Seth Godin has some really good, common sense (yet not so common!) thoughts on website landing pages:
Landing pages are even more important today because they are the page that someone clicking on a Google Adwords ad sees.
A landing page (in fact, every page) can only cause one of five actions:
- Get a visitor to click (to go to another page, on your site or someone else's)
- Get a visitor to buy
- Get a visitor to give permission for you to follow up (by email, phone, etc.). This includes registration of course.
- Get a visitor to tell a friend
- (and the more subtle) Get a visitor to learn something, which could even include posting a comment or giving you some sort of feedback
So, if you build a landing age, and you're going to invest time and money to get people to visit it, it makes sense to optimize that page to accomplish just one of the things above. Perhaps two, but no more.
Landing pages are not wandering generalities. They are specific, measurable offers. You can tell if they're working or not. You can improve the metrics and make them work better. Landing pages are the new direct marketing, and everyone with a website is a direct marketer.