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What is a Landing Page and Does My Website Need It?

By | 06.11.12

Get leads from your online ads with great landing pagesWhat is a landing page?

If you have any kind of advertising that directs people to your small business website for any reason, the landing page is the specific page on your site that you are pointing to. Right now you may be sending everyone to your home page, and many companies do, but is it the right page for what you’re trying to accomplish?

Can I just use my home page as a landing page?

Maybe. If your home page is very clear and direct and has the information on it that visitors expect to see when they click on your ad (or QR code, or link from any other source). Too often, though, the home page is a pretty generic welcome page that may give a brief description of your business but doesn’t have a compelling marketing message or a call to action for your visitors who have clicked a link to get there.

What is a call to action?

It’s a lead collector. Are you trying to get people to call you? Then your call to action is a prominent message with your phone number in text, so they can click to call you if they’re on a mobile device.

These are the most common actions you might want a visitor to take on your site:

  • Fill out a form (like an appointment request)
  • Sign up for a mailing list or newsletter or deals
  • Buy something from your online store
  • Use a certain coupon
  • Come visit your store
  • Call you
  • Answer a question or a poll

So I just need a Contact page or About Us page?

Well, yes and no. You need those pages on your site because people expect to see them. But a landing page is different. You could have dozens. And you need to have one for every single ad you have and for each action you are trying to get people to take.

Every ad you place online, or in print, needs to link to a page on your website that is crafted specifically for that ad. If you have an AdWords account, your actual cost-per-click is affected by the quality of the page it links to. Google analyzes landing pages and the more relevant they are to the ad, the higher quality score they get. The higher quality score, the lower your cost-per-click.

Plus, consider your potential customer. They see a link that says “Spring A/C Service Special $99 this month!” They click the link. They see your home page that talks about all of your services. No mention of the special. No “Request a Service Call Today” button. They bail out. No lead. So you paid for that click, but you didn’t get anything out of it. And neither did they.

Won’t my website become cluttered with all these Landing Pages?

Nope. Don’t add your landing pages to your site navigation. The only way someone will see one of your landing pages is if they click on a link somewhere else and land there. DO have links on your landing page that connect to the rest of your site, so visitors can check out everything else they might be interested in, but the primary thing you want them to do is take a specific action. So your call to action should be bold, obvious and clear and the links to the rest of your site should be included on the page, but not prominently.

I don’t have any online ads or QR codes or other ads that include my web address.

You need to fix that. Today! Did you know that the vast majority of consumers in the United States do their pre-buying research online? And more and more of them are using their smart phones and other mobile devices to do that research. Your website needs to have the info that they are looking for. And it needs to be in an easily findable and consumable format. Targeted local ads + relevant landing pages = LEADS.

  • Keith Brown

    Good article Marion, I think most of us would like the home page to be a conversion point, but it’s just not set up that way! Sometimes I think we forget that any page on our website can be a conversion point if used properly…

    • Thanks Keith! I think we also forget that visitors don’t always land on the home page. Depending on what they were searching for, they’re likely to land on the page that most closely matches their search.

      Borrowing from Glengarry Glen Ross, ABC can stand for Always Be Converting!

  • Benjamin

    I don’t really get it.

    I have to bid for the pay per click ads through google in order for my ads to appear on other people’s website.

    So when anyone clicks on the ads, I will have to pay according to the pay per click amount for each clicks.

    After clicking on the ads, the user will be directed to my site, whichever page that they land on will be the landing page.

    Am I right to say that?

    • Yes, you are right. You can pay for your ad to show up in Google, in the top yellow-background area of Ads, or down the right-hand column of Ads. And you can also pay for Google to distribute your ads through their network so they will show up on other websites. You pay for each time someone clicks your ad, and you get to choose which page(s) on your website the user lands on.

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