Website Landing Pages
At Stevens 470 we have long been advocates for landing pages. As online advertising opportunities expand and evolve, landing pages are becoming even more imperative for your online success. Let’s take a look at them in this month’s article.
If you are taking the time, and spending the money, to send broadcast emails, place online ads, use social media for promoting products, or sell products online...then landing pages are a required element in your marketing mix. Landing pages are becoming more important as you work to convert people to qualified prospects or customers using online channels. Today’s customer is impatient and overwhelmed with online options, so you must lead them to the point of interaction quickly, simply, and without distractions. This is where landing pages come in.
What is a landing page?
They are called landing pages because these are pages that a web visitor will arrive at, or land on, from a link in your online promotions. Landing pages are designed to match the intent of the ad or promotion that they are linked from. They have the single objective of moving the web visitor to take your desired action. These website pages are generally stand alone pages that are not visible as a link within your website. For example, if you send an email promoting a new line of oil paints, the link in the email should send the reader to a landing page that is only about these oils paints with a call to action about purchasing this product, or attending a demo to see them, or whatever action you want the reader to take. Landing pages fall into two general categories, click-through and lead generation.
Click-through Landing Pages
Click-through landing pages are designed to persuade the visitor to click through to another page. The page’s job is to provide product information, images, and details that will make the visitor more interested in the product and move them closer to making a purchase. When doing ecommerce promotions you may be sending your audience directly from the promotion, for example a banner ad featuring a product, directly to the item’s shopping cart page. This may be too quick a transition if you are going to provide all the information needed to make an informed purchasing decision. The process may be more successful if the banner ad links to a landing page and that links to the shopping cart page.
Lead Generation Landing Pages
Lead generation landing pages are used to capture the contact data on people clicking to this page, including their name, email, etc. The job for this type of page is to collect information so you can connect to the people in the future. The page should contain a form for easily providing their info. Ask only for as much info as you will need to market to these prospects, the shorter the form, the more likely it will be filled in. Also include an explanation of what they will receive in exchange for sharing their info with you. Here are some examples of what you might offer in exchange for their contact info:
- sale coupons
- free samples
- enter a contest
- how-to booklets
- event invites
When do I use a landing page?
When you have prepared and broadcast specific promotions, you do not want to take those interested to your website’s home page. Your home page is designed for a different purpose, its job is to provide a quick, intuitive and compelling road map to the most important information on your website. If you take someone that has clicked on your online promotion to your home page you are distracting them from your promotional message, as well as frustrating them as they try to find the product you are promoting. Visitors will quickly leave your website and may be left with a negative experience.
Instead, you should consider using a landing page to support each of your online promotions. The goal is to take your audience through a funnel of information to lead them to the final action or purchase. By providing a unique landing page for each online ad, email, search term, and social media message you can control the flow of information and calls to action. Separate landing pages also let you measure traffic to each page using your web analytics package. You can accurately assess how each promotion is performing by looking at the data for each page.
You can get started by building a few landing pages to support some of your online advertising, then track the results to see how they are performing. You can download the pdf file “Landing Page Structure” for a diagram outlining the important elements of a landing page: