What is a Landing Page? Definition, Types, Examples and Best Practices
What is a landing page?
A landing page is defined as a standalone web page hosted on a website of an organization with a final objective of conversion. This conversion objective can vary from company to company, it might be a signup for a SaaS product, contact details for a webinar registration, purchase from their ecommerce market etc.
The source of traffic for a landing page can be organic search engine traffic from a well ranking article, email database, social media, paid advertising etc, based on your promotional strategy.
Key components of a landing page
Based on the example above, let us first study the 3 key components of a landing page.
1. Title/ opening pitch
The title of the landing page must be set to best reflect the offering, in the most concise way possible. The compelling, yet accurate title for a landing page, which also acts as your opening pitch, is one of the most critical decision factors for the visitor, on whether they will bounce off the page or continue to read further.
A precise and concise description of your offering is needed to help the user with all the know-hows’ needed to make the final conversion decision. For example, if the landing paoge is to sell a product, all essential features that the user will need to know of to make the final purchase decision needs to be in the description. The goal is to ensure that while the description should not be too long, it is essential that the reader does not go back to the browser to conduct further research or you might lose that potential customer for good.
3. Call to action (CTA)
Your call to action needs to be as clear as possible - whether it is a purchase, a signup, a registration or an ebook download, the CTA caption needs to mention it clearly as to what they need to do next in the buyer funnel. The color code of the CTA button should also be consistent with best practices, for instance, people in certain countries respond better to a red or orange coloured CTA button, while in some countries it is better to have a blue shade.
Where should I place the Landing Page on the Site?
Landing Page as a Domain Leaf Page
Using a landing page as a domain leaf page essentially means appending the landing page right next to your web domain and is part of your website.
URL Syntax: xyz.com/landing-page
Landing Page as a Category Leaf Page
A category leaf page is any page that is part of a defined category on the website. For instance, apple.com is the website, then apple.com/iPhone will be the category page, and apple.com/iPhone/iPhoneXR will be the leaf page for that product.
Similarly, a category leaf page as a landing page is one that is inserted within a category and the URL reflects this categorization. This is typically done for user's clarity and navigation. The one issue that comes with it is an increased navigation option, which may distract the user and cost a conversation.
If category landing pages are needed, then both category and domain leaf pages should be tested to check which is giving you a better result, especially if it's a paid campaign.
Landing Page as Splash Screen
A splash screen is an intermediate time-bound screen between a link and the final page that it points to. Below is an example of a Forbes splash page leading to an article.
When used as a landing page, this intermediate page acts as a lead capture page with a form or sales information page with relevant contact details.
The URL syntax of this page can again be a domain level page or a category level page, depending on where the splash screen has been inserted.
Landing Page as a Standalone Website
Landing pages can also be used as a standalone page, where it has its own unique domain. Such a website will typically have 1 page on its home domain, like XYZ.com and that is it. This approach has the benefit of keeping the user focused on conversion and not navigate across the website and get distracted. However, this method also removes the advantage of brand awareness/ brand authenticity and is typically used by organizations when there is a lead gen project for a standalone event/ service or product.
Best Conversion rates for landing pages
Landing page conversations vary, not only based on industries but also based on channels.
About 5 years ago, an in-depth study by Marketo, yielded that the highest conversation rate was for referrals/customer recommendations, at about 10% and the lowest was for email at about 0.2%. This was an average of all industries.
Now, it is important to note that while some channels may have higher conversation rates, the volume of business from these sources may not be enough to meet targets, and vice versa. The strategic business call is to get the right mix based on the marketing budget and overall business strategy.
Popular types of landing pages with examples
Squeeze Landing Page
A squeeze page is a type of landing page that primarily aims to capture the email address of a potential lead. This may be accompanied by common fields like full name or just the first name. The goal is to capture quick yet reliable data from the user to take the relationship forward.
This type of landing page is beneficial for subscription signups for publications, sales leads for SaaS companies who can initiate proactive accounts (once agreed by the user) for users based on email and name only, real estate companies who want to open negotiation doors with interested buyers, etc.
Lead Capture Landing Page
Such a landing page is created with the goal of capturing business leads that can then be potentially nurtured by the pre-sales/ sales team for a final deal.
The typical standard is either an email and name only (which would make it a squeeze page), although most teams prefer to capture the mobile number as well for faster connection with the prospect. This is because, in the decision-making stage, the potential buyer may be prospecting many competitive products/ services and may miss the email or get distracted by competitors.
‘Contact- Us’ Landing Page
A contact-us page is a type of landing page, where the user is expected to make the first initial contact with the company based on presented information, such as a phone number or email.
While at first, this may seem lazy and counterproductive, this is often used by companies as a means to filter out high intent buyers, especially if the company does not have enough resources to make high volume of calls, or the conversion rate for the industry is low or the products are available in less number. Hence, a filtration process ensures that only interested and qualified parties contact the organization.
This type of landing page is widely used by education institutions where contact details are provided alongside qualification parameters and only qualified students are requested to call for potential selection.
SaaS Product Signup
A SaaS product signups page is a type of landing page where the product is hosted on the cloud and once the user fills in the necessary details, the user is immediately taken to the product on the browser.
Since the product is available on the same platform, the browser, the landing page can succeed in conversion with much fewer details. In cases of freemium products, typically an email address and name is sufficient, although if the free license is limited in days, then credit card information may also be needed. Although financial details are better captured in a follow-up page rather than initiating it on the landing page itself, which may dissuade users.
Subscription Landing Page
A subscription landing page is one that seeks to convert the user into a regular subscriber of an online or offline content channel. This may be blogs, opinion articles, magazines, news, etc.
The typical information needed to start a digital media subscription is an email address and name on the landing page.
Download Landing Page
A download landing page simply captures required user info and allows the download of a software, media, or content file.
This type of landing page is deployed for commercial as well as non-commercial organizations. For example, education institutions may deploy a download landing page for enabling students to access syllabus and ebooks. Similarly, for example, a business enterprise may give out free ebook downloads on priority ebooks/ case studies/ research papers, etc, in exchange for work email and phone number, with the download action serving as an intent signal for potential lead qualification.
Coming Soon/Beta Test Landing Page
A coming soon landing page is typically a temporary landing page in place of a website or product. Such a page may be used to capture user details for an upcoming product, provide access to a beta version, or simply notify a user on the status of the website/ product/ service.
In other words, such a landing page may or may not have form fields and may simply be for temporary display.
10 Best Practices for Landing Pages in 2020
High page speed
According to Google's 2015 study, more than 45% of surveyed users said that low page speed was found to be the most dissatisfying aspect of browsing. In fact, the subsequent year in 2016, a study by Mobify found that a 100-millisecond additional delay in page load can contribute to reducing the conversion rate of the landing page by 7%.
Therefore, the most important aspect of a landing page experience begins as the page loads and reducing this load time to at least match your industry's average and competitors.
According to StatCounter, as of 2020, nearly 51% of web browsing globally happens on mobile alone, with desktop slipping to around 46% and tablets staying relatively stable at approximately 3%.
Therefore, ensuring that your landing page can deliver the intended experience on any device is key to succeeding in today's multi-device world.
With the coronavirus lockdown, more users are browsing via mobile devices since many employees are no longer on their work desktops/laptops and are working from home.
Crisp and concise content
Maintaining the user's attention and interest in the offering means that you need to ensure that your messaging is clear in wording and easy in understanding. The content should be as concise as possible, and a typical product landing page can be limited to 500-700 words or less.
Another reason to keep the content short is to remember that a conversion-driven landing page is not typically aspired for search engine ranking, where larger content pieces do better in the ranking.
Instead, you should draw your traffic from established and reliable sources and feed it into the landing page, with the sole purpose of conversion.
Traffic funnel from contextual pages/sources
As mentioned in the previous point, landing pages intended for conversions are light in text and media and do not draw much organic traffic on its own from search engines.
Therefore, it is critical to ensure that your landing page has a steady flow of traffic from reliable sources and must be contextual.
For example, if there is a landing page for download a research report on marketing tools, then the traffic to be sent for conversion can be sourced from:
-Search ranking pages on marketing that get regular hits in Google/ other search engines.
-Social posts and emails with description content that provides the proper context for the landing page.
-Online ads for closely related keywords to ensure the right people see the landing page with accurate wording to describe its contents.
Minimal form fields
Longer form fields dissuade users from filling the form, especially if there are more compulsory fields without which a form cannot be submitted.
The standard practice is to capture the name and email address, with phone number if it is necessary to establish communication.
Add special offers
Special offers such as discounts, free add-ons, extended trial period, coupons etc, can increase your landing page's conversion rate. However, each offer must be tested before adding the final offer on the landing page to ensure the best conversions, especially if you are running paid ads to supply traffic to the page.
To ensure that you have the best title and content, the right number of form fields, effective CTA caption, and offers, you need to A/B test your landing page till you arrive at the right combination.
A/B testing effectively involves deploying the landing page multiple times with multiple options and nothing which update gives the best result. For instance, testing conversions based on the color of the CTA button, testing with various page designs, reducing and increasing form fields, etc.
Ensure data compliance
After GDPR was passed in Europe in 2018, various other nations and nation-groups have been releasing their own data privacy and compliance laws. These include landing page related pointers such as user content on contacting them while filling the form, page cookie data, and a few more. Data governance compliance is key to ensure that your hard work on the landing page does not run into legal issues and consumer complaints.
Branding practices for recall
Brand recall, especially for established organizations, is key to leveraging your brand value. This includes ensuring compliance with policies on branding such as the right logo, using sanctioned color codes, tag lines, etc.
This is especially true in today's highly competitive market where new players are emerging almost across the board of industries, and brand recall can be a landing page conversion edge for older companies with good reputations.
Add follow up page
Once a user has completed the form/ performed the intended and final action on the landing page, the user should be presented with a 'thank you' page. This page provides you with the opportunity to re-engage the user by presenting additional related product pages or informative blogs.
In the case of a SaaS product, the follow-up page may be the product itself if the user can immediately start using the online product.