As you look into digital marketing, search engine optimization, and paid search advertising for your business website you will no doubt come across new terms and concepts. An important one is “landing pages”. Figuring out how they fit into your strategy is a necessity as they will greatly increase your conversion rate of turning visitors into customers and clients.
What is a Landing Page?
A landing page is part of a marketing strategy and refers to a destination page on a website that is specifically designed for someone to land on. These pages have a specific focused purpose or goal which involves getting the visitor to perform a certain call to action. These type of pages can help not only to funnel traffic that has a better chance of converting (by being listed in search engines), but will convince the visitor themselves into taking the action you want.
With landing pages, distractions such as a header or footer or sidebar, may be removed or minimized making it more like a standalone page separate from the rest of the website. This is to ensure the visitor stays focused on the goal of the page.
Common places you can find links to landing pages include:
- Online Ad
- Social Media Post
- Search Engine
- Printed Material & Signage
Common actions found on landing pages that visitors can do include:
Gather user information like names, email, and phone numbers to allow for further marketing at a later date. An example of this is newsletter signups.
Purchasing a product or service right on the website.
- Lead Generation
Directly contacting the business by phone or email for more information and/or to initiate a sale.
Why should your Marketing Strategy include Landing Pages?
Most business websites offer different products and/or services. When a potential customer visits the website they are probably after only one thing. A landing page is design to remove the clutter and engage the visitor. You want to convince them to take action by showing how you will solve their problem.
For example Steve owns a sports store and baseball season is coming up. So he runs several online ads for baseball equipment on Google and Facebook to attract more business. When potential customers click on these ads they are taken to Steve’s website homepage which has information about all types of sports. This means the visitors have to hunt for the baseball products they were looking for on the website, which results in many not finding the information and leaving. This results in Scotts marketing campaign to have a low conversion rate, which requires on average more clicks to get a sale, thereby costing him more money in paid advertising.
If Scott had approached his marketing differently and had designed a landing page about the baseball equipment he sells and linked his ads to this page instead, then his conversion rate would have been much higher. On the landing page he can not only list the baseball products he has for sale but he can take the visitor on a journey and explain why the equipment he sells is the best and worth the visitor to invest in.
To improve his marketing strategy even further, Scott could have created multiple landing pages and related ads for the different types of baseball equipment. This would have focused his message even more and thereby increasing his conversion rate and overall sales.
A by product of creating a landing page is they are always available to convince visitors to take action. Even if Scott turns off his online paid advertising, search engines like Google will still send him targeted visitors as his pages will be indexed and ranked in the organic search results making them ideal for targeting long tailed keywords. This makes SEO a very important part when designing and developing landing pages.
What Types of Landing Pages are there?
Here is a list of the most common types of landing pages:
A lead generation or lead capture landing page is primarily intended to collect leads for further marketing later by means of a data capture form. These pages offer a reward (called a lead magnet) with the request for the visitors user data (like name, email, and/or phone number). The reward is the purpose of the offer on the page and must be worth it to the customer as you plan on contacting them later.
A lead magnet is a marketing term for a free item or service that is given away for the purpose of gathering the user details. Lead magnets can be trial subscriptions, samples, ebooks, newsletters, and free consultations.
A squeeze landing page is similar to a lead generation page since it is for collecting user data. It’s used mainly for collecting email address for newsletters. This type of landing page is short with minimal content. It has bold headlines and a clear call to action which gives just enough information for the visitor to make a decision.
A click through landing page acts as a simple middleman between your initial advertisement and the page to which you ultimately wish to direct your potential customers or clients too. It is often used to link a visitor coming from clicking on an online ad to the final ecommerce page which is a shopping cart with a product in it ready for purchase.
The ad attracts the interested visitor and the landing page is the main sales tool with a short explanation and a call to action that will direct the visitor to the final destination page which the visitor hopefully then converts and performs the final action.
A sales landing page is a click through page that is also required to convince the visitor to buy. These type of landing pages are often the most difficult to design since it requires a monetary investment by the visitor with no free reward like on a lead generation page.
The creation of these type of pages, from the design to the copy, requires a touch of delicacy and a complete understanding of your customers’ needs and their position in the sales journey. You do not want to sell too hard and turn your potential customer away, or to undersell and lose the sale. A balance is required with subtle sales and communication tactics.
This specialized page is like a lead generation or click through landing page but not as concise. Like late night informercials you find on TV, these pages will tell a story which is used to not only sell the visitor on the merits of the offer but get the visitor emotionally invested as well.
A splash page is the most basic type of landing page. It is not designed to collect data and can be used at any point in the sales funnel. They typically have little copy and only one or two images. The communication is simple and is meant for an announcement or a simple boolean question.
Viral landing pages are usually used to build brand awareness. The content on this page should be informative and fun with the goal for the visitor to share the page on social media. Links to the companies website should be presented unobtrusively and subtly so the visitor doesn’t feel like it is a marketing ploy.
A small website with multiple pages that acts like a landing page for a specific sales or promotional campaign. Usually are part of a large online ad and/or TV ad campaign.
What Makes a Good Landing Page?
While some people may consider the homepage of a website a landing page, it technically is not. While a homepage may receive a lot of traffic its main objective is to direct visitors to other pages where they can find the information they want. It shows all the options your business offers. It is not focused and specific.
Good landing pages do many things including at least some of the following:
Are About the Offer and Not the Business
Landing pages are about what your business is offering. It should share your businesses branding but not be a place to upsell the company itself.
Focused with no Distractions
A landing page should have a single purpose or goal and one call to action you want your visitors to perform. The content should be focused on the purpose and offer of the page with no distractions or other offers.
Speak to a Specific Audience
Segmenting your customer base helps to target the different needs of the audience. Customizing a landing page based on demographics will allow you to nurture the needs of the audience more effectively.
Collect the Right User Data
The collection of data should include not only names and contact information like email addresses and phone numbers (depending on the purpose of the landing page) but should indicate why the visitor clicked and what their long term connection to the business will be. This way future marketing endeavors will have a greater chance of success. The potential customer will be kept engaged and will not eventually unsubscribe.
You do not want to scare your prospects by requiring them to fill out a long form. Keep it as short as possible and if needed break the form into multiple steps.
Include a Thank-you
For landing page types like lead generation, there should always be a thank-you page once the visitor has completed the call to action. This lets the customer know they have completed the process successfully and is also good manners by the business.
Provide Offers with it’s Own Page
Landing pages are a good home for special offers and sales. The content is focused and it provides a way for passive marketing opportunities. This includes being indexed by search engines, and the ability to be shared on social media by others who are happy new customers or prospects who are excited with the offer.
Access to Other Marketing Channels
Once a visitor has successfully completed a call to action for one landing page, you can provide them with links to other offers, newsletter signups, social media, etc. This needs to be done in such a way as not to aggravate the visitor. For example in a follow up email about their previous interaction with your business.
Landing pages allow you to deliver relevant content to your targeted visitors quickly. This will increase conversion rates and turn more prospects into happy customers and/or clients.
If you are reviewing the marketing strategies for your website and are interested in finding out how landing pages can help or other marketing techniques that can be used, please reach out and contact us.