Credit: Photo: Hood

Looking to replace your windows in the city of Columbus, Ohio? Type "window replacement" into Google and you can click on a handful of paid search links. You'll find offers for a free home-energy analysis, videos on environmental responsibility and window installation, a free guide to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act tax credits, an energy-savings calculator, and more. What all these have in common is that they're landing pages.

Make A Decision

A landing page is a Web page that gives searchers a reason to take some kind of action. "With a landing page, you have a targeted message that is 100% relevant to the search term they're looking for," says Tom Audette, of Three Deep Marketing, a Twin Cities firm that includes home improvement companies among its clients. "If you send them to your home page, you're leaving it up to them to figure out where to go." Traffic can be directed to landing pages from lots of places besides pay-per-click ads. Banner ads, a sponsorship graphic, a link in an e-mail, any of these can send searchers to your landing page.

Audette says that landing pages do three things: allow you to target your message by keyword or banner ad to a particular searcher, track Web response to your pay-per-click (PPC) ad or other advertising, and ensure the relevance of your message to the visitor. Landing pages, says David Goodman, president of Pennsylvania window replacement company Windowizards, direct visitors to pages that are "product-specific and promotion-specific. If someone types in 'double hung windows,' you need to have a point of entry that shows them that you carry those types of windows." Steer them to your home page and they may merely get distracted and leave.

George Faerber, owner of Bee Window, in Indianapolis, and proprietor of Bring Me Your Leads, an Internet marketing company, says that as home improvement companies invest more in Internet marketing, especially PPC, they soon move to landing pages.

Conversion Rates Double

Internet marketers agree that visitors to a typical home improvement website convert at about a 2% rate. Directing them to landing pages will double that. Todd Bairstow, of Keyword Advisors, a Boston Internet marketer with home improvement clients, guesses that three out of every four home improvement companies don't send searchers to landing pages and adds that landing pages are far more effective if your company is carrying multiple products. "The landing page is step one," he points out, whether that page contains one offer or multiple offers.

Audette says that building a landing page can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000, depending on the level of sophistication, that is, graphic elements up to and including video. "If companies are going to get involved with paid search, you'll see [landing pages] more often [on their sites]," he says.