Landing pages [1/3] - An essential tool for SMBs digital marketing

Landing pages are supposedly more efficient and easier to design than a full-blown website. One cannot consider capturing email without them. Do they represent the solution to any marketing strategy lacking results? And, most importantly, do you need them in your marketing strategy?

Yes because landing pages are optimized to increase your chances of conversion. Whatever the expected action from your visitors ...

And if you think landing pages will not fit in your budget, think again! Landing pages can be created without any technical skills and at a (very) small price. So go for it ... if you know how to use them!

What is a landing page?

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Home Page vs Landing Page

The home page is the entry point of your website where visitors can discover your offers in a glimpse. From there, they will navigate to more detailed pages on what interests them.

A landing page is an ultra-targeted and independent webpage that transforms your visitor's intention into action.

Website or landing page?

Landing pages are trendy. Many companies now use them as home page. Should you do the same? Not necessarily.

A website can contain several calls-to-action: purchase, subscription to a newsletter, sharing on social media, form completion, request for a submission, subscription to a RSS feed and more.

The advantage of a landing page lies in its simplification. When a visitor arrives on a landing page, he lands on a page entirely dedicated to the one subject he is interested in. There is no possible distraction. He has only two choices: take action or leave. This greatly increases the chance of conversion.

Although often marketing related, conversion goals may vary:

  • Register for a new service,

  • Download an e-book,

  • Generate sales,

  • Subscribe to a newsletter,

  • Register for a webinar, etc.

In any case, a landing page shouldn't be an abridged version of your website! It is a stand-alone page created specifically to support a marketing campaign, which aims to convince visitors to take action.

According to Convertize, an effective landing page can increase your conversion rate by 300% and your ROI by 291%.

ONE landing page = ONE action, ONE campaign, ONE content

Offering three services to one segment requires three landing pages.

So does offering only one service to three specific demographic targets. 

Types of landing pages

Instapage describes 6 types of landing pages.

The click-through page or click page contains a single call-to-action button. Its purpose is to encourage visitors to click on the page to land on another specific page. Why this type of page? To narrow the message on the benefits of a single product or service depending on the reality of the visitors and their specific stage in the sales funnel.

The purpose of a lead generation page is to capture visitors' information to later initiate more targeted marketing. A lead is a qualified customer showing interest in your services or products. Lead generation pages often have something to offer in return of a completed form and avoid any external link to keep the focus on the expected action.

The squeeze page aims to convince visitors to leave their email address if they want to move forward. This is typically the type of page you'll use to quickly grow an email list. It differs from a lead capture page as the only field that matters here is the email address.

The sales page is used to highlight a particular product or service. The length of the page will often vary depending on the complexity of the product or service. A long version will use two CTA buttons: one above the fold and another one at the bottom of the page.

The splash page or home screen is an introductory page that appears before any page of your website. It is used to draw the attention of visitors to a specific item or to get them to register before accessing the site.

The pitch page is a shortened version of a sales page which highlights the benefits of a product or service in a feature-centered approach.

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About using two calls-to-action

Usual recommendation is to focus all the attention on a single call-to-action. But two calls-to-action might be proposed in a spirit "better than nothing".

Here, the two actions cannot have the same weight. A principal action (the one preferred) will then be distinguished from a secondary action (the "better than nothing").

Here is the difference between converting the visitor into a customer or a lead. Talking about services, it is often easier to convert a visitor into a qualified prospect than a direct customer. Unlike a product, whose perception is more tangible to the visitor, services have an intangible side that requires more time to convert. Passing through the prospect status will override these reserves and eventually lead to a sale.

Why use a landing page?

Do you run an AdWords campaign? Are you currently promoting a product or an eBook? Are you advertising on the radio or in the press? Have you written an article for a blog or a magazine?

Each of those actions has a specific objective. Sending your visitors directly to your website won't cover those. But targeted landing pages will.
 

To support paid advertising campaigns

In a cost-per-click (PPT) campaign, you target different keywords and messages. By matching the content of your landing page with the keywords of your campaign, you increase the quality score of your ad and, therefore, decrease the cost of your clicks.
 

To sell more than one product

When you promote a product (or service), the visitor is usually redirected to one of these locations: your home page, the product detail page, or the shopping cart.

Of those three, the product detail page is the only who can provide enough information for the visitor to make an informed purchase decision. But the risks are great that he will be distracted by the main navigation of the site and ends up buying another product or, worse, leaving the site.

By directing the visitor to a targeted landing page, you simplify your sales funnel: publicity >> landing page >> shopping cart.

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To optimize your SEO

When you target several specific keywords, the home page of your website is not the place to put them all. A page that contains too many competing keywords reduces the effect of each keyword.

Consider instead creating unique landing pages for each keyword, following these rules:

  • Keyword in URL

  • Keyword in the title

  • Keyword in the body of the page

To respect a keyword ratio of 11%, an SEO-optimized landing page will include synonyms and play with lexical fields related to your targeted keywords. Editorial content must be good, with hyperlinks to your site.
 

To run A / B tests

One of the main advantages of a landing page is the ability to conduct several tests and adjust the content according to the results. 

In this type of A / B testing, two landing pages are created around the same product, with a variation in the sales speech, the visuals, or the layout of the call-to-action buttons. By comparing the cost of clicks and the conversion rate with tools like Google Analytics, it is easy to distinguish which version is the most effective.

Beyond this A / B testing, a landing page can also be an excellent technique to test a potential website redesign.