Why your website needs specialized landing pages.

Wouldn’t it be great if people came to your website and were instantly ready to engage you? It would be great, but business rarely works that way.

Instead, they discover your website from a social media update, link in an email, random Google search or ad. Once they arrive, you have just a moment to capture their attention and get them to take the next step. All too often we see businesses driving traffic directly to their home page instead of a custom landing page. This is not an effective strategy. 

Why isn’t your home page a good landing page? 

Your homepage is a general introduction to your company. It should be filled with links to other areas within your website. If a visitor has come for a specific purpose or in response to a specific offer or advertisement, the homepage can be overwhelming and even frustrating.  

If visitors want specific information, the complex navigation and sea of links may send them running back to Google. Ideally, a topic specific landing page, designed to answer questions and direct visitors to the logical next step, is a much better point of entry into your business

Every page can be a “landing page”

Take a look at your web analytics and you will discover several key pages on your website which are already great points of entry. Maybe there is a blog post which routinely attracts search traffic because it is focused on a niche topic or a special offer you regularly promote. Whatever the content, if the page is attracting attention you should add conversion elements to the page. That might be a simple contact form, a special offer or a link to a download.  

While more effective than your homepage, these pages are good interim steps engaging visitors and directing them to the next step. But they are not the strongest conversion points because there are still too many distractions on the page.  

You need dedicated landing pages. 

A dedicated, promotion-specific landing page is designed for a specific marketing campaign. This lead generation page should have one objective, to get a visitor to give you their address so you have permission to continue the conversation. 

In exchange for their email address you have to offer something of value that might include: 

  • Industry facts in the form of reports or whitepapers.
  • How to guides.
  • Newsletters subscriptions. This is one of the weakest offers since everyone and their brother has a newsletter these days.  
  • Access to discounts, special offers and product previews.
  • Podcasts, webinars and presentation slide shows. 
  • Score cards and check lists. People love to compare themselves to others
  • An e-course which is delivered over time. 

Tips to building an effective landing page: 

  1. Limit navigation. Ideally, you want people to have only one way out from a landing page. While some hard core inbound experts suggest removing the navigation completely, I like people to at least return to my home page.  As you are building the page just remember, the more exit points, the less likely people will be to complete the conversion form.
  2. Clear purpose. When visitors arrive, don’t leave them guessing. If they came for a download, present the option to download right away. It is fine to have additional information on the page as long as you make the offer again before they leave.
  3. Auto-response campaign. After you get their email address, then what? Landing pages help you attract new prospects, just be sure you are ready when the campaign succeeds. You need an automated series of emails which guide prospects to the next stage of the process. 

Want to learn more about lead magnets, landing pages and automated response campaigns? Check out our email marketing boot camp!