By: Wesley Obi | May 28, 2021
Let's start with a nugget: the website is a business weapon! Take that to the bank!
Yes, for every business website, hundreds of other competing sites are built to go for the kill on the sales and marketing battlefield, where the hearts and minds of customers are won and, of course, lost.
"If your business is not on the Internet, your business will be out of business". That was Bill Gates, whose advice should excite anyone in the digital world. But in broader business terms, having an online presence via a website is only half the story. A website is built with well thought out strategies that enable the website to perform to specific expectations!
Website performance has everything to do with how visitors are attracted, delighted and engaged on a website and how Google Analytics ranks such a website in its SEO optimization. According to research cited at www.bostondigital.com, the "human attention span has dropped to eight seconds – shrinking by nearly 25% in just a few years." (Murphy, 2019). The implication of this drop for marketing is evident and worrying. Customers have very little time to spare for what doesn't interest and captivate them, so every investment that supports this is a step in the right direction.
That said, and like anything that is designed for the battlefield of winning the customer's 'restless' soul, the importance of a great lead generation strategy and execution should never be played down for web optimization and performance. So, a website that is adequately optimized should deliver on conversion, visibility and usability - make a mental note of those three words. To tick them off your list, it is best to ensure that your website performance is optimized in ways that easily inspire a captivating user experience. If you can imagine the impact a bubbly shopping mall has on the shopper's psychology, you will better understand the need to ensure that your website is built to bring home the goods 24/7.
Of course, several metrics and parameters are factored into website performance. In this piece, however, we are looking at one of such: the landing page.
A little story will suffice. Jill was a restaurant owner in a sprawling community where the inhabitants were trying to settle down. Everyone relied on Jill's services for food and groceries, but things did not look quite organized. Whenever there was an upsurge in demand, customers always bumped into one another for their needs to be met, which wasn't the whole idea of customer service excellence. At some point, the young business owner observed that there was a drop in patronage. He had to re-strategize.
What did Jill do? He built different 'windows' that attended to varying customers as meals and groceries are dished out through designated windows. In time, Jill began to regain his patronage. It became easier for his customers to go to specific windows where their needs were easily met without breaking a sweat. That was the magic. By constructing those windows, Jill created 'landing pages' if that were to be a website.
That is some food for thought. Well, it's time to find out what a landing page is in online marketing jargon.
A landing page is a "standalone web page, created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign" (Unbounce, n.d.) A common mix-up is to mistake the landing page for the homepage. Well, there are marked differences between them, and all that will have been cleared by the time you are done reading this.
In a digital class recently, 90% of the students intermittently gushed: "Oh, I know this!" each time they understood that landing pages are pages they have come across in their digital journey. Such is the prevalence of landing pages on e-commerce or general-purpose websites. More and more businesses are aware of its importance in funnelling visitors and customers to take particular actions that benefit them and meet their needs. Cheryl Baldwin reaffirms this, saying that "approximately 68% of B2B businesses use landing pages to generate leads for future conversion."
Reading this now, you will be assailed by the same sense of déjà vu when you come across some familiar types as we delve into some types of landing pages.
Just before then, your website user experience (UX) is optimized when customers are guided to the specific reason they are visiting your website. This is what a landing page does best. Always keep in mind that visitors to your website come with a sense of purpose, if not an entitlement, so you must do everything to get them hooked while achieving the goal of their visit.
Therefore, a landing page is created to deliver on a specific project or objective, and for this reason, landing pages are not cast in stone because they depend mainly on what the brand sets out to achieve. Does that sound like there are dozens of landing pages? Well, let's take a look at just a few of them.
This comes almost self-explanatory and often ranks as one of the most common landing pages. It is simply created to 'squeeze' out essential information from prospects likely to take the lead-generation bait in the inbound marketing cycle. The squeeze-landing page aims more specifically to get the email address of a visitor.
Once this happens, it marks the beginning of a relationship journey that begins with newsletters channelled to the visitor's email box. Doesn't this look like something you have experienced many times?
We all know what a product launch means to an organization and even to customers. After all, the research, design, testing, production etc., that go into creating a product, bringing the product to the awareness of your target audience must take a lead generation strategy that works. And a product launch landing page is far from being a bad idea in this regard. Imagine the large-scale excitement that greets the launch of mobile devices and gadgets. The target audience can't wait once they get wind of a new product in the offing: they want to make a pre-order; they want to be the first to get the product and all that. So, this is hardly the time to assail visitors with the history of your brand or any other 'distraction'; instead, it is the time to guide their excitement to the new product, hence, the 'product launch’ landing page.
No puns intended; a website thrives on what 'clicks' for the visitor.
Yes, Jenny and her friends are movie enthusiasts who always desire to see the thriller before committing time and money to see a movie. And this way, they hardly get it wrong because they have been 'warmed up for the adventure, romance, or action they are about to see. That is what a click-through page does: warm up the prospect or customer. Unlike squeeze landing page, click-through does not have a form for collecting the visitor's information; all it does is captivate prospects with catchy headlines, powerful visuals, and templates. The aim is to 'pull' prospects into the sales funnel with an eye-popping call-to-action button. Oh, yes, you have seen this before!
One of the critical reasons for a website is to generate a lead. Of course, a website is not just a piece of aesthetic creation; it is built among other objectives to publicize your 'reason for being' and convert prospects to customers. At one point or the other, visitors have 'landed' on the part of a website where their names, locations, occupation, age, email address etc., are requested and given. Yes, that is the 'lead capture landing page. It sounds all too familiar, right? Once the visitor's details are captured, it becomes easy for a brand to build a relationship using content and promotions that convert visitors to customers and even loyal ones over time.
It has been established here that a landing page is created to fulfil a particular objective; to this extent, a microsite is a landing page. Though it can be standalone or be embedded into a parent website, a microsite could be created to register prospective participants for a webinar, marketing conference, online event, etc. This way, interested customers will directly go to the microsite-landing page to register for such an event.
"Oops! Something has gone wrong!"
Who hasn't come across that once in a while?
Not until recently, whenever Christie saw this pop-up, she was always scared that she had landed on a 'dangerous, harmful' page and would quickly beat a hasty retreat. ‘404 error page' is not one of those suspicious pages, and this is an excellent place to clear the air. Yes, things go wrong from time to time in accessing a website: links might have broken, products might have been down or moved, and once any of these happens without a ‘404 error page', visitors will hardly return to your site. However, with the ‘404 error page', visitors are re-directed to the home page, where their confidence is restored. The hack is to create a humorous ‘404 error page' that could hold the prospect's attention.
And, why not? AR, VR, 3D visualization are disrupting online marketing strategies, and the customers are having the best of it. Brands are now reviewing their plans to integrate these technologies into their websites to bring hyper-reality into user experience (UX). A landing page is best suited for this integration, hence an augmented-reality landing page. E-commerce websites offer their visitors a new layer of reality that enables them to 'feel' products before hitting the BUY button. Don't sleep on this!
Landing pages are actually worth the buzz.
Sit back for a moment and reflect on the different situations were landing pages, as offered above, are leveraged for achieving specific marketing goals. Its single-mindedness helps your brand to focus on a particular engagement with a particular audience, product, event, campaign etc., in mind. This way, marketing resource is effectively channelled with high ROI. With a lead generation landing page, for example, your business will be able to build a quality database of prospects and customers for immediate and future marketing activities. Do you see the trick?
Here is how 'landing page' link up with your website performance
Website performance directly impacts a brand's search engine optimization SEO. Google Analytics, let's call it to mind, prioritizes user experience in ranking websites. The more your website maintains a reasonable bounce rate of between 25-40%, the more it is regarded as a website that attracts, delight and engages. This quickly leads to landing page optimization (LPO), which is a subset of conversion rate optimization (CRO), and website optimization in the final analysis.
Key landing page optimization elements: keep an eye on what counts
The long and short of it is to prioritize and optimize your landing page. Ensure that catchy headlines with images and videos are used, the benefits of your product embedded into your content, your landing page is mobile-friendly, a clear call-to-action button is in place, the essential features are kept above the fold. There are lots more!
It is always advisable that your landing page is constantly updated for possible changes and improvements. The name of the game is improvement and conversion. The essence of optimization is to put out the best elements that attract visitors, so it is good practice to check what is working and what is not at any given time.
Taken as whole, a landing page is not the same as a home page. A home page is for the website, while a landing page is for a specific page on the website intended for a particular marketing effort. When visitors are directed to a website treated as an exclusive experience (user experience), especially with the creation of a landing page, the visitors can focus and act as desired (conversion). This impacts the metrics and analytics of a web with excellent website performance.