Landing pages are an essential element to a comprehensive web marketing strategy. They allow you to build the funnel by allowing potential buyers and interested parties to identify themselves from action taken on a landing page.
Backing up, anyone looking into their analytics will know that landing pages are where visitors most frequently enter your website. This is most often because you are directing them to these pages with links posted via social media or in blog posts, and by optimizing them to be found by search engines. These pages do much to educate and inform, but provide minimal opportunity for conversion as they contain lots of information and links to elsewhere on your website.
Landing pages can also be used as standalone webpages, designed specifically for conversion. Perhaps this definition of a landing page, according to Unbounc, a service that allows you to build customized landing pages, will help clarify the difference:
“In the purest sense, a landing page is any web page that a visitor can arrive at or “land” on. However, when discussing landing pages within the realm of marketing and advertising, it’s more common to refer to a landing page as being a standalone web page distinct from your main website that has been designed for a single focused objective.
This means that your landing page should have no global navigation to tie it to your primary website. The main reason for this is to limit the options available to your visitors, helping to guide them toward your intended conversion goal.”
As evidenced by this definition from the experts at Unbounce, landing pages are tools to be used in your digital marketing, focused on conversion. Conversion may sound somewhat like a dirty word, but in digital marketing conversion goals aren’t always necessarily “the sale.” There are many micro-conversions which occur leading up to a sale. Examples of micro-conversions might be someone following you on social media, joining your email list, requesting a demo, or obtaining a free download from you, like a purchasing guide or eBook that you publish. Landing pages are what you would use to offer a download or allow someone to request a demo.
There are two main types of landing pages, discussed here by Unbounce.
The first type, click-through pages, are pages that act as buffers to a shopping cart-type page. A good example for use of a click-through page would be for an event. For instance, you find out about an event on Facebook and are directed to a landing page. This page acts as a buffer between the next page in which you enter your credit card info and purchase a ticket. On the landing page event organizers can provide compelling information about the event, perhaps information on sponsors, speaker roster or presentation content outline, food and beverage options or videos and testimonials, all the while leading you to one focused call-to-action, the “Register Now” button. Had you been directed right to the shopping cart, chances for conversion would have been significantly lower.
The second type of landing page is a lead generation page, which is essentially a page that allows someone to “raise their hand,” if you will, to say, “Hey, I might be interested…” On lead generation landing pages you offer something in return for some information, most often an email address and some other basic identification information, obtained via a customized form. These pages are powerful tools, because obtaining this information is the first step in qualification.
For example, if someone downloads a guide to tasting craft beers from your brewery’s website, it signifies that they have interest in learning more about (and enjoy) craft beers. By obtaining their email address in exchange for the guide you can now market to them via email about upcoming tastings and other events at your brewery or retail location(s). They will then come in, continue to learn, and purchase delicious beers and perhaps other products, like educational courses that you offer and locally produced growlers.
There is an entire science to the design and function of landing pages. While being simplistic and focused in nature, if designed poorly a landing page will not convert and will be worthless. Landing page design is a topic for another article, or series of articles; ideally an entire eBook – it’s a vast and important topic. In the meantime here are some examples of great landing page design with critiques from the Unbounce blog. As you look through them, take note of the use of forms and calls-to-actions, as these are the functional elements of landing pages that allow for conversion.
Are you using landing pages? You should be. Here are a few of the leading landing page service providers to check out:
Want see a landing page in action? Check out one of ours: http://unbouncepages.com/download-top-12-web-metrics-ebook/
Want to know how you could be using landing pages better to produce quality leads and tangible sales from your web marketing strategy? Request a Web Marketing Audit today.