A landing page will help push your visitors in the right direction and should help to increase conversions and reduce your bounce rate.
When I talk to inspiring marketers or business owners wishing to take their businesses to the next level, there’s always one question that pops up when we start discussing paid traffic and targeted visitors. If you haven’t guessed, that question is, “Are landing pages important?”
The world of modern marketing is nothing short of mind-blowing. This is especially true how professionals and executives have so many aspects down to a specific science. Whether they want to influence you to buy a product or service, or maybe they need to test the waters with a new brand or, heck, even tell you who to vote for, you can thank marketers and advertising execs for being able to do so in such a precise way.
When you make the foray down into the world of internet marketing, it gets even more amazing! Just about everything you do online — on your phone, computer, tablet, TV, or even smart refrigerator — is tracked.
Companies do all of this tracking in very specific ways that let marketers and advertisers sell you precisely what you’re looking for. Haven’t you ever thought about buying something and suddenly ads for that specific item start appearing everywhere, on nearly every site; almost like magic?
Serving up those relevant ads to you is only one piece of the puzzle, however. What happens when you click on those ads? The page that you are immediately brought to is known as a landing page.
Landing pages come in all shapes and sizes, and they are arguably one of the most important aspects of online marketing.
What Are Landing Pages And Why Do I Need Them?
Almost every single time someone clicks on an advertisement, that advertiser gets billed for that click. Because advertisers must pay a price, sometimes a hefty price, for every ad click, they will want to make sure they maximize the potential of each and every visitor that clicks on the ads or clicks on any calls to action.
If you want to know more about the basics of landing page, here’s a quick video by HubSpot.
Not having a landing page = wasted time, money, and opportunity. Despite being such a huge waste of money, the mistake of not using a landing page is EXTREMELY common!
One way to maximize this potential is by having a highly effective landing page that the user goes to once the ad, link, or call to action has been clicked. A landing page can and should offer highly targeted and highly specific information that should appeal to the user in a way that converts them into a lead, subscriber, follower, or paying customer right then and there.
Many advertisers are blowing through huge advertising budgets and are simply sending all traffic directly to their site’s homepage, or directly to an online storefront, which will surely result in a high bounce rate and wasted money.
It’s completely normal to absolutely love your website or blog, especially the homepage or storefront. You’ve put a lot of time and effort into it, and you’ve seen it hundreds or thousands of times as you’ve made little tweaks and improvements. You know it like the back of your hand.
First-time or new visitors to whatever it is you’re promoting need a push in the right direction. If you want people to sign up to your weekly financial tips email list, you don’t want to simply send them to your finance blog’s homepage. If you’re advertising a new piece of handmade jewelry that you’re selling, you don’t want to send visitors directly to your jewelry shop’s storefront.
A landing page will help push your visitors in the right direction while should help to increase conversions and reduce your bounce rate.
…But Do I Really Need A Landing Page?
“Are landing pages just for email lists?”
“Are landing pages just for selling stuff online?”
“I just have a blog, clearly I don’t need a landing page, right?”
If you have a targeted traffic source — paid ads, social media, email list, whatever — and you want these visitors to do anything on your website or blog other than close it down immediately, then YES, a landing page should probably be in your near future.
In the example of “But I only have a small blog.” That objection doesn’t matter and is easily disproved.
You can create a landing page that very briefly summarizes your top blog posts, with a large portion of that landing page dedicated towards having the visitor subscribe, follow, enable reminders or notifications, or even bookmark to come back later.
Regardless of what it is you’re trying to accomplish online, you could probably use a landing page. And, no, I don’t work for the landing page lobbying industry, but I do feel like it’s my duty to educate my fellow entrepreneurs, bloggers, and online business owners.
What Are The Different Types of Landing Pages?
Many other marketing platforms and gurus will say that there’s two types of landing pages. Well, in my opinion, there are three types of landing pages. 99.9% of whatever it is you’re trying to do online with your targeted traffic can benefit from one of these three styles of landing pages:
Reference Landing Page
A reference landing page is one that provides information about a product or service. This information is typically very brief, but also highly appealing. It is meant to stir up brand awareness, create buzz around a new product or service, and it often has a Call To Action on there should the visitors want to learn more about the product, service, or brand that’s currently on display.
Example of Reference Landing Page
A coffee shop comes out with a new kind of drink. They obviously aren’t trying to get you to buy this new drink directly from their landing page. They also don’t necessarily need to collect your email address or contact info.
But they can put a Call To Action on the landing page that shows you where the closest Starbucks are in your area. Customers on mobile devices can be given directions and maybe even options to download an app.
Transactional Landing Page
Just as the name implies, a transactional landing page’s sole purpose is to, well, transact. Its sole job is to encourage the visitor to make a purchase. Some experts say that landing pages which ask for your email address or contact info are transactional, but I would group those into their own category.
Example of Transactional Landing Page
A coffee shop is running a special on gift cards as the holiday season approaches. They want to use a nice landing page to get people to impulsively buy gift cards. They start sending targeted traffic to a landing page that tells visitors they can get a $25 gift card for every $20 spent.
Starbucks wants users to start (and hopefully complete) a transaction right there from the landing page.
Lead-Capturing Landing Page
Sometimes you need to follow up with people multiple times before they will make a purchase. Sometimes companies want to be able to stay in touch with you so they can tell you about recent offers, promotions, or recommended products or services.
To do this they need some form of contact information from you. A lead-capturing landing page is the best way to get this information from targeted traffic.
Example of Lead-Capturing Landing Page
A coffee shop wants to expand their email marketing list. They create a deal that gives customers 10% off of their next purchase if they sign up to the Starbucks email list. A lead-capturing landing page makes it very easy for visitors to quickly see the benefits of signing up.
This type of landing page also makes it super easy for those visitors to actually sign up right there from the landing page and immediately receive their coupon code.
How To Make Effective Landing Pages
Create a simple yet appealing page that clearly gets the message across about your product, service, and/or brand, and also has a call to action, checkout/purchase process, or user-input field. That’s it, you’re all done!
.. wait a sec, you’re still here, aren’t you? I guess I can get a lot more detailed if that’s what you’re looking for.
Let’s take a look at the thought process and design process involved with some of the most effective landing pages. A little bit further down we’ll explore some tools you can use to make the process a bit easier.
Identify Your Ideal Target Audience
You need to figure out who exactly it is that you’re trying to target so that your landing page design and landing page promotional efforts can reflect this Buyer Persona. Are you a local bar that only wants to target adults within a 5 mile radius of a certain zip code?
Do you paint custom Hello Kitty headphones that younger females would absolutely love?
Just from the two examples above you can tell that marketing a bar to adults vs marketing Hello Kitty headphones to the younger crowd would require a much different design process. Same goes for the starbucks examples we used above.
Those landing pages would look much differently than that of your local bar or a custom headphones company.
Demand Metric and Xtensio are great ways to really zero in on your target audience.
Your Landing Page Must Have A Goal
A clearly defined goal (or lack thereof) is going to change the look and feel of your landing page. You need to stick to one singular goal per landing page. If you’re trying to get new email signups and sell your ebook then you need to create two separate landing pages. Some of the most effective landing pages are ones that have visitors: