What is a Landing Page and How do I use one?

Landing Page ExampleThese are easy enough questions for the seasoned web and marketing professional, but if you’re new-ish to the world of online best practices, this is one lesson you won’t want to miss.

A Landing Page is a single web page, usually without any navigation or links, that compels a site user to do something before they can move on. Landing Pages are used in any number of contexts, most notably as a “landing” from any type of inbound link. Really, any page a inbound link is attached to is technically a Landing Page as it’s where a user “lands” on your site, but in this post, I am going to focus on intentional Landing Pages—those designed as a drop-in point for your website.

USES

PPC Campaigns

Google AdWords and other Pay-per-Click (PPC) campaigns utilize landing pages to give the person who clicked on their ad immediate information directly related to their search term and the related ad. These types of pages ideally give the user just what they are for, compelling them to convert immediately and stop searching for alternatives. AS such, optimizing for keywords is the linchpin to creating a successful campaign and more often than not, this will require multiple Landing Pages for a single campaign.

Sign-Ups

It is common for a Landing Page to contain a form for users to sign-up for something. By having the form directly on the Landing Page and not on a successive page, you can boost the number of people you get to actually sign up.

Downloads

If you are offering a download of some kind, a white paper or eBook, a Landing Page is useful as the “gateway” for the download. This is a common lead generation tool used in the b2b world.

Informational – with QR Codes

Pages of this nature operate similarly to any other general web page in that they offer you information and do not necessarily require any other action. For example, say you are hosting an event and strictly want to offer all available information in one place. A Landing Page for the event would be incredibly useful. Take this one even further by tying the page to a QR code, giving users a one-stop view of all you have to offer. You can then use that QR code to advertise and as a link to up-to-date information during the actual event.

STYLE

Just like with all websites, the possibilities are endless for how you want to style and arrange a Landing Page. Certain best practices do exist, however, and you will want to take note of these.

No Links

How you want to use your Landing Page will inform whether or not you include links, but as the point of a Landing Page is to compel a user to action, you do not want to give them the easy opportunity to take another action by offering them lots of links to click.

Branding

This should be somewhat obvious. Brand the Landing Page so that it looks similar to your main site. This can often be the first page someone sees of your company so offering a visually dynamic page is reassuring of your legitimacy and initiates brand recognition. Be sure to include your logo, and use similar fonts and styling.

Layout

Lots of options with this one. Landing Page templates or Landing Page creator tools can be incredibly useful for directing you in your Landing Page design. Most people tend to agree that if you want to include a form, be sure it appears “Above the Fold”, meaning high enough on the page users do no have to scroll to see it. Images are useful as well—we are all visual creatures and a page of just text just isn’t as compelling. Tabs within a single page can be incredibly useful if you have lots of information you want to include, but don’t want to give people the opportunity to navigate away from the page in search of more information.

Call-to Action

Make sure to include one! Sounds easy enough, right? You might be surprised…. Tell the user exactly what you want them to do on the page—either Sign Up, Fill out a form, Register, Try it, etc. Use active verbs. Don’t forget to say what will happen once they do what you ask!

Colors

People often go many different ways on this one. Here is a handy infographic detailing how different colors affect sentiment or compel action. Take a look. Buttons or other calls-to-action on the Landing Page ought to stand out so that the user knows exactly what to do on the page.

Backend

Remember, this is just another web page. You should make sure you have all the meta data (Title, Header Tags, Description, Alt tags, etc.) included for SEO purposes and to inform search engines. Google AdWords, for example, crawls the Landing Pages of all its ads and gives them a “Quality Score” for every keyword tied to that ad. Low Quality Scores mean your ad will appear lower in the listings or possibly not at all.

Any questions? Start creating!

Caitlin is the Marketing and Product Lead for Spectate, specializing in Inbound Marketing, blogging, SEO, social media, graphic design and web design. Her loves include old buildings, adaptive reuse/redesign, silver antiques and services, and anything tech related.

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