So there you are, in front of your computer, browser open to Google. You’re trying to find something you need desperately-a banking solution, Caribbean cruise, buy one get one free pizza, a revolving tie rack (with or without a light?); or, you really want to know what all the buzz is about, say, these supposedly “smokeless cigarettes” (whatever that means!). You type in your keywords, seconds later the results page pops up. If you are like me, you may scroll down a little bit, but more than likely you will choose one of the first options that seem to have the information you need. This could be one of the “sponsored links” at the top or to the side of the browser, or one of the first search results. Often times, these links are examples of a sort of “mini” website, called landing pages.Landing pages are used by many companies when they want to target a very specific market, direct a potential customer to specific information, a summary of their products or services, or a specific ad campaign. The key difference between their main, home website, and the landing page, is that the website contains general information about the company and the products and services it offers, while the landing page is tailored towards a particular offer or information the company wants its potential customer to focus on.Depending on the type, landing pages may be used to ask the visitor to take a survey, allow them to request more information about an offer, leave feedback, or direct them towards making an immediate or future purchase. The included information is kept short and sweet so that the message conveyed comes across clearly; information about the offer, company name and contact information, and often times an information request form.In addition to crafting these pages with keywords that will optimize the potential for a Google user to find them, landing pages are also used via email. Including a live URL link in a newsletter or marketing email can also be extremely effective. Because there is relevant information in the email, the target audience already has an idea of what is being offered. But instead of simply linking to the homepage, a landing page directs the customer towards the specific offer or information, eliminating the possibility of them getting lost or distracted while navigating the homepage. This precise directing of the visitor’s attention increases the chances of conversion-that is, that the visitor will interact with the page-fill out the information form so the company can contact them about their products and services, view the special offer, or provide the desired feedback.Whatever a company is offering in the marketplace (do tie racks really need built in lights?), landing pages can be an effective way of getting out a specific message to a specific audience quickly, efficiently, and effectively, saving would-be consumers the hassle of wading through loads of extraneous information. And can I resist? They may also help your business take off.