Step 1: Understand what a landing page is and why you need to use them

A landing page, for the purposes of this exercise, is the page that someone gets to when they click on one of your ads. Many times, companies that don’t understand customer behavior or internet marketing will send all of their traffic to their homepage. In doing this, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to focus a customer’s attention on one simple action, or give them the specific information that they are looking for.

If I search for a certain style or brand of shoes, and you’re advertising in Google for that shoe, doesn’t it make more sense to send me to the page for that shoe if I click on your ad? Doing so makes the visitor happier, gives them the information they need, and makes it more likely that I will become a sale.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that once I click on your ad that you’ve succeeded.

Step 2: Understand what the goal of the landing page is before you create it

Most times, when you send traffic to a specific page on your site from an ad, it’s designed to create a sale or generate a lead for your business. With that in mind, put yourself in the mindset of a user who gets to the page. What do you want to see? What do you need to know?

Step 3: Build the page

The natural movement of our eyes as we look at a new web page is to start at the top left and move down. But our eyes will be drawn to certain elements that stand out from the crowd. Big buttons, drastic changes in color, bolded text – they will all draw a visitor’s eyes. You can use that to style your page, using the path of our eyes to lead us to the most important information and the call to action.

Step 4: The call to action

This should be obvious within a few seconds of getting to the page. Where is the “submit” button? Where is the “next step” button? Where is the form I need to fill out? If you make someone look for the option to make a purchase, the odds are that you will lose them.

Step 5: Contact information

When your page is nearly done, go back and take a look at it. Is there a phone number, a click to chat button, or an email link that stands out? There should be. The simplest way to get someone to perform the desired action is to walk them through it. Push people to contact you and worry about an overflow of customer inquiries when it happens. That’s a good problem to have.

Step 6: Test

Even if you create a landing page that follows all of these suggestions, all of the best practices, and with the help of experts on website marketing, there is no guarantee that it will perform the way you want it to. So test it. Survey your customers, survey your employees, or just put it live and see what happens.

Create a second page with different elements that you want to test it against, just to see which one works best. Use Google Analytics to track the performance of each page and make a final decision. Or use Google Webmaster Tools to create an A/B test, sending half of your traffic to one page, and half to another, and let them tell you which one is better.

The right landing page will lead to more business, because you should end up with more sales from the same amount of site visitors.