What is a Landing Page?
If you’re a running a business that you’re trying to market online, you’ve likely heard the term “landing page.” Like many professions, the worlds of technology and digital marketing have their own lingo, which often confuses people outside that realm. Even after having a conversation with marketing gurus and agency professionals encouraging you to use or develop landing pages, you may be left wondering what one really is and why you’d need one. We’re here to help.
In the broadest sense, a landing page is just what it sounds like: it’s a web page where users land when they click on a link. Some definitions of the phrase even indicate that a landing page is usually a website’s home page. In the digital marketing world, though, landing pages have very specific purposes and layouts and typically are not the site’s home page. HubSpot, for instance, distinguishes between web pages in general and landing pages as a particular type of webpage designed to collect user information, usually in exchange for useful reports or information, discounts, or other incentives for users.
In fact, the landing page is often a separate, stand-alone page that isn’t even a visible part of your company’s website at all. Think of the landing page as being a guide – like a runway at an airport. The landing page, like the runway, will bring users from the vast internet skyway and direct them to your specific product or service. Landing pages are geared to make and track consumer conversions, so they’re not just any page destination. Instead, landing pages should be specific destinations tied to online, social media, or email advertisements. Through appropriate use of landing pages, you can guide users to you and connect them directly to what they’re looking to purchase. As Kissmetrics explains about the basics of landing pages, “Rather than directing visitors . . . to your general website (where they may have a hard time finding what they’re looking for), you can direct them to a specially-designed landing page that steers them in exactly the direction you want them to take.” Because landing pages are related to marketing and sales efforts, they are also sometimes called lead generation pages or lead capture pages.
Search Engine People’s blog “What is a Landing Page and How is it Used?” divides landing pages into two categories: reference landing pages and transactional landing pages. A reference landing page provides reference information for users who navigate to the landing page. Transactional pages are set up to gather consumer information and encourage purchases. At its most effective, then, a landing page is a tool to gather customer information, provide information to customers, and drive sales or conversions (an interest in your product or service without a sale). A landing page is a specific web page accessed from a specific source (online or social ad or email messaging) that gives specific information matching the messaging that prompts the user to click on the link in the first place. Users click on the link that takes them to the landing page to gain more information about a specific product or service that interests them.
Why You Need One
Now that you know what a landing page is . . . and is not, you still might be wondering why you need one. As a small business owner, why go to the trouble of developing additional web pages if users can find what they need on your website right now? Why not just use your site’s current pages as landing pages for any advertising you plan to do?
These are legitimate questions, and there are some compelling reasons to use landing pages with your digital marketing efforts. Let’s use a hypothetical example. If a home renovation company wants to market its services using a search engine marketing (SEM) campaign and the online advertisement mentions a 15% discount for new customers, what should users see when they click the link? If the ad leads to the company’s home page, there likely won’t be any mention of a 15% discount or anything directly related to the ad the user just clicked. Instead, the home page provides some generic information about the business. If users can’t find what they wanted to see based on the ad, odds are they’ll leave the site pretty quickly and search for another company. If that same home remodeler offers a 15% discount in an online advertisement that links to a landing page that reveals more about the 15% discount, specific services provided, and how to contact the company to get a quote and take advantage of the discount, then the likelihood of gaining new customers is much higher.
In addition to having a landing page that is a perfect match to the advertisement or teaser that brought a potential customer your way, another advantage to using landing pages is the ability to track the number of people who are interested in your products or services as well as how they’re finding you. You can make adjustments to ads or to landing pages If you feel your digital marketing campaign isn’t getting the results you expected. You also have the flexibility to develop different landing pages tied to different types of marketing campaigns to see what’s most effective for your particular business.
Landing pages can also pay for themselves quickly with increased sales, so cost should not keep you from using landing pages as part of your digital marketing strategy.
What Does a Landing Page Look Like?
Great landing pages have some things in common: messaging that matches the advertisement’s message, catchy headlines, informative but brief content, relevant and engaging images, and—most importantly—a good call to action. The call to action is the prompt for the customer to contact you, make a purchase, or provide information, so it’s a crucial component of a landing page. The call to action only works well if the other components of the landing page are effective. Seeing how these elements work together is helpful, and Unbounce has published an infographic and list of must-haves for landing pages in their blog on “The Anatomy of a Landing Page” that gives a good overview.
Hexalinks is always happy to provide advice and answer questions about effective digital marketing strategies. Contact us to learn more about how landing pages can benefit your business.