You never know how someone is going to come to your website. Sure, you can narrow it down -- you can funnel your visitors through online advertisements, place links on blogs, seed discussion forums, even advertise on TV. But it is a big, dirty world out there full of hypertext and email. And if you want to take advantage of this to start a conversation, convert a sales opportunity or make the world a better place, then you need to be ready for your online visitors, no matter how they find you.
- Get a visitor to click (to go to another page, on your site or someone else's)
- Get a visitor to buy
- Get a visitor to give permission for you to follow up (by email, phone, etc.). This includes registration of course.
- Get a visitor to tell a friend
- (and the more subtle) Get a visitor to learn something, which could even include posting a comment or giving you some sort of feedback
But this applies not just to your landing pages. It applies to EVERY page. You need to consider the upstream and the downstream -- where your visitors came from, and where they go to. You have to make sure your story makes sense as part of the rich tapestry of hypertext life. Your site needs to be as connected as your readers, and your story has to be able to stretch and flex to fit.