What is a landing page?

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What is a landing page?

SEO, social media, content, Google Adwords, and landing pages - landing pages are one of the key ingredients to every effective online marketing campaign. But what exactly is a landing page?

You’ve no doubt seen hundreds of them while browsing the internet - a landing page is simply a webpage that is designed specifically to get users (like you and me) to interact with an important aspect of a website. If you’ve clicked on a Google Ad before, you’ve certainly been directed to a company’s landing page.

The art of engagement

Whether it’s a ‘free 3 month trial’ or a 50% discount coupon for those who subscribe to a newsletter, landing pages have been iterated and refined since their inception to get one job done: encourage you to do something. Typically, the goal of a landing page is to collect contact information. No matter what the page is suggesting, the end goal is an email address and a name, so you can be plugged into further automated marketing processes. That may sound diabolical, but if the right content is of interest to you, what’s to lose?

For online businesses, web interaction is hugely important. Some companies don’t have a brick and mortar storefront to sell their product or service, and they rely solely on their website to generate sales. Now, given that on average a user only stays 10-20 seconds on a web page, a landing page has to quickly engage the user. Doing that requires the combined effort of talented web designers, web developers, copywriters and marketing gurus: this is because a landing page only has to make 1 mistake to fail completely.

If there’s too much text, a user will become disinterested, and leave. If the colour scheme is abrasive or the images and company logo don’t look proper, a user will exit on the basis that the website was ‘unprofessional’. Or, if you clutter your landing page with too many links and buttons, a user will get distracted and quickly press their favourite and most used web browser tool - the back button. (For a tongue-in-cheek example of one of the worst landing pages on the internet, I invite you to follow this link here).

Searching Online

Think about how you look for a product online. Most likely, you start searching with a basic idea - you want a new camera. From there you gather information about the best and the brightest new products on the market. You’re likely to adjust your search parameters to include a sense of your budget, and then violà! A Canon T3i Rebel on sale for 25%! While it sounds like an excellent deal (and it is), most users aren’t satisfied so easily. You head back to the search results and click on another link, and another, and probably at least a dozen more. For window shoppers, the internet is a strip of never-ending bliss. For businesses, it’s one of the most highly competitive marketing environments out there.

So, how do businesses make their landing pages stand out, and convert a user into a sale? It’s a question you could write a book about - and people have! If you’re interested in learning about landing pages I would highly recommend Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions by Tim Ash, Rich Page and Maura Ginty. It acts as a complete guide and step-by-step process for creating, testing and implementing effective landing pages. Not too mention, the book comes with $50 of Google Adwords credit.

While it may seem like a mundane part of marketing, landing page creation and optimization can actually be thought-provoking, rewarding, and believe it or not, fun! If you have any landing page questions (or just want to talk online marketing) connect with me on Twitter @aidancoady.