By Danielle Whetstone
In a digitally savvy world, it’s no new news that an easy-to-navigate, visually appealing website is a powerhouse, must-have tool. But while we could talk ad nauseam about best practices for web page design, reducing bounce rates, and text-to-graphic ratios, we’re focusing on the related but separate, increasingly more popular cousin to the webpage, the landing page.
Its slimmed-down, sleek functionality offers a lot of versatility. But let’s make a few clarifications first.
What’s the difference between a landing page and a web page?
Think of a website’s collection of web pages as a general practitioner. For common ailments, broken bones, general diagnosis… your family doctor is your go-to source for basically everything health related. They may have a focus in their medicine, but they treat the gamut, from kids to adults and seniors. That’s your website. The first point of reference for your brand, with a comprehensive overview of who you are and what you do.
However, family doctors often refer patients to a specialist who focuses on one thing and one thing only. The specialist, in this case, is a landing page. It serves one distinct purpose.
What is the purpose of a landing page?
A landing page’s sole purpose is to capture a visitor’s contact information, typically in exchange for a resource or something of value. That could be anything from a downloadable ebook or guide to more in-depth information on a product or an offer. In short, a landing page is a lead generation tool.
Speaking of short, that’s exactly how long a landing page should be. Keep in mind this is not a substitution or mirror of your website’s home page. And while your website should always contain lead capture tools and the standard “contact us” page, a landing page is a standalone tool with very specific information, limited navigation, and a clear Call to Action (CTA).
For example, you’ve just released a hot new product or service, and you’re trying to drive sales for it. Redirecting to your website might cause a user to drop off, get overwhelmed, or be disinterested with the onslaught of all your other products. But redirecting to that specific product or service, without distraction, can be a great way to increase conversions.
What is the benefit of a landing page?
As mentioned previously, landing pages are increasingly becoming more common practices for several reasons.
- They’re Easily Testable: Since they’re a separate entity from your website, they’re easy to change and test. Wanting to try out some new graphics or branding without a complete website overhaul? A/B test conversion rates from a couple landing pages with various designs. Not sure what offer appeals more to your target audience, test it out with landing pages.
- They Help You Understand Your Audience: This point goes hand-in-hand with testing. As a brand, you’ve developed a voice to talk about who you are and what you offer; but what if you’re not resonating with your target audience and missing opportunities because your language or offers either don’t speak to your potential customer or, worse, loses them altogether. With the singular nature of landing pages, brands can gain valuable insights into their current and future customers and know what most appeals to them.
- Increase Your Subscriber Base: Since the primary purpose of a landing page is to capture user information, it’s the perfect tool for gaining subscribers and giving you the opportunity to convert them to high-value customers.
What are best practices for designing landing pages?
When creating a landing page, determine what your focus is. Wanting to drive sales for a new product? Inform visitors about a service you offer? Increase your subscriber list by providing a resource? Decide, then stick to it. Don’t get distracted. This isn’t the space for ensuring a visitor knows all about your brand; that’s what your website is for. Think again of the general practitioner vs. specialist analogy. A specialist isn’t going to perform your annual checkup, and you’re not going to ask your gastroenterologist about that concerning mole on your back. Let your website do the heavy lifting here.
A landing page should be concise, to the point, with limited navigation, but still offer value and be relevant. This is an opportunity to get very granular with your products and services and to understand your customer to better meet their needs.
And since landing pages are at their very essence a lead capturing tool, ensure that your lead form is front and center. Don’t be rude about it, but don’t be shy either. Make sure your lead capture tool is visible when the page loads, without scrolling to find it.
Landing pages are a great way to increase conversions and better know your most valuable audience. Not sure where to start? C Squared Social can help. With in-house web development, graphic, and copywriting teams, we can get your optimized landing page(s) up and running in as few as 14 days! Get in touch with us to learn how.