Friday, April 22, 2016

Can Landing Pages Multitask? Should They?

If you've talked to me or read what I've written about good web copy, SEO and marketing communications in general, you know I see many shades of gray in our online world, and one of my favorite answers - regardless of the question - is "it depends."

Should Landing Pages Stick to a Single Message?

YES! Except when... well, at least I didn't start with "it depends."

If your offer is cut-and-dried, if it's as easy as a yes or no question, then yes. Yes, your landing page should stick to a single, sweet and simple message. A blog post from Collective provides some of the best examples (of good and bad landing pages) that I've seen recently. Here, have a look:

landing page examples
On the other hand, what's the point of your landing page? Maybe it has several points to make. That's OK too.

Call me crazy (wouldn't be the first time) - I contend that a Landing Page can serve several purposes. 

I don't write landing pages for Coke or Pepsi. I write landing pages for companies with far smaller marketing budgets. In those companies, the owners wear a lot of hats, and quite often, their marketing programs need to multitask, too. 

Like any other good business decision, the best way to approach spending money on web content is to look at your goals and your budget and do the best you can with what you've got. Then, analyze the results and go from there. This isn't rocket science, folks. It's marketing, and it's your business. 

Web Content Rules: Of Course It's OK to Break Them

Knowing the rules is important. Knowing that sometimes it's OK to break them will keep you sane. 

When it comes to writing for the web, it's really important to remember that we are writing for customers, who happen to be human beings. (Really; they're living breathing people! not search engines! And whenever you have a chance to talk to one, you should!)

If you're writing a landing page, with a single, simple purpose (convert - download - sign up - buy) then by all means, follow the rules. One message for you and your page! Test it, and convert away.

The Multitasking Landing Page

With apologies to Sigmund Freud, sometimes a landing page isn't "just" a landing page.  

If you're writing with a purpose that's a little more involved, hey, that's a different marketing animal. You didn't grow your business by just following all the rules, did you? 

Maybe your landing page should serve as an introduction to your site, with a link to a virtual tour of your store - and (gasp!) it's a video. It's OK. I promise, the Online Marketing Police will NOT come after you. 

It's YOUR landing page. Create it to serve your purpose - or multiple purposes. Then track your visitor data, talk to your (real, live) customers, and run your business. By your rules.

Some more rules - or, more accurately, best practices - can be found in a helpful article Search Engine Journal published way back in 2015.  

Should You Use Video in Your Landing Page? 

Yes, with care...if you have the right video...and it doesn't mess with your message or make the page load too slowly or...

OK, in this case the answer is yes and it depends. ;D

Earlier this month, Unbounce blogged about using video as background and also discussed what to avoid when using video on landing pages.

Here ya go:
Shutterstock image - golden web copy

Why Are You Still Reading This?

I included several links above, inviting you to leave the page. Maybe you did, and of course, if you're still reading this, maybe you didn't - or you came back. 

Those links up there are proof that I break the rules. Why? This is supposed to be a helpful post for real, live (reading) people, on landing pages and making marketing content that really works, for you and your business.

I hope you found it so. 


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