What’s a Landing Page?
People get confused by the expression “landing page” for a very simple reason: it’s used in different ways by different people at different times.
Google Analytics uses the phrase “landing page” simply to mean the pages people land on when the enter your site. Right now, most visitors to our lab site, FreshPlans, are entering through one or another of our classroom theme pages. Fewer than 500 of last month’s 15,000 visitors came to homepage first. This is unusual, but it does make an important point — any page of your website can be a landing page in this sense.
That means that every page has to be good. Every page needs to provide your visitors with a path to conversion.
Some pages are more desirable as landing pages than others, though. We don’t want most people to come first to your About Us page or contact form. When we see that happening at a website, we fix it. We’re building a website for Accord Logistics Solutions right now and their homepage, which you can see in the screenshot above, is the page we want people to land on.
We don’t especially want people to land first on their About Us page. However, if people end up there, we want them to be able to enjoy the page and go directly from there to the page they need — or to become customers immediately.
Accordingly, we have a nice big “Request a Quote” button and consistent navigation. This is the main thing you should do when you’re thinking about “landing pages” in this first sense.
Sometimes, though, people use “landing page” to refer to a special page designed as a sales page. This kind of landing page is usually not part of your website’s main navigation and often doesn’t have your website’s navigation bar on it. People are sent directly to this page by ads or links in your email marketing pieces.
Pages like this are designed to sell a particular offer or to generate leads, in which case they’ll generally have an offer in exchange for your contact information. Landing pages typically have an eye-catching graphic and/or video and a few lines of bold text listing the benefits of the offer, plus a very large and aggressive call to action. Often they are a bit tacky looking (I learned while writing these for various clients that there are industries in which there’s just no such thing as too many exclamation points), but they don’t have to be. Here’s an elegant sales page — a pop up sales page, in fact, and how often does that bring the word “elegant” to mind?– at the Reliable Consolidation & Distribution website we wrote:
Sharp Hue designed the site and this page and it has the basic characteristics of a successful landing page: simplicity, specificity, and immediacy. We often write “long sales” pages for clients, and they are much larger with lots more words — but they essentially have a conversion opportunity followed by some content, then another conversion opportunity followed by some more content, and so on down the page.
Long or short, this type of landing page can be an excellent sales tool.
These pages are designed to appeal to people who are ready to buy now. That’s why they clicked on the ad, right? If your ad offers an instant quote or a great deal on tires, the person who clicks on it doesn’t want to go to your home page and get to know you or your company. That person wants the instant quote or the tires. Now.
This second sense of “landing page” can refer to temporary pages designed just for a specific promotion, or you can have dozens of them at your website reaching out to people at every stage of the buying process. They are most often the landing page for an ad, but they can be designed to show up in search — it’s all about the content.
Have a look at the pages on your website that most often serve as landing pages for your visitors (find the data in your web analytics). Were they written on the assumption that people would reach them from your homepage? Have you left out all kinds of information that your visitors should have in order to get the most from the pages? Is there a clear path from this page to the next step in your sales funnel?
Then have a look at the landing pages for your ads and promotions. Do they allow visitors to get what you’re selling quickly and easily? Do they frustrate your serious customers or stop the sales process? Do they suit the rest of your website? Are you just dumping people at your homepage and expecting them to find their way to the offer mentioned in the ad?
If you realize that your landing pages need work — landing pages in either sense — call Julianne at 479.966.9761 or email Rosie and we’ll be happy to help.