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The Importance of Landing pages on Blogs

Posted By Darren Rowse 19th of April 2006 Blog Design 0 Comments

Nice post over at Seth Godin’s on “Landing pages” which coincidentally was something I was working a little on this afternoon on one of my blogs.

I’ll let Seth say it because he’s the master of this kind of thing:

‘A landing page is the first page a visitor to your site sees…..

A landing page (in fact, every page) can only cause one of five actions:

  • Get a visitor to click (to go to another page, on your site or someone else’s)
  • Get a visitor to buy
  • Get a visitor to give permission for you to follow up (by email, phone, etc.). This includes registration of course.
  • Get a visitor to tell a friend
  • (and the more subtle) Get a visitor to learn something, which could even include posting a comment or giving you some sort of feedback’

Landing pages on blogs are really important IF you have a desired outcome in mind with your blogs. If you’re blogging aimlessly with no real goals then don’t worry about them.

What I’d recommend bloggers consider are some of the following questions:

  1. What are the goals of your blog? What outcomes do you want of a reader visiting your blog (one or more of the above – or others)?
  2. What pages do most bloggers enter your blog on (most statistics packages will tell you this)?
  3. Are these landing pages optimized for your goals?
  4. If not how can you either change what appears on these landing pages to help you achieve your goals OR how can you get readers to land on other pages that have a better chance of converting?

Here’s a couple of case studies from some of the work I’ve done lately with blogs:

Blog 1 – AdSense Conversion

This blog’s owner came to me wondering why they were getting good visitor levels but were no seeing their advertising figures at a decent level.

Analysis of where people were entering this blog found that 95% of all visitors entered the blog via individual posts (archives). The majority of readers then left the blog via links in posts. Very few readers landed on the front page or category pages or visited them after landing.

Analysis of where the advertising on the blog was predominantly positioned was the exact opposite of where visitors landed – ads were largely on the front page and category pages. Individual post archives had not really been optimized for advertising well. They only had one AdSense ad at the bottom of each post – in most cased under the fold and unseen by readers.

Some basic AdSense optimization work on individual post pages saw a 400% increase in advertising revenue almost instantly.

Blog 2 – AdWords Campaigns

In the second case study a blogger approached me wondering why their AdWords advertising campaign was not converting well. Their goals of the campaign were multiple. They wanted to attract new loyal readers, they were hoping for conversion from affiliate programs and they wanted to sign up readers as email subscribers.

As I looked at their AdWords campaign it became very clear that their main mistake was the landing page of the ad that they were running. The Advertising campaign did a reasonable job of getting people over to the blog but the problem was that the page that visitors was directed to was the from page of the blog.

This front page did have opportunities on it for all three of the above goals to be realized on but also contained a lot of other clutter and options for readers to click on.

My suggestion to the blogger was that they run multiple AdWords campaigns that each linked to different landing pages. Together we developed three new ‘pages’ on their WordPress blog (not ‘posts’ but ‘pages’) that targeted the specific objectives that they had. The three AdWords ads were also quite different from one another and were worded in a way that attracted readers wanting what they would find on those pages.

For example for the objective of getting new newsletter subscribers the AdWords ad explicitly promoted a service that offered free weekly tips on the topic of the newsletter and linked to a landing page that was uncluttered and that gave readers some brief information about the newsletter and had a field to enter their email address. There were no other options to other things to do on the landing page. The sign up rate was much higher than previously.

The other ads and landing pages similarly targeted the specific objectives and were optimized accordingly.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.