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10 Essentials For Building a Successful Book Landing Page

For anyone with a new product–and especially for authors marketing a new book–it’s vital to have one central location online to which all marketing communication points. Many marketing professionals call this first impression of the product the landing page.

A landing page should be an experience for the consumer. Done right, it’s an online hub that becomes a conversation piece, fostering buzz about the book and the author. All marketing–emails, print advertising, and even social media–should direct traffic to the landing page. At the end of the day, its sole purpose is to sell the product… and sell it really, really well.

Many authors make the mistake of linking their marketing directly to a retailer like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Not only does this inhibit the ability to be retailer-neutral, but it also decreases the amount of control that the author has over the consumer’s experience with the product.

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You can create a landing page in your website content management system (CMS), marketing management system such as HubSpot or Infusionsoft, or even certain WordPress themes. You can do this on the cheap or spend thousands of dollars on it. Some of the best landing pages I’ve seen and produced have been created for less than $1,000. Don’t let cost be the issue for you, as there are great low-cost options available. This will be the most vital part of your marketing strategy, trust me! ClickFunnels is the best I’ve found.

For more detail on all of this, check out 9 Most Devastating Mistakes Every Author Makes When Marketing a Book.

But for now, here are ten essentials for creating a successful book landing page:

1. Ensure the Call-to-Action (CTA) is the focal point. The primary CTA should be to purchase your book. The opportunity to do so (the “buy” button) needs to be above the fold (see #10 below) and also the main thing that draws the attention of the user. It’s okay to include a second CTA, but it should be centered around some type of gated content where you can capture an email address in exchange for a piece of content (i.e. sample chapters, email challenges, etc.). Clearly specify what you would like your visitors to take as a next step. If visitors find your page confusing, they will leave, and you lose a very precious opportunity to sell your book.

2. Make sure your landing page has very few distractions. It’s important that you keep the main thing the main thing, as we discussed above. The most successful landing pages are often one column and include all the content on the main page. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown website. Various tabs and pages can be distractions and drive the customer away from the main goal of purchasing your book. Leave plenty of white space on your landing page, make your fonts easy to read, add interesting videos, and create bulleted content that’s easily scanned for important points.

3. Focus on your product only. Even though it’s tempting, try not to add other links. You’ll lose focus and cannibalize sales if you link out to other products or websites.

4. Use large images of your book. Make sure the cover design is clear and all text is big enough to be immediately legible. Images sell books.

5. Speak to your target audience. Use the language that resonates with their felt needs. If you need to speak to other secondary audiences, create other landing pages or tabs specifically for them.

6. Make sure the page matches the branding of your book. Whether the landing page is separate from your brand’s main website or not (see #9 below), the theme should always complement the look and feel of your book, particularly with the use of a particular set of colors and visuals from the book cover. This will improve brand awareness, as well as offer consumers inspiration and confidence to ultimately take action to buy your book.

7. Develop a very strong headline. The first words viewers see will entice them to read more of your content… or not. A typical customer will make a decision in less than 15 seconds about whether he or she is in the right place; an effective headline will make all the difference.

8. Show off your reviews. Been mentioned in the press or given excellent testimonials from readers? Let others know! Add a tidbit on your landing page that highlights your accolades, builds your authority, and shows that your expertise is worthy of purchase.

9. Give your landing page a simple URL. It’s important to have an easy-to-remember URL, one that’s memorable both online (in written form) and offline (in verbal form). Keep in mind that it’s important for listening audiences–such as in podcast and radio interviews–to hear and remember it. Your URL could be the title of the book, but if having an extra website feels like just another piece of online real estate to maintain, it’s also appropriate to create the page off of the root domain. That URL would follow this model: www.yourwebsite.com/book.

10. Be mindful of the fold. The term “the fold” refers to the invisible horizontal line on the website that a visitor crosses when they scroll down. Everything above the fold is what the consumer sees when they first arrive to the site. Everything below the fold is what they see if they choose to engage and scroll. It’s essential to consider what content is placed above and below the fold. It’s important to have your primary CTA (“Buy the book!”) above the fold, as well as a top-priority second CTA. From there, carefully consider the placement of any other actions you’d like the viewer to take. You want the CTAs to be easily read and implemented, but there’s only so much real estate above the fold, so prioritize strategically. (Again, a secondary CTA could be opting in for an email list, downloading a sample chapter, or links for people to follow the author on social media.)

So, a strong landing page is vital. It holds the key to a positive first brand impression, and it’s an automatic conduit for sales. Stay tuned for another blog post soon about the top five landing pages out there!

Overall, trust me… you don’t just want to slap up any old content and call it a landing page. Excellent strategy is key, and for more, check out the 9 Most Devastating Mistakes Every Author Makes When Marketing a Book.

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