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Home » Digital Thinking Blog: Free Online Marketing Advice » What is a Landing Page, Why is it Important, and Why it Isn’t Your Homepage

What is a Landing Page, Why is it Important, and Why it Isn’t Your Homepage

    Last Updated on March 3, 2024

    an astronaut on the moon looking at a flag of an american bank note

    One of the most hotly debated items in SEO is not, actually, keywords. Keywords will keep you busy debating, researching, and sometimes crying.

    The value of good keywords to your SEO strategy is readily accepted and understood.

    Our often misunderstood hero of online marketing is, The Landing Page.

    It’s probably the verb “landing” that confuses people. Any page you arrive on after clicking a link is a landing page. You have “landed” on a “page”. However, while all cognacs are brandies, not every brandy is a cognac. Or putting it another way: every KPI is a metric, but not every metric is a KPI.

    You can land on any page you like, but the page’s purpose separates the true “Landing Page” from its lowly cousin “Any Old Page”. Let’s see why that is.

    What are Your Landing Pages, and Why are They So Darn Important?

    A Landing Page is a page on your website. Is has one job. It is designed to convert visitors into customers or leads. The page is meant to attract both organic and paid traffic for a specific set of keywords.

    Landing pages lead your visitors to a specific product or service or encourage them to take some other action. This page is an opportunity to create conversions and build your customer base.

    Your paid ads will be linked to a landing page, as should your social media and email marketing.

    A landing page is different from other pages on your website: it has a distinct and clear, above-the-fold call to action.

    Your Homepage is Not a Landing Page. Nor is a Blog Post.

    Why? Imagine entering a destination address into your navigation device. But instead of taking you to the street and house number you entered, your navigation only directs you to the entrance sign on the outskirts of town. Now you have to find your way to the house from there.

    Website Design: When you are on a landing page, you know exactly what you are being offered and what you should do. In contrast, a homepage is more like the table of contents of your website.

    Still unsure about what a landing page is? Below are two examples, albeit with distracting menues. The first one is a landing page for acquiring new customers (lead generation). The second image is a landing page for a specific product (online shopping).

    How Do Landing Pages Work?

    The AIDA principle helps us understand how a landing page works and why it’s important. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.

    • + Attention: A customer becomes aware of a product or service (via advertising or social media).
    • + Interest: They become interested in the product or service’s benefits & how it fits their needs.
    • + Desire: They feel inspired and emotionally moved by the product or service.
    • + Action: They purchase, support, or advocate it.

    Getting Leads and Sales: The Conversion Process Explained

    What is a Conversion? Landing pages help us optimise our conversions. In other words, they help users focus on what they want and how they get it.

    There are macro-conversions and micro-conversions. Only you can decide which is which. In general, however, a macro-conversion represents your primary goals while a micro-conversion represents the steps that get people there.

    Macro-conversion example: Purchasing a pizza.

    Micro-conversion example: Clicking on your delicious-looking pizza post on Instagram.

    Here are some other types of conversions. Which are macro and which are micro for your marketing and business goals?

    • + filling out a contact form
    • + registering to receive a newsletter
    • + filling out an offer request in an online shop
    • + downloading something
    • + the purchase of a product in an online shop
    • + the return of a reply postcard
    • + the request for information employing a coupon
    • + a phone call
    • + submitting a support ticket

    When landing pages fail, it is often because the different phases of the buying cycle that visitors are in have not been taken into account. In other words, macro and micro-conversions have not been understood.

    SEO & eCommerce: A good landing page is important for anyone who wants to earn money with their website.

    Hot Tip: Landing Pages can also be connected to social media marketing posts. In this case, your post itself can look like a landing page. Just make sure that your actual landing page reflects your social media post. Here are two examples:

    How Does a Landing Page Support My Conversion Process?

    A landing page is the main component of the conversion process, but it is one of three parts that will make your conversion successful.

    Part 1: The Landing Page

    The landing page is home to the form a visitor fills out to access the offer. Once the contact form is submitted, people should be redirected to an appropriate “thank you” page.

    Part 2: The Call to Action (CTA)

    A CTA (post, ad, or link) prompts your visitors to click. On landing pages, CTAs tell visitors where to click to access the offer. CTAs can also be found on other pages of your website. There should be only one call to action per landing page. A CTA can, however, be repeated. Often this is done three times: above the fold, mid-page, and at the bottom of the page.

    Part 3: The Thank You Page

    Thank you pages can include a further CTA to continue the conversion process to make other offers. Each thank you page should be unique to a landing page. This is important to reinforce the user’s decision and for the conversion tracking in your analytics.

    Social Media and Lead Generation: Landing pages are an extremely important factor in social media to ensure your lead generation marketing is successful.

    6 Tips on How to Build a Great Landing Page

    A great landing page is simple, concise, and has one central call to action. There’s a trend to include two different CTAs, but you can test that yourself.

    What makes a landing page great is that it serves its purpose — to gain signups, sell a product, or donate. Nothing else.

    Your landing page can ( and often should) be unlisted on your website. This is ideal for search, A/B testing, search ads, and social media or email marketing campaigns. It shouldn’t be a part of your navigation.

    Want to build a great landing page? Here are some best practices:

    An amazing landing page from https://posthog.com/

    Writing a Compelling Headline for Your Landing Page

    The headline answers your visitor’s needs. It explains why they are there and is the first thing they see when they get to your landing page. This headline should speak to the audience and motivate them. I love the free headline tool from Sharethrough.

    Stating Your Offer: Make it Clear and Simple

    Make the value to the visitor clear. You have about three seconds for someone to decide if they want to stay on your landing page. If they come from a search or an ad, you need to convince them to stay on the page quickly. Use clear language. Keep it simple.

    Build a Landing Page Form that Converts

    Collect just as much information as you need. Don’t overcomplicate your form – that can make a person leave your page. Most of the time, a name and email are enough. You must ensure you have a data protection note on your forms too. Don’t just trust that your form plugin works. Test it on mobile.

    Remove Distractions from Your Landing Page

    Your landing page shouldn’t include a sidebar, navigation, or unnecessary text. A call to action can be a form that allows you to exchange a visitor’s contact information in exchange for what you offer. It could be a download, for instance.

    That form should be unique to your landing page. The landing page’s CTA can also be a “Get More Info” button.

    A link is a distraction. When building a landing page, you want to remove any opportunity for your visitor to be distracted from your marketing campaign. This includes your main navigation and sidebars.

    Videos and Images Help Your Landing Page Convert

    Images allow the visitor to picture themselves in the shot. We call this image the “hero shot.” This featured image should show when your landing page is shared on social media.

    The addition of a short, campaign-related video also serves to keep the visitor on your page longer. An image and a video together can increase your page retention by as much as six times over a page without them.

    Provide Reviews as Trust Elements in Your Landing Page

    Reviews are important trust elements. Who else purchased a product or benefited from your services? Constituent ratings, partner logos, and “faces of” are also good here if longer reviews are unavailable.

    Hot Tip: Thank You Pages are Actually Landing Pages

    Landing pages and thank you pages are like peanut butter and jelly. A thank you page, and a Landing Page CTA go together and should always be a unique pair. You’ll be glad you did this later when you set up goals for Analytics.

    Here is a Landing Page Template for You to Download and Use

    You may not be a web designer. Many of us aren’t. That’s okay because there are a lot of resources out there to help you. Honestly, a few WordPress blocks in the right place and you have a landing page. It’s not rocket science.

    Option: WordPress landing page plugins

    WPBeginner offers 6 of the best WordPress plugins for landing pages right here: https://www.wpbeginner.com/plugins/best-wordpress-landing-page-plugins-compared/

    Option: WordPress landing page Page Builders

    My partner Bridget Willard is also a big Beaver Builder fan, and she offers a Landing Page video tutorial right here: https://bridgetwillard.com/beaver-builder-tutorial-landing-page/#Easily_Replicate_a_Landing_Page_Template

    Option: Make your own landing page with WordPress blocks

    There are many great-looking and effective Landing Pages out there, but I find this layout to be quite good. It’s simple and can be put together quickly with a few blocks, or even HTML.

    a landing page template
    1. The page has a logo but has no navigation to distract people. Perhaps a telephone number on the right.
    2. Headline/Solution: What is the problem? How is it solved?
      CTA (5) Click here, and all your worries are over!
    3. Hero Shot: this is us. We see ourselves in the image. A movie keeps people on the page if they scroll below the fold.
    4. USPs: Unique Selling Points
    5. A second CTA in the event they are scrolling down – and also at the bottom! If they are there you may lose them. We want to avoid losing the visitor. Reassure and reinforce.
    6. Trust elements. These could be your team, or satisfied customers and reviews. They could be awards you have won. They could even be other products and services you offer to reinforce your expertise.

    ­­­­­­Where Can I Find More Information About Landing Pages?

    Landing Pages for Google Ads:
    https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/14086

    Landing Pages for Shopping:
    https://www.shopify.com/blog/landing-page

    Landing Pages for Email Marketing:
    https://mailchimp.com/de/marketing-glossary/landing-pages

    Landing Pages for SEO:
    https://www.searchenginejournal.com/best-landing-pages/494196
    https://www.semrush.com/blog/what-is-a-landing-page

    Landing Pages for Lead Generation, Social Media, and Support Queries: https://www.andrewswharton.com/blog/landing-page-best-practices

    Examples of Great Landing Pages:
    https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/landing-page-examples-list

    Don’t believe me? Check another article about landing pages: https://www.codeable.io/blog/howto-create-landing-pages-wordpress/
    https://unbounce.com/landing-page-articles/what-is-a-landing-page

    Landing pages are covered in special chapters of both my SEO book, and the Online Marketing series I did with Bridget Willard. They are that important. Check out the book that’s right for you!

    SEO All You Need to Know: Get Yourself and Your Website Found!

    A 7-Step Beginner’s Guide to Basic Search Engine Optimisation

    (2022 / 5th Ed. May 2024)

    My SEO course book is intended for those who are starting their search journey. SEO is an essential component of your online marketing strategy.

    Paperback and eBook.
    Auch auf Deutsch erhältlich!

    The Only Online Marketing Book You Need for Your Small Business

    (2021 / 2nd Ed. May 2023)

    Updated! Includes 8 Actionable Steps to Amazing Online Marketing and an “8-Day Marketing Kick Off In 1 Hour A Day”. There are hundreds of internet marketing books. Choose this one. Written together with Bridget Willard.

    Online Marketing for Small Businesses by Warren Laine-Naida and Bridget Willard available on amazon paperback and ebooks

    The Only Online Marketing Book You Need for Your Nonprofit

    (2021 / 2nd Ed. August 2023)

    Your nonprofit is a business; treat it like one. Written together with Bridget Willard.

    The Only Online Marketing Book You Need for Your Nonprofit book. Warren Laine-Naida and Bridget Willard.

    The Only Online Marketing Book You Need for Your School

    (2022)

    Educational Marketing 101: School is in! Written together with Bridget Willard.