Some think of a landing page as any web page that a visitor “lands on” after clicking on a search or an advertisement.
Technically that is incorrect. However, when you are looking at “landing pages” in Google Analytics the reporting results will show exactly that… the page a person lands on to get to your website.
Landing on a Web Page
Many business owners think of their websites like a book, a catalog, an online brochure. They think the visitor will read the home page and then they will read ___. But this is not the case! Not everyone that comes to a website will start with the home page. And people will probably not follow your website navigation the way you think they will.
There is one reason to develop landing pages for your website – to attract new website visitors. However, there are many different intentions for your landing pages; advertising and marketing.
1. ADVERTISING: SEM Landing Pages
Search Engine Marketing (SEM), aka online advertising, presents a short ad with a link to your website. When someone clicks on that link, they go to a page (or should go to a page) developed to support the ad, not just the home page. There are two practical reasons for this.
A) RELEVANCE: Each ad should be supported by some very specific keyword phrases – hence the ad itself and the landing page should be about those keyword phrases. It is always a best practice be specific or “relevant”.
B) BEHAVIOR: The second reason is that advertising landing pages will allow you to better monitor website visitor behavior. Sending all your ads, social media, and email marketing to your home makes it difficult to track and monitor behavior and improvements.
2. MARKETING: SEO Landing Pages
“Relevance” is key to creating optimized content on your website. And SEO landing pages are a tool to provide more relevant content. When a person searches on Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL, or any other search engine they want to land on a page related to the keywords they searched by. If they don’t think they are in the right place within 3-5 seconds they will click the back button. Content marketing is a part of SEO that develops specific, relevant page or posts on your website. Many of these specific pages or posts should be linked to by social media and email marketing campaigns.
The Landing Page Definition
A “landing page” is a standalone web page, standalone meaning that it is not part of the website’s primary navigation. The goal of a landing page is to get a website visitor to focus on a particular action.
SEO professionals, SEM (search engine marketing) advertisers, and businesses use landing pages because they deliver a high ROI. Why? Because when a person clicks on a specific ad or promotion they want to go directly to the info about that promotion. They don’t want to look for a link, read other pages of your site, they just want info about the topic that they searched for or saw the ad for.
What makes a good landing page?
Some of the following characteristics should be included in a landing page:
- Attention-getting headline
- Visually appealing and easy to skim over
- A clear message about the product or service
- Triggers to drive sales
- Call to Action(s) It must be obvious what their next steps should be for more information or to purchase a product or service.
Limit the number of clicks required to accomplish the desired action
Your landing page should focus on the desired Call To Action. Your visitor has already clicked on the ad or search and now that they are on your landing page(s) they should be guided to click on the buy, sign-up, learn more … whatever the desired action is.
Types of Landing Pages
In the website, advertising, and marketing industries you will hear the following terminology about landing pages:
- Splash page – an introductory page used as a gate to the website, often to direct to 2 or more different target audiences.
- Squeeze page – a landing page created solely to capture a prospect’s email address. The goal is much more than an immediate sale, it is to grow a list.
- Lead Capture page – (not really a landing page but more of a pop-up page) similar to a Squeeze page a Lead Capture page usually triggers a pop-up on various part of a web page to capture an email.
- Click Through page – this type of page has links or buttons to funnel or guide the website visitor to another page.
- Sales page – as the name suggests the goal is to make a sale. The content is focused on the sale.
In lay-person terms a landing page could be:
- Landing page – A webpage that is created for a specific ad and is not accessible via the website navigation. Often these pages will not have the standard navigation at the top of the page.
- Testimonials & Case Studies – These pages are often the first page a person will come to on a website because they describe a problem and your business as the solution. Most internet searches are with keywords describing “the problem” not your solution.
- About Us and Bios – if you have a sales team that are out at conferences and networking, a bio page for them can become a very powerful landing page for someone searching for someone in your company.
- Industries Serviced – these types of pages are great for searchers that use specific industry terminology.
- Service Areas – these types of pages will be unique for geographic areas and can be very powerful for local search terms.
- Blog and Blog Categories – Blog posts are #1 in content marketing. They are also great landing pages.
And how are Landing Pages used for SEO (organic search) and PPC (search advertising)?
Landing Pages for Advertising
If you are running a Paid Search campaign on Google AdWords, Bing ads, or social media advertising your campaign will better reach your target market with a “relevant” landing page. Google AdWords advertising guidelines state that a relevant landing page will have an impact on the Quality Score. The trick is to create specific ads with keywords relevant to that ad and the landing page terminology.
Email Marketing Campaigns
Many business owners believe that “your list is your business”. Websites and email campaigns have made it almost easy for businesses to grow their list. The most obvious reason that email marketing are successful is that people have asked to be on your list. But sometimes the list appears to be fine but no one is taking action – one of the best ways to make get more conversions is to use a landing page. You need to drive people to the point of sale whether it be a phone call, a form submission, or a click to buy.
SEO Landing Pages and Content Marketing
The essence of SEO is to be found on the Internet by people searching with keywords that are relevant to your website/business. Content Marketing is a technique to develop this relevant content. And SEO Landing Pages takes a look at that content and optimize the pages for better search results and better conversions. Landing pages optimized for natural, organic searches provide better search results.