This sweeping statement has arisen because I see so many examples!
In fact this covers two kinds of landing pages, since it refers to the webpage the visitor first lands on when visiting a website. This can actually be any page on your website, not necessarily the index or homepage. This is because it may be the result of a visitor asking a question on the search engines, and your landing page answers the criteria or keywords within the question.
If each webpage is carefully constructed to act like mini-index pages for its specific subject, it should have been suitably optimised to respond to such searches, with the keywords strategically placed to activate such a response from the searched question.
The other kind of landing page is the squeeze page. This is also called a sales page and is the result of a email or online campaign where the prospect is directed straight to a specific page specially created to fulfil the transaction portion of the campaign.
This is another point of failure. In the States this kind of page goes on for miles and miles, and this is because the Americans expect that level of persuasion to enable their prospects to be convinced to take appropriate action. In the UK this is not tolerated, as we find it ridiculous that so much needs to be said to make a sale. But even if the British version isn’t constructed in such a manner, it still needs to take on a formula to succeed.
It should act like a story-board, driving the reader onto the next section. Each section should explain why the reader should buy the product, explaining all the benefits that will make their lives better, counteracting all the objections the customer may have towards buying this product, providing case studies and testimonials that will help promote the product in a much better light – and of course all this takes up space! Now do you see why the American versions are so long?
So the latest example I saw was a simple box saying ‘Buy this product’ with a ‘Pay now’ button underneath is certainly not going to work – there was no call to action or explanation why, and with such basic elements missing it hadn’t really got a hope!