Most businesses in today’s digital age need a website to increase sales and have an online presence, it is arguably one of the biggest reasons that small businesses launch websites. But, what happens after a websites go live? It’s time to start generating traffic to that website, which requires a host of online marketing tactic like PPC and SEO. The best method for capturing information about prospects or sending them further into your sales funnel is landing pages.

Landing pages can be designed for capturing visitors to buy what’s in their cart or lead generation, the sole purpose of every landing page is to get visitors to complete a specific task. However, this can be more difficult than it sounds.

There’s an art to creating an effective landing page. In this post, we’ll review the ins and outs of when to use landing pages, as well as key considerations and tips and tricks for getting started.

What is a landing page?

When a website visitor clicks on a call-to-action and lands on a new page – that page is a landing page. While there are several types of landing pages, in this post we’re specifically talking about those developed for specific marketing campaigns. This kind of landing page doesn’t live on a website, like introductory or product landing pages. Instead, it’s usually only accessible from a link provided in marketing content, like inside a promotional email or embedded as a button on a blog, etc.

Landing pages are valuable in two ways:

  1. Lead generation:Allowing you to capture visitors’ contact information in exchange for something, like a brochure or an eBook, then turning the details into sales leads.
  2. Click-through: Used to promote potential customers’ interest in whatever you’re trying to sell before you send them further along the customer journey. (Commonly used by ecommerce businesses.)

When do you need a landing page?

Whenever you’re running any marketing or promotional campaign. That means, if you’re running ads on Google Adwords, sending out an email newsletter, announcing the launch of a new product, running a giveaway contest, or even publishing guest blogs – in almost every case it’s not a good idea to link to your home page. Generally, your home page just doesn’t do the best job of explaining your product or service, at least as it relates to a particular campaign you may be running.

A landing page gives you the ability to create a targeted message that’s directly connected to where your customers came from. In other words, before you launch any marketing campaign or promotion, it’s vital you have a complementary landing page in mind, or to create one specific to your goals. The success of your campaign depends on it. The type of landing page you need depends on your objective.

If your goal is to collect visitors’ contact or business information, you should create some special offer and include a lead-capture form. Offers might include:

  • Sign-up for a webinar
  • Enroll in an online course
  • Get a demo or free consultation
  • Download a publication like a eBook, report, whitepaper, or infographic
  • Get a special discount
  • Listen to a presentation or download a podcast
  • Subscribe to a blog, email newsletter, or RSS

To send visitors along the customer journey, you’ll generally create a click-through landing page to convince them to:

  • Sign-up as a paying subscriber to your service
  • Click “buy” in their shopping cart

How to create great landing pages

What your landing page looks like and how much information it contains depends on the objective of your campaign. The internet is full of information about what landing pages should and shouldn’t feature, these are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Prioritize simplicity: Visual clutter will detract from your message and overwhelm visitors, so make good use of white space. Keep key information above the fold.
  • Write a clear headline and sub-head: A good landing page always broadcasts an offer. Use your headline to promote it in a few simple words. Use the sub-head to further explain the offer or share its value proposition.
  • Focus on a single message: Most visitors won’t spend too much time reading, so make text short and easy to read. Ideally, it should be 1-2 short paragraphs of 2-3 sentences only. Demonstrate that you understand your visitors’ pain points and communicate your value proposition.
  • Use bulleted and numbered lists: What is your offer? What are the benefits of your offer? Provide 3-4 ways your solution answers visitors’ pain points. Alternatively, you should also list 3-4 benefits of key product features.
  • Match content to PPC ads: Repeat the exact same words and phrases in your Pay Per Click ads. This reassures visitors they’ve come to the right place.
  • Use a single call to action: It’s good practice to repeat exactly what you want visitors to do when they’re on the page—in the copy, as well as on the call to action button. You should keep your landing page short, but if you haven’t make sure to place your button above the fold.
  • Keep forms short: Do you want to collect visitors’ names, where they work, their phone number, and email address? Or will an email address suffice? Consider how much information you actually need. The more you require, the less likely visitors will oblige.

Online landing page tools

If you don’t have the skills to design and code landing pages yourself, there are a lot of great tools online that make building your own custom landing pages easy. They even come with ready-made templates, helpful tips for customizing the designs, and tools for A/B testing.

Our favorite resources include:

Unbounce

  • Launched in 2009, Unbounce is possibly the internet’s first landing page software. The company has become a leader in the space, providing most of the features that search marketers love, including website pop-ups and sticky bars. There are 150+ templates; functionality is drag-and-drop; and A/B testing is built-in. Plus, Unbounce landing pages can be integrated with email and WordPress sites.

KickOffLabs

  • KickOffLabs is a popular choice for businesses doing marketing for product launches, sweepstakes, and giveaways. It has a focus on social promotion, KickOffLabs features several built-in tools designed to generate word-of-mouth buzz and referrals. Its landing page editor is easy to use and provides a range of color schemes and templates to choose from. If you’re looking for a simple tool to publish landing pages quickly, KickOffLabs is an excellent choice.

Thrive Architect

  • If your website is built in WordPress and you don’t want to hire a designer every time you need a landing page, then Thrive Architect is another great option. A premium landing page plugin for WordPress, Thrive enables you to create and publish your own unique landing pages that are optimized for conversions and easy to edit. It offers more than 250 landing page templates, so you don’t have to worry about design.

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