Take a second and ask yourself this question: Why do you have a website?
Choose all that apply:
A) Businesses have to have a website
B) Everyone else does
C) So people can get our contact information
D) To share information about our products/services
E) To gain more leads and customers
Maybe it’s a combination of a few of those potential answers, but hopefully at least one of your choices was E. Your website should not be just an electronic brochure. It should be a way to introduce web visitors to your company, then convert them into leads and nurture those leads into customers.
Landing pages are a critical step in that process. Landing pages are pages on your website that offer something of interest to potential customers in exchange for their contact information. They include a form and exist to capture leads through that form. A page that can be “landed on” by clicking on a link is not necessarily a landing page (that would be pretty much the entire internet). A landing page must have a form that's used as a lead generating tool.
So, at it’s most basic, a landing page is a page on your website that exists for the purpose of gathering leads.
Typically, website visitors will click on a call-to-action (CTA) which will take them to a landing page.
For example, click this CTA on our website:
Will lead you to this landing page:
The goal of the page is to collect lead information through the form. You include landing pages on your website in order to collect data through form fields.
Visitors aren’t going to fill out the form for no reason. This is where good content is key. In this case, we’re offering visitors an eBook that will teach them about inbound marketing. We believe it will help them learn the basics of inbound marketing so that they too can earn more visitors, leads, and customers. We know this is a problem many of our customers want to solve.
Think about what your potential customers will find useful. What problems can you help them solve? Can you create a checklist, eBook, whitepaper, etc., that will help solve that problem? If so, you can create a landing page where visitors can fill out their information. After visitors complete the form, you can give them access to the content in an inline thank you message, lead them to a thank you page, or send a follow-up email with the offer included.
Creating effective landing pages is critical to lead conversion. You can see in the example that the landing page is not identical to all the other pages on our site. Once you have an offer that you think is relevant to your buyer personas, you have to create an effective landing page that will encourage visitors to fill out the form.
Your page should include a thorough description of the offer. Highlight the important features of the offer in bullet points. Explain the offer, why it is valuable to the lead, and what they will get from it. Always include an image on every landing page.
Of course, the page needs to include a form. Keep the form as short as possible by requiring only the fewest number of fields you absolutely need. Typically, people are less likely to fill out longer forms.
Always remove the top navigation from your landing pages to increase conversion rates. People will be less distracted by the other aspects of your site and more likely to complete the form.
When you create a great piece of content, you want it to be shared. Make that easy for people by including social sharing options, like Facebook and Twitter, right on the landing page.
So, to recap, landing pages are pages on your site specifically used for lead generation through forms. If you want to tranform your website from an electronic brochure to a lead generating machine, you need landing pages.