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Publishing Author Challenging Marketing

Should Your Author Website Have a Landing Page?

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ON Jun 30, 2014
POSTED IN Marketing, Web
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If you are building your author website and considering what elements you should include, you might be wondering whether you should explore landing pages. In this post, I’ll give a brief explanation of what landing pages are and how to decide whether you should incorporate them into your website.

What Is a Dedicated Landing Page?

A dedicated landing page is not your homepage. It’s not even the page viewers click to when they find your website in search results. Instead, a landing page is a dedicated, separate page that is devoted to a single call-to-action. Your visitors might come to your landing page by clicking on a link in an email, a pay-per-click ad, or some other dedicated traffic source. There are different kinds of landing pages, and vary in complexity based on their purpose. For example, a lead generation landing page that’s dedicated to gathering email addresses for your list may not need to be as complex as a product page.

Landing pages are particularly useful for getting your visitor to focus on just one thing. Because the landing page is separate from your full website, you hold their attention on the single element at issue — whether it’s signing up for your email list or deciding to order a book or navigating to a specific part of your site for more information.

Should You Have a Dedicated Landing Page?

Now that you know what a dedicated landing page is, let’s consider whether it would be beneficial for your website. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider designing a landing page (or multiple landing pages) for your site:

  1. You have a specific product or service you are trying to sell. For example, if you offer writing courses or proofreading services, and you include a link about these services in an email newsletter, a dedicated landing page for that link might be beneficial. The single call-to-action in these cases might be to “click here for more information” or “click here for a quote” or “click here to register for an upcoming session”.
  2. You are using PPC, banner, or social media advertising. If you are taking out paid ads for your author business, those ads should direct to a dedicated landing page. For example, let’s say you take out a banner ad for your latest book on several websites. Those ads should all direct to a dedicated landing page which has the single call-to-action of “click here to buy a copy now!” Again, if you offer courses and are taking out ads on other websites, have those ads direct to your course landing page with a  “register today!” or “click here for more information” call to action.
  3. You offer webinars as part of your lead generation strategy. I’ve seen a number of these lately popping up in my inbox. These webinars are free, and their entire purpose is to collect your name and email address for future mailings and offerings (and give you some type of instruction or benefit in return, of course). This is a terrific strategy to use, by the way, provided that your webinars are truly value-added for attendees. Every free webinar you offer should have a dedicated landing page with the single call-to-action of “fill out your information to register today!”

Basically, any time you want to get your readers to focus on one single thing and follow-through on one single call-to-action, a landing page may be beneficial.  Whatever the case, make sure that you absolutely deliver on what you promise on your landing page — if you promise an instant download of your latest ebook or access to a special page on your website, do it. Failing to follow through is a sure recipe for disgruntled visitors…which completely defeats the purpose of a dedicated landing page.

Design and Set Up

If you’ve determined that you could use a dedicated landing page or two (or more) but the technology foils you, don’t give up. You can find a whole host of tutorials on YouTube (like this one from Inbound Now on creating landing pages for WordPress). If you’ve had a web designer put your site together, get with them and discuss what you’d like to do for your landing pages. Your hosting site may also have tutorials or other help desk applications that can assist you with the design.

Just remember, the main purpose behind a lead generation page is that single call-to-action. Have a very clear purpose in mind for each landing page, use good quality images for your products, and present yourself professionally. Examples of landing pages abound, so be on the lookout for them and notice which ones seem more effective than others. Take those observations back to your own landing pages and see if you can incorporate them. You can also split test your own landing pages (some WordPress landing page apps allow this, for instance) to see which ones are driving more conversions.

Dedicated landing pages can be an important tool in your web marketing toolbox, so consider what you have to offer and your goals and see whether they might benefit your business.

S.K. Valenzuela

S.K. is a freelance writer and novelist, and, together with her sister and fellow author J. Leigh Bralick, she launched the SisterMuses Press in December of 2013. You can find her blogging about writing and the writing life on the SisterMuses website (http://www.sistermuses.com) and at skvalenzuela.com. She released the final book in her New Adult science fiction Silesia Trilogy in December 2013 and is now working on a New Adult dystopian novel titled Final Origin. She also has several historical fiction projects in the works. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and drinking good coffee.  http://www.skvalenzuela.com

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