What is a landing page?
Any small business owner who is responsible for their own marketing will have come across the term ‘landing page’. But what is a landing page? And what do they do? Comma Chameleon digs deep into the whats, whys and wherefores…
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a standalone web page that’s created as part of a specific marketing campaign. Its sole purpose is to convert the people who ‘land’ on it into genuine leads or customers for your business. It will generally do this by either helping them to make an immediate purchase, or by capturing their contact details.
The aim of a landing page
Think about your email inbox for a second. You probably get bombarded on a daily basis with marketing emails from companies big and small, right? That’s no mere coincidence. You’re no doubt receiving all those emails because, at some time or another, you visited a landing page and were persuaded to hand over your email address to that company. It might have been a Facebook ad, or a website pop-up that offered a tempting discount. Whatever it was, it was no doubt a tantalising little something-something of an offer that you clicked on, which redirected you to a page where you submitted your personal details in order to access the goodies. And now you get regular emails from that company, trying to sell you stuff.
That is what a landing page is for.
Hang on, I have a website… Why do I need a landing page?
OK, so you’ve got a website. Why do you need a landing page, when you can just sell stuff through your site?
Again, just think about your website for a sec.
Every page on there is designed to keep people interested, right? You’re telling people who you are, what you do and what you’re selling. And maybe you do sell your stuff through your website – you’ve no doubt got some ‘Add to basket’ buttons scattered around, and a few ‘Email us now’ prompts. Great. But really, and mostly, your website is focused on getting the word out about your business.
Good website, good distraction
As a small business owner fighting for visibility amid a sea of well-known brand names, you want people to stay on your website and have a good look around. Of course you do. You want to lead them on a journey of discovery about all the wonderful things you do.
You do this by peppering your pages with links to your About Us page. You offer up tantalising glimpses into your blog posts. And you possibly even direct customers to other products on your website by including those ingenious little, ‘Customers who liked this item also viewed…’ links.
All of this is great for keeping your readers interested, but it’s actually pretty shit for turning website visitors into customers.
Why? Because in the race to keep people on your website, you’re distracting them from actually buying. You’re actively tempting them away from the ‘Buy now’ button and sending them from one product to another. And in the process, you’re quite possibly turning them off altogether.
… in the race to keep people on your website, you’re distracting them from actually buying. You’re actively tempting them away from the ‘Buy now’ button
One goal, one action
This is why you need a landing page, too. A good landing page dispenses with the distractions and cuts to the chase with your visitors.
It’s this sort of unapologetic hyper focus that makes landing pages so effective when it comes to converting visitors into genuine leads, helping maximise the return on your marketing efforts (and ad spend).
Whereas social media posts are all about building relationships, and websites are all about discovery, a landing page is focused solely on driving visitors towards one, specific action. Buy now. Sign up. Whatever. There are no other tantalising clickables; just your CTA button, sitting loud and proud, front and centre, and getting all the attention (and clicks).
The two types of landing page
The type of landing page you create will depend entirely on the goal you hope to achieve by creating it. Generally speaking, there are two categories, with two different goals:
Those designed to generate leads; and
Those designed to generate sales.
Whereas social media posts are all about building relationships, and websites are all about discovery, a landing page is focused solely on driving visitors towards one, specific action.
– also known as ‘lead-gen’ or ‘lead capture’ landing pages – are all about persuading potential customers to hand over their contact details so you can target them with marketing campaigns in the future. And because nobody these days is going to hand over their personal info willy-nilly, a lead-generation landing page will generally offer some sort of sweetener. Something like a downloadable eBook, a free consultation, or a discount on a product or service. Basically, anything that will appeal to the sort of person whose details you’re trying to gather.
The idea is that, once you’ve collected the contact details, you can nurture these leads (by this point, you already know they’re interested in what you’re selling, which makes the job easier) through targeted emails to try and turn them into bona fide, paying, long-term customers.
on the other hand, are designed with sales in mind. That’s straight-up, no-nonsense selling your stuff. Because a visitor to a click-through landing page will be able to purely and simply click on the CTA button and pay; you’ve put them in the final throes of the checkout process.
Let’s say you’re looking to increase the sales of a certain product on your website. Instead of sending people to the product page on your website, you might take out a Facebook ad that offers a 10% discount on that product. When someone clicks that ad, they’ll be taken to a landing page that is partway through the checkout process, with the 10% discount applied. All the customer has to do is hit the ‘Buy now’ button. Nothing more, nothing less.
It’s a quick-and-easy win for the customer, and a quick-and-easy win for you.
The type of landing page you create will depend entirely on the goal you hope to achieve by creating it. Leads or sales? It’s up to you.
How to write and drive traffic to your landing page
Once you’ve decided on the goal of your landing page, and the type of landing page you need to create to help you achieve that goal, it’s all about nailing the content and getting it in front of the right people. Read the next blog in our series: How to write an effective landing page.