8 Ways Landing Pages Are Like A TV Sitcom

Dan Harmon is the creator of the quirky quirky TV show Community (NBC). Harmon uses a unique circular device he calls an “Embryo” that defines the story arc of every show he writes.

It maps the “hero’s journey” of the primary character through his or her 22 minute sitcom quest. It ensures that each episode of his show has all of the elements needed to be successful.

The journey of his characters are like the journey searchers will take after they click on your search ad or organic listing. Use this simple tool to ensure that your  landing pages have all of the elements of success.

Dan Harmon's "Embryo"

Dan Harmon's Embryo ensures that stories for is TV show have all of the key elements.

1. They Are In A Zone Of Comfort

It is important to recognize that, before a searcher comes to your landing page, they are in a familiar, comfortable world. Keep in mind that you are not yet a part of that world.

Just because they may click on your ad or search listing doesn’t mean that they are comfortable with you. You are a stranger, outside of their comfort zone.

2. But They Want Something

There is a reason – a trigger – that causes a person to open a browser and enter a search term. Something has happened in their lives, and they are now looking for a solution.

Understand your market’s triggers and you will create ads, descriptions and landing page copy that resonates with them.

Empathy is a great tool when you want high conversion rates.

3. They Enter An Unfamiliar Situation

Your landing page is unfamiliar. You have brought them to a strange place, a place they may never have seen before.

Work to limit the vertigo that this may cause.

  • Ensure that the headline of your landing page matches the ad that they clicked on.
  • Clearly let them know that they are in the right place. If you have a familiar brand, display it above the fold.
  • Write copy and choose images that address their issues.
  • Use calls to action that offer to help them achieve their goal.

4. They Adapt

Help them get comfortable on your landing page.

Deliver content in the way that they want it. Provide copy for methodical readers. Offer images with captions for scanners. Provide testimonials and social proof for relational searchers. Offer risk-reversal and guarantees for transactional visitors.

Provide all of the information they will need to make a decision act.

5. They Get What They Want

Deliver on your promise. Every landing page fulfills a promise, a promise made by your ad or your SERP description.

This may sound obvious, but so many landing pages fail to address the specific promise of an ad. For example, ecommerce marketers offer a discount on a specific kind of shoe, and then take the searcher to a category page listing all shoes.

If you are using one landing page to service a variety of ads, you are probably not delivering on your promises.

6. They Pay A Price

Ask for the visitor to do something. The job of a landing page is to entice visitors to grow your business. This may be through sales, subscriptions, or lead generation. Clearly call them to act and ask them to pay with their money, their contact information or their attention.

7. They Return To Their Familiar Situation

After they have completed their purchase, registered for the webinar or requested the white paper, they go on with their lives. The confirmation page you present at the end of the process is the best time to get them to take you with them.

Ask them to join your social networks. Offer additional information to help them use a product they have purchased. Anticipate their next question and offer additional content to answer it.

Become a part of their familiar situation.

8. They Have Changed

We call it “conversion” because the searcher has become something very different. They are a customer. They are a prospect, They are a subscriber.

They are a part of your business and you are expected to deepen that relationship in a appropriate ways.

Treat them as the butterfly they are. Use social media and email to continue to interact with them.

Make Searchers Heroes

If you are cognizant of your search visitors’ journey, you can give them the best possible brand experience available: You have helped them complete their journey; you have made them a hero.

Image Source: Wired Magazine (October 2011).

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Analytics | Search & Conversion


About The Author: is the Conversion Scientist at Conversion Sciences and author of Your Customer Creation Equation: Unexpected Website Forumulas of The Conversion Scientist. Follow Brian at The Conversion Scientist blog and on Twitter @bmassey

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  • tomfurton

    Nice connection — reminds me of all that Joseph Campbell I’ve mostly forgotten.

    But you make an important point in reminding us that the visitor is always the star of the conversion show. The page is a set or location where the story unfolds. We win when we design that space with a journey in mind, as you suggest. User-centered design priorities like wayfinding and information hierarchies become a lot more concrete when we’re in this frame of mind, and that has to be a good thing.

  • http://ConversionScientist.com Brian Massey

    Tom, great point. The visitor is the star. Wish I’d added that.


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