimes look like a graveyard for old, outdated or irrelevant landing pages that companies simply forgot to take down or change. As with any digital content, landing pages may still be discovered through basic search engines, so don’t assume they will be entirely ignored, even if the company has moved on to something else.
Instead, think about the journey or lifespan of each landing page and how it relates to other elements of the company’s marketing strategy. If you already use a content calendar, this information can be easily organized, but generally you should know:
Launch: What will be the key promotional channels to draw attention to the page, and how will the content to promote it be tested and optimized once the launch has taken place?
Reporting: Determine the frequency at which the performance of the landing page -- in other words, how well it’s attracting visitors and achieving your business goals -- will be analyzed. Given that some landing pages are only intended for activities that last less than a year, they may deserve more regular and focused study to ensure they do a good job.
Post-Page Activities: It’s not just a matter of taking a landing page down. Companies should also ensure they go back to the channels where they included links to the landing page and ensure those are modified too. Otherwise customers and prospects might land on a “page not found” message. Also consider redirects that take people who land on those links to a newer landing page, especially if the content is related or similar.
Landing pages don’t have to be costly, but with some good pre-planning and foresight they can help small and medium-sized businesses be compete digitally competitive with their largest rivals — and maybe even land their next customer.
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