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What Is A Landing Page? Ultimate Guide

What is a landing page featured image
Effective landing pages are essential for all kinds of marketing campaigns. Image credit: Le Buzz

What is a landing page? The page where you land when you click on a link.
This may sound simple, but a few things are very important to understand. Afterall, a landing page plays a crucial role in your marketing campaigns.

Marketers say you should have separate landing pages for people you are encouraging to visit your site as this will have a much higher conversion rate. Just think, this could mean a great deal for your business.

Today, we’re going to look into everything you need to know about landing pages.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is a Landing Page?

Essentially a landing page is a special page that you use to give customers a call to action. This can be used to build a contact list or to get customers to take advantage of a special offer.

A landing page is any page on your site, where users arrive after interacting with your marketing campaigns.

People who land on your landing pages are people who have clicked on your ads, social posts or emails. They didn’t just happen to find your website. With a landing page, you want to get leads and for people to sign up, in addition to driving sales.

With landing pages, you can create marketing campaigns without having to expand your budget or reinvent the wheel. It is relatively easy to create landing pages and even micro-sites from your main site.

You can do your landing pages from your site, or you can create them as stand-alone entities. Their purpose is to get people to act or to get them to go to the main site and take action there. This action is usually in the form of ordering a product that you are selling.

Landing page load time stats
Fast landing pages are the most effective, so simplicity is often best. Image credit: StartUp Bonsai

Users to Target with Landing Pages

Organic visitors, those who find your site with a simple Google search, will likely go to your homepage, service pages or blog articles, and that is generally a fine thing. They can find what they are looking for there.

You could also direct them to more specific landing pages, for instance if you offer a range of services, it’s worth having a detailed landing page for each.

However, when you are running an ad campaign, and inviting people to your site, you need them to land on a special page that will make it easy and encourage them to do what it is you want them to do.

Users can get to a landing page from an ad on another site, Google Adwords, print or TV advertising, or even from your own website.

What Makes an Effective Landing Page?

A landing page is very simple and has a limited number of links. If you are trying to get email addresses, for instance, have a place for visitors to sign up and make that the call to action.

You can offer customers a special deal – a percentage off a product for instance – and when they go there for the coupon, make it easy for them to also sign up for your mailing list.

The page could also direct them to the place to order the product at the special price you are giving them.

This will come in response to paid advertising. When people click on your ad to find out more about your special offer, they will go to the landing page to complete the deal.

Getting conversions is what you want in marketing and a landing page is designed to do just that. If they go to your website’s home page, there will be a lot more options and they may never get around to the special deal you are offering.

When you start a new campaign, you need to start a landing page for that campaign.

Once it is over, you can take it down and start a new one for the next campaign. You could create a template so you just have to plug in new information for each campaign instead of having to start over each time.

Landing page example

Essential Elements of a Landing Page

It’s not enough to have landing pages which look great. Rather, they have to offer a strong return on investment, by actually convincing users to make a purchase. There are three keys to having an effective landing page.

  • Limit navigation. Encourage them to do your call to action, and don’t have much of anything else on the page. If you are aiming at a conversion, don’t distract customers with other things.
  • Deliver value. This should go without saying, but you do have to offer something of value. You got them to your page, and you need to be able to deliver what you promised to get a conversion.
  • Enable sharing. If people are getting something of value, they may want to share it. It is a good idea to make that something they can do easily. Your ad brought customers to your page, so now let your customers bring more people by sharing it on their social media platforms.

If you are doing those three things, your landing page should get some results. Even so, there are always variables that cannot be anticipated. It is essential to test your page often to make sure it is working like it is supposed to work.

Through testing, you can see what works best for your situation.

Landing Page Design

Your homepage on your website should, of course, be beautiful, and direct people to all the great things on your site. It should have plenty of information and so forth. A landing page is different.

It should be very basic and focus on the call to action, the call to get the customer to do what you want.

A picture, or two at most, should get the reader to see what it is they can do. You may want to use a form or buttons, or try a variety of options to see what your customers respond best to.

A good starting point is what’s known as the squeeze page layout.

Essentially this means creating a landing page featuring:

  • A strong image and messaging for the benefits of your product,
  • Customer testimonials,
  • An effective call to action.

This format can then be repeated as users move down the page, with each repeat focusing on a different aspect of why your product is so great. The more opportunities you give users to make a purchase, the better.

Landing page social proof stats
Social proof elements greatly improve the effectiveness of landing pages. Image credit: StartUp Bonsai

Types of Website Landing Pages

There are three major categories of landing pages:

  • Standalone pages, which can be viral landing pages or click through pages to generate leads.
  • Microsites, which is a small website which is an extension of your main site.
  • Internal pages, which are like a home page, but more like a detail page for a product you are selling.

Additional Landing Page Types

We can also divide up different types of landing pages, depending on their purpose. Let’s take a look at some of the most common categories of landing pages in this respect.

Click-through pages are simple pages that tell a bit more about the offer you are making, and how to order it. If you are selling your widgets at half price, it will have that and any other pertinent deals with a place to make the order. These are mostly used for ecommerce ads.

Another common page type is the lead generation page. Here, you have simple information and your goal is to get information from the customer, such as an email address.

There are also landing pages that have product information that encourages people to order today, which is something like an infomercial.

Viral landing pages are more for developing brand awareness than for making a quick sale. These are created for companies that are trying to create some buzz for their company. For this, you need great content, something that will grab attention.

The second part of this, which should come naturally if the content is good enough, is to make it shareable.

A microsite is a separate smaller website that focuses on one particular area. Car makers do this by having a small site for each vehicle, or model, they make. This can also take the form of a product detail page.

The difference between this and your main site is that it focuses on a specific product and does not have all the distractions of other options.

Some people do insist on having their home page be the only landing page. This is the least effective means of making sales. There are too many distractions or options, so you are less likely to get an action from the customer.

Of course, the exception to this rule is if your homepage is primarily a landing page, and nothing else. This is only really the case for a small number of affiliate marketers, who only do one thing.

Normally your main site is sort of a directory that will guide customers to different areas. It does not point them to a specific action, which is what a landing page does.

Testing and Optimising Landing Pages

It is important obviously, to track how well your website is performing. It is even more important to monitor the progress of your landing page. From a marketing standpoint or a technical standpoint, landing pages are separate websites.

Specifically, you should monitor the number of users who visit your landing pages, and where and when they convert.

Since the standalone is essentially its own page, it is easier to make changes. If you are in a large corporate atmosphere, it can be hard to get changes approved on the larger site. With a micro page, or a landing page, this process is much easier.

Monitor what is working, what people are responding to, and act accordingly. If you have a specific campaign going, you can keep track of what is and is not working easily enough.

It’s also easy to A/B test landing pages. For example, try out different messaging and colour combinations on your CTAs to see what is most effective at driving conversions.

Adjust as you see results. Keep in mind that what worked yesterday may not work today, and there is no real reason at times, just the tastes of people going to the site are what makes or breaks the page.

Testing keeps your site current and that way you can get the most out of your efforts.

How to Determine if your Landing Page is Effective

Here are some tips to improve your first or next web landing page. These elements meet a true landing page definition.

  • Limit Navigation. You’ve brought your targeted traffic to a page that lets them complete the desired action. Don’t distract them now. Limit exits by reducing links to one or two that direct users to fill out a contact form. Hide menus and normal navigation to help your leads stay focused.
  • Value-added components. First, if you have a great promo or offer, visitors will provide their information. Analyze whether your offer is compelling and design the landing page around this concept or element.
  • Enable sharing. Make friends with friends of leads. Put your target audience to work introducing your page to friends via text or social media shares. Add share links to Facebook, email, text and other popular formats.
  • Keep it short. The longer or more complicated you make your landing page, the harder it is to get a completed contact form. Instead, keep your lead form short to increase conversions.

The best way to find out how you did on your web landing page is to test the user experience. Click on an ad and ask yourself whether your unique landing page has these qualities.

Keep in mind that you need to monitor and test your campaigns. You might need to make quick adjustments to take advantage of trends that develop.

Landing pages are an important part of any marketing campaign. You have your ads out there, as well as other means of getting attention for your product or service. You want people to either order the product or give you their information so you can convert the sale.

With a landing page, you are guiding them to a place where they can take the action you want them to take.

To find out more about creating effective landing pages, contact ProfileTree today.

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