What is a Landing Page? The Ultimate Guide for Marketers (2021)

What is a landing page? A landing page (lead capture, destination, post-click, or static page) is a single conversion-driven page that online marketers attempt to drive traffic to by using search engines, advertisements, social media, and/or email marketing campaigns.

Marketers use landing pages to encourage a “lead” to perform an action whether that may be a subscription to a newsletter, a sale, a free trial, or even a social media follow.

They’re different from regular web pages because they usually only have a single goal (often a CTA or call-to-action).

We’ll dive deeper into the who, what, when, where, why, how, etc.

Let’s get started.

What is a landing page?

To start off our dive into answering the question, here’s a video from Unbounce that helps explain what exactly a landing page is.

Fun Fact: Like the video mentioned, Unbounce does have a library of 100+ templates you can try out for free. It also just happens to be the #1 best landing page builder on the market for SaaS, marketers, and ecommerce.

Video summary: A landing page is a single page (you can certainly have more) that focuses on getting a visitor to take a specific action.

This might help:

“Landing on a landing page is sort of like going to your local grocery store with a mom-approved shopping list in your hand.

Landing on a general web page or homepage is like stopping by a random Walmart next to the highway on your way home from work – because why not.”

Wise words from your favorite teen entrepreneur, Ricky Wang, 2021

We’ll discuss this more in the next section.

The overall point is that optimizing landing pages is crucial for your marketing campaigns.

Studies have shown that companies using over 40 landing pages for lead generation end up with 120% more conversions than those with 1 to 5 landing pages.

Fun fact: A conversion rate is the number of visitors that take action (sign up, purchase, etc.) divided by the number of visitors that visit your landing page.

landing page statistics

This certainly doesn’t mean “the more, the merrier” all the time, but there is a clear correlation between the number of lead pages and new leads in both B2B and B2C companies.

But why do landing pages work so well compared to other pages? Are they really more cost effective? We’ll cover that in the next section.

Alternatively, if you’re ready to start building your landing pages, get started with Leadpages for $27/month (save $120 on your first year) with my link below.

Homepage vs Landing Page

So what’s the difference between these two types of pages (and what makes landing pages more effective)?

The glaring difference is that home pages tend to be optimized for navigation (sometimes even for funneling potential leads to landing pages).

This means there’s usually a plethora of links, distractions, images, and whatnot that doesn’t really help visitors click the “Buy Now” button. But there certainly are exceptions!

That said, homepages have more goals while landing pages have less, but landing page goals are hardcore.

Here’s a comparison from Instapage (#1 SMB/enterprise landing page builder) featuring Zoho CRM.

homepage vs landing page design zoho crm
Zoho CRM Homepage

The first thing we should take note of is the number of options for navigation. Since you never know what every single visitor wants, you’ve got to optimize for every possible action.

Some visitors might be looking for a newsletter signup, some may want to learn about your service, some may be looking for your pricing plans, some may be looking for customer support… you get it.

The problem? You can’t make everyone happy; that’s where landing pages come in.

Check this out.

zoho crm landing page design
Zoho CRM Landing Page

The first thing you should notice is that navigational links are virtually non-existent.

Post-click landing pages are meant to “force” the visitor to click a button or leave.

Since they landed on your lead capture page, that visitor must have come from a promotional link or campaign, proving they showed some extent of interest.

The moment your landing page loads, it’s up to how attractive and straight-forward the design and copy is to decide whether the visitor becomes a lead 🎉 – or a bounce 💀.

To help you create attractive landing pages, here are a few awesome landing page design examples you can copy.

Different Types of Landing Pages

There are quite a few types depending on your business’s goals, but two of the main types of landing pages are Lead Generation Pages and Click-through Landing Pages.

What’s the Difference?

lead gen vs clickthrough pages
Source: Unbounce

Lead Generation Landing Pages

These types of landing pages are also known as “lead capture/gen pages” since they’re used to grab “leads” or customer information and data.

Lead gen pages are often used to reel in potential customers by funneling them down after the signup instead of direct conversions like click-through landing pages.

Pro tip: Offer a free ebook or webinar access in exchange for your leads’ email address, phone, name, and/or other contact info.

Ecommerce brands tend to use lead capture pages to grab potential buyers through featured limited time deals and free shipping (that’s a big one).

Click-through Landing Pages

Click-through pages are geared to immediately grab customers and sales. This means they, more often than not, only have one simple button (with a CTA) to click.

While the button’s text may differ (e.g. get started, try for free, start your free trial), the message remains the same: give us your money.

These pages are usually the best performing landing pages for ecommerce stores and SaaS marketers the most since they deal with online purchases, sales, and subscriptions.

Driving Traffic to Your Landing Pages

Here are some ways to garner traffic for your landing pages. After all, what is a landing page without traffic?

1. Paid Search Traffic

All of the biggest search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) all include ad results on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) when a user inserts a query.

This is what shows up when you search for a high-value term like “landing page builder.”

landing page builder serp

You’ll notice that the paid ads (also call PPC or Pay-per-click ads since you pay a fixed amount for every click your ad generates) are marked with an “Ad” label.

But they take up a whole lot of “SERP real estate” (nearly the whole desktop screen) which, in a way, negates the cons of being labeled as an advert.

Pro tip: Customize your ads and pages to make sure you bring in the right leads to the right landing pages. Any unconverted traffic is money down the drain.

If you’ve got the budget, paid search traffic is the way to go for quick results.

But the problem is that the prices and CPC (Cost Per Click) can really skyrocket if your ideal search term comes with a high-ticket due to the immense competition out there.

Luckily, here’s a “free” option for driving traffic from search engines to landing pages: organic search traffic.

2. Organic Search Traffic

While this type of traffic is coined with “free,” it’s about as far from it as we are from Neil Patel in terms of rankings.

Organic search traffic is a direct result of effective content marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies.

These results usually appear in the middle or bottom half of SERPs while paid ads are at the very top and bottom.

Here’s what those results look like (always under three to four PPC results). You’ll see a few types of search results including Featured Snippets (featuring Digital.com) which give more visually attractive (and sometimes trigger-happy) results and FAQs (featuring myself) which just give me more SERP space.

serp results landing page builder

Here’s an example of a Featured Snippet with images that make the result a lot more attractive. I’d click on this result if I saw it, wouldn’t you?

landing page builder featured snippet

While driving organic traffic to your landing pages can certainly be free if you’re in a less populated and less competitive niche (i.e. not marketing), it takes a lot of effort to optimize your site and pages for SEO and organic SERP rankings.

Side note: If you’re looking to generate quality organic leads, you can hire a content marketing consultant like myself to help you out.

What’s more, optimization for organic landing page traffic is a tad bit different than for regular posts. Namely the fact that more quality links may be needed to compete with long blog posts.

3. Email Marketing Campaigns

Ever get those never-ending rushes in your inbox on limited time, exclusive, or lifetime deals? That’s email marketing.

But how effective are email campaigns?

Very effective. Here are some email marketing statistics to prove it.

  • The number of global email users surpassed 4 billion in 2020 (making it the world’s largest base of potential customers).
  • 93% of B2B marketers implement email campaigns in their marketing strategies.
  • 81% of SMBs use email marketing as their primary customer acquisition channel.
  • 80% of business professionals say they’re the most effective way to retain customers.
  • And to top it off, email marketing has a 4,400% Return-on-Investment (ROI), making it the #1 channel in terms of ROI.
  • Source: Ricky Wang

Wow. Just, wow.

So how are you going to leverage those numbers for your landing pages?

There’s a whole separate process (and market) related to email marketing campaigns, so for the sake of landing pages…

Everything boils down to utilizing landing page best practices to collect content info, then sending email campaigns to your newfound list to get those prospects interested in your product(s) with CTA optimization.

This email by G2 is the perfect example of a clear CTA in an email campaign.

g2 email marketing

Pro tip: The key here is intensive follow ups and giving more than you take (at least in the beginning) to acquire and retain customers.

4. Paid Social Traffic

Driving traffic from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Instagram is a great way to start if your brand is relatively new.

When social media users (about half the planet) see your brand name on their favorite platforms, they’ll remember it (as long as your ad’s demographic and interests settings are set up correctly).

What this leads to is an increasing interest in your brand and a connection between you and the market.

Which social platforms are best for you?

It’s pretty self explanatory, but here’s our input.

If you’re a food brand that delights in creating and selling recipes, you’ll opt for something like Instagram and Facebook where visual appeal is usually greater than, say, LinkedIn’s platform for business professionals in all types of industries.

For SaaS brands and marketers, LinkedIn is definitely the best platform to place your ads on although Twitter would be a viable option as well.

The main point here is to target platforms that are made up of your ideal market personas.

hostgator reddit ad

5. Paid Display Ads

The big name here is Google display ads. You’ve probably already seen a ton of them without even realizing it.

They usually hang out around the top, bottom, and sides of web pages in the form of a banner or box.

Here’s a display ad by HostGator (#1 web hosting service for beginners) on Reddit if you want a pointer on how to structure display ads for high-ticket leads. 👉

Side note: That ad is clickable. If you haven’t gotten your site hosted yet, HostGator is a great web hosting provider to start with.

Same concept as always: create a straight-forward advertisement that leads to a click-through landing page.

Wrap Up

Landing pages are essential for increasing lead generation, no doubt about that.

Further Reading on RickyWang.com: If you thought this guide was interesting, you can read up on the optimal landing page design, check out some high-converting landing page templates, or get started with a landing page builder.

If you’re looking for something else related to landing pages, check out the entire series here 👉 Landing Pages: A Marketer’s Handbook.

Leave a comment below on what you thought about this guide and give it a share on social!

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