“Landing pages” is one of the most frequently-used terms in content marketing phraseology but there is some variation in the understanding of what a landing page actually is.
Some marketers will refer to all home pages as landing pages whilst others will use the term only when referring to a page which has a contact form embedded in it.
So, what is one and why might you need one or more of them on your website?
What is a landing page?
Both of the above definitions above are essentially correct but they could also be equally incorrect.
Whichever page it is that your visitor sees first, that is your landing page.
This may be your home page, a page which they have clicked through from “organic” searching, or it could be a contact or sign-up page that they arrive at from clicking on an advertisement.
More Than Words note – “organic” results are those results on a search engine which companies do not pay for. “Paid-for” results are those visits to a website which are a result of someone clicking on a paid-for advertisement.
Landing pages are important because they are often responsible for the very first impression that a new visitor will have of your company and its products and services. You want to get across a condensed glimpse of the benefits of a particular product and services within seconds of a person landing on this page to encourage them to stay and find out more.
To do this, a landing page will need to:
- offer users relevant and helpful information
- answer whatever question users had which they were searching for in the first place, and
- provide clear and evident calls-to-action to tell them how to purchase your products and services or how to leave an enquiry for your sales team to follow up.
Why use landing pages?
There are a host of reasons that marketers (including the marketers at More Than Words) are so fond of using landing pages in their strategy including:
They save time and make your site “sticky”
Having a page which quickly and tangibly answers the questions visitors have from the moment they arrive at your website paradoxically ensures that they will spend more time there.
Internet users are looking to find answers as quickly as possible when searching the web meaning that, if they can’t quickly find their answer on your site, they will leave.
High bounce rates are a significant factor causing lower rankings for websites on search engines so it’s important that your landing page presents the information visitors want clearly and straight away.
They generate leads
Landing pages are set up specifically to gather leads and they have a higher success rate in doing so that other pages on your website.
If you provide a landing page that requires a user to give their contact details in order to download a blog, article or white paper, you can be sure that those who arrive at it are already interested in your business and thus more likely to convert.
It is important that these landing pages offer something of value to users.
That’s why so many landing pages offer e-books, white papers, and more – that’s the type of content most valued by searchers. You’ll get more sign-ups that way than simply offering people the opportunity to receive your email newsletter.
The best thing about landing pages is that you can do both of these at the same time (subject to GDPR compliance).
They establish credibility
One of the key things to remember with landing pages is that you want to give the visitor exactly what they want or a clear sense of how to get it quickly. This means offering valuable information from the first instance and this can help to establish a sense of authority that builds trust in consumers and business decision makers’ minds.
Neil Patel says that a key component to establishing credibility with landing pages is integrating an element of social proof into your content.
Something like customer testimonials or reviews could be the ideal addition to your page or even a list of company logos that highlights the big names and brands you have worked with.
Testimonials/case studies plus something the client wants for free equals authority and credibility to consumers and business decision makers.
Landing page basics – what needs to go on landing pages.
There are many different elements to consider about when developing a landing page and these will vary depending on the intended purpose of your landing page.
However, you should follow these basic guidelines when developing your page.
Pitch the offer, not the brand
Your landing page is an advertisement for one specific product or service your company offers and not the company as a whole.
If you try to create a marketing page for your overall brand, it is likely that you will lose the majority of visitors who are not interested in your company.
Whatever the user has clicked through in order to see, this is what your landing page contain.
Don’t offer more than one thing at a time
Choice is the enemy of sales and lead generation.
Limit the product or service you’re talking about to one (or the range of products and services to one range). Your visitor is not an expert – you are. They expect you to tell them what’s good for you so don’t let them down.
Likewise, only have one form. Don’t have one form for a download, one form for a newsletter subscription, and one form to make a sales enquiry on the landing page. Just have one form on it which does everything you want it to.
Keep it clean and as much “above the fold” as possible
A landing page should be clean and uncluttered with all of the content on it geared towards offering the user the information or item that they are looking for.
Some marketers suggest taking away the top navigation bar on a landing page so that visitors are less likely to be distracted.
If you can, keep everything “above the fold”. The fold is the very bottom of your internet page when it’s displayed on a browser. In other words, don’t make them scroll for the headline information they need, the contact form, or your contact details.
This is much harder to achieve on a mobile phone so, on your mobile-optimised landing page, try to reduce the need to scroll as much as possible.
Keep it simple
If your landing page has a contact form embedded on it, do your research and make sure that this form is the right length to drive conversions.
Very short forms can mean ending up with lots of unqualified leads creating a difficult task for your sales team but long forms are often dropped in the middle of the process as visitors lose interest.
A good rule of thumb when creating your form is to only ask for information that you will actually use.
In this blog for Conversion XL, Peep Laja says:
“Do you really need people’s phone, fax or address? If you aren’t gonna ship them anything, people won’t be interested in sharing it. Only ask what’s relevant.”
Keeping forms the right length is the key to converting leads every time.
Let your visitor know where they are
If there is a process that you want visitors to follow whilst they are on your landing page, make sure that they know where they are in this process throughout.
You can do this by simply labelling the steps ‘Step One’, ‘Step Two’ and so on.
For an even better chance of converting, you could think about saying ‘Step One of Four’ for example, to indicate how long the process will be.
Landing pages and SEO
Landing pages tie in perfectly with search engine optimisation techniques and they can act as a lead magnet when promoted well enough with SEO.
Some SEO best practices for landing pages include:
- publishing to a custom URL – this helps to build trust and credibility for visitors who want to be clear that they are looking at an official and professional page and has the added bonus of giving you a small rankings boost when your page keywords are searched.
- including long-tail keywords – you should be doing this for every page on your website to give yourself the best chance of finishing high on search engine results pages but especially on landing pages given the fact they are built purely to generate leads
- securing solid backlinks to your page – pursue getting as many credible backlinks to your landing page not only for SEO reasons but also because being mentioned on 3rd party sites increases the number of people exposed to your company and its products and services. Follow the flawless technique discussed by Fractl Agency for high-authority sources.
How to drive traffic to your landing page
While many marketers want to generate new leads from potential customers with landing pages, there is a far higher likelihood that you will reach and convert existing customers in any marketing campaign you run.
This means that it is useful to promote your landing page via your email newsletter service in order to drive current subscribers there as well as new ones.
To do this, segment your existing email lists to narrow them down to subscribers who will be most interested in your landing page.
Most automated email marketing platforms will allow you to find contacts who have opened certain types of emails consistently and you can then send a mail out to these people to inform them of the page and/or offer.
You might want to do the same to your list of prospects and also consider investing in a B2B email database to run opt-out email marketing campaigns.
Paid search advertising
There are many different platforms you can use to pay for relevant traffic to come to your site but one of the best is Google Ads. With Google Ads, you bid on keywords used by searchers looking for information.
More than 75% of all internet searches are conducted on Google, according to statistics published by NetMarket Share so, for greatest exposure in your paid advertising, Google will generate the most new visitors, leads, and sales for your company.
Google Ads are also scalable allowing you to increase your PPC budget over time in order to increase your leads.
They are measurable too allowing you to, over time, discover which keywords and which landing pages generate the most valuable traffic meaning you can target more resources at those and discontinue investment in less productive keywords and landing pages.
Social media has been a popular marketing vehicle for businesses since its inception and this trend looks to continue for the foreseeable future.
In fact, a recent survey found that the third biggest reason to use social media is to help drive traffic to business websites.
On social media, you have the options of building up your followers organically or by paying for adverts – either way, you can use posts to point your followers to the landing pages on your website.
Landing pages and your content marketing.
Landing pages are pages on your website whose complete focus is on using every known marketing technique and method to persuade your visitors to buy something from you, try something out for free, or download something you’ve created. They may not always be the most visited pages on your website but they generate more leads, sales, and interactions per impression than any other page you have.
To speak with a copywriter and an SEO techniques expert on which landing pages you should build and what should go on each landing page, please get in touch with our team by calling us on 0330 010 8300 or click here to email our inbound marketing team.