Landing Pages: What Are They and Why You Need Them

Landing pages are a pivotal part of any online marketing strategy for bloggers and big corporations alike. But if you’re new to online marketing, you might wonder what landing pages are and why you need them. To discover what a landing page is and how to best utilize it, read on.

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.” Unbounce also mentions landing pages are designed with a single objective in mind, known as a Call to Action or CTA.
Landing pages are used at various stages throughout the inbound marketing cycle. From introducing a user in your target market to your brand to converting a lead into a paying customer, landing pages can help 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 and its associated benefits, it is important to understand what is not considered a landing page.
Most marketers do not consider the Home pages and respective web pages on a website to be landing pages. This is due to the defined purpose of these pages. For instance, the Home page is traditionally not designed with a single CTA in mind. Instead, the intent of a Home page is to introduce a visitor to the website/brand and show them what content they can access. This offers visitors several navigation paths and does not have a designated CTA.

Types of Landing Pages

Landing pages help marketers achieve a variety of objectives. As a result of numerous marketing goals, there are multiple types of landing pages one can use in their marketing campaigns.

Lead Generating Landing Pages

Lead generation landing pages seek to turn a targeted website visitor into a lead for your business by capturing personal information such as:

  • Name
  • Company Name
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Job Title
  • Company Size
  • Social Media Profile
  • And More

With this information, your company can work to convert that lead into a customer. This type of landing page can be used to build 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 present information about a discount, promotion, or offer with the intent of convincing the user to purchase right away. These landing pages tend to be simple in nature and are used later in the buying cycle.

Explainer Landing Pages

Also known as infomercial or long-form landing pages, this type of landing page relies on heavy amounts of content to entice users to take an action or next step. Rather than leaning on flashy sales copy or graphics to attract a user, these landing pages act much like an infomercial by presenting a multitude of benefits, features, and convincing copy to educate the user.
These landing pages are ideal for campaigns requiring users to give detailed personal information or make a large purchase, such as promoting an educational course or expensive product/service.

Product Detail Landing Pages

Often used in the retail industry, product detail landing pages provide visitors with every bit of information about a product. Many retailers simply direct their marketing efforts to these regular pages of their website, while others will create campaign-specific pages with limited navigation and distractions.
The intent of these pages is to drive interested users directly to the product and convince them to make an on-the-spot purchase.
Of course, these are only a handful of the landing page formats available to marketers. Deciding which type of landing page to use is based on the marketing tactic(s) used and the overall goal of the campaign.

How to Use Landing Pages

Marketers aim to drive visitors to landing pages from other areas of the Internet to these pages using several tactics. The intent and type of landing page chosen is determined by the tactics used, such as:

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC, refers to when marketers pay each time their advertisement is clicked on. PPC ads are commonly used on search engines such as Google and Bing. If your brand or business is investing in pay-per-click advertising on search engines or display marketing on related websites, you need optimized landing pages.
For example, if you are running a PPC ad campaign for your latest product, you wouldn’t send clicks to the homepage of your website. Instead, you’d create a single page (landing page) designed to entice users to buy your new product right away.
Similarly, you can invest in pay-per-click advertising on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Social Media Marketing

Landing pages can be used in online marketing strategies which focus on organic traction on social media, as well. A good example would be the promotion of an eBook for the purpose of lead generation. From an organic social media post, push visitors to a landing page where they can submit their information in exchange for the exclusive content.
Other landing page uses on social media can include:

  • Event information and RSVPs
  • Email newsletter signups
  • Coupons
  • Contests and giveaways

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 information, 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 market to take advantage of these resources. To gain access to this exclusive content, require users to submit their email address in a landing page form. You’ve then transformed a visitor into a lead and can now continue providing useful content as part of the buying cycle.

Email Marketing

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!

Landing Page Best Practices

To make the most out of your landing pages, follow these best practices from Unbounce and Hubspot.
Limit Page Navigation
You want your visitor focused on the CTA, not other content on your website.
Keep It Short and Sweet
(With the exception of the Explainer Landing Page.) Again, you want your visitor to consume your information and take an action. Don’t distract with unnecessary copy, functionality, or designs. Keep it simple.
Offer Value
If visitors are going to be taking an action, you better deliver value in return. Identify what value your audience wants and needs and give it to them on your landing page.
Test, Test, and Test Some More
Landing page optimization requires significant testing. Everything from where to put the inquiry form to which headline works better can be A/B tested to generate the greatest results for your campaign.
Use Video
Using video on a landing page is shown to increase conversions by 86%!
Keep CTA Above the Fold
While long-form copy pages have been shown to increase conversions by 220% if used properly, this might not be the case for your campaign. If so, keep your CTA above the fold to instantly present it to new visitors.
Do you use landing pages as part of your marketing strategy? If so, share your experiences in the comments below.

Machielle Thomas
Machielle Thomas | Content Manager
Machielle Thomas writes and curates web and email content for marketing professionals, small business owners, bloggers, and more.

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