Smart Landing

A Simple, Flexible Way to Personalize your Landing Pages

Boost Your Conversion with this Powerful Optimization Tool

Smart Landing is an intelligent web service that makes it easy to personalize your website's landing pages for each visitor that lands on them.

There are many ways in which you can use Smart Landing to boost your conversion rates, reduce your bounce rates, and help your visitors to find what they're looking for - it's up to you to decide how to best to use it to help your site to achieve its goals.

Display Personalized Messages to your Website Visitors Using Criteria Such as Visitor Location and Referring Website or Search Term

Using Smart Landing's simple online control panel, you can specify different messages for the different sorts of visitors that arrive on the various pages of your website. For example:

  • When visitors land on your home page after searching for "red widgets", you could point them towards the specific section that you have on red widgets.
  • You could alert US visitors to a special promotion that you're running in the US only.
  • You could show UK visitors a British flag and alert them to the fact that, despite your .com domain, you do in fact operate in the UK too.
  • You could show different products or affiliate links to visitors from different countries.
  • You could present visitors from Reddit with a specific call to action (e.g. "please upvote this article if you like it"). Visitors that arrive from elsewhere could be presented with a different call to action or none at all.

How exactly you use Smart Landing will depend on the nature of your site and what you want to achieve with it, but you can configure the messages that Smart Landing shows based on any of the following:

  • The country that the visitor is located in...
  • The referring website that led them to your site...
  • The search keyword (or keyphrase) that led them to your site...
  • Whether they arrived from elsewhere on your site, or from outside (e.g. you might wish to show a message for external arrivals only).

You can use the same configuration for every page of your website, you can customize your setup for each of your key landing pages individually, or you can choose to use Smart Landing on just a single page of your site - it's entirely up to you.

There's Absolutely No Programming Required,
and Absolutely No Software to Install

You can configure all the messages and options through the Smart Landing online control panel - the only other thing you have to do is copy and paste a snippet of code into the pages that you want Smart Landing to work on.

You should have no trouble getting Smart Landing running on anything from a personal blog to a high-traffic shopping site. Even a complete technophobe can get Smart Landing working for their website both quickly and cost-effectively.

You can Make Visitor-Targeted Modifications to your On-Page Content...

One way to use Smart Landing is to specify targeted blocks of text or HTML that should be inserted or replaced on your page for the visitor segments that you specify in your control panel.

Since your visitors may bookmark your page, email it on to a friend or colleague, or return to it after browsing other pages on your site, it's probably not a good idea to make big visitor-targeted modifications to your on-page content...

But relatively small visitor-targeted replacements or insertions can have a powerful impact on your conversion rate without changing the overall theme of your page too much. For example, you could change or insert a few words into your site's header, or add a visitor-targeted paragraph or image into your main body content.

Or Use Targeted Hover Messages to Draw Attention to Important Information

Another option is to display visitor-targeted messages that hover over your regular on-page content... You can configure them to show immediately after the page loads, or any number of seconds later.

The subtle approach is to use hover messages that fix themselves at the top of the browser window - we like these ones because they make themselves seen without getting in the way of the on-page content.

Or, if you want to make absolutely sure that your visitor-targeted messages are noticed, you can configure them to hover right over the middle of the page. Though if you do go with the slap-bang-in-the-middle-of-the-page approach, be aware that visitors will need to click to close the hover message in order to read the page, so the chances of your hover messages causing annoyance will be considerably higher.

That said, the chances of your hover messages causing annoyance will depend greatly on how well you've targeted them. For example, your visitors will almost certainly find an irrelevant hover ad annoying, but most people consider it helpful when a multinational's US website uses UK-targeted hover messages to tell its UK visitors about its UK website.

You Won't Find Annoying Popup Windows or Cheesy Animated DHTML on the Smart Landing Menu...

There are numerous popup-generation software packages on the market. Smart Landing isn't one of them.

In recent years popup blockers have become standard in all the mainstream browsers, and popup and popunder windows are fortunately nearly extinct... But many of the popup generators specialize in annoying animated DHTML popups instead. You know, the sorts of popups that wriggle around trying to avoid being closed, or that shuffle on screen in a "comedy" style, like an unwanted guest at a party...

Such popup shenanigans may have had a certain novelty factor in 1999, but today they're nothing but a tacky irritation to the vast majority of web users.

We want Smart Landing to boost your conversion rate without annoying your visitors... Since we believe that popup windows and intrusive animated DHTML popups are far more likely to work against this goal than for it, we've specifically not included them in Smart Landing's list of point-and-click features...

But it's Easy for a Web Programmer to Add Additional Functionality

If you do have programming expertise, Smart Landing opens up all sorts of further possibilities by enabling you to specify, in the control panel, that certain criteria (e.g. a particular combination of visitor country and search keyword) should lead to a specific JavaScript function being called. You could program this function to do whatever you want: trigger a third-party script, set a cookie, redirect to a different page, or do any other sort of task that can be performed in a browser.

For example, if you did want to experiment with third-party popup messages, a little JavaScript would enable you to display Smart Landing's visitor-targeted messages using a popup from a third-party JavaScript popup generator.

(Non-programmers: please don't let this programming talk put you off... Extending Smart Landing with custom JavaScript is purely an advanced option for those with special requirements or the enthusiasm to experiment!)

Smart Landing is a JavaScript-Driven Solution...

If you were to hire a programmer to add custom Smart-Landing-style functionality to your site, you'd probably get a system that generated dynamic landing pages on your server, using a programming technology such as PHP, ASP.NET, Java, Ruby on Rails, Cold Fusion, or Python.

With time, a good programmer, and a web host that's flexible about software installation (e.g. that would let you install a geolocation database), you should be able to come up with a decent homegrown solution to do the sorts of things that Smart Landing does.

But aside from the fact that Smart Landing doesn't require you to be, or to hire, anyone technical, it works quite differently to most dynamic landing page solutions, as it uses JavaScript to modify your web page from within the user's browser.

So, although a lot of server-side code runs on our servers to make Smart Landing work, on your site you only need to copy and paste a snippet of JavaScript into your HTML. In other words, your site does not need to be dynamically generated using PHP, ASP.NET, Java, Ruby on Rails, Python, Cold Fusion, or similar (although it's not a problem if your site does use such technologies).

A Custom-Programmed Server-Side Solution May be a Better Option for Certain Websites...

The downside to Smart Landing's JavaScript-driven approach is that nothing can happen until the HTML page has loaded in the visitor's browser. So any hover messages that you show, or on-page content modifications that you make, will only become visible after the page has loaded. Fortunately Smart Landing doesn't need to wait for the page's images to load, but it does need the HTML content of the page to load before it can do anything.

For hover messages this is very unlikely to be a problem, as hover messages tend to work a lot better if they appear after the main on-page content...

But for in-content text replacement or insertion, there can be a fraction of a second between the moment when the page first appears, and the moment when the in-content text replacement or insertion occurs. It's a little like the way in which a website's images usually appear after its text.

In reality this is rarely a significant limitation, but it may become an issue if you want to insert some text at the start of a very long page, or if you want to replace or insert a lot of text for certain visitor segments... In such instances you may be better off getting a custom server-side solution developed specifically for your site - a solution that generates the entire content of your landing pages dynamically.

But in Many Ways Smart Landing's Easy JavaScript-Driven Solution is Better than Server-Side Page Customization

Although it's not perfect for all applications, Smart Landing's JavaScript-driven approach to web-page customization has a number of benefits - benefits that were significant enough for us to choose the approach over any other when we were designing Smart Landing:

  • It's really easy to put Smart Landing on any website - you don't need any technical expertise. (And, since the Smart Landing control panel makes it easy to configure your visitor segments and messages, you won't need a programmer each time you want to refine your strategy or try something different.)
  • You don't have to run any server-side code that would slow your servers down. (Dynamically generating your high-traffic landing pages on your servers can have a pretty big effect on the speed and hosting costs of your site...)
  • You won't need to modify your site's URL structure (e.g. change your pages from .htm to .php) or mess about with Apache rewrites to make it possible to generate dynamic content from your existing URLs.
  • The indexable content on your site (i.e. what Google and other spiders see) remains unchanged so there's no risk of your per-visitor customizations messing up your rankings in the search engines. In other words, Smart Landing is a search-engine-friendly way to customize your pages for each visitor.

That last point about search-engine-friendly content modifications leads neatly into what's probably the primary use case for Smart Landing:

Smart Landing can be Useful for PPC Landing Pages, but for Organic Search and Referral Landing Pages it's Invaluable!

If you're optimizing your pay-per-click campaigns, you're probably already using different landing pages for different keywords. That's the standard PPC approach: you show different messages to different types of visitors by creating new landing pages and shuffling things about in your AdWords settings.

You may well find that Smart Landing's targeted hover messages can help you to improve your PPC conversion rate, and it's quite possible that Smart Landing can help you to simplify your PPC landing-page setup...

But it's probably the other pages of your site that could see the biggest boosts in conversion rate... Not the PPC pages, but the pages that get referral traffic from sites that link to you, and the pages that get traffic from organic search.

Right now, all the visitors to these key pages of your site are being greeted in exactly the same way, irrespective of their location and the website or search term that led them to you. It's far from ideal, but there's no way you can design a one-size-fits-all page that speaks directly to all the different sorts of people that land on it.

But with Smart Landing you can customize any page for each traffic segment that you can identify. And the static content that's indexed by the search engines is unaffected, so you're not risking your organic search-engine rankings.

Take your home page, for example... It probably gets traffic from many many sources, but it's likely that the bulk of its traffic comes from just a handful of sources (e.g. a few core search terms and a few core websites that consistently send a lot of traffic your way)...

Do you Think you Could Improve your Conversion Rate by Treating Visitors from Each Traffic Source Differently?

What if your home page used a different first paragraph for visitors from each of its key traffic sources? Those first few words are critical, and it's much easier to push the right buttons when you know who you're talking to...

Or consider the pages of informational content that you've added to your site to act as linkbait, to widen the set of keywords that you rank for, and to make your site look like more of an authoritative resource...

Do you think it might be beneficial to display a "check out this related product" sort of message to visitors that have come from one particular group of search queries, a "register for our free whitepaper" sort of message to another traffic segment, and a "link to this page" or a "tell your friends" sort of message to social networking traffic...?

By showing the right messages to the right people you can:

  • Be more overtly commercial to the traffic sources that are likely to convert...
  • Tone down the commercial angle for those traffic sources that are unlikely to buy, and focus on encouraging them to link to you or tell their friends about your site instead...
  • Point people directly to products that match what they're searching for, even when they've landed on a general information page.

To a fair extent you can control your organic landings in the same way that you control your PPC landings.

It's all about making the most of your traffic... Simple really, but just a few targeted customizations can make a big difference to your site's profitability.