March 06 2013 Consider Landing Pages and Microsites to Propel Your Marketing Plan Most marketers don’t fully understand the importance of landing pages and microsites within a successful campaign. Directing people to a topic-specific sub page of your website is certainly better than just sending them to your homepage, but if you really want to hit it out of the park, invest in a dedicated, separate landing page or microsite. Components of a great landing page or microsite What makes one landing page or microsite more successful than another? Understand your audience: One size does not fit all when it comes to landing pages and microsites. Research your audience demographics to create an experience that will resonate with them. Should you develop a mobile or responsive landing page? Should you include video? Should you keep your form short to save them time? Ask the right questions first to create success later. Separate it from your site: Architecturally, the landing page or microsite should be separate from your site. Eliminate the navigation and any distractions from your key points and focus on the element your visitors came to see. Clarify the call to action: Decide what you want the visitor to do and make it abundantly clear how they can do it. If you want them to fill out a form, design the page so there are multiple links to the form and that the ‘submit’ button is obvious. Professional, targeted copy: People don’t spend a lot of time on pages so it’s critical that the copy be relevant to their expectations, be keyword-rich for SEO, and be an appropriate length for the topic. A/B testing: If your budget allows, design a few slightly different variations of your page so that you can determine what is most successful. Things like button color, call-to-action text, headlines and copy can make a huge difference. Distinct pages for distinct sources: Creating a unique landing page for each distinct type of source is a great way to customize your audience’s experience. A landing page for a pay-per-click campaign might offer a different level of information than one for a print ad promoting the same topic. If this isn’t feasible based on budget or timeframe, make sure you at least uniquely track the source so you can understand how the page(s) performed for each source. Landing page goals Before you create your landing page or microsite, you must define your goals. Most landing pages share a few common ones: Focus your audience: By definition, landing pages and microsites have a narrow goal. Focus your audience on that one goal and don’t distract them with everything else that might make your business awesome. Educate your audience: Great landing pages educate their audience. In five seconds or less, the audience should know (a) yes, this is what I’m interested in and (b) this is what I can do. Copywriting and design are an extension of this education process. Conversion optimization: With every campaign, your goal is probably to increase conversions, and your conversion depends on your campaign’s intent. Downloading a report PDF, filling out a contact form, or calling a dedicated phone number are all examples of unique conversions. Once you define your conversions, be sure to uniquely track them using your analytics code or third-party code. Measure, refine and try again Tracking everything is key to understanding what worked and what didn’t. Use your analytics program to its fullest and track all links, conversions and A/B tests. Consider some of the qualitative aspects of your campaign (e.g., brand awareness) before you define the campaign a failure or success. Want to discuss or learn more? Contact us today! Michelle Kay Brown is the Director of Marketing at ZAG Interactive. Landing Pages & Microsites posted by Michelle Brown VP of Marketing Share this article ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.