While keeping in mind that no landing page is perfect, there are a few simple (and not so simple) rules to creating wicked awesome landing pages.

Goal – When you create a landing page what is your goal? Do you want people to download a White Paper, schedule a demo, or call you on the phone? This goal should be clearly defined and obvious to the visitor at-a-glance. Everything on that landing page should work to accomplish that goal.

Headline – The headline of your landing page needs to be short and precise. That is all.

Brief Copy –There is a rule that journalists use that marketers should also apply. The rule is this: use the fewest words necessary to get your point across.

Call-to-Action – What do you want a visitor to do on your landing page? (Remember our discussion about goals above). This call-to-action should be crystal clear. (Think blatant, obvious and simple).

Options – You don’t want to necessarily mandate that your visitors fill out a form. Give them options. Place your phone number in prominent locations on the landing page so they can call you, if they prefer.

Fields – The other day I visited a landing page that stunk. It was terrible. Why? Because they wanted me to fill out 16 information fields! 16! Now, there is no perfect number for form fields. But one thing iscertain: 16 is way too many.

Testing – You should A/B test every element of your landing pages. Place phone numbers in difference locations. Change and tweak specific form fields. Change copy and headlines. Test and refine. (Everyone knows they should do this, but most people don’t).

‘Retreat’ Offers – If someone doesn’t want to sign up for a demo on your landing page, for example, give them the option to download a White Paper when they leave.

Metrics – Most marketers know what percentage of visitors to their landing pages are converting. (i.e. how many people are filling out a form to download a product or see a demo). But does your conversion rate include people who called you as a results of your landing page? Does your conversion rate count those people who +1 you after visiting your landing page? Including those ‘other metrics’ in your conversion rate will give you a more complete picture of how effective your landing page actually is.