What is a landing page?

by Matthew Ogston on January 18, 2010

A carefully optimized landing page can deliver a wealth of benefits to a business looking to seek a response from a new or existing customer. But there seems some confusion around the definition of what makes a landing page. So it seems appropriate that one of the first posts on PageDo’s Landing Page Optimization Blog outlines what exactly a landing page is.

Technically speaking, any page on a website can be a landing page providing you are driving targeted traffic there. But to generalize in this way loses focus on the potential benefits of a carefully designed and optimized page. Simply directing visitors to your home page can leave visitors confused and bewildered. For example, landing on a homepage with 30 links presents at least 30 opportunities for your visitor to get distracted and not do the thing that you want them to do.

The team here at PageDo, like to describe a landing page as:

A web page that is focused on achieving a single goal, normally containing a single call-to-action to encourage the person reading the page to respond in a very specific way.

Wikipedia describes a landing page as

In online marketing a landing page, sometimes known as a lead capture page, is the page that appears when a potential customer clicks on an advertisement or a search-engine result link. The page will usually display content that is a logical extension of the advertisement or link, and that is optimized to feature specific keywords or phrases for indexing by search engines.

Seth Godin (arguably one of the web’s most influential marketers) describes landing pages as

Landing pages are not wandering generalities. They are specific, measurable offers. You can tell if they’re working or not. You can improve the metrics and make them work better. Landing pages are the new direct marketing, and everyone with a website is a direct marketer.

Optimized landing pages should provide a customized sales pitch for the visitor that’s in line with the reason why they clicked on the link to get there. Consider where the person came from, who they are and how you want them to respond. By providing a good match, your conversion rate is likely to be higher than a standard un-optimized page on your website.

Landing Pages are very useful when you want to drive people to a very simple and targeted message, normally as the result of an email marketing, Twitter or an advertising / banner campaign. If you’ve invested all of your time energy and money into a campaign to deliver recipients a specific message, then the last thing you should want to do is send your visitors to a page with distractions. It will lose you business.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be continuing to look at landing pages in more detail, and outlining techniques for optimizing your landing pages to achieve a higher conversion rate.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

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