A landing page is a website to which a potential customer is directed via a search engine or an advertisement. The website is used to encourage the user to take a targeted action (conversion), which the website operator defines in advance. Goals can be, for example: selling products, generating leads, distributing content or redirecting the visitor to another page.

Benefits of a landing page

Landing pages are web pages that potential customers come across through a web search, advertisements or other marketing activities. The page is usually accessed by typing in the URL directly, by clicking on a banner or ad, or through the organic search results of search engines. On the other hand, it is usually not accessible via the navigation menu of a website. The landing page is used to prompt the user to take a targeted action and is accordingly geared to his or her needs. This means:

Ideally, it offers the user exactly the information or products he was looking for or that were

  • announced in the ad,
  • it increases the user’s interest in a product or information, and
  • it enables the user to reach the appropriate information or product with as little effort as possible.

At the same time, a landing page serves the website operator not only to distribute his product or information, but he can also use the page to find contact details or other information.

Goals of a landing page

Users usually target landing pages via ads, advertisements, or snippets of search results that have piqued their interest. This means that visitors usually visit a landing page because of a specific need. The fundamental goal of a landing page is now to satisfy precisely these needs of the customer, to create or reinforce a suitable impulse to act, and to persuade the customer to interact. The most common motivations for users to visit a landing page include:

  • Get information
  • Buying products
  • Registering for a community, service, etc.
  • Requesting quotes for product or services

For website owners, landing pages have several functions:

Satisfy user needs

Every landing page serves marketing purposes: it should be precisely optimized for a pre-defined target audience and be the exact answer to a need of these users.

Disseminate content

Once users have found their way to the page, website operators can offer content there for free, for sale or in exchange for data. In addition to texts, graphics, images or videos are also suitable. Good content serves, in the sense of content marketing, user loyalty, image cultivation and advertising for a site/product/company.

Sell products and services

Landing pages are often used to sell a product or service. The big advantage of a landing page – compared to a category page in an online store, for example – is the strict focus on a specific product and thus the more precise targeting.

Generate leads

With the help of landing pages, website operators can generate customer contacts by, for example, requesting user data in exchange for information, content or registration processes.

Pre-select and target traffic

A landing page can be used to categorize visitors in order to specifically influence their path to subsequent pages. On the one hand, this makes it easier to guide users to what they are looking for, and on the other hand, products and information can be brought to the customer in a more targeted manner.

How users get to a landing page

To reach visitors and thus generate traffic to a landing page, marketers can take a number of different approaches:

Newsletters and email marketing: traffic can be directed to landing pages through targeted links in newsletters and emails.

Video: In web videos, it is possible to include links and thus lead the user to specific pages. As a rule, attention should be paid here to a thematic proximity between the video and the linked website.

Social media: Links to landing pages can also be distributed via social media. Thanks to the characteristics of social media, website operators can also make a targeted pre-selection of users whom the link to a website should reach.

Ads and display advertising: AdWords ads, pop-up and banner ads are chargeable, and their use and effectiveness are controversial. Nevertheless, they enable the targeted promotion of a website or a product and can thus generate traffic. Here, too, the use of an exactly matching and optimized landing page to which the ad links is mandatory.

Offline advertising (print, TV, radio, QR code): Marketers often also use offline advertising – such as flyers, ads in magazines, billboards, TV or radio commercials – to direct users to landing pages. However, the existing break between the advertising medium and the Internet can lead to major losses in the number of visitors here, as it assumes a high level of interest and activity on the part of the user. Communication tools such as QR codes, with the help of mobile devices, try to make this media break easier to overcome.

Organic search results: In order to generate traffic via organic search results, landing pages should appear as far up front as possible in the SERPs of Google and Co. Therefore, the content should be search engine and keyword optimized and thus precisely tailored to the target group and their search queries.

Design of a landing page

A good landing page is optimized exactly for a target group. Therefore, all elements of the page should also be sensibly designed and not superfluous. It is clearly and purposefully designed and also picks up elements from the ad that led the user to it.

Even if the design and the content design are in principle not fixed and depend on the product and the target, the following elements should not be missing on a landing page:

  • Identification of the company: as a rule, landing pages should be designed in the corporate design to create a reference to the company and thus ensure orientation and authenticity.
  • Headline and sub-headline: Addressing the reader in a meaningful way ensures the necessary attention and can increase the reader’s interest. However, headlines on the Internet in particular should make it clear at first glance what the reader can expect – even on a landing page.
  • Product information/benefits/argumentation for the product: The argumentation for a product can be manifold. In any case, an introduction and the benefits are just as much a part of it as the benefit the customer can derive from the product or the information. If available, the price should also be shown as well as (at least) one picture of the product.
  • Data query: An input field with which the user’s data can be queried makes sense for every landing page. Here, marketers should always weigh up between the amount of data they can obtain and the potential abandonment of the user due to too much data being requested.
  • Call-to-action: an eye-catching call-to-action (button) should encourage users to take action.

Other possible elements:

  • Trust elements and testimonials: Certificates, trust seals and testimonials are good ways to increase authenticity and trust in a site.
  • Content with added value: Beyond a simple product description, for example, videos, infographics or interactive calculators can offer added value for the user. If the product, design and technology make it possible to integrate content with added value in a meaningful way, these elements can be a good means of increasing the conversion rate of a page.
  • Contact option: For “emergencies” it can be useful to provide an additional contact option, such as an e-mail address, for communication.

What a landing page should not (necessarily) contain:

  • Navigation menu and superfluous links: The user should not have the option to be redirected away from the page by a menu or external links.
  • Social media buttons: Buttons for Facebook or Google+ can distract from the actual goal of the page.
  • Superfluous, contradictory or unclear product information: Information on a landing page should be concise and clear to avoid confusion and uncertainty, as these can diminish the impetus to act.

Conclusion: How landing pages guide the user

Landing pages are special websites designed to drive visitors to take a predefined action. Users usually come across these pages through ads, organic search results, or marketing efforts. From the company’s perspective, they are used to offer targeted information or products, generate data, or drive traffic. Landing pages are structured according to certain, albeit variable, specifications and should absolutely contain certain elements in order to fulfill their goal – conversion.

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