You may have heard the term “landing page” and wondered what that actually means. In online marketing, it’s important to think about landing pages, and how they function on your website. But before we get into that, let’s step back just a tiny bit.

When I teach my SEO classes, I always ask, “Which web page is the most important to SEO on your website?” Invariably, I get lots of folks that say the Home page is the most important page to SEO, which is actually incorrect. The Home page typically has more generic information about your company, products or services, and tends to be more difficult to SEO because it isn’t focused on a specific search term.

Furthermore, it’s difficult to get people to “convert” into a lead from the Home page for that very reason – it’s too general and doesn’t address the searcher’s needs directly.

I always counter that every other page on  your website is the most important to SEO, because those pages are where you’re going to lead people into your specific products and services.

Conversion to Leads

So bringing it back to landing pages, every single page on your website should be a landing page where someone visiting can convert into a lead. A landing page is nothing more than a place where people can do something to say, “I’m interested in your stuff.”

If you think about how people visit your website, they’re not going to automatically land on your Home page at all. They may come into your site from lots of places:

  • search engines like Google or Bing
  • a social media link
  • a paid ad on Google
  • a link from someone else’s website
  • a QR code they scanned
  • or a hundred other possible places

It’s highly likely that they won’t get to your Home page, and this is where you need to define exactly what you want them to do.

Traffic to a website is really pretty useless. It won’t pay the mortgage or for your kids’ braces. You have to get those anonymous visitors to reveal themselves and do something to say they want more than just to merely browse your site. Once they’ve done that, they’re a “lead” that may ultimately turn into a paying customer.

So every single page on your website is a possible landing page, where your visitors should have the opportunity to convert into a lead. Maybe they:

  • Pick up the phone and call you (so you have your phone number on every page at the top)
  • Sign up for your newsletter (so you have a button or short form on every page near the top)
  • Download a free something (again, a button or form on every page)
  • Request more information (a Contact Us form works well here)

Landing Pages

For every page on your website, you have to define what a “conversion” is and how that visitor turns into a lead. So if you’ve optimized a page for a specific search term, like “how to train a dog to sit”, if a visitor clicks over from the search engines, you now want them to do something. Make sure you have a very clear call-to-action for them to take the next step.

Some landing pages are very simple. It could be you just a single button that leads them to a form or pop-up form to fill out. As an example, on all my blog posts, I have a red button for people to get a free download:

A Simple Landing Page Call-to-Action

A Simple Landing Page Call-to-Action

Maybe you just want people to call you for more information, so you need your phone number in an obvious place.

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t have more than one call-to-action on any given landing page. There should be only one choice: “Do this, or move along.” If you give people multiple choices, then it muddies the water and makes it harder for them to choose what to do next.

A more complicated landing page might be one that is specific for a Google ad, and you want people to fill out a form to get more information. Because people filled out this specific form, you know your ads are working:

example landing page form

Example Google Adwords landing page form

In both cases, the visitor can explore other parts of the website and navigate to other areas, including the Home page before making a decision.

Squeeze Pages

Very simply, a squeeze page is a specific type of landing page in which the visitor has the choice to opt in or leave, and that’s it. There are no other choices. They can’t navigate to another page, click on other things, or get anywhere else on your site. It’s in or out.

These types of landing pages are specifically designed to force the visitor to do what you want and nothing else.

So as an example, if you held a webinar that had an offer to sign up for a workshop, you’d want them to go to a squeeze page at the end of the webinar. You want them to make that choice: in or out. If you give them the opportunity to wander off and look at other things, they will get distracted and forget why they were there. They may even not be able to navigate back to the page because it’s not in the menu.

If you clicked the red example button above, you’ll get to my squeeze page. It gives the visitor no other choice but to opt in or leave. There is no menu or any other choice but to leave. Squeeze pages make it easy to calculate your conversion rate:

N = Number of people who filled out the form
V = Number of visitors to the page

So N/V*100% = the conversion rate. If 25 people filled out the form from 100 visitors, my conversion rate is 25%. If I change the page, do conversions go up or down?

How to Build a Landing Page

Depending upon what your goals are for your specific call-to-action and tools you’re using, you can choose between a landing page and a squeeze page, or you may even have a mix on your website.

leadpages_logoIf you’re looking for a great tool to build landing pages that work, I highly recommend Leadpages. They give you the tools you need to create simple landing pages and squeeze pages that integrate directly with your website, your email marketing platform (like Constant Contact) and even GotoWebinar. Leadpage’s new drag-and-drop templates make it very easy, and you can see which landing pages work best based upon the statistics they collect on everyone’s sites.

You can easily download the html to host your own landing pages, host them on Leadpages’ server or integrate it directly with your WordPress website or blog in these steps:

  1. Choose the template
  2. Modify it to fit your needs and integration tools
  3. Publish it on your own site or on theirs

If you integrate it with your WordPress site, you need to install their plug-in and get it configured. Do that once, and you can publish your landing pages directly from your site by just giving it a URL. It’s that easy.

Leadpages also gives you conversion statistics in their dashboard, or you can integrate Google Analytics to track it there. This is critical to make sure they’re working the way they should.

So make sure your landing pages are doing what you want them to do, and you track how well they’re working. You can build them yourself, or use a tool like Leadpages.