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RISMEDIA, August 8, 2011—Think of the work it takes converting a visitor on your website to a client as similar to baking a batch of perfect, award-winning chocolate chip cookies. For your award-winning cookies, you need to first identify all of the right ingredients, then gather, measure and mix those high-quality ingredients in just the right quantity and order. Mismeasure the flour or settle for a lower-quality grade of chocolate and you’re headed straight down the path to mediocrity.

Here are two key successful conversion ingredients:

1. A clear vision and singular purpose of the page based on what you want the visitor to do. Effective landing pages are designed with a singular goal in mind. There are many landing pages that either never had a clear mission in the first place or, through poor execution, fail to deliver on that mission. They often try to sell the product of interest to visitors, but then dilute marketing efforts and disrupt the shopping experience by too prominently trying to cross-sell additional products before visitors are sold on the primary product. These landing pages simply distract with too many attention-grabbing elements and calls to action.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “Since we’ve worked so hard to drive this visitor to our site, we want to make sure we get something out of it.” Most visitors to your website arrive with a specific problem to solve. It’s your job to anticipate that problem and craft your page around convincing them you have the solution they need.

Effective landing pages can’t be all things to all people. Instead, be sure that you can clearly answer this question: What’s the primary purpose of this landing page? Then focus all your web elements around accomplishing that goal.

2. Compelling headline and descriptive subheads. Headlines and subheads are your opportunity to grab the visitor and say, “Yes, you’re in the right place and we have exactly what you’re looking for.” Effective headlines are those that prominently and instantly tell visitors that it’s worth investing their time to scan your page.

Crafting effective headlines and subheads can sometimes be the most challenging task of all of your web page ingredients. You must concisely tell your visitors what’s on the page. More importantly, communicate the main benefit of your product or service to them.

Here’s a tip: Be sure your headline and subheads answer the visitor’s question, “What’s on this page and is it right for me?”

Brian Lewis is vice president of Engine Ready. Lewis brings over 20 years of both hands-on and strategic online marketing experience spanning a diverse range of industries.

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