By Josh Ledgard
You’ve heard of landing pages. You know that you need one (or at least that’s what everyone says), but what you don’t know is why.
Why are landing pages important for your business?
Let’s start from scratch and define what a landing page is and the various ways you can use a landing page to grow your business. We’ll also highlight some of our favorite landing page galleries for your immediate inspiration.
A landing page is a single web page that’s optimized to convert your site visitors into customers. The landing page can cover any topic, but it’s ultimate goal is conversion. With a successful landing page, you convert the visitor from passive to actively engaged.
Your landing page is a lead generation tool. It’s often the second step in your sales funnel.
The first step is usually a social media, email, or search engine marketing campaign. Here’s how the entire process may work:
Let’s say you operate a dog treat subscription service. You decide to advertise your new service by running an ad campaign on Facebook where you target pet owners. In your ad, you’ll link to a landing page with a special coupon for new Facebook subscribers. When those interested click on the link provided in your ad, they’ll arrive on this landing page. It’s optimized to convert them from merely interested to engaged. After entering an email address, they’ll receive the promised special discount, and will then convert from visitor to lead, if not customer.
Your landing page works as a salesperson that convinces the visitor to continue on your desired course of action.
Your home page is more like a general information hub. It should introduce visitors to your brand. Your home page will link to several brand-related pages, including your about us, your services, your testimonials, and your contact information.
Your landing page is extremely focused on one message– converting the visitor. Most landing pages do not have links because the goal is to minimize all distractions that may lead the visitor elsewhere. Your landing page should coax the visitor towards conversion.
There are a ton of different synonyms for landing page. Here are the most popular: free offer page, gift page, lander, lead capture page, lead magnet page, opt-in page, splash page, and squeeze page.
Are your eyes crossing yet?
No matter what you call it, all landing pages must have these three things in common:
At KickoffLabs, we believe there are three different types of landing pages. They are:
Signup landing pages are designed to capture sales leads.
In this type of landing page, the visitor completes a form to sign up for a product or service.
The most compelling signup landing pages include the following:
A visual element – Whether you include a photo or a video, you need a hero shot that immediately captures the visitor’s attention.
A simple headline – You need a headline that clearly and quickly explains what the page is about and why the visitor should pay attention.
The main content – Here, you’ll focus on benefits (not just features). You’ll position your offer, product, or service as the solution to the visitor’s problem.
The signup form – You can’t have a signup landing page without a signup form. This is the star of the show, and it should be easy to see and fill out.
A call to action button – Usually at the bottom of the form, you’ll include a descriptive call to action that instructs the reader on what to do next.
Social proof – Whether you include testimonials or social media share buttons, you need an element of credibility on your landing page.
We specialize in signup landing pages. All of our landing pages are optimized to get visitors to sign up quickly. What’s even better about our landing pages is that you don’t have to do anything but choose one of our professionally designed templates and then plug in your details. It couldn’t be easier, and it is one of best things you can do for your business.
Click-through landing pages are optimized to make a sale as the next step.
This type of landing page is all about warming up the lead, and getting them to click through to another page.
Unlike signup landing pages, you won’t see a form on a click-through landing page. You will, however, see a call-to-action button or link that guides the visitor on the next step to take.
A click-through landing page is all about informing the visitor. There are times when you don’t want to direct an interested visitor from an ad to a registration form. You may want to fully introduce them to your product and illustrate why it’s the best solution for them. In your click-through landing page, you may describe a product or service, answer frequently asked questions, or show the product in action. Then, after the click-through, you’ll hit them with a demo, or a registration, or a payment page.
A click-through landing page is successful if it gets the user to make the next click.
Reference landing pages are created to pull visitors from search engines and educate them. This type of landing page can be a self-contained, single page website for a small businesses. It can also be a collection of single pages within a larger site.
Landing pages are one of the most important elements of online marketing. You need a website, sure. You need social media, absolutely. But you also need landing pages– and more than one– if you hope to convert interested, but on the fence, leads to customers.
Landing pages help you to isolate your message.
You may be thinking, Can’t I do that with my website? I’ll just have a link on my website devoted to marketing this product.
Here’s why that’s not a good strategy:
If an interested visitor clicks onto your homepage from an ad, they’ll immediately feel overwhelmed and overstimulated. They’ll think, What should I click in order to get to that special offer? What was that offer anyway? They’ll quickly get confused and leave your page without following through on your desired call to action. The new visitor that you’ve paid for will not convert.
However, if you have an optimized landing page, you can send the visitor to that page, whether it’s a signup, a click-through, or even a reference. The visitor will be given immediate access to what they’re actually interested in. They won’t need to flail around your website trying to find the one thing that they’re after.
Linking to an optimized landing page increases the likelihood of conversion.
Landing pages excel at:
List building – Looking for a quick way to build your email list? Create a signup landing page with the goal of building your email subscriptions. Next, add a resource that will interest and benefit your visitors. Advertise this landing page everywhere (i.e. on paid and organic social, your blog, etc.) and then watch your list grow like crazy. You can also build your list on a coming soon page before you launch.
Contests – If you run contests, you need a landing page to excite, educate, and collect sign ups. You can also include social media buttons to encourage your contest participants to share the contest with their circle of friends.
Direct sales – Create a landing page for each of your products to close a sale. You can use a “buy now” call to action button to drive the sale.
Relationship building – Last, but not least, landing pages can also start a conversation with your clients. For example, create a landing page that links to the best content on your blog, or a page that contains a list of downloadable resources. This can help build trust with your target audience.
As I mentioned before, you don’t actually have to design your landing page from scratch if you go with one of our professionally crafted landing pages. However, there are a few best practices you should keep in mind when you’re making a landing page template your own.
In this reference page, we’ve outlined the best practices for coming soon launch pages. What I want to draw your attention to is section 3. It’s all about designing your landing page around the sign up.
If you want to save a click, here’s a slice of it:
Make sure that your call to action is clear and unmistakable. There shouldn’t be mixed messages or confusion about what to do next.
Don’t ask for more than you need. The more “required” fields on your form, the less likely it will be completed. Keep it simple to get your foot in the door.
Incentivize your ask. People don’t want to give something without getting something. So, if you’re asking for their email address, give them a gift (resource, tools, coupons, early access, eBook, etc.) in return.
Definitely check out this reference page for more information on what to include in your landing pages, especially coming soon launch pages.
Design is important, but it’s content that will ultimately convert the visitor. Spend some time getting your words just right. Okay, I won’t pretend that it’s easy, but I do have a few tips to help you.
Check out these posts:
We briefly talked about driving traffic to your landing pages earlier. Let’s talk about the three main ways you can do that now:
Through paid ads – Whether you’re going through Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or some other channel, you need to drive traffic from your ad to your landing page.
Through organic search – Good luck getting found through organic search; although it is possible. If you want to learn more about SEO, definitely check out this reference page on improving your organic search traffic.
Through referral campaigns – Encourage your customers, subscribers, contestants, et al to spread the news about your product, service, launch, or contest. Provide them with a link that they can easily share with their social circle.
For more information on driving traffic to your landing pages, check out this post: Think Outside The Adwords and Drive Traffic To Your Landing Pages.
Before you go, check out these landing page inspiration sites.
KickoffLabs Showcase – Here’s a showcase of live landing pages from our actual customers
KickoffLabs Landing Page Templates – Get started building your landing page for free now