- What is a landing page?
- Landing Page Benefits for Lead Generation
- Landing Pages Best Practices for SMBs
Q: What is a landing page and how does it work?
A: A landing page is a standalone web page that is distinct from a website in that its only purpose is to collect a visitor’s contact information, enable a sale, or generate some other action in exchange for providing the visitor with a free or paid resource, product, or event. Visitors’ contact information can be stored in a database, and the lead page administrator can use this data for more targeted marketing efforts.
How many times have you gone window shopping? How many times have you gone into a store because you liked what you saw in the window? In the digital world, websites are a company’s “window,” and just like in a mall you want customers to come in and make a purchase. In the digital world, you want your website to convert visitors into customers. This is where landing pages can be effective.
Ten years ago, having a website was enough to attract new customers. Why? Because ten years ago not everyone had an online presence. Times have changed, and having a website is no longer enough for companies to attract new clients. This is part of the reason why the digital marketing is projected to reach $786.2 billion by 2026, growing at a compounded annual rate of 13.9%.
But wait, what is digital marketing and what do websites and landing have to do with it?
Digital marketing refers to all marketing efforts that use electronic devices or the internet. Digital marketing encompasses, then, websites, landing pages, social media channels, email, and search engines.
As consumers leverage the internet more and more to purchase goods and services, companies are having to increasingly rely on digital marketing practices to attract customers.
Landing pages are among the most effective digital marketing strategies companies can implement to generate new leads. As such, they have become essential for small business growth, especially since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, as people were more inclined to shop online to adhere to physical distancing rules and lockdown measures.
Fun fact: Consumers across the globe spent $900 billion more at online retailers in 2020 versus the prior two-year trend, according to a report from the Mastercard Economics Institute.
What Is a Landing Page?
A landing page is a distinct, standalone web page that is created with the specific purpose of triggering a specific visitor action, like entering contact information or purchasing a product. Landing pages are not the same as a website. While landing pages have a single objective, websites have several; in fact, websites encourage visitors to explore throughout the site.
Landing pages are a component of digital marketing and advertising campaigns. They’re called landing pages because it’s where a visitor “lands” after they click on a link in an email you sent out, from an ad on search engines (like Google) or social media, or from a post on your social media profiles. This is also why so many businesses find email lists to be so vital to growth.
Quick side note: you do not need a website to have a landing page. So, even if your online presence is limited to social media platforms, you can still benefit from creating a landing page for specific campaigns.
Landing pages typically offer visitors something they want or need in exchange for their information. Common examples include e-books, reports, access to discount codes, whitepapers, and early access to new services/products.
The goal of a landing page is to increase your website’s conversion rate. In other words, the goal is to increase your sales by converting website visitors into paying customers.
But, how does a landing page achieve this?
Landing Page Best Practices
While they are a stand-alone web page, landing pages by themselves won’t be effective. Rather, landing pages are part of larger marketing and sales campaigns, which is why it is important for the messaging in your landing page to be consistent with the ads that you are running across different platforms.
For landing pages to be effective at converting visitors into customers, you need to meet their expectations.
Come up with an Attention-grabbing Headline
“People generally read the offer and CTA (call to action) after they’ve read your headline, not before.”
You’ll need to craft a headline that will capture the attention of visitors in just a few seconds. You can do this by keeping the headline short and straight to the point.
Pro tip: test out different headlines in different versions of your landing page to see what resonates more with your target audience.
Always, Always Include a Call to Action (CTA)
What do you want visitors to do when they land on your page? Whether the answer is to buy a product or service, download a resource, or get to know more about a product, you need to make it easy for visitors to know what they need to do. As such, a CTA is probably the most important element of your landing page.
CTAs should stand out, which is why landing page layout needs to strategic.
Best practices for CTAs include:
- Always place a CTA above the fold—this means that people won’t have to scroll down to find your CTA.
- Place the CTA within a button.
- Use contrasting colors to help your CTA stand out from other elements on the page.
- Make your CTA a verb (submit, download, click here, learn more, get it now).
Landing pages have one objective: to convert visitors into leads. Therefore, it’s recommended for you to remove all navigation and distractions from your landing page. This means removing links to other parts of your website and any calls to action that are not part of your main objective.
For example, if your latest marketing campaign aims for people to download your latest research report, do not include a call to action that says book your demo today to the report’s landing page.
Make It Responsive
Landing page design is key to increasing conversion rates. A key part of design is webpage responsiveness.
Just like your website needs to be responsive to offer a user-friendly experience, your landing page needs to be responsive to different viewing experiences.
Keep in mind that a lot of people use mobile devices as much, if not more, than a desktop; your landing page needs to offer a user-friendly viewing experience regardless of the device people are using.
Don’t Forget a Thank You Page
Once visitors have followed through on your CTA, take them to a thank you page. A thank you page can be as simple as a page that says, “thank you,” or you can use this opportunity to further engage with visitors. A thank you page can offer access to an instant download and direct visitors to additional relevant content like your website’s home page, product information, testimonials, case studies, and other marketing essentials.
Driving Traffic to Your Landing Page
A landing page will not attract or convert visitors on its own.
When creating a landing page for your campaign, you need to have a clear strategy on how you will drive traffic to it.
There are various ways to funnel people to your landing page:
- Paid search: pay-per-click ads on search engines.
- Paid social traffic: paid/promoted posts on social media.
- Email marketing: newsletters sent out to your existing database of leads.
- Organic search: search results of a search engine that are not influenced by paid advertising.
- QR codes on printed flyers and ads.
Q: What is a good landing page?
A: A good landing page is one that successfully converts visitors into leads/customers. Effective landing pages typically include the following elements: a catchy headline, a strong call-to-action, responsive design, and clear copy.
You can check out great landing page examples here.
Landing Page Benefits
Lead Capture and Lead Generation
Landing pages make it easy for small businesses to target niche markets. Given that landing pages are standalone web pages, they can be designed and created with a specific audience in mind. This means that you can create different landing pages for the same product or service based on your target audience.
This level of customization typically leads to more engagement, therefore a higher conversion rate, as it prevents companies from having to generalize their content to appeal to a broad audience.
Leads captured through landing pages tend to be more likely to purchase products or services from a company given that they traded their information for something the company already offers.
Gather Valuable Data and Insights
Speaking about creating different landing pages for the same product or service, this type of strategy can also help SMBs gather more insights about its target audiences. Data collected from the different landing pages can make it easier for marketers to figure out which topics, offers, or wording convert at the highest rate.
Another great benefit of landing pages is that it makes it clear which digital channels your target audience uses. By tracking where visitors are coming from, marketing teams can create even more targeted content to continue engaging existing and potential leads through the channels they already use.
As such, landing pages are a great way for businesses to experiment with various tones of voice, graphics, copy, and offers to discover what truly speaks to their niche.
These data and insights can also improve SEO efforts, especially if gathered insights are applied to future campaign messaging and landing pages.
Grow Your Email List
Companies can grow their email list through landing pages by asking visitors to share some basic contact information before they can access gated content.
For example, if you recently published an e-book or whitepaper about your industry, you could ask landing page visitors to share their name, email, company name, company website, and company size before they can download the free content.
When visitors fill in the form, you can have an “opt-in” button for people to receive emails and offers from your business. These visitors can then be added to your email list.
This strategy tends to work because it allows visitor agency, meaning that visitors willingly provide their information, making the dynamic less alienating compared to an ad that interrupts their online scrolling.
They’re Cheap to Make
Landing pages are cheap to make, especially since there are many free landing page templates available online. This means that there is low overhead involved and a high return on investment for marketing efforts.
This means that even SMBs that don’t have the resources to bring a designer and programmer into their team can leverage the power of landing pages.
Landing Pages for SMBs
Landing pages can be a valuable tool for SMBs, even those without a website.
However, as with all marketing tools and efforts, having a strong brand image is key to success. When creating landing pages, small businesses need to ensure that they are being consistent with their messaging, their tone of voice, and their branding.
So, how can small businesses use landing pages most effectively?
Develop a Free Product or Service
If you want to increase the probability that landing page visitors will give you their information, then you have to offer something valuable in return. One effective way to make something appealing is to make it free. For example, you can create an infographic, a whitepaper, an e-book, or a report that people can access for free if they share their name and email with you.
Pro tip: you don’t have to create the content yourself; you can hire freelancers to help you create all sorts of written or visual content.
Another great way to turn visitors into leads is by offering unique deals and discounts for those who sign up or follow through with your call to action.
Think of the “Why”
While a strong call to action is super important when using landing pages to generate leads and increase conversion rates, it’s also important to tell visitors why they should want to follow through with your call to action.
This can be done by adding a social proof element to your landing page—reviews from satisfied customers that are willing to share their name; by clearly stating how your product or service will help solve or eliminate a pain point; or by sharing specific features about what you’re offering.
Have the Entire Journey Mapped out
Before your landing page goes live, have the entire journey of converted visitors mapped out. What will happen once visitors follow through with your call to action?
For example, if you’re asking visitors to provide their emails or sign up to your newsletter, make sure that you have the first email they will receive immediately after signing up ready to go. Following-up is a crucial step in the customer journey, especially if you want to form a long-lasting relationship with new leads. Many companies lean on marketing automation tools to help with the follow-up process.
Landing pages are a uniquely powerful tool when it comes to lead generation. They allow niche targeting and encourage the audience to provide information on their own accord, a dynamic not seen in traditional lead generation.
Small businesses can and should leverage landing pages because of their low investment and effectiveness. When crafted strategically, landing pages can not only boost leads, but also provide valuable data and insights that can improve marketing efforts in the long run.
The best landing pages are characterized for having clean and clear copy, a catchy headline, a strong call to action strategically placed above the fold, responsive design, and consistent messaging on par with brand voice and tone.