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The Evolution of a Landing Page

I’ve been doing some PPC advertising lately, and I’ve also been modifying my landing page on a daily basis. With a little helpful advice from the good members of Wickedfire, my landing page now looks like it should, and not like some piece of junk that was thrown together in five minutes. I sincerely hope that all of you can avoid the mistakes that I’ve made, so here’s a few to learn from:

Just say no to Adsense

Mistake #1. Don’t hold this one against me. I claim temporary insanity. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to put an Adsense block in my page’s sidebar. Yes, I know, terrible idea. The reason why I did this was because I use Wordpress for all of my websites, and the theme I was using had a big, empty sidebar that threw off the flow of the page. I needed something to put there, so I used Adsense. My reasoning was that if the viewer wasn’t interested in what I was promoting, they would click on one of the Adsense links and I would recoup some of my advertising costs. In reality, all the Adsense block did was distract my viewer, costing me potential leads.

To fix this little problem, I took out the Adsense code, commented out the sidebar, and mucked around with the style sheet until everything was centered. Problem solved.

Lesson: Don’t send potential customers to your competitor’s site.

Don’t look to bloggy

My landing pages use a nice Wordpress theme I found, and as a result, they look like blog entries. For some reason, your common everyman doesn’t seem to like blogs, and won’t trust them. To fix this, I got rid of the sidebar, the post date, the ‘Written by Geoff’ line, and the links in the header. Now it looks like an actual webpage.

Lesson: A blog is not a sales platform. Edit the code to make it look like a typical web page.

Make sure it works in IE7

Nearly every theme that looks great in Firefox looks bad in IE7. After you’re done building the site, take a look at it in IE7 to make sure that everything is where it should be. If something is off, fix it by making a copy of the style sheet, renaming it, and messing around with the code until it looks right. You can then tell browsers which style sheet to use by adding some conditional comments.

Lesson: IE is a pile of crap with a huge market share.

Don’t make your landing page a sales page

I believe I already went over this.

Lesson: People trust reviews more than a sales pitch.

Don’t $%&@ with the tracking code

I’m still kicking myself over this. I stripped out the tracking pixel from each text link, ruining the tracking. I’m going to chalk this one up to inexperience, but it was still a huge mistake. Ugh.

Lesson: Take the HTML code you’re given and don’t mess with it. You can change the visible text, but that’s it. Seriously.

There you go. Learn from my mistakes and save yourself some money.

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6 Responses to “The Evolution of a Landing Page”

  1. Udkl Says:

    IE7 is a pile of Crap … or is FireFox ?
    I personally use Opera after wading thru all thoes browsers … and I find that it increase my productivity 100% …… FireFox is just over Hyped …

  2. Matt Livingston Says:

    “IE is a pile of crap with a huge market share.”
    lol - it is true. Too many people don’t know much about computers and leave their browser the default Windows gives them.

    I use Firefox, but I do think Safari is faster. I am just used to Firefox and enjoy many of the plugins and the security of an open source community.

  3. Matt Livingston Says:

    @Udkl: I’m really not sure how you find Opera the best browser… Statistically it is the slowest and having personally used it I find it a security hole waiting to be exploited.

  4. C-Squared Says:

    http://mariopaint.gamerlife.info/

    Geoff, I demand more Mario Paint videos. There aren’t nearly enough.

    I also Dugg the page, but I have barely any Digg authority, so…

    http://digg.com/nintendo/Mario_Paint_Music_Videos

    For some reason I really enjoy that mario paint site.

  5. Opera user in Japan Says:

    Lalala stupid browser wars.

  6. Yebot Says:

    I’d like to see this landing page. Link?

    Thanks…

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