For newcomers to digital marketing, Landing Pages can be confusing.
Especially if you’re just starting to learn about digital advertising. You might have a few questions, like “What does a landing page do?”, “Why do I need one?” or “How do they differ from a regular web page?”. But before we dive into breaking all of that down, let’s get a quick idea of what they are by taking a look at the definition.
A landing page is simply a standalone web page used for a digital marketing or advertising campaign, which is designed specifically to complete one objective. Which is a fancier way of saying a one-paged website optimized to convert visitors.
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Where do landing pages fit into my digital campaign?
Landing pages are the bridge between your digital advertising efforts and your campaign goal. And the goal is, of course, to convert your target audience! When you advertise your products and services through Google, email, social media, or other digital channels — the landing page is what web users “land” on after clicking the link. Hence the term, “landing” page!
And since the landing page is the crux of what’s responsible for converting your target audience, it’s incredibly important that they’re done right. Not only do they need the right anatomy to convert, they also need to look great at the same time.
There’s nothing more discouraging than hearing “Save 30% off!” followed by a dated design on a website that is not secure and loads really slowly. When creating landing pages, be sure to hire a professional design agency to make sure you’re maximizing its impact and credibility. Otherwise, you could be throwing money out the window.
Why use Landing Pages?
Technically speaking, any page on the web could be a landing page. So you might ask yourself a few questions:
Why spend money on a new web page when my website already exists? I want people to visit my business — so why don’t I just use my website for my digital marketing campaign?
While you may be tempted to do so, suppress that urge! There’s a good reason why we don’t use websites… and that is because websites are incredibly ineffective as landing pages because of the fundamental difference in how they are built.
The user experience of your website is designed with exploration in mind. The whole point of your website is to capture your audience’s interests and keep users engaged, creating a seamless experience where they can easily get to what they need and are looking for. You have a variety of users who may be interested in different things you offer. So naturally, the scope of people who visit your website will differ from the scope of the audience you’re trying to convert. Our home page has a plethora of creative services but we might have a Google Ad campaign specifically targeting web design.
Landing pages are created only for your target audience, and are specifically designed for conversion, not exploration. An effective landing page has only one action for the user to take. You’re not looking to convince passing window shoppers — the aim is to secure the ones who are already interested in your offering.
The Attention Ratio
To illustrate this difference, we use what’s called the attention ratio — which is a ratio of how many actions a user can take vs. what the desired action is.
Let’s break that down. For example, your homepage can easily have over 20 links on it between your navigation menu, footer, calls-to-action… and so on. So your homepage would have an attention ratio of 20:1. For your website — this is absolutely fine because that’s part of a powerful internal linking strategy. You want your users to invest time to explore and experience your brand while browsing your content.
On the other hand, landing pages are totally separate from the rest of your website. There is only one link or action to take on the page… the goal of your marketing campaign. So the attention ratio on your landing page will be 1:1.
But it’s easier to see it in action. Let’s take a look at a homepage and a landing page side by side.
While both web pages look especially sharp, the landing page has much less distractions which makes it easier to convert users.
The Bottom Line: Organic vs. Targeted traffic
But keep in mind — this isn’t a replacement for your website! One of the greatest benefits to use landing pages is that you don’t have to sacrifice what’s already working for you (your website). Instead, you’re creating an extension of it that allows you to specifically target the type of customers you’re looking for.
To break this down in its most simple terms: your website is great for generating organic traffic, but your campaign’s landing page is better for generating paid targeted traffic.
The Technical Stuff: quality score, tracking, analytics, and A/B testing for Landing Pages
It’s also super important to mention that landing pages bring the added benefit of making reporting, analytics, and testing much easier than using a page on your website.
Because a landing page exists in its own space, tracking how users interact with it becomes much more simple. We have access to how many people are visiting, how many are converting, how many are bouncing… and much more. But one of the most important metrics we use for analyzing landing pages is called Quality Score.
A conversion can be someone filling out your contact form or using a dedicated phone number that can be tracked.
Essentially, quality score is a 1-10 scale used by Google to measure how engaging your campaign’s content is. Your Google digital advertising partner will drive home the importance of this. Because of course, higher scores are much more likely to be bumped to the top of the search results. So as always — quality content matters!
Additionally, they give you the ability to iterate designs through A/B tests. This means you can run multiple versions of your landing page to track how well each does and which one has a higher conversion rate in real-time. This allows us to make objective design decisions based on actual data that show what works and what doesn’t — so your landing page can always be refined further to perform even better!
Types of landing pages
Of course, there are a plethora of different types, variations, and nuances to different landing pages — but there are two types that most can be grouped under lead generation and clickthrough landing pages.
The primary objective of lead generation landing pages is to collect personal information & generate leads. The CTA (Call-To-Action) is a form that prompts the user to enter said personal information, such as emails and names.
But why would anyone enter their information willingly? Good question! Like any healthy relationship, it’s all about give and take.
Usually, lead generation landing pages offer something in return for that name and email — free reports, eBooks, podcasts, consultations, or more information just to name a few. Customers gain the benefit of your offer, and you gain the benefit of adding them to your list of leads. That way, you’re able to grow an audience of people who are directly interested in what you have to offer — which is key for building a relationship with customers who will keep coming back to your brand.
Clickthrough landing pages take a bit of a different angle, through more of a “soft sell” method. Unlike lead generation pages, you’re not asking for their information outright. The idea is to warm prospects up to your offering by enticing them with unique features, benefits, and/or offers before pushing them further down the sales funnel.
These are very common for eCommerce and SaaS (software-as-a-service) businesses — where the end goal is for the user to complete a sale, sign up for a subscription, or receive a free trial.
How to leverage landing pages for your next digital advertising campaign
- PPC campaign on Google Ads that targets searches related to your business
- Promotional offerings that target specific customers
- Re-target people who have visited your site without converting
- Running native advertising campaigns on podcasts or blogs that have relevance to your business
- Gauging interest in new ideas/products before going to market with it
Now that you understand the fundamentals of landing pages, you’re probably raring to go. But hold on!
While landing pages are incredibly powerful, they won’t do you much good if they have a dated design aesthetic, function incorrectly, or are hosted on an unsecured site. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure you hire an experienced creative agency with senior-level designers who can ensure that your landing page has a sharp visual edge to it.