Finding Courage to Live a Life of Joy

“Tell Me What to Do” – Building Power-Packed Landing Pages

Posted by on Jul 26, 2011 | 43 comments

“Tell Me What to Do” – Building Power-Packed Landing Pages

Looking for Pies…

I live in a relatively small city in Wisconsin. On the highway outside of town, there are lots of farms.  Many of the farmers set up businesses on their property along the highway and sell fresh produce, baked goods, and of course, cheese!

This weekend, I was heading to a friend’s house for dinner and he asked me to bring dessert, so I decided to stop on the highway and get a fresh-baked pie.

A few miles out of town, I saw a family farm, so I swung off the road and pulled up outside their shop.  I ran inside, and there were about five or six people chatting around the counter. No one acknowledged me as I entered.

There was a man sitting behind the register chatting with what appeared to be his neighbors, so I quickly browsed his shop, looking for baked goods. I couldn’t find anything. Because he was so engrossed in his conversation, I did a second scan to make sure I hadn’t missed the pies.

I still couldn’t find them, so I stood to the side for a few minutes, feeling awkward and not wanting to interrupt his conversation.

Still, I was ignored. After about 2-3 minutes, I jumped back in my car and went down the road about 2 more miles and stopped at another farm.

Show Me Your Pies

Is your business website like the first farmer’s shop?  Is there a lot of activity, but the customer is ignored and feels awkward to interrupt you for your services?

Worse yet, is the customer unable to find your “pies”?

In a business with an online presence, powerful landing pages are vital!

Keys for Building Power-Packed Landing Pages

1. Be Clear!

Don’t make your customer guess what you want them to do.

I visited a site recently that was so confusing in its layout and design that I got frustrated and left. Make your user experience fool-proof.

Remember that everyone visiting your site is not as technologically versatile as you may be. They haven’t visited 100s of blog sites like you have. Put your CTA (call to action) in plain sight.

2. Create Intersections, Not Roundabouts!

You want to lead your readers down one road to an intersection and give them two calls to action: one for those ready to purchase and one for those who need more information.  (Tip: people are doing 2 things online: buying and browsing…that’s it.)

The marketing “genius” is the person who can engage his audience and convert them into a community, and then engage his community and convert them into customers.

Lead your readers clearly where you want them to go. Do not lead them into a roundabout that will give them 4-5 “exit ramps” from your website.  It is sometimes hard to do this step, because we see so many bad websites out there.(Honestly, I’m still tweaking mine to make it more clear).

I see a lot of sites that have free gifts (a whole bunch: videos, e-books, webinars, podcasts). It’s like the cyber version of “What’s behind door number one!?!”  They have a newsletter opt-in. They have blog post update opt-in. They have testimonial pages. They have “about” pages. They have “contact” pages. They have product pages.

Believe me, you need this information available on your site (for the browsers), but always remember the primary rule of online business is engagement.

Take a look at your “about” page. What about your contact page, etc? Do you re-direct the reader after they have encountered these pages or are your content pages ramps inviting them to exit (bounce) onto another road?  Make each page of your site a “landing page” with clear calls to action which will lead the reader back into engagement with your brand (you).

Keep them engaged by leading them from intersection to intersection until you have made them customers.

3. Remember Your Goal

Your goal (conversions…at least I hope that is your goal if you’re in business) is not necessarily your reader’s goal. The biggest key to building a power-packed landing page is fulfilling their goal while leading them to engagement (which will ultimately lead them to your goal).

Someone may visit your site 100 times before they purchase your product or service. I read The Middle Finger Project for a couple of months before I purchased Ash’s book, You Don’t Need a Job, You Need GUTS!

Ash kept me engaged with her brand through her killer content. She’s sarcastic, irreverent, but deeply thoughtful. I read a LOT of online content and most of it is mildly interesting, inspirational and entertaining.  There are a few authors, though, who I read religiously because their content is transformative.

You need all the cards stacked in your favor. You have to have killer content that transforms and power-packed landing pages making up an impenetrable engagement process.

The TMF Project was able to keep me engaged with the brand until I got so much value from the site that I had to have more (and I was willing to happily pay the price to get it)!

Final Key:

Lead your prospects exactly where you want them to go.  Make it clear what you want from them.  People are sheeple. Lead them where you want them and they will follow (but you gotta know where you are going and what you are doing first).

Image: Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Kittikun Atsawintarangkul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

43 Comments

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  1. Lance

    Steve,
    Love this analogy of your visit to the farm, and how it relates to the websites we create. And it has me thinking about my own site, and how inviting it is to new visitors.  Hmmm….  Okay, I’m off to explore that a bit.  Thanks!!

  2. Lance

    Steve,
    Love this analogy of your visit to the farm, and how it relates to the websites we create. And it has me thinking about my own site, and how inviting it is to new visitors.  Hmmm….  Okay, I’m off to explore that a bit.  Thanks!!

    • Steve Rice

      Thanks for stopping by, Lance. This post is just based on some observations that I’ve made over the months visiting lots of sites. I still have to work on and tweak my own site too. Glad this post was helpful to get you thinking.

    • Steve Rice

      Thanks for stopping by, Lance. This post is just based on some observations that I’ve made over the months visiting lots of sites. I still have to work on and tweak my own site too. Glad this post was helpful to get you thinking.

  3. Sherrie Koretke

    Steve, I wish I was shopping with you. First, it sounds like it was a lot of fun driving down the road and going to road side shops. Second, I wish I was there to witness such horrible customer service. I might have even brought it to their attention with my scathing wit. 😉  Great tie-in post!
    Sherrie

  4. Sherrie Koretke

    Steve, I wish I was shopping with you. First, it sounds like it was a lot of fun driving down the road and going to road side shops. Second, I wish I was there to witness such horrible customer service. I might have even brought it to their attention with my scathing wit. 😉  Great tie-in post!
    Sherrie

    • Steve Rice

      I would *love* to take you around this area, Sherrie. There’s so many beautiful natural spots that I would love to share. And I know that you would love to go to some of the farmer’s markets. I’m learning which are the “good” ones to go to! 🙂

      I almost broke in to their gossipy conversation to ask, but then figured I’d rather give my business to someone who had some common courtesy. Plus, i was in a hurry. It did serve as a great lesson.

  5. Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.

    Steven:  If you really live in rural Wisconsin, you would know that them there farmers are not interested in speaking to no strangers.  You either have your hands full and they’ll take your money or they’ll behave as if your not there.   Just like going to any government office in DC- if you are not a lobbyist, then they have no time for you (nor will they answer their Congressional phones).
    Seriously though- fantastic post.  
    One issue you should add though- NEVER assume that your best and finest provides even the slightest satisfaction to the potential customer!  Research what they want- make sure it’s something you can provide- and deliver!

    • Steve Rice

      Haha…LOVE your sense of humor! I live in Madison, so it’s not too rural. The people around here are pretty kind and generous. I don’t know that this crowd was purposely ignoring us, but it did serve as a lesson for me.

      I love your addition. I may have to write a follow up post! This is another lesson I have been learning (the hard way). I wrote my book…which was fine and was a great (and necessary) experience for me. Going forward, however, I will connect better to my audience and readers and create products or services that *they* want.

      I love your advice to research, educate myself and then deliver. With fundamentals like that, one can’t go wrong! Thanks as always for your keen insight.

  6. Emily Stoik

    So good!  Great job laying it all out Steven–landing pages are super important but they only work when they are clear and concise!!  I love your point on intersections vs roundabouts!! ;o)

    • Steve Rice

      Emily, thanks for stopping by. (BTW…have enjoyed seeing pics of your and Shawn’s great family vaca on FB. Looks like such fun).

      You are so right about clear and concise. This is something I still have to work on for my own pages…it’s a work in progress. I appreciate you stopping by and contributing to my blog!

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