What is a landing page and how can you use one?

What is a landing page and how can you use one?

In one sense, every page on your website could be a landing page – i.e. the page a user sees first when the visit your website. Often when people search, they will land on your home page but, depending on the keywords they searched for, they may land on another page of your site which the search engine determines to be the most appropriate one. If you use Google Analytics on your website for example, there is a “landing pages” section there – have a look and you might be surprised to see which pages your site visitors actually land on!

The term “landing page” however, is usually used by marketers to refer to a page which has been set up specifically for an inbound marketing campaign, e.g. PPC or email marketing or a referral visit.

Sales pages

One form of landing page is a sales page, which as its name suggests, is designed to get the site visitor to make a purchase. Sales pages might for example refer to just one product or offering, with long copy to explain the offer, promote the benefits, provide the information buyers need to make their decision and to overcome any objections. Time based, or “while stocks last” offers are often used to create a sense of urgency.

The idea of these pages is to include everything the buyer needs on one page, with minimal distractions, so these landing pages often include no links other than the option to “buy now” and no navigation to other parts of your website.

Squeeze pages

These have a different purpose, that of information gathering. Their aim is to capture users’ names and email addresses for your mailing list so that you can market to them in future. People don’t give up their contact details freely, so your squeeze page needs to offer the answer to a problem or information that people are finding hard to get. It also needs to build trust, so that users feel comfortable in completing your form.

A squeeze page can be quite simple and concise. You need to identify a topic that is important to potential customers and offer a really useful resource, e.g. a whitepaper, video or free tickets to an event, which people can gain access to be completing a simple form on the page. Your page content should address the key headlines that your resource will provide and demonstrate why and how it will help people, with a clear call to action to encourage form completions. One of my pet hates is the use of the word “submit” on forms – think about how this might make people feel, then avoid it at all costs – it’s much better for your button to say something which explains what will happen next e.g. “Get your free download now”.

And don’t forget a thank you page, which is displayed to visitors once they’ve completed the form. It’s polite to say thank you (of course!) and the thank you page also enables you to track form completions easily in your website analytics.

There are different schools of thought on this, but in my view a squeeze page is designed to capture details for future marketing, and any future marketing activity is likely to be more successful if people remember your company, so I think its worthwhile including your usual site menus, with links to other pages to encourage people to find out more about your company and its products and services – this is also a good way to build trust and encourage completion of your form.

Measuring and testing landing pages

For either a sales page or squeeze page, you can track the conversion rate in terms of % of sales made or % of forms completed. Use this information as a benchmark, then try to improve your pages for future campaigns, so increase conversions. By using A/B testing for example, you can serve up two different versions of your landing page in rotation, and see which converts better, then improve the weaker one and measure again. It may take a while to get the balance right, but it’s worth the effort.

When to use a landing page

As I mentioned at the start, any inbound marketing campaign can benefit from a specific landing page. You probably have different target customer groups, so rather than sending them all to the same page on your website, why not customise the pages to appeal to different customer groups?

Not thought about this before? Have a chat with your web developer or digital marketing agency – or talk to us about how landing pages could benefit your online or offline marketing campaigns.

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