A landing page is a special type of website sales page. It may be a page that directly sells a product or service. Alternatively, it could be a web page that sells visitors on the benefits of entering their name and email address in exchange for a free download; or to get more information about a product or service (usually for more expensive or complex products or services); or to subscribe to a newsletter; or to register for a contest; or to call for more information; or for any of many other types of lead generation strategies.
In most cases a landing page is not a home page (although there are exceptions – including for certain websites that only sell one product or service).
In certain limited examples, a landing page is not even part of a website’s navigation menu, which means that users would not end up on such a page as a result of browsing a particular website. They would arrive, or land there, by being purposefully directed to that page via an email, or an advertisement. (By the way, the advertisement could be an ad on one’s own site, in addition to other sites).
Landing Page Expectations
Typically, a visitor “lands” on a landing page via an advertisement (such as PPC or other ads), e-mail, or search listing. That initial message establishes the viewer’s expectation for what the user expects to see when they click on a link that leads them to your landing page.
An obvious point that contributes to the sales success of any landing page is how well the landing page delivers on the promise of the ad or email that drove the visitor to the landing page.
If a person clicks on a link from an ad, or email, or search result, with a promise of a solution to a problem, or more information, or certain details, only to land on a generalized page about a company (such as a home page), then the visitor is forced to search again for the information that brought him to the site. Most visitors will leave such a site and look for another website that makes it easier for the searcher to find what they’re after.
For example, if a searcher clicks on an ad that describes a sale for a particular brand of motorcycle tire, only to land on the home page of a motorcycle dealer’s website that features all kinds of motorcycles, helmets, jackets, accessories, parts, mechanical services – as well as motorcycle tires – the visitor would be forced to do further searching on the dealer’s website to find the tire sale. Many visitors will leave such a website disappointed, and continue their search for a site that will show them the exact motorcycle tire they’re after.
A better example would be a searcher who clicks on an ad for a particular brand of motorcycle tire, and arrives on a web page that has a picture of that exact tire, with the regular price, the sale price, the tire’s specifications, shipping details, a phone number to call for any questions, and a very easy-to-see “BUY” button (or “Add to Shopping Cart”) so that such a consumer can get the info they’re after (if they want), but more importantly, so they make their purchase and move on with their day.
Landing Page Call-to-Action
The “call-to-action” is what you want the visitor to do, such as make a purchase, download some information, make a phone call, etc. In the above example, the call-to-action is represented by a very prominent “BUY” button.
Whatever it is you want the visitor to do, be sure to clearly state it on the landing page. Any visitor should be able to quickly identify what their expected action is.
Market Testing Landing Pages
There is more than one can know about landing pages, including not distracting visitors from the main intent of the web page. Hence, landing pages can be made more effective by “not” including other advertisements.
More importantly, landing pages can be made more effective by testing, testing and more testing. Market testing landing page variables such as the wording in the headlines, the main copywriting information, the placement of “more details,” and product images are among some of the fundamental items that should be statistically compared and then refined.