We design websites for a vast range of clients and products, anything from hotels to chocolate, weddings to property development, animals to day spas. You name it, we’ve probably worked on it.

What all these websites need, though, is a great landing page. It’s simple: when people are finally clicking through to your site, you need something to keep them there. It’s not a matter of people giving you the benefit of the doubt or politely reading everything on a page before they try something else – the second a page shows the user something they weren’t looking for, they’re gone. If you have a Google link that promises something, when a person clicks through to your website, they expect to find exactly what they were looking for.

Which means that rule number one of a great landing page is this: have your header match what you’re promising. Have your page be about what you’re saying it’s about. It doesn’t necessarily have to be exactly what the consumer is searching for, so long as you can show them something that is better, or different in a positive way. Something they’re going to want to see more of, and thus stay for.

This is a really basic mistake we see happening a lot – it seems so obvious but occasionally people are blindsighted by SEO misconceptions; the notion that putting ‘Britney Spears’ in your SEO title is going to give you traffic, and thus customers. Doing this, for a start, won’t get your website about toothpaste on the first page of Google for the term ‘Britney Spears’ or ‘toothpaste’. More than that, the traffic you do get from it, wherever they find it, will immediately recognise your site isn’t what you said it was and look elsewhere. It’s a complete disaster move.

Instead, have your landing page show the consumer that you are all about whatever it is you’re selling them. Give them a header and titles that match their expectations, then offer them really interesting, passionate copy that generates more interest from them. Invite them to know more about you and your product, be yourself and be clear.

Once you and your audience are on the same (landing!) page, go ahead and give them a call to action. Some way for them to learn more, whether that’s through a blog or Twitter feed, a newsletter or a free trial of a product. Give them clearly defined and labelled sections that invite them to look all over the site. Just make their life that bit easier and whatever you do, don’t waste their time!

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