If you’re new to online marketing, you might wonder what landing pages are. And why would you even need them? But landing pages are a pivotal part of any online marketing strategy. Bloggers and big corporations alike use them. Curious? Then read on to discover what a landing page is and how you can best utilize it.
What is a landing page?
As defined by Unbounce: “A landing page is a standalone web page, created specifically for the purposes of a marketing or advertising campaign.” In other words, landing pages are designed with a single objective in mind. This is also known as a Call to Action or CTA.
You can use landing pages at various stages throughout the inbound marketing cycle; From introducing people in your target market to your brand, to converting a lead into a paying customer. Landing pages can help you accomplish your goal at each stage of the purchase process.
What isn’t a landing page?
To fully understand the concept of a landing page, it’s important to know what’s not considered a landing page. Most marketers don’t consider your website’s homepage and respective web pages as landing pages. Why? Because of the defined purpose of these pages.
Take the homepage for instance. It’s not traditionally designed with a single CTA in mind. Instead, the intent of a homepage is to introduce visitors to the website and brand. In addition, a homepage shows users what content they can access.
Types of landing pages
Landing pages help marketers achieve a variety of objectives. Because there are numerous marketing goals, there are also multiple types of landing pages. So which type should you use? It depends on the overall goal of the campaign, and what types of marketing tactic(s) you want to use.
Let’s take a look at some examples of different types of landing pages.
Lead generating landing pages
The purpose of these landing pages is simple: turn a targeted visitor into a lead for your business. But how do lead generating landing pages achieve this? By capturing personal information such as a person’s name, email address, phone number, job title, company name, and much more.
With this information, your company can work to convert that lead into a customer. But you can also use it to build your email subscriber lists, funnel users through the inbound marketing cycle, or increase the number of sales for a given time period.
Click-through landing pages
Click-through landing pages give information about a discount, promotion, or offer. Why? To convince users to purchase right away! As you can imagine, these landing pages are usually quite simple and used later in the buying cycle.
Explainer landing pages
These types of landing pages are also known as infomercial or long-form landing pages. They rely on heavy amounts of content to entice users to take an action or next step. Rather than leaning on flashy sales copy or graphics, these landing pages act much like an infomercial by presenting a multitude of benefits, features, and convincing copy to educate the user.
So when should you use explainer landing pages? They’re ideal for campaigns that require users to give detailed personal information or make a large purchase. For example, promoting an educational course or an expensive product/service.
Product detail landing pages
Often used in the retail industry, product detail landing pages provide visitors with all the information about a certain product. The goal? To drive interested users directly to the product and convince them to make an on-the-spot purchase.
It’s good to know that not everyone uses this type of landing page. Many retailers simply direct their marketing efforts to regular pages of their website. However, choosing to create a campaign-specific page for your product can help to limit navigation and distractions for your visitors.
How to use landing pages
Marketers aim to drive visitors to landing pages from other areas of the internet using several tactics. The intent and type of landing page is determined by the tactics used, such as:
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) means you pay each time someone clicks on your advertisement. PPC ads are commonly used on search engines such as Google and Bing. But they can also be used on related websites, or social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. If your brand or business is investing in pay-per-click advertising, you need optimized landing pages.
Why? Because if you’re running a PPC ad campaign for your latest product, you wouldn’t send clicks to your homepage. Instead, you’d create a single page (a landing page) designed to entice users to buy your new product right away.
Social media marketing
Landing pages can also be used in online marketing strategies that focus on organic traction on social media. A good example would be the promotion of an e-book for the purpose of lead generation. From an organic social media post, you can push visitors to a landing page where they can submit their information in exchange for the exclusive content.
You can also use landing pages for event information and RSVPs, email newsletter signups, coupons, and contests and giveaways.
First things first: What is content marketing? As the Content Marketing Institute states: “content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” With this definition in mind, landing pages can be used to introduce content to a target market, capture their attention, and convince them to become a customer later in the process.
For instance, your brand could create a library of useful resources as part of a larger content marketing plan. Naturally, you’d want your audience to take advantage of these resources. To gain access to your exclusive content, you can require users to submit their email address in a landing page form. Congrats! You’ve transformed a visitor into a lead. Now, you can continue to provide useful content as part of the buying cycle.
Once you’ve captured a visitor’s email address, you can send them relevant content, offers, and information via email marketing. Landing pages are incredibly useful tools for these messages as well. If you’re sending subscribers an exclusive offer, use a landing page!
6 best practices for landing pages
To make the most out of your landing pages, follow these six best practices from Unbounce and Hubspot.
1. Limit page navigation
You want your visitor focused on the CTA, not other content on your website.
2. Keep it short and sweet
(With the exception of the Explainer landing page) Again, you want your visitor to consume your information and take action. Don’t distract with unnecessary copy, functionality, or designs. Keep it simple.
3. Offer value
If visitors are going to be taking action, you better deliver value in return. Identify what value your audience wants and needs, then deliver it to them on your landing page.
4. Test, test, and test some more
Landing page optimization requires significant testing: From where to put the inquiry form to which headline works better. Everything can be A/B tested to generate the best results for your campaign.
5. Use video
Using video on a landing page is shown to increase conversions by 86%!
6. Keep CTA above the fold
When used properly, long-form copy pages can increase conversions by 220%. However, this might not be the case for your campaign. To make sure you’re reaching your audience, keep your CTA above the fold. This way, new visitors will instantly see it.
Do you use landing pages as part of your marketing strategy? If so, share your experiences in the comments below.