Considering that the average person visits a website landing page multiple times a day, we are surprised by how often we are asked, “what is a landing page?” The following overview is meant to help companies understand how they can use landing pages to optimize their websites.
In the simplest sense, a landing page is any page on a website that serves as the initial point of entry for a user to the website. Some landing pages are core pages on the website and are in the navigation. However, there is another type of landing page, called a gateway page, which can be created just to attract users to the site and is not meant to be discovered through the primary navigation or by browsing on the site.
Landing pages offer an opportunity to develop specialized pages that feature the same products in different ways and allow you to tailor your products and services in the exact way that people search, hoping to have that page appear higher in a search result. There are essentially four types of landing pages that we refer to when architecting a site.
1. Category Pages (core landing page): A category page is part of the core navigation and can be found through the site hierarchy. Category pages often serve as product overview pages that link out to an individual service, product or sku page. See an Example.
2. Product Pages (core landing page): A product page is part of the core hierarchy and is often found clicking through from a category page. A product page is the ultimate call to action page where you see sku or service details including price, color and dimensions. On an e-commerce site, the product page is the place where one can add an item to a cart and check out, where as on a service-oriented site, it is the place for a lead generating form. See an Example.
3.Location Pages (gateway landing page): A location page can act as a gateway page for a person searching for a particular service in a specific location. This type of landing page allows you to focus your core pages on a more general area, while tailoring each landing page to a very specific geographical location. Location pages are often hid on the footer of the site or are linked out from other embedded pages. See an Example.
4. Keyword Pages (gateway landing page): A keyword specific page can be created as a gateway page to target specific search words that rank highly in keyword research. Since there are often many keywords that describe one product/service or a set of products/services, a keyword page allows you to drive targeted traffic to your site based on each specific search word. See an Example.
By creating multiple types of category pages, product pages, location pages and keyword specific pages with custom meta titles, meta descriptions, URLs, page headers and custom content, a website is able to capture a wide variety of traffic from organic search, and have a better initial user experience for targeted PPC campaigns and email marketing. By designing the site to direct traffic to specialized landing pages rather than to the homepage, websites will find an increased ROI and improved conversion rate. Wondering why? It is because the info on the page that the user sees will be most relevant to what they are specifically looking for and by this point they are further down the conversion funnel.
Knowing all of the above, you would be surprised at how often landing pages are underutilized when developing or improving a website.
Creating an effective landing page requires a fair amount of trial and error. We encourage clients to be persistent and try different tactics with careful measurement until they find the strategy that best fits their individual business model. The majority of landing pages are extremely easy to implement and test; it just requires very unique page content and attributes. Once a template is generated, there is no limit to the number of pages that can be created so long as they are truly differentiated from one another. The extra time and work that it takes to improve and create landing pages, can often make the difference between a highly successful website and one that has a low conversion rate and underutilizes Search Engine Optimization (SEO).