A 4-Part Checklist for Webifying Landing Pages

Landing page templates that use technology should enhance the sales message, not replace it

Ten years ago, Internet users were completely comfortable and happy to use the web as a reading medium. Websites that were purely text and simple images were enough to get their engines running.

These days, even six year-olds would scoff at the simplistic web pages we used to consider acceptable. Websites with no graphic design or style sheets aren’t taken seriously, and in most cases, probably still bear an old copyright of 1999 if you look close enough.

So what changed? We webified.

In essence, the process of webification means that you’re adding interactivity to your website. Let’s face it, we are limited when it comes to print magazines, newsletters, books and other physical products. We can’t embed videos in a magazine, just like we can’t “play” a book like we can an audiobook, which is why we webify these products by creating mobile applications for devices like the iPad and iPhone.

When we do this for our websites, we are adding multiple dimensions to our content. If our topic is food, then we might add a user-generated library of recipes where readers can contribute (like the Recipe Database via Rachel Ray). If our topic is crafts, then we might have a photo gallery of images from the magazine (like the Gallery via Artist Daily). If we’re a tech magazine, maybe we have an online directory of businesses (like Crunchbase via TechCrunch).

How to Webify Your Landing Pages

Landing pages are just as important as your homepage because sales letters are where buyers will make a decision. Many publishers refer to those ancient ten year-old practices that are simply text and yellow highlights. They look similar to those direct mail pieces you used to get right? That’s not webification. Simply taking what you did in print and turning it into HTML with no updates will give you the same, or worse conversion rate than you saw in print.

Luckily, this isn’t really the case for most publishers anymore. We’ve grown a lot over the years and finally realize that multimedia messages can actually enhance a message. For example, you might feature an audio clip on the landing page for an audio conference (like Business Management Daily). Or you might create video introduction for the product or subscription you’re selling (like Gary Vaynerchuk).

In any case, if you’re unsure of whether you’ve webified enough, or even too much, pay attention to this checklist.

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The text has been webified.

In its simplest form, text can be webified by using a sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica instead of a serif font like Times New Roman. Even more, you’d have a cascading style sheet that allows you to use simple tags in order to make the text on your website consistent across every page.

The graphics have been webified.

By “webification” we mean the using most efficient use of all the multimedia and interactive technology available. This does not, however, mean using technology just because it’s there. Don’t use tired, over-used graphics that can be found everywhere on your site. Create new graphics specific to the product you are trying to sell. If you’re selling an eBook, create a 3-D rendering of it to add the security that people don’t often find in buying digital products. If you’re selling a physical product, show a variety of photos of the product, even as a slide show. Or even edited with arrows and text that point out features.

Additionally, your graphics should be saved as small of a file as you can get while still retaining its high quality in order for the page to load quickly.

The landing page makes use of multimedia technology.

As was mentioned earlier, you should certainly integrate multimedia where it makes sense. If you’re selling a subscription site, you might create a video that shows the user what’s inside once they pay the first monthly fee. If you’re selling a webinar, maybe you have a video interview with the instructor. Or if you’re selling a previously aired webinar, you might show clips from the recording that you’re trying to sell.

The landing page makes use of interactive technology.

This gets tricky when you’re working with a single landing page, but there are several ways you can turn a flat, one-dimensional page into something with a little more depth. Creative online publishers have discovered numerous ways to do this. For example, if they’re selling a newsletter subscription, they might offer a download of a recent newsletter. Or if it’s an event, they probably let the customer download and browse the brochure. Even printer-friendly page view options can enhance the experience and cater to the customer.

A word of caution

Never let the technology outshine the sales message. Don’t let your readers be so dazzled by the bells and whistles on your site that they forget to buy. If you’re using video, it should be focused on the sale, not on comic relief or as a distraction.

Technology should be used to enhance the sales message, not to replace it.


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