Defining landing pages
Before we look at the best practices in detail, we should look at landing page definitions. Not everyone knows this jargon and actually, there’s no simple answer.
My definition is that landing pages is:
“Specific page(s) on a web site created for visitors referred from marketing campaigns which are designed to achieve a marketing outcome.”
Anything referred to as a landing page is intended to maximise conversion of visitors to a page or series of pages towards lead or sale.
Most typically, the outcome is conversion to action, typically data capture where a site visitor fills in an online form to generate a marketing lead.
Landing page goals
Effective landing pages are those that meet their objectives, so let’s start with typical objectives. Often it is thought that response is everything – so objectives are not though through, but that this can lead to data capture pages that are too simple.
Typical communications objectives in order of importance are:
- Achieve registration typically to generate a lead (such as a quote for insurance in our example) which leads ultimately to sale
- Profile and qualify the site visitor in order to deliver more relevant follow-up marketing communications
- Explain the value proposition offered by the company to differentiate from other sites the visitor may visit during the buying process i.e. Answer the visitors questions.
- Communicate the brand values of the organisation running the campaign
- If the visitor doesn’t want to disclose their details right now, provide contact details for traditional sales channels such as a phone number, or give the visitor reasons to return to the site or engage them through other relevant content or offers
It is important to run through these objectives since sometimes it is just the two primary objectives related to data capture that mainly determine landing page design and not the secondary objectives which are equally important. The majority of the visitors to the landing page won’t actually convert, so it is important to give them a favourable experience also.