This half-week my classmates and I consumed the equivalent of 3 full pages of information craftily spread out over 40 full pages of text and its video equivalent. But don’t worry, I don’t hate you, so I’ll keep things a little tidier. Just remember to never, NEVER piss off your audience with shit like that* for reasons we’ve covered in virtually every other post. It may help your SEO, but that’s about it.
So what is a landing page?
It’s the page on your website people see after they’ve clicked something you wanted them to click (like in an email you sent them or from your ad.) Some people simply use their homepage for this purpose, but you don’t want to do this because the landing page’s job is to carry the trajectory of your clicker’s mouse to the natural destination, not to distract it along the way. (Mice have incredibly short attention spans and aren’t known for their cunning.)
One day, when you get enough moral support for your music, you’re going to need to pay for advertisements and email your listeners in a futile attempt to compete with the industry artists who are everywhere but make no money (otherwise you’d be one of them, right?) And when you do you (hopefully) won’t indiscriminately blanket the internets with ads saying “hey, everybody, come check me out and buy my music, come to a show, or buy my merchandise!”. You’ll be targeting current fans with stuff like “t-shirts 50% off!”, the familiar but not dedicated with “like my page to enter the sweepstakes!”, and the downright ignorant with “yo my nillas, peep game on this 1st-string bass-wielder from your mom’s favorite 40-string sextuplet”** or something equally awesome.
And once they’ve clicked your link, you need to get them to do the thing they came to do ASAP because it won’t be long before they’re all like “oh shit, I’ve been on this site 12 seconds! Gotta go!” Don’t shoot yourself in the foot; keep things moving.
Landing page to-do
- Headline – Make sure it’s concise, attention-grabbing, and obviously related to the link they clicked on.
- Attractive, consistent overall design
- Don’t let it be a standard template like the one for this blog
- Keep it consistent with the ad they clicked (images, syntax, colors, overall vibe)
- Keep format stream-lined
- Have the content (which moves them in a single, logical pattern of thought toward the destination you desire for them) in a single column, panned left rather than right, with nothing on the sides to distract. (Testimonials on the side to reassure them, however, are encouraged.)
- In keeping with the single column idea, arrange material in the “F” pattern your eye naturally follows when scanning a page. To learn more about patterns eyes like to follow, go here.
- Have attractive call-to-action buttons in front of them somewhere from beginning to end
- Write effective copy
- Front load all the important stuff (50% of visitors don’t scroll down)
- Keep it in 2nd person
- Use speech your viewers use themselves
- Keep paragraphs under 5 lines each (lots of white space is good!)
- Make sure you don’t jet off on tangents in the middle of your pitch***
- Match length of copy with commitment you’re requesting. (If you want someone to give you an email for a free download, no more than “email for download” is necessary. But if you want them to be part of your street team, you should probably start talking.)
- Look at your favorite artists’ pages and see what ideas and standards you come away with
- A/B test**** your landing page
*Pro-tip for life: People don’t REALLY care about your stories or what you have to say unless it’s something they already wanted to know or they would readily die for you. They may smile or laugh because they don’t want to be hated or want a chance to talk themselves, but they don’t actually care about the hilarious***** encounter you had with so-and-so that one time. You know how annoying it is when someone interjects with a story of their own before you finish yours? Well… think about it.
What is the vice we hate most in others and recognize least in ourselves? Pride. And the desire to talk when it doesn’t add real value is one of its children.
** TM Free Dope Downloads… dibs!
*** I’m sure you were wondering why I’m doing all this asterisk biz. Well I figured in the name of not breaking the rules I’m telling you to follow (and blessed, blessed conformity) I don’t want to distract you with my incredible wit and satire.
**** You missed the whole bit on A/B testing because that day I posted on the wrong thing, but it’s very simple and doesn’t require an entire blog post to understand; it’s where you test the effectiveness of one version of a site against another by directing traffic to both and seeing which gets better results. Here’s a longer-winded explanation by a company that will automate the process for you.
***** Probably not very hilarious.