You already have a website. You probably spent a considerable amount of time and money making sure it’s attractive, easy to use, and SEO optimized.
However, to attract and convert visitors into leads, and turn those leads into customers, you’ll need to add landing pages into the mix.
Many people get confused by the term “landing page” because of how it is used… or rather misused. To get the most value out of landing pages, you must understand what they are, as well as what they are not.
What is a Landing Page?
Most web pages on a website can be reached by clicking on a link. For example, you can usually click on a link to reach the homepage, the About Me page, the order form or individual blog posts.
These are web pages, not landing pages.
Within the world of digital marketing, a landing page is a separate, standalone web page with a singular, focused purpose.
For example, the singular function of a lead conversion landing page is to begin the process of converting visitors into customers.
How does it do that? By providing a specific call to action (CTA). The CTA directs the visitor to enter their contact information. In exchange, they receive something valuable, such as a free report or special offer.
How is the Landing Page Different From Other Web Pages?
Most web pages are designed like Swiss army knives — they have multiple purposes and will take you in many different directions.
A landing page is the corkscrew on the Swiss army knife: it has one function.
To better illustrate this, let’s look at how a homepage compares to a landing page:
Since anyone can arrive at a homepage in a variety of ways and for multiple reasons, a homepage is less focused on getting visitors to take a particular action and more focused on getting visitors to take action.
Let’s take a look at HubSpot’s homepage as an example.
HubSpot’s homepage, like many others, provides multiple opportunities through CTAs for visitors to interact with their offerings.
The homepage is not focused on getting visitors to accomplish one thing, like signing up for a demo. It presents visitors with different options and paths they can take based on their needs.
For example, visitors can learn about HubSpot's products, pricing structure, get started right away, get a demo or even access educational resources. The links on the homepage may bring visitors to other web pages on the HubSpot website or to a landing page.
A landing page differs from a homepage or other web pages because it is built to encourage visitors to take a specific action in exchange for your offer.
The design of your landing page will depend on your goal or the action you want visitors to take. In most cases, landing pages are used to capture leads by asking visitors to provide their contact information via a web form.
Let’s take a look at Chili Piper’s landing page for a preview of Instant Inbound for Concierge.
As you can see, the goal of this landing page is to get visitors to provide their email address in exchange for a preview of the product.
There are no other CTAs on this page. The messaging clearly conveys the value that customers will receive from using the product. To get more information on the product, visitors must provide their email address.
When Should You Use a Landing Page?
It depends on your goals. Here are a few examples of when you would use a landing page:
- Grow the number of subscribers to your email newsletter
- Enroll more students in online courses
- Generate qualified leads for your sales team
- Register attendees for industry events
- Get more trial or product demo signups
- Increase mobile app downloads
What Are the Benefits of Using a Landing Page?
Here are five benefits of using a landing page:
1. Increase Lead Conversion
Landing pages enable you to convert more visitors into leads.
The landing page focuses on attracting specific types of customers, addressing specific needs or wants, and promoting specific products or services. Because it’s so targeted, it only attracts visitors who want what you’re offering.
Providing something of value in exchange for the visitor’s contact information gives you direct access to someone who has shown interest in your offer. Warm leads convert more easily and at a higher rate than cold leads.
2. Showcase Your Brand’s Value and Build Your Reputation
A landing page must do more than help you to achieve specific goals. It should also help you to create a lasting impression of your business and brand for visitors.
The landing page creates an experience that visitors have with your brand. This provides the perfect opportunity to showcase your brand’s value and build your reputation.
A poorly designed landing page can negatively impact how visitors view your business and your brand. This will decrease your chances of turning them into leads and later into customers.
Be sure to follow best practices for building a landing page and marketing your brand.
3. Gather Information About Visitors
Leads will visit your landing page because they were sufficiently interested in the offer or information to click on the link.
By creating different landing pages with different types of content and offers, you can determine which topics and offers interest leads the most. This can provide valuable insights on your customer base.
You can collect data on what content worked best, which channels attracted the most visitors, and which offers attracted the most people to provide their contact information. And once you’ve collected their contact information, you can collect even more data on leads.
4. Grow Your Mailing List
When visitors provide their name and email address, as well as permission to contact them, you can add them to your mailing list.
A mailing list of people who have demonstrated interest in what you’re offering is extremely valuable to your business.
You can segment these leads into groups and customize emails for each segment with more targeted offers. You can also ask them to join a newsletter list to provide more valuable information, resources, and offers.
5. Match Metrics to Business Goals
Website metrics enable you to gather a lot of data about your visitors to your landing page. You can also tie those metrics to specific goals.
You can test different campaigns, offers, headlines, and other elements of your landing page to measure how many visitors you’re attracting, where the visitors are coming from, the number of signups, meetings booked, and sales made.
You can then change your approaches and metrics for different goals, such as increasing sales, signing up people for free demos, or getting more people to sign up for your newsletter.
Types of Landing Pages
While there are many different types of landing pages, they generally fall into the following categories. You’ll want to know what the different types of landing pages are for before you create one.
1. Lead Generation / Lead Capture Landing Page
A lead generation (or lead capture) landing page is designed to generate and collect leads. It typically uses a data capture form to collect the lead’s name and email address.
This type of landing page is the most common, as it can be used at different points in the sales funnel. It’s most often used when a prospect is considering your offerings and is ready to either move forward or look for another option.
The lead generation landing page provides a request (the visitor’s contact information) in exchange for a reward (the offer in exchange for the contact information). The visitor must believe the reward is equal to or greater in value than their information.
For example, this page from Chili Piper asks the visitor to provide their email address, CRM, and country to book a demo of Concierge.
2. Clickthrough Landing Page
The clickthrough landing page does not collect the visitor’s contact information. It’s the pitstop on the way to somewhere else, where they can review any important information before submitting their information, like a shopping cart page.
When a visitor clicks on a link, it takes them to the clickthrough landing page. Here, they’ll learn about what they clicked on and what will happen next.
This page should include an intriguing offer and a powerful CTA. When the visitor clicks on the CTA, they go to their final destination.
The goal is not to collect the visitor’s information. It’s to get them to do something definitive, like make a purchase or book a meeting.
For example, Lumosity’s clickthrough landing page features a link that takes you to another page where you can sign up for a free account to play their brain games.
3. Splash Page
A splash page is a more basic landing page. Its purpose is to make an announcement or get the visitor to answer a simple question.
Think of the splash page as the introduction to your website. Your goal is to prescreen the visitor.
For example, Zara’s splash page asks the visitor to select or verify their country and language preference. Once the visitor makes their selection, they can go to the appropriate page.
4. Squeeze Page
The squeeze page is a stripped down version of the lead generation landing page. Its only purpose is to collect email addresses for your mailing list.
The squeeze page doesn’t have the same type of offer or content as the lead generation landing page. It should have a strong headline and some content, as well as a clear CTA for the visitor to provide their email address.
The visitor should have two basic choices: follow the link to the next step or exit the page if they want to leave.
For example, Copyblogger’s squeeze page presents a free training offer to encourage website visitors to provide their email address to access it.
Now that you’ve learned about landing pages, how they differ from other web pages, when to use them, and about the different types, you’re well on your way to creating a landing page for your business.