You may or may not have heard the term “landing page” in the context of an author website. But you very well may not know exactly what a landing page is. It’s time to learn!
What Is a Landing Page?
The term “landing page” refers to where someone will enter, or “land,” on your website. And despite a common misconception, that’s not the same thing as a homepage.
While a homepage is essentially a table of contents for the entire website, a landing page is a much more focused beast. In other words, it takes one section of your website and becomes the place that people land when they want to learn more about it. And you want them to do one very clear thing while they’re there. The industry term for that is a “call to action.”
The definition of a landing page on Wikipedia is as follows:
The purpose of the … landing page is to persuade a visitor to take action by completing a transaction. This is accomplished by providing a form that needs to be filled out. The visitor information is obtained in order to add the visitor’s email address to a mailing list as a future prospect. A transactional email campaign can be established in the future. The goal is to capture as much information about the visitor as possible. The ultimate goal is to convert the visitor into a customer.
We even have a landing page on our own site. Check out this page and you will see that we have one very clear call to action here: give us your contact info! Make sense?
What Is a Book Landing Page?
So how does this concept of a landing page translate to a book?
Think about it this way: On your author website, you may offer a blog, links to connect with you via social networking, an email sign-up, a link to buy the book, downloadable PDFs and more. On a landing page, you reduce the confusion for visitors and give them one very clear direction. In this instance, it would be a large “Buy the Book” button — and no other options.
Statistics show that the fewer options you offer, the greater the chances that people will follow the one option that does exist. In this case, book sales.
What Would Be on a Book Landing Page?
If the primary purpose of your book landing page is to sell copies (which we are assuming it is), then everything on the page should be with the goal of convincing someone to buy the book. Examples of what to include are:
- A large photo of the book cover, along with the title and publishing details
- An eye-catching list of reasons why someone would benefit from the book (i.e. Double your salary in one year after reading this book!)
- Testimonials/review quotes about the book
- A large “Buy the Book” link, with options to purchase through Amazon, B&N, etc…
Who Should You Send to a Book Landing Page? Who Should You Not?
Since we’re assuming that the main purpose of your landing page is to sell books, then anyone who you would like to buy a copy of the book can — and should — be sent to your landing page. So if, for example, you’re talking about your book at a book club meeting or at the public library, you can hand out business cards sending people to the landing page of your book.
But there are plenty of people whom you might want to visit your website and NOT buy a copy of the book. For example, if you’re talking to an agent about the next book that you’re working on, or if you are encouraging someone who has already read your book to sign up for your email newsletter, you do not want to send them to a landing page. Instead, you want them to peruse the rest of the site and take a different action.
This is why a book landing page is simply one page of an entire website. It will be perfect for some visitors, but it’s not where you’d want to send others.
So Do You Need a Book Landing Page?
That depends. Here are some questions to ask yourself when making that decision:
- What percentage of your audience fits into the category of people who you would want to simply purchase your book?
- Would you rather visitors to do more than one thing when they arrive (say, buy the book AND sign up for your email newsletter)
- What is the biggest strength of your site? Is it the book? Your blog? Would someone “miss out” if all they did was buy the book?
- Is your main website an author website? If so — and is named after you (JaneSmith.com, for example) — then you may want to consider having a book landing page with the book title as a URL for clear differentiation.
Not every author needs a book landing page. But it’s definitely a tool that any author should have in his or her back pocket to boost book sales.