Is there a difference between writing a landing page and any other web site page? Yes and no. But mainly, yes.
You still have to work within the fundamentals of good writing and copywriting. And you still have to recognize the differences between writing for paper and writing for a monitor.
However, there are some important differences to consider when it comes to writing a landing page.
You KNOW what you want your visitors to do
On many web pages we are writing text to help people find what THEY want, either on that page or a different one. This may involve writing careful descriptions, using images and providing descriptive
links to help our visitor move forward to the right page.
In other words, a lot of the time the pages we are writing are not the final destination pages for many of our visitors. So we deliberately help them leave the page, pointing them in the right direction.
With a landing page, everything changes. With a landing page, you know what you want them to do and you DON'T want them leaving that page until they have decided to make that purchase, sign up, download a white paper - or whatever else it is you want them to do.
Now you're in the realm of direct marketing
A landing page is a direct marketing piece, pure and simple. You have attracted someone there through an ad, a link, a keyword...whatever. And now you have them on the page, you want to convert them.
When direct marketing with a landing page, remember these points.
It's about the copy, the words. It's the text that will bring you success or failure.
Design? The purpose of the design is to support and showcase the text. If you want results, your visitors must read the text. This influences your choices of colors, your use of images, the layout on the page.
Navigation links? No thank you. On a regular web page, there are plenty of links on a page to make it easy for people to move around and find what they want. On a landing page, there is only ONE link you want people to click on, and that's the one that says YES. You don't WANT them to navigate. You want to give them just the one way forward.
Multiple choices? Not if you can help it. If you have three or four things to sell or promote, create separate campaigns and separate landing pages. Too many choices on a single page dilutes attention and reduces response rates. Keep it focused.
Many large and medium sized companies struggle with creating landing pages that are unashamedly built to maximize conversion rates. Perhaps they don't have the skills in-house to write and design that kind of page. Perhaps they feel uncomfortable about 'direct marketing' through their site pages.
Whatever the reason, it's the companies that have the will and the resources to build high-converting landing pages that will come out the winners.