Perspectives

What Are Landing Pages and Why Do You Need Them?

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When we say tactical marketing, we mean tactical marketing; sometimes your goal is to market a specific product or service to a particular customer segment. It could be part of a bigger content marketing strategy or a social media campaign perhaps. For that laser-focused approach, a tool called a landing page is often our channel of choice.

What Exactly is a Landing Page?

A landing page is essentially a single web page that a person literally “lands” on after clicking on an ad or a link.

It’s not your website’s home page. Your website is an online showcase of your brand in its totality, with everything from your company’s back story and new job openings to pictures of the team. It has many goals and encourages exploration.

A landing page is instead focused on a single offer and has no navigation other than a call to action. That call to action, or CTA for short, can be a form or a button such as Sign Up, Download Now, Learn More, or RSVP.

Remember, the visitor came to your landing page because he or she clicked on a link you shared or a pay-per-click (PPC) ad that you ran, so they’re already interested in that specific offer.

That’s 50% of the work done. You have the attention of someone in need of your product or service, and now the copy and design of the landing page will determine its effectiveness.

A well-written, well-designed landing page is crucial to converting visitors into qualified leads. That process is called, get ready for it, conversion. The conversion rate of a landing page, the ratio of page visitors to conversions, is how the efficacy of landing pages is measured.

How Landing Pages Work – Example

If you’re looking for a dog groomer, your first action is likely to be a search for dog groomers on the internet.

If you are a pet shop owner wanting to push your dog grooming services, you might run a paid search campaign targeting the words “dog grooming”. You wouldn’t want to send those valuable, intent-driven clicks from people searching for dog grooming straight to your website’s home page (Cats? Fish? What is this!), right? Instead, you would send them to a landing page that specifically talks about your superb dog grooming services, has customer testimonials praising them, and a “Book Now” button to make an appointment.

That’s what we call a tactical campaign, targeting a specific buyer to one particular service you offer through a landing page. Landing pages are used for a wide range of things, from event signups, to booking a sales call or demo, to software product trials to downloading whitepapers.

Who Visits Landing Pages?

People who don’t know you would find you through searches or ads, and people who do know you might find you through your social feeds or newsletters.

That is why PPC pairs exceptionally well with landing pages. PPC can be paid search, display, or paid social ads, allowing you to target specific demographics or keywords.

Outside the PPC arena, links to your campaign landing pages can be shared on your social media (Linktree is an awesome tool to help with this) or in email marketing campaigns to your subscriber base.

What Makes a Good Landing Page?

Remember, landing pages are judged by their conversion rate, not whether your boss likes it or how much time and effort you put into creating it. Conversion rate is a very objective measure.

So the better question is what are the fundamental practices of high-converting landing pages? Our friends over at Unbounce literally wrote the book on that, and this is what they say:

  • Use a clear and concise value statement (above the fold, before you have to scroll down) so visitors immediately understand your page’s purpose.
  • Match your primary headline to the ad your visitor clicked to land on the page in the first place (or the button of the email CTA, for example).
  • Include social proof and testimonials to back up your claims.
  • Focus the whole page on a single offer, with just one primary call to action (CTA).
  • Use a conversion-centred layout to make your CTA stand out (think about whitespace, colour, contrast, and directional cues).
  • Test new ideas using A/B testing. Sometimes what works will surprise you.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but 34 examples of some great landing pages are pretty useful too.

Landing page design, copywriting for conversions, and conversion rate optimisation are so important that some boutique agencies focus only on that and software providers such as Unbounce, Instapage and others that provide the required no code/low code tools that non-developers need to create and publish landing pages.

How We Do It

How do we do it? Our content studio works closely with our website design and development team and our data people. We use WordPress to create and manage landing pages on sites we manage because it gives us enormous flexibility in design and integration.

For our HubSpot clients, we build and publish landing pages directly from the platform. The landing page, form, and CTA tools in the Marketing Hub are very powerful and come with great reporting.

For sites we don’t manage, we create a WordPress instance on a subdomain such as go.mycompany.com and create and manage landing pages there.

Tools like Crazy Egg help with A/B testing and conversion rate optimisation on WordPress. HubSpot and Unbounce have some great A/B testing tools, too.

Landing page form submissions can be integrated with marketing automation and CRM platforms such as HubSpot or ActiveCampaign, or just sent to an email address.

Landing pages, CRM, and email marketing can be a powerful combination for attracting people during the discovery process through to conversion and post-sale engagement. They are a great tool to have in your digital marketing toolkit.

About the author

David McKaige

David McKaige

David was an award-winning news and current affairs cameraman and producer before venturing into the technical operations world. With a career progression from broadcast operations to financial and capital markets operations, he brings his depth of specialised experience to lead Salween Group's marketing operations team and manages the MarTech stack.

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