What is a Landing Page and why should anyone care?

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I wrote a short article on landing pages over at ActiveRain this morning and thought I explained fairly well what a landing page is. I often take for granted that I live in a very techy sphere and I am surrounded mostly with people who eat, drink and birth tech. We’re the 2% ers in the real estate industry.

Simply defined a landing page is a single page designed for specific interaction on a specific topic with visitors. The goal is to encourage a transactional event and capture information from the visitor or illicit an order for a product or service.

People unfamiliar with the terminology should not be concerned. It seems as though in the digital age we just make up words and phrases by the minute to fit our conversational needs. The normal “landing page” people show me is generally either the stock home page that comes with their blog or website. While some of them have an amazing amount of functionality, and I am certain cost the owner a nice bit of coin, they are generally over loaded with information and inundate the visitor with choices indirectly relevant or completely irrelevant to their search. We can define the three major types of entry pages succinctly:

  • Home page (homepage) is the index page of your site. For this site it would be http://activerain.com which is easy to navigate, probably does weird things in the SEO realm and offers no explanation for what the page is about. Sorry guys, as a marketing and conversion tool your home page stinks (not saying mine don’t, just saying yours does ;)
  • Entry page is quite literally any page on your website. If you came straight to this post from your email, a link on another site or from Google you may have “landed” here but this is not designed as a landing page.
  • Landing page is a page which offers information very specific to an event, a call to action, a search result, an offer for transactional engagement, or something more valuable (to me) than simply giving away information like in this article.

Badly designed landing pages can help tarnish a reputation in a click. I once heard a presenter say, “Washington DC is where good ideas go to die and bad landing pages is where good clicks go to die.” Agreed – a bad landing page (or any entry page) can not only result in no interaction but can also result in a brand detrimental moment.

Let’s say you see an advertisement on TV for this awesome restaurant that seems to have everything you are looking for. Later you load of the car and head over for your meal but when you get there the place is not in order, you can’t find the door, once inside nobody greets you … what do you do? You leave. Worse yet you have a very bad impression of the place and likely will not only never return but if you hear about it from someone else give your very bad review.

Translate the above paragraph to online and the TV ad is the Google search or Facebook ad. The restaurant is your landing page. There is a science to the technology of the design and implementation of landing pages that work and that’s what I do. This is not a guessing game where first year interns who have amazing design skills throw out a bunch of fluff. All of my landing pages are designed on well researched data and very keyword specific language.

  • http://www.profitblog.com Raj

    This is one reason why every page on a blog/ website should have its best content. One never knows how / where a visitor lands up and if they find an average article, they’ll be out in a minute! IN a sense, every page in a website is a landing page and one ought to be careful about how they are presented.

    • http://thekencook.com Ken Cook

      I agree with you Raj. Bad content, bad design, difficult navigation and even cookie cutter appearance can all deter visitors and increase bounce rate.