If you have read anything about online marketing, you’ve heard about a landing page. But what is a landing page and why do you need one?
Have you ever tried to look very hard at something and you squint to see it better? The reason it works is that when we squint, fewer light rays enter the eye. This is known as the pinhole effect and it works because it prevents unfocused light rays from entering the retina.
What does the pinhole effect have to do with marketing? In the same way you’re filtering out extraneous light rays, a landing page allows you to filter out distractions that may keep a reader from buying your product or service.
What Does a Landing Page Do?
A landing page is different from every other page on your website. It has one purpose: to persuade the reader to do what it is you want them to do. That may be buy a product, sign up for your email list, or request more information.
It’s completely focused on what’s called a conversion, which is when the reader follows through on the action you want them to perform.
For example, if you are trying to build an email list, you’ll offer a giveaway of some sort, maybe a guide or cheat sheet. You might run an ad or just have a signup form on your website that mentions your giveaway and contains copy that makes it sound irresistible. When the reader clicks on your ad, they are taken to a special page that is laser focused on your call to action (CTA), which is what you want them to do.
In our email list building example, a conversion would happen when a reader completes the form and confirms (if you have your email list set up for double opt-in) their interest in joining your list.
So we could say a landing page uses the pinhole effect to shut out distractions and focus your reader on the offer and encourage them to take action.
Why Do I Need a Landing Page?
Have you followed a link to a product or service that just took you directly to the home page? When you arrive on that page, you’re confused as to what to do next and you give up and bounce (leave the page).
A landing page keeps the reader focused on the call to action and takes them directly to the information they need to help them understand why they simply must take action.
How Many Landing Pages Do I Need?
You need a landing page for each specific call to action. For example, in addition to my email list building, I might have an ebook to sell. That landing page would need to be different from the email page because the call to action is different.
The copy on my page would need to show me why I need to buy the ebook and how it will make my life better if I buy it. Since the purpose of the landing page is to give laser focus to the CTA, there should be only one CTA on each landing page.
You can — and should — repeat your CTA on each landing page, but don’t try to do too much. Stay focused on your CTA and build another page for any additional products or services.
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How Do I Create a Landing Page?
There are several excellent solutions for landing pages if you don’t have the design ability to create your own.
SeedProd provides a drag-and-drop landing page builder that helps you create responsive pages. You’ll get special landing page Gutenberg blocks, and it tracks subscribers for you. You don’t need to be a designer to create a great page; their templates will make the process easy.
SeedProd’s basic plan is $39.50/month.
LeadPages has been around for some time and is one of the original landing page builders. You build your page based on their templates, which you can arrange in order of conversion rate. They have landing pages for various purposes that you can adapt to fit your needs.
For WordPress sites, there’s a plugin that integrates Leadpages directly with WordPress so that your page is on your site.
Leadpages subscriptions start at $37/month.
OptimizePress’ website describes it as a “ … complete WordPress tools suite that helps you create pages & funnels that grow your list and make more sales.”
It includes landing pages, checkouts and payments, sales funnels, and more. Like the other solutions, they offer templates to help you get started. It’s quite a bit more expensive than Leadpages or SeedProd, as it’s a much more complete solution.
Currently OptimizePress begins at $99/year, though this appears to be a promotional price.
If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll probably want to create your own landing pages. If you’re using WordPress, your theme may have a blank page template or some even have landing page templates. Page builders such as Divi Builder, Elementor, and others generally offer templates and some sample pages to use as guides to building your own.
What Needs to Be on My Landing Page?
Unbounce gives what they call “ … five core elements of a high-converting landing page:” Clear unique selling proposition (USP)
1Clear unique selling proposition (USP)](https://unbounce.com/landing-pages/elements-of-a-winning-landing-page/#unique-selling-proposition-usp) What’s a USP? That’s your unique selling proposition. It’s the thing that separates you from your competition. It’s what is unique to you that makes you the best at what you do. When you’re coming up with your USP, be sure it’s customer focused. It’s easy to say, “I have a PhD in marketing, so I’m great,” but what does your PhD actually mean for your customer?
2Engaging hero shot. I large image at the top of your page is generally called a hero image. Make yours eye catching and scroll stopping. Use images of happy people using your product or service. Visualize the results of your reader’s acceptance of your offer and try to communicate that with this photo.
3Compelling benefits ](https://unbounce.com/landing-pages/elements-of-a-winning-landing-page/#benefits) As with our PhD example, focus on the benefit to the reader or potential buyer. Ask, from their perspective, “What’s in it for me?” If you can’t answer that question, you’re focus on features rather than benefits. Show the reader how your solution or product will improve their life.
4Inspirational social proof. Do you have reviews from previous or current customers? Include those. Praise from a fellow user wins hands down over your own marketing babble. Include testimonials and/or positive reviews on your landing page to show your reader that others have had success with you and, if we’re honest, maybe play a bit on their fear of missing out (FOMO).
5Strong CTA. After you’ve made your case with your USP, hero image, benefits, and social proof, it’s time to ask for the order. Make your call to action strong; that is, use strong action verbs like get it now instead of weaker asks like, learn more.
If you don’t ask for the order, you’ll never get it. Don’t be afraid to be bold in your CTA; after all, your prospect landed on this page because they clicked a link that made them interested, so they are a warm lead when the page loads.
Here’s an excellent landing page example from Lyft. There’s only one purpose to this page: to entice the reader to sign up to drive. It’s simple, to the point, and includes nothing that distracts the reader from the CTA. No browse our site, read our history, nothing but the CTA.
What Does NOT Need to Be on My Landing Page?
- Regular navigation. I always get resistance from clients on this, as they want to be sure the reader knows how to browse the rest of their website. The fact is, they already know — your domain, your business name. Everything they need to know before buying from you is on your landing page if you’ve done it right.
- Any other CTA. One CTA per page. That is a hard and fast rule that you break at your own peril. Well, maybe not peril, per se, but you’re hurting your chances of conversion. It’s the single focus that makes landing pages so effective. Resist the urge to throw in another CTA.
- Anything that doesn’t build toward the CTA. That means unnecessary images, text, or graphic elements. Remember, the purpose of your page is to get the conversion. Don’t distract your reader.