Landing Page

A landing page is a website that is created for a advertising campaign. The goal of a landing page is to guide the visitor to a conversion or to generate a lead. Landing pages can be used as components of every advertisement campaign in all online marketing channels such as display marketing, email marketing, or search engine optimization. In e-commerce, the concept of landing pages is applied to every product or category page.

General information

A landing page can be viewed as any website, which aims to guide the visitor to a conversion or a lead. Landing pages that are used for advertising campaigns are usually separated from the actual website structure and can't be reached via the internal links. More often, they are optimized specifically for advertising campaigns. Landing pages should primarily serve to increase the conversions and prompt the visitor to perform certain actions. These could be subscribing to a newsletter, filling a contact form, downloading a software or a classic purchasing of a product.

The difference between a conventional website and a landing page lies in the fact that although the landing page is used as a marketing instrument, it does not contain any advertising material or banners. Landing pages are often the reference targets of advertising banners on normal websites if they themselves are not used as independent advertising material as part of a campaign. This is why they are not specifically optimized for certain keywords but are rather aimed at generating revenue.

Means of lead generation

Landing pages primarily help in lead generation: A lead is a qualified visitor who is interested in the offer and voluntarily gives his/her contact information for further marketing measures. The hereby won links are then used to try and increase the number of conversions: Normal, interested customers become paying customers if the landing page achieves its goal and results in a sale. Landing pages can also be used as advertising campaigns within the framework of daily business.

One special feature of landing pages is their invocation of the user’s interaction. A response or call back function is integrated to enable the user to interact with the landing page, e.g., in form of a contact form or a “buy now” button. The content, structure, and visual effects are aimed at bringing about the user’s interaction.

Furthermore, landing pages are streamlined: Navigation or elements that can distract the user and lead him/her away from the offer are avoided at all costs.

Important elements

A landing page usually has several elements that play a major role from the user’s point of view. The following figure shows the structure and important elements of a landing page using the example of a product page.

Types of functions

Standard landing page

There are many ways of defining landing pages. Existing pages can be used as landing pages, such as category pages or product pages, depending on the orientation of the advertising campaign. Experts, however, recommend creating a landing page independent of the actual web offer, i.e. as stand-along pages: The classic case is a Google AdWords campaign that is specifically created for the campaign and should bring as many visitors as possible using a banner.

Here, there are certain guidelines from Google that must be adhered to. For instance, if a landing page contains malware or the like, the page can be excluded from Google. Furthermore, Google evaluates landing pages based on the quality factor that the user experience (necessary for using AdWords) brings in conjunction with the keywords used.

Microsites

Microsites are other variants of landing pages. These are independently integrated in a website. Microsites serve a single purpose, namely to help in conversions. Elements, such as product benefits, contact forms, or input masks, are placed on these pages. Special attention should be paid to call-to-action buttons since these redirect the user directly to a conversion page.

Other website elements that exist in the normal web presence, such as the continuous navigation or the corporate area, can be left out on landing pages in order to exclusively focus on achieving a conversion. The wording of the title of a microsite landing page should also be targeted at increasing conversions. If a special campaign is created to generate conversions, it should also be ensured in the microsite that the design of the landing page matches that of the campaign in order to guarantee the recognition value.

Landing pages should also help the identification of the user by offering support in their implementation of the corporate design.

Landing page optimization

The process of improving a landing page with regard to conversion rate improvement or minimization of the bounce rate is referred to as landing page optimization. Here, various elements of the landing page are adjusted in order to achieve the best possible results.

  • Structure and layout: The structure is worth mentioning here. The page should be clearly structured and the information to be relayed should be presented in a simple way. In terms of content, the landing page should either be optimized for the advertising message or specifically geared towards certain keywords that can be based on AdWords campaigns. Important keywords are placed in the content and, most importantly, in headlines. This enables customers and search engines to know what it is about. The actual text is, however, usually not optimized for certain keywords (see keyword stuffing).
  • Goal definition: Elements that distract the user from the actual offer are avoided. Depending on the respective objective, contact forms or buttons are integrated on a landing page, but references are often left out as these could lead the user away from the offer – this also applies for navigation. Every landing page focuses on that which it is supposed to achieve. It is meant to turn the visitor into a paying customer. This is why various selling points and unique features of the products are mostly included in the contents of the landing page. The goal is to convince the user why this product or offer is ideal for him/her. This also entails provision of authentic and convincing information.
  • Effects: Many marketers often go for a ‘wow’ effect by trying to provide users with inspiring content such that users look at the product from an emotional aspect. This is followed by a ‘call-to-action’, which is aimed at deriving a lead or even a conversion from the visitor.
  • A/B-Testing: As a common method of long-term optimization, website testing, e.g. A/B Testing, is used. This reviews two versions of a landing page based on their conversion rates. Only one version is changed in order to assess the changes in user behavior. Landing pages can, therefore, be selectively modified to increase the conversion rate. Multivariate testing is also used.

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