What is a landing page?

A landing page is a standalone page on a website designed to enable a specific action. It is called a landing page because users “land” on it from another part of the sales journey. This could be a link in an email, a blog-post, an ad, or simply after performing a Google search looking for a specific keyword.

Businesses use landing pages throughout the sales funnel to collect visitor information or make sales. Common reasons for using a landing page include helping customers:
  • Download an eBook or case studies.
  • Register for a webinar.
  • Sign up for a free trial of your product.
  • Make a purchase. This is usually the case for click-through landing pages that are commonly used by e-commerce businesses where the user is encouraged to directly make a purchase or start a subscription.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about landing pages. First, watch the video below for an easy-to-understand introduction.

Check out this brief video to learn more

Homepage vs landing page: What's the difference?

People often get confused about the difference between a homepage (or product page) and a landing page. If a business doesn’t have a mature marketing strategy, they may even use them interchangeably.

However, this is usually not the best way to convert site visitors, as they have significant differences. Most of these distinctions are due to the ultimate goal of each page. Homepages are typically built to enable a large variety of interactions.

The user could be visiting to buy a product, to find more information about the company, to search for contact information, or even to look for job openings. A homepage will typically make it possible for users to achieve all these goals.

On the other hand, most website visitors will have the same reason for visiting a landing page. As such, all the features are optimised to enable this goal. This typically results in the following differences:

Navigation

A homepage includes a variety of menus that make it easy for users to find the information they need. Meanwhile, a landing page often avoids menus altogether, so the user has fewer chances to navigate away from the page. The goal is to make clicking the call-to-action the only option.

Content

Content on a homepage reflects the fact that the user could be there for multiple reasons. The content is typically informational and will attempt to tell the visitor about the company and what it does.

On a landing page, the content focuses on conversion. For example, an eBook landing page will communicate the benefits of downloading the material, while a free-trial page will show the benefits of signing up.

Calls-to-action

A call-to-action or CTA is a feature on a webpage that instructs the visitor to perform a certain task. It will often be in the form of a clickable button. Examples of calls-to-action include “learn more,” “buy now,” or “sign up here.”

While both homepages and landing pages use calls-to-action, they do so in different ways.

A homepage will typically have multiple calls-to-action to satisfy a variety of goals. These could be encouraging the user to find out more about product features, to sign up to an email subscriber list, or to access a free trial.

A landing page will usually have a single CTA (or multiple calls-to-action for just one offer), as including more would reduce the chance of the page achieving its main goal.

Want to create an effective landing page?

Our landing pages on-demand webinar shows you how. See landing pages in action, including landing page examples, templates, and more.

Why do I need a landing page?

Landing pages are a critical part of a digital marketing campaign. You need a landing page, if at any point in your plan, you want users to take a specific action. While you can use a generic webpage, a landing page provides the best possible chance of conversion.

Specific examples of how a landing page fits into a marketing campaign include:

  • If you use PPC ads on Google or social media for your lead generation activities, you will need to direct people who click on your ad to a landing page.
  • Email marketing: If you use an email list to build sales, you can create landing pages for each offer you promote to your target audience.
  • You can improve the marketing efficiency of blog posts by including relevant offers within them. When users click on these offers, you show them to a landing page.
  • If you want to promote products to your social media followers, you can build landing pages for each separate offer.

Landing page design: What should mine include?

Although there are different types of landing pages, a good landing page usually has several features that make it convert well. Let’s look at the landing page for our marketing automation webinar so you can see how these parts come together.

  • Headline: The headline is typically your offer’s main benefit and it’s used to attract your visitors’ attention.
  • Subheading: The subheading contains more information about your offer.
  • Written copy: The text provides further details about why the user should take up your offer.
  • Lead Capture Form: In this case, the landing page aims to capture user contact details using form fields, such as their name, email address, and phone number. As such, it needs a lead capture form, so users can provide this information.
  • Call-to-action: The CTA button makes it clear what will happen if the user presses the button.
  • Permission checkbox: You may need permission to contact users if they live in some areas, notably the EU. Use a checkbox to receive this permission.
  • Visual media: Images, videos, or charts make your page look professional. You can also use pictures to invoke emotions or show off product features.
  • Bullet point lists: Lists help make the benefits of your offer clear.

There are other features you can use in your landing page, such as:

  • Tables: Tables are another way you can convey important information clearly. Or, you could use them to compare different plans.
  • Testimonials: Testimonials from current customers provide social proof that your product works. This can boost your conversion rate.
  • Videos: Videos are an effective way to explain your product or offer. If it is suitable, consider using one on your page.

Using videos on landing pages can improve your conversion rate by 86%1.

How to create a landing page that converts?

Now you know the features of a landing page, you need to learn how to put them together in a way that converts. Here are some things to consider:

Know your offer

Before creating your own landing page, be sure that you know exactly what your offer is and what its benefits are. If you are creating a landing page for an informational eBook, for example, this means knowing how the content helps solve your customer’s problem.

Know where the landing page fits in your strategy

You should also have a clear idea about which stage of the marketing funnel the landing page is for. If it’s for the awareness stage, you can talk about how your eBook will teach the prospect something useful about their problem. If it’s for the consideration stage, show how the offer will help them make a purchasing decision.

Match your messaging

Ensure that your landing page messaging matches the messaging of the content that sent the user to the page. Here are two examples of this in practice:
Search engine ad: Get 60% off website hosting. Landing page: Affordable web hosting. Get 60% off your first plan.
Blog post popup: Want to build an app for your business? Landing page: Our solution helps you build a mobile app in minutes. Sign up now.

Targeting and a/b testing your landing pages correctly can boost conversions by 300% or more2.

Know your customer

You need to have a clear idea about who your customers are so you can tailor landing page content. For example, a local cleaning service that offers separate services for home cleaning and office cleaning would use a different landing page for each type of customer. As potential customers will typically only visit your landing page after taking a particular action, it is easy to make accurate assumptions.

Ask for minimal information

Lead-form abandonment is when a prospect stops signing up to your offer before they finish. This is usually either because the process is complicated or because you asked for more information than they are willing to provide. To reduce the chances of prospects abandoning, consider asking for the minimum amount of information possible. You can always find out more by either requesting it later or by using an external source of data to fill in the gaps.

Put important information above the fold

The fold refers to the part of the screen that is visible when you first land on a page. You should optimise your landing page, so everything a customer needs to make a decision is visible in this part of the screen.

Optimise for mobile

Be aware that a significant amount of web traffic comes via mobile. Ensure that your landing page is optimised for both desktop and smartphone browsers. This will improve the user experience and give you the best chance of converting, no matter how the user accesses your site.

Act! makes building landing pages easy

Try Act! free for 14 days and see how Act! Marketing Automation helps you create great landing pages that increase conversions.

Wrapping up

  • What is a landing page: A landing page is a standalone page on your website designed to get potential customers to take a specific action.
  • Landing page vs homepage: While a landing page has a specific function, a homepage allows users to achieve multiple goals.
  • Landing page uses: You can use landing pages to convince prospects to act at every stage of the marketing funnel.
  • Landing page features: An effective landing page may include a headline, subheading, written copy, forms, call-to-action, permission checkbox, visual media, lists, tables, testimonials, and videos.
  • Landing page best practices: Know how your offer fits into your overall strategy, ask for minimal information, match your messaging, put important information above the fold, know your customer, optimise for mobile, and perform a/b testing on a regular basis.

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