Landing Pages: What They Are and Why You Need Them

     

Published: May 14, 2018

Landing pages are an often misunderstood component of a digital marketing plan. In some cases, people refer to any website page that a visitor “lands” on following a search or call to action as a landing page. We think that definition is too broad and takes away from the role that dedicated landing pages play in your lead generation strategy.

What is a Landing Page
In our book, landing pages are pages on your website that are connected to specific marketing campaigns. Even though they are housed on your website, landing pages aren’t reached from simple surfing activities. Instead, they are strategically created to capture traffic from intentional places around the web.

For example, if you’re running an AdWords campaign to promote a seasonal offer, you would also create a landing page to receive all the clicks associated with that campaign. Casual Facebook visitors would not be directed there, and clicks from another AdWords campaign would get their own landing page. 

Landing Pages are NOT Homepages!
Your homepage is one of the most important pages on your website, but its purpose is general. It should convey your branding messages and values, and feature offers, links, and information that speak to a broad audience. It’s full of distractions, links, and lots of ways to get attention.

Landing pages, on the other hand, are stripped down, highly focused, and 100% dedicated to accomplishing a single task.

What Landing Pages Do
The main purpose of landing pages is to collect a visitor’s contact information in exchange for something the visitor will find valuable. For example, you can offer whitepapers, ebooks, and other detailed reports. Newsletters and podcasts are other popular downloads, and blog subscriptions, webinar registrations, and free trials are other goodies people will want to receive.

Some landing pages are designed to be more of a nudge along the path toward conversion rather than a direct conversion opportunity. These are sometimes called warming pages or jump pages because their purpose is to inspire a little more activity before the conversion happens. These pages answer questions or provide more information about a specific product or service, and are optimized for one segment of your audience. 

Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate is the metric associated with landing pages, and conversion rate optimization is the name of the game. To get the most from your landing pages, it is essential that the messaging matches the link or ad that brought the visitor. 

In the example of the seasonal offer, you want your landing page headline to directly reflect that offer rather than saying something general like “Welcome to ABC Appliances.” When people are searching the web for solutions or click an ad on social media, their expectation is that they are taken directly to a place where they can pursue the offer you made.

It’s also helpful if your images, text, buttons, and other visual elements match what the visitor initially saw before she clicked. That way, there will be no question that she’s arrived at the right place. 

Landing page optimization often includes a bit of testing to see what people are responding to. In many cases, what you think will work contradicts what actually inspires people to take action. To optimize your landing pages, be sure to do at least a few A/B tests, or randomly direct visitors to two landing pages that have one on-page element that’s different to see which works better. 

CTA + Landing Page = Leads
While landing pages may be housed on your website, they should not be considered part of your website. Instead, think of them as important components of your whole marketing plan. 

When you direct clicks from calls-to-action, AdWords campaigns, Facebook ads, and other outreach efforts to landing pages that have been crafted with the sole purpose of receiving those clicks and inspiring conversion, your lead generation efforts will pay off.
 

Categories: Web Design & Development
Tags: Web Design, Web Development, Landing pages, SEO, Call to Action
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