What is a landing page?
Earlier this year my mum (who runs a successful offline business) asked:
“What is a landing page?”
It’s always an adventure when I attempt to explain the internet, the computer, well, anything technological to her. She’s an intelligent woman but, for some reason, simply can’t grasp the ins-and-outs of the worldwide web. As such, I’ve had to become a bit creative when addressing these subjects so she can understand what I’m talking about. But more on that in a minute.
If you own or operate an online business, you have probably experienced the joys and pains of watching traffic and sales go up and down without any discernible pattern. Traffic is not a direct measure of sales because it can consist of such a wide range of users that you don’t know who they are and why they are/aren’t buying. It’s a bit like trying to guess how many people have visited your home by counting the number of cars that have driven past your house. Or, at least that’s how I explained it to my mum!
When you invite someone to your house you always give them a specific address and usually a time and date to be there. For example, if you have a dinner party, the visitors are coming for a particular purpose so you wouldn’t just tell them the name of your neighbourhood or tell them you’re having dinner, when really you’ll be serving breakfast! The same is true for online businesses.
Getting Specific Users to Specific Places
We’ll use Pay-Per-Click programs as an example but these rules hold true for all other types of online marketing as well. When a visitor clicks an ad you’ve posted on an external site, they have done so because they are interested in the exact service or product on the ad. To stick with the above metaphor, they’re not just coming to see the holiday lights on your street. Your website didn’t attract their attention; your ad did. If you send them directly to a landing page that pertains to that purpose, you’ll convert a higher percentage of them to customers and they’ll have a better experience on your site. Simply because you’re addressing what interests them as a visitor.
To put it shortly, the reason online businesses exist is to make sales. You want to catch traffic that will turn into buyers so you have to provide the means for them to do so. Your home page should be a well-designed guide to your site but, in this instance, you can skip that step because the ad you posted has already filtered the traffic for you. They’ve already told them what they want to see. If you send them to the home page, you’re making them do that all over again.
Separate Landing Pages for Each Channel
Let’s return to the question of, “What is a landing page?” To make it easier to understand, you may refer to them by their other name: lead capture pages. It is a page that is designed to give the user the information they want, provide them with a call to action and get them to follow the act to the end. With this in mind, each product or service needs its own landing page because they need to be dedicated, simple and straight to the point. If a page has too many products or features, break it into more than one page so the experience is focused and simple.
So, “What is a Landing Page?”
Landing pages, therefore, are the time, date and address for your online dinner party and they will bring you the gifts of higher conversion rates, increased sales, decreased marketing costs and a better reputation.