Online Publishing Book Review: Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug

Note: This review is part of our Top 20 Online Publishing Books to Read in 2009 series.

Streamline your landing page for better conversion

The Mequoda research team has identified a dozen different types of landing pages, both organic and dedicated.

Organic landing pages are designed to attract website traffic and convert visitors into customers or subscribers.

Online publishers use organic landing pages when they can’t control where the user is going to enter (or “land” on) the website.  Whereas, traffic generally arrives at dedicated landing pages via links from sources the online publisher controls, such as PPC (pay-per-click), affiliate advertising, or paid advertising.

Whether your business is primarily online publishing or you’re an online retailer or combination thereof, you need to make it easy for the user to become a customer.

Landing pages are the driving force for any successful Internet marketing campaign. A well-crafted landing page will improve the odds that a user will take the action you desire and not click away.

We don’t read pages, we scan them. Users tend to spend very little time reading most web pages.  They scan them, looking for words or phrases that catch their eye. What is seen when they look at a web page depends on what they have in mind, usually a fraction of what’s on the page.

Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition by Steve Krug answers the question,”Why do we scan?”

  • We’re usually in a hurry. Much of our Web use is motivated by the desire to save time. As a result, Web users tend to act like sharks: they have to keep moving, or they’ll die. We just don’t have the time to read any more than necessary.
  • We know we don’t need to read everything. On most pages, we’re really only interested in a fraction of what’s on the page. We’re just looking for the bits that match our interests or the task at hand, and the rest of it is irrelevant. Scanning is how we find the relevant bits.
  • We’re good at it. We’ve been scanning newspapers, magazines, and books all our lives to find the parts we’re interested in, and we know that it works.

Recognizing this will allow you to develop effective landing pages that will convert more users into customers or subscribers.  For examples and suggestions, you can scan previous Mequoda Daily articles and also read Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug.


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