I am a landing page.
My job is to greet you when you click on ads, email links and social media posts. You will find me by scanning a QR code.
You come to me because you want something. You have requested my presence on your screen by taking a very specific action, and you expect a very specific result.
I try not to let you down.
I want you to know you are in the right place; that I have an answer for you. Your search has not been in vain.
I want you to trust me. I want you to know that others have been here and prospered because of it. I do not fool myself. I may be the first emissary of this website that you have seen, brought here by a promise and expecting that promise be kept.
It is a weighty responsibility I have.
I have seen you through the screen, wide-eyed and eager, but with the telltale signs of skepticism.
I am the butler, the maître d’. It is my job to bring you into the establishment and help you find your place. No, the home page is not equipped to perform this task any more than a pack mule is equipped to drive a race car.
These are not the eyes of a home page visitor, with lids half closed and darting back and forth. Have you seen a home page?
The Schizophrenia Of The Home Page
This poor page is both mumbling and screaming at the same time. She changes her hat every few seconds… just before you’ve finished reading the last.
It’s like those disconnected homeless people pushing a cart full of stuff but talking to no one in particular; or maybe they’re talking to a light post.
And she’s always talking about herself, even more so that that About Us page.
The Shopping Cart
Have you seen the shopping cart? He’s all business, and little in the way of social skills.
“What’s your name?”
“Where do you live?”
“What is on your credit card?”
“Can you choose the right shipping method?”
“When was the last time you had sex?”
“Do you suffer from any rashes?”
I shudder to think that I must send my trusting visitors off to such a sterile and brash group of pages, but what choice to I have?
Splitting My Personality
I am not the same as I have always been. I have had many forms. I have had different headings, longer and shorter copy, a form, a button and different images.
I am regularly cloned and changed.
You might not even notice the difference between me an my cloned “twin.” It’s usually one thing, often sometimes small, but sometimes major. Then my creators pit us against each other, sending one visitor to me and one to the other.
Our visitors tell them which they prefer. They vote with their dollars and with their contact information. They vote with downloads, listens and views. They also vote by leaving, perhaps for a competitor.
My creators use terms like “Conversion Rate” and “Revenue per Visit” and “Bounce Rate” to measure us. And when I win they call me “The Control,” a badge I wear with honor. It means that I’m a better friend to my visitors and to my creators.
A Gift To My Visitors
I have had many forms over my lifetime. Sometimes I’ve been a disappointment to visitors, and a godsend at other times.
I am often most successful when my creators find me ugly. Sometimes they choose the loser because he is prettier.
This makes me sad.
Yet, here I remain, a faithful servant to my visitors. Anticipating their needs, delivering what they want, and making the Web a better place for surfers and my creators alike.
A Note From The Author
There is a segment of almost any search audience for whom relationships are an important part of their decisions. If you have read this far, you may very well be one of them. The Eisenberg brothers call these people Humanists, and they are particularly difficult to serve online because websites tend to be informational in nature. It’s difficult to build relationships with Web pages.
Anthropomorphism is a writing technique that gives animals and inanimate objects human-like characteristics. This approach may be a more effective way of encouraging the use of landing pages than some of the others I’ve written. I think the technique appeals to these Humanist searchers.
Do you agree?
Spontaneous readers may be dissatisfied with the lack of images.
Competitive readers may be dissatisfied without an explanation of why this landing page is so effective.
Methodical readers may be frustrated by the lack of specific steps and instructions.
What do you think? Please let us know in the comments.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.