Landing pages are a hot topic.
When a client is ready to start some lead generation efforts and I bring up landing pages, the conversation goes something like this:
"Now that your website is getting a good amount of traffic, we should add a landing page to..." [Client gets excited and jumps in with] "Oh, yes. I have lots of landing pages." or "I get lots of hits on my landing page."
When digging a little deeper, sometimes the client means their home page or a category landing page of a product catalog, a product page itself or a contact page. Everyone defines the term a little different.
So, what really is a landing page by definition?
In the widest sense of the definition, every page of your website could act as a landing page as long as you direct traffic to it on one way or from and you have a goal in mind that the visitor should complete.
One of the authorities on content marketing and landing pages out there, Copyblogger, defines a landing pages as:
Any page on a website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action or result. Think of a golf course… a landing page is the putting green that you drive the ball (prospect) to. - Copyblogger
However as an Inbound Marketer I define landing pages a bit more narrow.
What makes a great landing page - the Inbound Marketing way?
There are several criteria that elevates any page that could act as a landing page to a great, optimized landing page from an Inbound Marketing point of view:
- Target Your Buyer Persona. When creating landing pages, you should consider your buyer personas. Create one landing page for each of your buyer persona's problems that they are trying to solve with the solution you offer. Keep in mind possible search terms that they might use to find a solution as well as the stage of the buying journey they are in. Someone who is researching if they can afford to hire an interior designer needs different information than a person who already has made that decision and is now checking out different firms.
- Focus on one offer. Each landing page should focus on promoting only one specific solution or product. There should be no additional side offers or a landing page offering a selection of items.
- Needs to include a form to capture the visitor's information. A landing page exists for the sole purpose of capturing information. It allows the visitor to take an action, whether it is to buy a product, sign up for a product demo, download an eBook or book a webinar.
- No distractions. The design of a landing page should not include any navigation, sidebar or other distractions that could sidetrack your visitor from filling out the form and taking the action you want them to take.
- Receive targeted traffic. Your landing page should receive quality traffic of interested visitors by hyper-targeted PPC campaigns or by putting a Call-to-Action under or in related content.
The bottom line is: If you direct traffic to your landing pages (as in "any page where people land on") you might be wasting your money on PPC and actually increase your bounce rate as visitors click though and then are dumbfounded as to what the next step is.