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How to Create Effective Landing Pages for Your Nonprofit: Tip 1 The Headline

by Sarah Phillips, Search and Social Specialist, Media Cause
This was orginally posted on mediacause.org

What is a landing page?

A landing page is “a standalone web page distinct from your main website, that has been designed with a single focused objective in mind.” For example, the goal may be to get users to sign up for a free trial or download a free Ebook in exchange for providing information, such as their name and email address.

Why are landing pages important?

Landing pages are an essential element of your Google Grants strategy and lead to its overall success by increasing your conversion rates. For example, San Francisco-based Futures Without Violence (FWV) wasn’t having any difficulty using Google Grants to get users to their website -the issue was that most visitors to their site only stayed for a few minutes and didn’t return. They needed to form a long-term relationship with these visitors in order to create true value from their Google Grant.

The solution? Landing pages. We created a strategy to build custom landing pages that collected email addressed from FWV supporters. To implement the strategy we used resources that FWV already had available. We discovered through Google Analytics the top downloaded fact sheets and created landing pages that offered these fact sheets to supporters in exchange for their email address. Fast-forward to a couple months later, and FWV was now adding 1,000+ emails per a month and growing. Adding a few best-practice landing pages made a huge impact on the value of Google Grants for FWV.

So, how can you create effective landing pages?

There are 7 main elements that make up the anatomy of a landing page. Each post over the next 7 weeks will briefly describe one element with related tips on how to create a successful landing page.

The first element to focus on in creating an effective landing page is number 1 above, the headline.

1. The Headline

Attention spans are short and there is a plethora of content competing for your eyes’ gaze, especially when surfing the black hole that is the interwebs – therefore, your goal is to attract the attention of your viewer and “communicate your core value proposition” as clearly and concisely as possible. The headline is often the first thing the reader sees, and you want to make sure they can understand what you are offering before they can even think about clicking to another page.


  • Use simple, concise language that gets straight to the point
  • Write in the second person and using action-oriented language to help capture the reader’s attention.
  • Be consistent! Make sure the headline matches your ad copy and call-to action text. For example, if your visitors click on an ad telling them to download a fact sheet, they are expecting to be directed to a page where they can do just that. Make it obvious that they’re in the right place when they arrive on your landing page by keeping your ad copy, headline and copy consistent. (And keep in mind that your headline is important for your Google AdWords quality score too)

Example: The ad copy the viewer sees matches the landing page copy.

Topics: Strategy Marketing