The power of landing pages: what they are and why you need them

Landing pages are highly-focused pages on your website that are designed with a singular goal: getting your visitors to act now.

Adding landing pages to your website is probably one of the easiest ways to boost the number of direct leads you receive through your website. Why? Put quite simply, because generating leads should be the sole function of any landing page.

Of course, if you run a business website, the whole point of your site is to generate leads, right? Naturally, the answer is yes. However, landing pages differ from other pages on your website because they’re often completely sectioned off from the rest of your website’s content. In most cases, a visitor can’t navigate to them from your website’s main menu. Neither can they navigate to your website’s other pages from the landing page.

This might seem a counterintuitive approach for a website page, but it’s done this way to keep your landing page hyper-focused, providing a dedicated overview of your product or service that should entice your visitors to act now, rather than potentially wandering off to other pages on your website.

Now that we’ve covered the functions of a landing page, let’s take a look at when and how you should think of using them on your own website.

When & how to use landing pages

Landing pages are called as such because it’s the page a visitor “lands on” after clicking a link (normally one that’s on a different website).

Of course, that could mean the link takes the visitor to your homepage, or indeed, any other page on your website. The problem there though is that those pages serve many other functions than getting your visitor to act now.

In comparison, a dedicated landing page that reflects the goals we’ve described above will be designed to fit a specific online marketing campaign. Campaigns that use landing pages are often connected to paid advertising – for example, using Google Ads or social media ads. However, that’s not to say they can’t be used for organic marketing campaigns (ones that don’t use paid advertising) as well.

But what kinds of things should you be persuading your visitor to do when they get to your landing page? Here are just a few examples:

  • Submit an enquiry form and/or call you about your product or service
  • Download a brochure, eBook or whitepaper
  • Subscribe to your newsletter or email marketing list
  • Sign up for an event (whether that involves purchasing a ticket, or registering for free)
  • Purchase a specific product (for this reason, you’ll notice many product pages on online shops reflect the landing page format that we’ve outlined below).

Not all of these actions will lead directly to a sale for your business. Whether they do or not largely depends on the nature of your business and the goal of your marketing campaign.

The important thing is that any of these actions will place the visitor at somewhere in your lead generation funnel or sales pipeline. That’s because they’ve demonstrated a clear interest in what your business does or sells.

The anatomy of a landing page

Because landing pages are so specific they often follow a similar format, making use of only 5 key elements, all of which serving a specific purpose. There’s very good reason for that – it’s a tried-and-trusted format that’s clear, engaging and enticing: all things that inspire your visitor to act now.

5 key elements for your landing page

Anatomy of a landing page
  1. The hero content
    This content all appears ‘above the fold’, including a snappy, engaging headline and an enticing image that tells your visitor they’re in the right place for what they’re looking for.
  2. The all-important call to action
    Whether it’s a sign up form, a ‘purchase now’ button or something else entirely, this is the essential part of your landing page. It should be clear, simple and even incentivise action now (offering a discount code, for example).
  3. The benefits
    Make it clear how your product or service will make your customers’ lives easier. Choose up to 3 key benefits and enhance them with images or icons if you can.
  4. The evidence
    Sure, you know your product or service is good, but nothing can convince your visitor like seeing what others who have benefited from your product or service have to say. Add reviews or testimonials, and enhance them with company logos or profile pictures if you can. This helps to add trust, credibility and authenticity to your reviewers’ words.
  5. The powerful closer
    This should be a strong reinforcement of why your visitor should act now. Importantly, if you haven’t inspired them to act in the hero section, you’ve also got opportunity here. Consider adding another call to action in your closer to make it really easy for your visitor to convert at the last moment.

Thanks to Disruptive Advertising, who designed the original infographic on which we based the one we’ve created here.

For proof in the pudding, click on any paid ad on Google, Bing or your favourite social media, and you’ll more than likely find yourself on a page that’s laid out just like this. Even if not, you’ll likely be able to spot a combination of these 5 key elements at work.

How to create your own landing page

Now that we know all about what landing pages do, how they work, and what elements they should contain, the final piece of the puzzle is how you can go about creating one!

There are plenty of options for building your own, starting with the most simpl. If you use a content management system on your website such as WordPress (and honestly, if you’re not, here are some reasons why you probably should be using it), it’s quite simple to create and host your landing page on your website.

While this is possibly the most obvious way to build your own landing page, you may find a couple of issues with this method. Firstly, to create a landing page that fits the design format above, you’ll likely need to strip your page of your standard website header and footer. Depending on your website’s setup, and if you’re not au-fait with coding, this could be difficult. Secondly, if you’re only planning on using your landing page for a short campaign, or if you need to build lots of them, you could end up clogging your website up with unnecessary pages in the long run.

With that in mind, you may prefer to look towards a third party landing page tool. The biggest players in this market are Instapage and Unbounce – both extremely powerful, but also come with high monthly costs.

However, as a happy compromise, a third option would be to look at the options your email marketing platform provider – such as mmunic’s own platform, mmunicMail – can provide. As most email marketing platforms make it easy to build your own sign up forms, it makes sense that they also the power to build and host your landing pages.

In many ways, this offers a win-win situation: keeping your landing pages easy to design, manage, and update while connecting instantly with your marketing lists, and also saving you the hassle of paying for a separate service for your landing pages. As the key to getting the best of both options, what’s there to lose?

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