What Is a Landing Page? The Complete Guide
Online marketing is a business owner’s best friend. When you create a website and take your business online, you want to be sure that you have a powerful marketing strategy that captures your brand message perfectly and promotes it across several channels. Today, we’ll take a close look at one of the most effective tools for doing just that – the landing page.
A critical tool for promoting your brand, landing pages have enormous power in driving conversions. Using this one-page piece of online real estate, you can precisely target your audience and guide them through the sales funnel.
Let’s delve a little deeper into how landing pages work - and how you can use them to your advantage.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a standalone web page created to achieve one goal: conversion. It’s a great asset for a marketing or advertising campaign. This page can appear in response to clicking on a search engine optimized result, email marketing campaign, social media campaign or online ad.
Landing pages entice users to click on a strategic call-to-action (CTA), such as “Get Started,” “Subscribe,” or “Buy Now.” In that way, they persuade users to convert - whether that’s by signing up for a free trial, subscribing to a service or making a purchase.
Difference between a homepage and a landing page
Often, there’s confusion between a homepage and a landing page, so here’s the main difference: landing pages are used to further a single marketing or sales goal. While a homepage is multifaceted - pointing to an About page, image gallery, online store and more - a landing page includes only the most essential information that will direct users toward fulfilling the desired aim.
You can also think of landing pages this way: they lack additional links that would otherwise cause visitors to stray from the CTA. As a result, users who land on them have no choice but to either exit the page or convert.
The laser focus of landing pages makes them highly effective when it comes to increasing conversion rates and lowering the costs of acquiring leads and making sales.
How to create a landing page
You can create your own landing page using a free ready-made landing page template. All of these templates are built by professional designers and marketing experts, so they’re a good fit for driving conversions and making sales. They’re also fully customizable, which you can adapt to your company logo, brand colors or anything else.
Take a look at this comprehensive article for more information on how to create a landing page for free.
Types of landing pages
Now that you know what a landing page is and how to create one, let’s dive into the two main types:
Lead generation landing page: This mini-site generates leads by collecting information about your audience. It typically includes a form where visitors can submit their contact information, allowing you to follow-up over email and continue the line of communication. To encourage users to enter their details, offer an incentive such as a coupon code, e-book and webinar, or exclusive content via newsletter.
Clickthrough landing page: This type of landing page takes users to a sales or subscription page. It typically has a CTA that sends visitors directly into the checkout flow, nudging them to buy or subscribe.
When considering which type of landing page is right for your business, think about your goals. Are you interested in gathering contact information for leads? Are you offering a unique sale? Are you collecting RSVPs for an event? Focusing directly on this goal will help you build a precise and highly targeted page.
If you’re still unsure about which kind of landing pages you’d like to create, scroll through these best landing page examples for inspiration.
When to use a landing page
No matter what your goals are, there are a few ways you might seek to achieve them using a landing page. Here are the different kinds of situations in which a landing page comes in handy:
Directing users to your product: By creating a landing page with an actionable CTA, such as “Buy Now,” you can bring users directly to your product purchase page or eCommerce store.
Offering a free trial: If you offer a subscription service, use a landing page to get users to sign up for a free trial.
Capturing leads from a blog post: Turn your blog readers into leads by incentivizing them to enter their contact details in exchange for more in-depth content, such as a free e-book or whitepaper.
Obtaining newsletter subscribers: Use a landing page to encourage signups to your email newsletter.
Getting event registrations: Capture additional leads with a landing page that entices people to register for an event, such as a webinar or online course.
Creating user memberships: Use a landing page to get people to sign up for a paid membership that grants them VIP perks, such as exclusive content or members only invites.
Anatomy of a landing page
At this point, you should have a big picture view as to what a landing page is and why it’s important for your business. Let’s go over the basic elements that comprise a landing page so that you’ll know exactly what to include:
01. Enticing headlines
The first thing you’ll notice on landing pages is the headline. Like a headline in a newspaper, it can make or break whether people will want to keep reading. Sometimes, a strong landing page headline is data-driven, drawing in readers with a powerful statistic. Other times, it’s an actionable statement starting with a verb that speaks to your audience’s needs. The key is to write a headline - often, supplemented with a supporting subheadline - that immediately resonates with your audience and makes a promise to resolve their problems or improve their lives.
02. Stunning visuals
There are times when the visuals on your landing page may be more important than the text. Capture your audience’s attention right away with a beautiful template, a powerful image, a video or animation. This is your chance to shape the content in a way that resonates emotionally with your visitors. Be sure to place your most important visual content above the fold so that visitors are immediately drawn in.
A CTA is the short phrase that prompts visitors to complete your desired goal, and it’s one of the defining elements of a landing page. Your CTA should be the action item you want visitors to take - for example, “Subscribe,” “Start My Free Trial,” or “Register Today.” If you’re stuck on what to use as your CTA, check out these powerful call to action examples to inspire you.
04. Summary of benefits
On a landing page, every word counts. You have one page to persuade your visitors to click the CTA and take action. Keep in mind that your audience is more likely to convert if they know that taking your offering will benefit them. Rather than using your limited web space to give a detailed explanation of what your offering includes, you should focus on showing what people can gain if they purchase or sign up.
Even after summarizing the important benefits of your offering to your audience, you’ll need to find a way to back up your claims. The best way to do this is by providing customer testimonials, which are quotes from actual customers who have used and loved your product. Including a testimonial on your landing page can be instrumental in motivating people to click the CTA.
06. Closing statement
For those visitors who scroll all the way to the bottom of your landing page, you can pack a punch with a persuasive closing argument in which you reiterate why they should convert. This statement should reinforce the main points of the page. While many visitors won’t reach these final lines, a closing statement nonetheless has the power to give that final push to those who are still on the fence.
Landing page best practices
As you develop your campaign, keep in mind these landing page best practices in order to create the most effective one for your business:
Minimize navigation: Avoid having a navigation menu, as you’ll want to keep your visitors on the page instead of sending their gaze elsewhere. Likewise, limit your internal links so that you direct users to your CTA, rather than carrying them to another page.
Maximize readability: Long chunks of text can bore, overwhelm or distract your visitors. On the other hand, making your text short, sweet and skimmable - and using a healthy dose of white space - will grab hold of your audience’s attention right away and bring their eyes directly to the CTA.
Make your CTA prominent: To make your CTA stand out, use clear and direct language and a CTA button that contrasts visually from the background. Place the CTA button multiple times across the landing page to give visitors the option to click regardless of where they are on the page.
Place important content above the fold: Don’t depend on visitors to scroll in order to convert. Place at least one CTA button above the fold where it’s immediately visible and instantly clickable. The other key elements of your landing page, such as the image and headline, should be above the fold as well.
Make it mobile-friendly: Make sure your landing page looks great on any device. A good portion of your traffic will come from mobile browsing, and these visitors are unlikely to convert if the page looks clunky on their smaller screen.
How to get traffic to your landing pages
Now for the fun part – bringing visitors to your landing page so they can convert. Here are four main avenues for growing traffic:
01. Social media
As one of the most prominent platforms for engagement with your target audience, social media is the first place to start promoting your landing page. Whether it’s on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social network that you may find valuable for your online presence, take the opportunity to create a compelling post with a link to your landing page. That way, you’ll target people who are already interested in your brand and bring in quality traffic.
02. Email marketing
Email marketing remains one of the most effective methods for attracting traffic to your landing page. For that reason, accompany your social media promotion with an email campaign to send out to your contact list.
If you nail the email subject line, visuals, layout and copywriting, your landing page will get a noticeable boost of incoming visits. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at this expert email marketing guide.
03. Optimize for SEO
Bring more visitors to your landing pages by optimizing them so they rank high on search engine results pages. The higher your content ranks, the more people will click on your link.
You can do this by adding strategic keywords to your landing pages to bolster their SEO. Read more on how to do keyword research in order to optimize your web pages.
04. Paid ads
Social media marketing, email marketing and SEO are free ways to draw traffic to your landing page. However, if you think you could use an additional boost, consider promoting your landing page via paid ads.
Search results ads: Have you ever noticed the ads listed at the top of Google search results pages? Those are search results ads. Based on keywords that you define, these ads show up on Google and other search engines when people include those same terms in their queries.
Social media ads: When you create paid social media posts, social networks like Facebook promote them to people who match the profile of your target audience. That allows you to reach the kinds of people who have interests that are relevant to your product or service.
Ad placements: Another option is to use third-party advertising tools to place banner ads on websites frequented by your audience.
Based on your campaign goals, you may choose to diversify your advertising efforts or focus on just one of these platforms. Whichever you decide, be sure to consistently monitor your results so that you can adapt your campaign accordingly.
Benefits of a landing page
Landing pages offer enormous benefits for your company. Here’s an overview of the ways this powerful marketing tool can help your business grow.
First, landing pages can dramatically improve your conversion rate. As mentioned earlier. landing pages focus on a single goal and compel your visitors to take action. In doing so, they move people further down the marketing funnel - from anonymous visitors to leads, and finally to paying customers.
Second, landing pages provide you with valuable insights about your audience. If you include a signup form on your landing page, you can ask for information about their demographics or career, in addition to their contact details, to gain a better understanding of your target market. On top of that, the channels that work - or don’t - for your landing page promotion say a lot about the interests and habits of your prospective customers. You can use this information to optimize your targeting efforts as a whole.
Finally, a landing page is measurable. By analyzing your conversion metrics, you can get a sense of how a particular marketing campaign is performing. Take a look at where the traffic is coming from - for instance, a paid post or an email marketing campaign - to determine which marketing assets are proving most effective.
As you can see, a landing page is instrumental for generating leads, reaching the right customers, and informing the direction of your marketing strategy overall. If you haven’t created one yet, browse these free landing page templates to get started.
By Rebecca Strehlow
Wix Blog Writer