Landing Page Utopia: 7 Lessons from Google

At Search Engine Strategies in San Jose last month I delivered a presentation for the session Landing Page Utopia off an idea I had previously blogged – that the Google homepage is the greatest landing page ever created.

The presentation reviewed seven strategies Google employs and discussed how they benefited both Google and their audience. There is much we can learn from them and should apply.

1. Give your audience control over the delivery of content
2. Reduce choices in your presentation of content
3. Leverage the real-time web
4. Create targeting rules based on content
5. Design for goals, not personas
6. The conversion experiences we create have tremendous brand building power
7. Test constantly



8 responses to “Landing Page Utopia: 7 Lessons from Google”

  1. Jean-Sebastien Avatar

    Hi Jonathan,
    I have a question regarding your 5th strategy. In our business, we are creating personas with goals. At my opinion those two are indissociable. I can even say goals couldn’t be identified properly without knowing who are your personas. So why are you taking them separately ?


  2. Jonathan Mendez Avatar

    Hi Jean- Sebastien,
    I understand your question and this is the push back I get all the time.
    I’m sure we can agree that (and based on my research and observations) that many different personas can share a common goal — let’s say buying tickets to a film online.
    Despite differences in age, sex, income, personality (persona) the tools, information and path to fulfill the goal — buy the movie tickets– is the same for everyone.
    If you focus on optimizing for the goal (you can also Google Don Norman + goal based design for other points of view) instead of the persona I think you’ll be more successful in the end and save a lot of time and energy.
    If you have a specific example for me please share it and I can give you more detail.


  3. Jean-Sebastien Avatar

    Thanks for the fast answer Jonathan. Like you, my vision of persona doesn’t imply socio-demographic data. It is more based on a status of a user in his task completion process.
    Let say we are in a B2B market looking for network servers, the differenciator factor will be client lifecycle : acknowledgement of a need, product/solution/service offer comparison, information gathering, meeting request and hopefully sale. We also need to cross another factor based on your client job position (CXO, manager, operations) and you will end up with a ton of goals and needs.
    You will agree we can build personas on a factor or the other or both. For example, at the acknowledgement phase, a CTO will ask for information, webcast or white paper on the total cost of ownership. An IT admin will check for products technical specs. They are both looking for information, but the format and the content will be different.


  4. Jonathan Mendez Avatar

    I now understand what you are saying. You are looking at the lifecycle or consideration stages and using them to help model persona characteristics.
    This is very useful to help understand the goals that you will need to optimize around. However, I would still be VERY careful about aligning goals based on assumptions of lifecycle phases. These are very neat orders that we as marketers like to build our experiences and messaging around yet often information discovery and recovery in real life takes a more ad hoc and chaotic approach.


  5. Craig Valenz Avatar

    What dimensions/specs do you recommend for a landing page?


  6. Jonathan Mendez Avatar

    I would first ask you what are the dimensions of your visitors browser on a percentage basis.


  7. Revolution Landing Pages Avatar

    I think these 7 tips are very crucial to having a landing page… And testing is a must. You want to try with different markets, so you find out which is generating the best traffic. The more business the better… I have my very own revolutionary landing page system that is just phenominal! is an exceptional marketing tool, that I personally feel everyone should have to drive more traffic, and also increase your desired income! Btw Great information on your blog, I’ll definitly sends my assiociates your way!


  8. Jocelyn Prentice Avatar

    Jocelyn Prentice

    This is one awesome blog post.Much thanks again. Keep writing.


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