Landing Pages: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?

In a world where we’d like to think that first impressions don’t matter as much anymore, the reality is that they still do -- at least in the digital realm. With so many online options at our fingertips, today’s customer has become more discerning than ever before, opting to simply keep browsing or click on a competitor’s link instead. As such, the face that you present to your virtual readership serves both the introduction to your brand as well as the anchor that keeps your loyal audience coming back for more, and telling their friends about you along the way.

This is where a dynamic landing page comes in. Developed correctly, this page will draw your readers in, pique their interest and deliver the results and answers they crave. Different from your website’s homepage, but equally as important, your landing page can make or break your online engagement and conversion rates. As such, it’s important to understand what they are, how they work and precisely why they matter. Let’s dig in.

What are Landing Pages?

Have you ever clicked on a Google AdWord or another content marketing button? If so, you were likely taken to a landing page. In short, this is a static web page that stands alone from the rest of your web presence. It is laser focused on the marketing or advertising campaign you’re currently running and it has a clear Call to Action (CTA) for your visitors to take if they want to learn more.

Most commonly designed to work in correlation with paid internet traffic, landing pages aren’t cluttered with myriad points about your company, team, product suite, service offerings, experience, and past performance. Those elements are essential to reveal, but they’re delegated to the homepage of your website, which is usually full of links to click and buttons to press. Conversely, a landing page usually only has one button -- the CTA. This button might read “Click Here to Learn More,” “Register Now” or various interpretations depending on the action you want your target visitor to take.

What Do Landing Pages Do?

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with options as soon as we log onto the internet. After all, we use the same device to schedule a conference call, send our important emails, buy a new pair of shoes, order our family’s groceries for the week, engage in social media, and oh yes, actually call someone. As such, it doesn’t take long before we’re soon bombarded with the possibilities and our attention spans become shorter and shorter.

Landing pages are mean to help simplify the chaos. Here are three important purposes they serve:

1. They make decisions quick and simple.

A website can be a complicated traffic web. You want to make sure that your audience has everything it needs when it visits your page, so you cram it full with data. Have you ever visited a website and spent more than a few seconds wondering which drop-down menu to press or subpage to visit because the whole thing was just so convoluted with information that it was difficult to discern where to begin?

That’s not the case with a landing page. If you want to get your audience’s attention and cut right to the fact of the matter, you’ll do it in this space. You’ll design a landing page when you want your visitors to perform a certain action. This might be taking a survey, signing up for an online class you’re offering, donating to your cause or downloading your most recent white paper. Either way, the aim and intent are made clear on the page as soon as the visitor lands there and there is no digging around for the purpose or point.

2. They help you gauge customer interest.

If you’re a marketer, chances are you’ve put out some advertising campaigns that have been more effective than others. Yet, how did you know whether or not one was successful? You can ask for customer feedback, calculate ROI and analyze traffic patterns all day and while those insights may be valuable in their own right, none are as quick or to-the-point as a landing page.

You can use your landing page as a simple way to find out whether or not your customers are actually interested in the product or service you’re advertising. How? You can simply use this space to request basic customer information in exchange for a provided benefit. For instance, you may offer a visitor a sneak-peek trial of a new product if they’ll provide their address and phone number. Other motivators might include discounts and promotion codes, free articles, or other swag. If you get a lot of positive responses, it either means your incentives were incredible or your campaign is truly thought-provoking. Now, you’ve also got a list of qualified and interested leads who want to learn more about what you’re offering.

3. They bring your ad campaign full-circle.

You wouldn’t shell out major bucks on a new digital marketing campaign only to leave it half-fulfilled, would you? Unless you have a designated landing page for yours, that could be exactly what you’re doing. The intent of your efforts is to turn visitors into leads, and then leads into paying customers. As such, the quicker you can complete this circle and close that loop, the more profit that means for your business. To that end, it’s worth the investment to work with a landing page builder to make sure yours is up to speed.

You don’t want to send your interested customers on a wild goose chase. Rather, you want to direct them exactly where you’d like them to go, using your landing page as the key navigator. To this end, a landing page can reduce your bounce rate, increase conversions and earn you a better return on your paid advertising endeavor.

From the Landing Page to the Front Page: Keeping Them Interested

After you’ve captured your customer’s interest with a streamlined, straightforward and user-friendly landing page, you might think the work is over. Yet, while a major hurdle has been crossed, there is still work to do. Next, it’s important to deliver on the promises you made. Use the contact information you’ve gathered to learn more about your interested audience members to create products and services that cater directly to them.

Maintain the engagement momentum by keeping a consistent social media posting strategy and reaching out to on-the-fence prospects. Above all, remember to that if someone only has one interaction with your brand, the landing page is where you want it to happen. From there, the possibilities are endless.