I’ve heard some confusion among website owners about landing pages, why we use them, and how they differ from regular web pages. If you’re not sure if you need a landing page, or are considering using one (or more) for a promotion, here’s a quick introduction.
Types of Landing Pages
Your landing page should be designed to suit a specific purpose – to educate, persuade, and promote action. However, different needs may call for different approaches:
The most common type of landing page (and the one that most people think of first) is a “Squeeze Page”. These are distraction-free, lead generation pages designed to “squeeze” information from an interested visitor, usually in exchange for something of immediate value – this could be a free sample or trial or a downloadable file (PDF/audio/video) such as a whitepaper or catalogue.
These are not sales pages but can play a vital role in building your list of subscribers for other purposes (such as email marketing), allowing you to nurture them into loyal customers.
Long-form Landing Pages (or Sales Pages)
Long-form Landing Pages are detailed, convincing sales pitches that focus on a single product or service. They may contain images, testimonials and short case studies – and, of course, carefully crafted sales copy. Suppose the product or service you’re offering is available to purchase immediately through your website, but perhaps it is a significant investment that needs more consideration than a typical online transaction. In that case, a long-form landing page can help to bridge the gap between hesitation and commitment.
Much like an advert you might see on social media, videos are a great way to demonstrate a product visually. You can also use them to introduce a more personal service, such as therapy or coaching, where it’s important to quickly build that “know, like, and trust” connection with your lead. However, it’s important to remember that your customers have different preferences and accessibility requirements for receiving information. Always use captions for your introductory videos and ideally provide a transcript for people who prefer to read their information. There should be clear call-to-actions, both prompted in the content of the video and elsewhere on the page.
Prequalifying Landing Pages
Perhaps you’ve been getting a lot of unsuitable leads – the customer doesn’t have the proper budget, or they’re not in the right industry. Maybe you’re in a specific niche within your industry and want to ensure the leads you’re taking time to follow up with are going to be a good fit. Prequalifying landing pages may involve several steps (such as a decision tree), a quote calculation form, or perhaps a type of quiz to determine the suitability of your product or service for their situation. It can also be combined with other styles of landing pages for leads to self-identify from the product or service description by illustrating distinct use-cases or scenarios.
Bad Landing Pages
You’ll know these when you see them – and your clients will, too. Auto-playing videos, walls of text, horrific yellow-highlighted areas and obnoxious call-to-actions that present themselves before you’ve even had a chance to see what’s on offer – we’ve seen them, and we collectively loathe them. Landing pages don’t have to be ugly, pushy sales pitches reminiscent of 80’s infomercials. Stay on-brand, respect the time and focus of your visitors, and you’ll stand out miles from the scammy-looking landing pages and popups that we’ve conditioned ourselves to disregard.
What Landing Pages are not
Landing pages are not ‘home’ pages. They’re not a complete overview of your services or products, your company, or your story. While you can use them to test a promotion or launch a startup, they’re not a platform for you to build your brand identity and demonstrate your entire range of products or services.
A good Landing Page is a spotlight
Landing pages are a way of generating leads or direct sales- a place to showcase your solution to a specific need in a way that reduces distraction and the sensation of information overload. It’s also a means of selectively advertising and measuring conversions from advertising campaigns, allowing you to adjust and tweak both the campaign and the content of your landing page for maximum effect.
Summary: Do I need a Landing Page?
Probably. If you’re running an advertising campaign (paid or organic), landing pages are a great way to measure its performance as well as drive conversions once you have the engagement (the “click”). A landing page can highlight a particular offer without your message getting lost among other distractions. As a lead generation tool, it can help to build your subscribers and allow you to prequalify visitors on both a long or short-term basis. It’s a great way to test a niche or a flagship product or service as you experiment with a new idea or are looking to take the next step in scaling your business.