Imagine you order a product online. The excitement of opening the package is quickly tempered when you discover it turns out not to be exactly what you thought it was. Alternatively, you might book a vacation or quick break; yet when you arrive, the hotel is nowhere near to the standard you were led to expect.
There is nothing that turns a customer into a critic more quickly than unfulfilled expectations. This is equally true when a web search is undertaken and, through search engine optimization, up pops a possible solution to the problem needing to be addressed, or offering a source for the object this person is keen to own.
Yet, when the visitor then clicks through, eagerly ready to find exactly what they need, they find they have actually only been directed to a generic homepage. Their enthusiasm is dampened, thanks to the knowledge that they are expected now to navigate their own way to where they had originally expected to be.
A likely outcome is that this visitor will click back to their search and try elsewhere. It's a way for a business to lose a possible customer that they didn't even know they might have had! So, how can you avoid such a reckless loss of potential business?
One answer is to create a series of specific landing pages, each designed to meet clearly identified search parameters. As a simple example: imagine you were searching for a digital camera. Rather than clicking through to what is only a homepage for a company selling many types of electrical products, your search takes you to a page that immediately offers a range of digital camera options, and then takes you on through the site towards a purchase you are now keen to make.
This is why web design isn't ever simply about the look of the site, or a presentation of the business, but should also be clearly and consistently focused on its usefulness to those who are likely to use it. Clearly constructed landing pages help make all the SEO focus work pay off by turning those who make the search into customers, simply by providing the information they are searching for - and doing so quickly.
An added bonus is that landing pages can be easier to rank when it comes to SEO. Imagine a company that has many different services. Trying to rank a single page for a large number of loosely related keywords doesn't work as well as ranking a single page with a strong directed focus to a smaller number of keywords.
Once you have the customer, make sure it's extremely obvious what the next steps are. If you get a person on your carefully crafted landing page and then they don't what to do next, you've lost them. Clever uses of the ever popular call-to-action (CTA) is paramount. Once the customer performs the action you're looking for, you're all set! Hopefully you've just made a new customer with all your hard work.