09 Jul 06
25 May 08 11:16 pm
This made me laugh. I'm from a web design background too, and yes, there are ugly, long and infomercial-like landing pages out there. And I have been instrumental in a fair few of them myself. And it is pain.
But obviously they work. That's something you can always count on with these internet marketing types. They will have tested and tested and tested and then tested some more, and this will be the thing that will have come out on top. It's not that there's not a iota of taste or originality to be found in the entire industry. It's that taste and originality don't make sales.
As for whether you should aim to reproduce these efforts... I say you do what these guys will have done, and that's test, test and test. I'm guessing you're talking about PPC landing pages, since SEO landing pages are less about the hard sell. PPC engines like AdWords give you great facilities for split-testing pages, so if you're willing to spend some cash to prove a point... try pitting a tastefully designed, non-hyped page against the normal fodder and see what works.
There are some "rules" out there for design, but in my opinion a lot of it is conjecture. Things like adding drop-caps, sans-serif titles in big red or blue font, enclosing everything in "" marks, the ubiquitous yellow highlighter... try some of these out. The length of the page can vary. Long long pages tend to mean really expensive product, since you need to justify it a whooole heap, but most people will just scroll directly to the bottom of the page anyway.
Another point in favour of the ugly standard, while I'm here ... when people arrive at your page you have about a second to grab their attention and make it look like you have what they're looking for. If they're spending that second trying to figure out where is your header? What's going on? What's with all those images? I don't know where to look? etc, you're gonna lose them. Perhaps it's good to stick with what people know and understand, as awful as it may be.
Bit of waffle on a Monday morning.
Just know that I feel your pain :)