Scott Brinkler, a specialist on Landing Page Optimisation puts it this way in this post where he argues for death to the “cliche” landing page.
“The analogy of these types of landing pages is that they’re like pick-up lines. They’re shallow, optimized simply to “close the deal.” And, frankly, most people don’t respond kindly that to that approach. Which is why, more or less, the bounce rate on landing pages is typically around 95%.”
In his post he gives this example of a tabbed landing page/microsite. You can see that it’s very similar to the approach I’ve recommended from Salesforce at the start of this article.
Companies need to work out whether the cost of producing landing pages is offset by the potentially higher conversion rates and better campaign results. Although this approach is surpisingly quite common, I think the approach is often taken for convenience eventhough it is more expensive in the longer term. I know of one E-commerce manager for a multi-national technology vendor who tries to educate their hundreds of web and traditional marketing specialists to not use the bespoke landing page approach, but to always try to integrate into existing site structure.
Often though there is not one right or wrong approach and a hybrid can be used, i.e. you create tailored landing pages only for high volume/high expenditure generic Adwords pages or for major offline ad campaigns.
The home page can be a landing page
Note that a landing page can potentially be the home page although this is not traditional best practice. But, if a company has a limited range of products or the main campaign objective is to generate awareness rather than response. We’re seeing more of this type of home page as landing page – see these four examples.
Different referrer types
To make the landing page effective, we also need to think through the full range of places the visitor may originate. There are 3 main origins we need to design the landing page to accomodate:
- Online media placement. Visitors can be referred by clickthrough from any online referrer such as a search engine, online ad, affiliate site or e-mail campaign. There are two main types of landing page for these placements:
- Offline media placement. Offline ads or direct mail may have a specific campaign URL (CURL) such as ‘www.quotemehappy.com’.
- Visitors that navigate from elsewhere on the site. Such visitors are not using the page(s) as a “landing page”, but still need to be accommodated if you are using a deep linking strategy.