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I am working on a website project with a core focus on service areas. The central hierarchy of the services section looks like this:

1. Service Name 1
    - overview
    - features and specs
    - Plans and Pricing
    - offer page
2. Service Name 2
    - overview...etc

You get the picture, I hope.

Now what happens is that campaign content from external marketing agencies keeps coming in but none of it really belongs to the main site architecture. Its temporary in nature you see, and does not need to appear in the site hierarchy. And yet, perhaps it needs to link to it.

Now what should I show users that come on the website? Should I hide the main navigation? Will it confuse them if I don't or if I will? What if the campaign content ends up repeating the main site's content?

Can anyone recommend best practices for integrating such temporary content on a website?

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2 Answers 2

This article on landing page best practices has these UX-related recommendations:

  • Ensure the primary headline of your landing page matches the ad visitors clicked to get there.
  • Make your call to action (CTA) big and position it above the fold.
  • Use directional cues to direct attention to your CTA.
  • A landing page should have a single purpose and thus a single focused message.
  • Congruence: every element of your page should be aligned conceptually with the topic and goal of the page.
  • Edit to remove unnecessary content. Be succinct.

The Perfect Landing Page differenciates both kind of landing pages:

A. Landing page(s) integrated into site architecture and style

It is most efficient in terms of effort in content creation to make landing pages part of the main site information architecture. The downside is that they may not work so well in terms of converting both direct referrers and browsers navigating from elsewhere on the site.

B. Bespoke landing pages that are not part of the main site structure

These are used where a more “stripped down” page than standard content is required which focuses on converting visitors from an online ad campaign.

Finally, this other article on best practices recommends a

Clean design with an eye for contrast, whitespace and clarity. A clear call to action that describes what will happen when it’s clicked.

All of these put a strong enphasis on conversions, if this is the purpose of your landing page, then best practice is to make it almost a microsite. If the purpose of your landing pages is to get users to know the whole site then using the regular look would be better, in which case I would consider having a top level category for "campaigns" and hang all campaigns from that category in the site map.

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excellent resources that took me to a lot of interesting places –  Amit Erandole Jan 12 '12 at 18:57
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+1 for references –  Rahul Jan 12 '12 at 20:09
    
+1 for summarising the key points of the references –  Erics Jan 13 '12 at 5:49
    
A note on the fold: don't forget that a widescreen laptop and a browser full of annoying browser toolbars that are added by Yahoo, Ask, virus software etc. might actually leave you with <500 pixels of screen depth –  ColinSharpe Jul 9 '13 at 19:58
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Consider the context. Is it really necessary to have all of the regular UI items such as main site navigation on these campaign landing pages? Probably not. Usually for these types of pages a very clear call-to-action and persuasion techniques are applied to ensure that the user completes a transaction, whether that be to follow a button, use a form or make a purchase.

I would consider only putting in the regular UI items on a subsequent view once the transaction has been completed.

A UI item within the landing page could link to the main site too, but less emphasis should be applied to this action.

In terms of site structure, I would create a folder for campaigns and place all of the campaigns in here either for archival or removal once complete. They don’t need to fit in with the regular site architecture.

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Thanks for responding. Yes these pages will have clearly focused call to actions and even single column layouts as opposed to the main website. The idea for putting the main website's skin back on after user has completed the required conversion action is good. –  Amit Erandole Jan 12 '12 at 12:02
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Absolutely, the idea is to influence the required action and then once this has been completed, provide some further rabbit holes for the user to progress down. A dead end would not capitalise on the experience. –  DigiKev Jan 12 '12 at 12:06
    
hmm - the problem is the opposite - my client wants the campaign pages to be "fully" integrated into the website. That's a problem from my perspective because that might take the attention off the main action and message of the campaign. –  Amit Erandole Jan 12 '12 at 12:13
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I wonder if you could come to a compromise with the client by seeing if they would agree to visually ‘knocking back’ the regular UI items if they still need to be in the view. This way you would still have emphasis on the marketing campaign message while maintaining full functionality. Worth exploring. –  DigiKev Jan 12 '12 at 15:16
    
Yes I can. I have a very good relationship. They trust me with making the final cut. –  Amit Erandole Jan 12 '12 at 16:10
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