Landing Page Effectiveness
Yesterday I "attended" a Google webinar about landing pages called "Is Your Baby Ugly". I'd like to say that none of us are saddled with an ugly baby of a landing page--why would we be? But the reality is that many websites out there are: some sites are confusing, hard to navigate, and yes, just plain ugly.
We may be too attached to our sites to give an unbiased critique, (that's where professional help comes in) but here are a couple of important points to help you review your landing page.
I'm a designer, I really want my website to be beautiful and cool, but it's easy to go overboard. Less is more: 2005 research by Dr. Gitte Lindgaard of Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada suggests that people make up their minds in 1/20th of a second (the judgments were being formed almost as quickly as the eye can take in information).
The call to action has to be the most noticeable thing on your landing page. It may be options for services or products, but whatever your goal is with your site visitors, be clear.
Cut, cut cut and then cut some more. It's easy to want to sell everyone who first lands on your site, don't'. Visitors to your site don't ready much copy, until they find specifics on what they are looking for. Your landing page should give options that fill their needs. Once they click through to the next page you can offer in-depth content, but they probably won't read that either.
How does this translate to your website effectiveness? I think Luna says it best: Clean, Simple, Easy--really.