SEO and the Author Part7 - Your Landing Page

The landing page - we’ve all heard this term numerous times. Some people have an idea of what it is and others have no clue.

Interestingly, the landing page isn’t what most people think it is. Most think it’s the first page a visitor sees when randomly clicking onto your website.

This is not the case.

According to Kissmetrics, the landing page is a “specially-designed” page that leads visitors to a specific page - in the exact direction you want to take them. (1)

Okay, so what does this mean?

Well, rather than having a visitor randomly land on your home page and then have to navigate for himself to the important information you want to share, you direct that visitor’s steps from the moment he clicks on your link.

Let me add here that your home page has it's own purpose. It's to attract the visitor and motivate her to dig deeper into your site. Just to keep things clear - every page on your website should have a purpose.

So, How Do You Direct a Visitor’s Steps?

This is simple. You lead them through your content and the clickable URL you provide.

When you’re writing your marketing content, you will include a link to the page you want to bring the visitor.

Here’s an example of this strategy in action:


Being a writer, like being any kind of artist who creates something from nothing, is an amazing ability. It’s almost like magic. And, you are in control. You decide what to create. The only limit you have is the cap on your imagination.

Check out my 170+ page ebook (or paperback) that gives you all the basics of FICTION WRITING FOR CHILDREN. It’s newly revised and includes information on finding a publisher or agent and marketing your books.

Notice that I have “Writing Fiction for Children” linked to my landing page or sales page. I add this blurb as an ending to some of my blog posts.

Also, note that I have an image of the product included. If you’re using WordPress or another CMS that offers image optimization, you can link that image to another page on your website or to your Amazon Sales Page.

Unfortunately, Blogger doesn’t have an image optimization feature.

Aside from that though, it’s pretty easy to understand, right?

But, What Exactly Is the Purpose of a Landing Page?

The sole purpose of these pages is to convert visitors. In other words, you want the visitor on that page to take an action you want her to take.

You may want that visitor to:

- Sign up for your mailing list
- Buy your book (as in my example above)
- Take advantage of your services
- Register for a class or workshop you’re offering
- Download a free chapter of your book
- Buy your product/s

If your page is well-designed, it will convert visitors. It will motivate them to take the action you want them to take.

In order to do this, you need to have a clear focus for your page . . . a clear goal for the page.

Now for the SEO question:

How Can You Optimize Your Landing Page?

1. The visitor must immediately know what the page is about and what she can do on the page.

2. Your most important information – the WIIFM information - must be quickly visible.

Why should the visitor take action? Why should she buy your book rather than someone else’s? Or, why should she sign up for your mailing list?

Here’s the link to The Writing World as an example of a newsletter (subscriber list) landing page:

3. Have a clear and easy to understand CTA (call-to-action).

4. Give the information before asking the visitor to take action. Put the CTA (call-to-action) below the reasons why she should say YES to your request.

There are exceptions to this rule though as with The Writing World. Visitors to that page know they’re there to sign up for a newsletter (a mailing list) so I give them the option to skip the ‘promo’ content.

5. The entire page should work together.

Kissmetrics states that the CTA is “possibly the single most important part of any landing page . . . and should be supported by everything else on your landing page, from headline and body copy to images and overall layout.” (1)

6. Keep it simple and uncluttered – don’t have multiple boxes to click on. Don’t offer too many choices.

Again, the page should have a clear focus. Don’t dilute that focus.

7. Keep the page updated. If you’ve made any changes to your product or other, update your landing page.

8. Keep the page friendly and easy to read.

According to Marketing Experiments, “People don't buy from websites, they buy from people." (2)

As an author, part of your job is to create and maintain an effective author/writer platform. Paying attention to marketing trends and current SEO tips is a good way to do this.

It’s also important to remember that search engine optimization isn’t just for search engines, it’s for people (searchers’) too. Having your website and landing pages visitor friendly is as critical as having it search engine friendly.

Hope this helps you on your writing and book marketing journey.




Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter/ rewriter. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

If you’d like more writing tips or help with your children’s story, check out: Writing for Children with Karen Cioffi.

If you need help with your author platform, check out Karen's e-class through WOW:


Karen Cioffi said...

After reading the article this article on authors and landing pages, I'd love to know what you think or hear your questions. And,, please don't forget to share!

Karen Cioffi said...

Carolyn Howard-Johnson had a great comment and question on Google+: I always worry that a landing page just means one more click for visitors. Translate that to mean "one more click equals one more second or two for someone to leave the website." What do you think?

Karen Cioffi said...

Here is my answer from Google:
Carolyn, it depends on where the visitor is coming into your site from. If you're using social media and the link goes to your landing page that's fine. Then you need to have motivating enough content for the visitor to take the action you want.
It's the same for a blog post. In your bio (or within the content) you want to lead the reader to a particular place (landing page) to take an action your want.
If on the other hand, the visitor randomly lands on your home page, it leaves the visitor with a decision, which page to choose or which home page CTA to click on . This adds extra steps to the process.

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