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A landing page is a web-page which is different from the rest of the pages on the website. A landing page has an objective. Whether it’s capturing contact details or linking to a product page etc. landing pages can use for a variety of actions. I will go through them in detail later.

Why use a Landing Page?

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Many businesses owners assume that the homepage of the website is effectively a landing page, as that’s where the visitors first land. Although that does make sense, landing pages are usually linked to a paid campaign.

How about this simple analogy?

Suppose you own a luxury hotel with a high-end spa centre. Now let’s say you are running billboard ads for a free membership to the spa if users join today! You have this billboard posted all across the city and you are promoting it. The issue is your spa is half a mile away from your main hotel reception. So if you do not mention this in your ad visitors will naturally come and see people at your reception only to find out they have to go somewhere else. Some visitors might have to wait and while doing so they would engage with others attractions in the hotel, for example the casino table next to the live football streaming. Some of the visitors might just leave as they wouldn’t want to take the effort to find the spa by themselves. Now take this analogy and apply to your website. If you are running paid Google or Facebook ads for a special offer or discount, would you send them to your homepage or a dedicated landing page which is relevant and assists the visitor to take an action?

What is the purpose of a landing page?

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The purpose a landing page is ideally to take a visitor from A -> B, although you could say the same thing about a website. However, a typical website has 20+ pages and also social media links etc. There are lots of ways visitors can browse the website and end up in a different section of the website and completely distracted on why they were there in the first place. Even worse if they click on your social media icons on the website and end up checking their last notification. Effectively, on a normal website a visitor can take various routes to get from A -> B. On a landing page however, there is only route.

Landing pages without navigation

Web pages have hyperlinks which link to other internal or external pages. As landing pages are different, we do not want visitors to go to other pages or even find them. So to decrease the pathways, we tend to remove all the hyperlinks linking to external sites including social media buttons and icons. To show social proof, you can show social media counters instead. Social media counters indicate the number who either follow you on Twitter or like your page on Facebook.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a navigation menu at all. The answer is to have a menu system which only links to other sections on the homepage.

As an example, here ‘how it works’ links to the ‘how it works’ on the same page. This reduces the changes that visitor might get distracted and change their journey.

Track conversions on a landing page

It’s important to keep a track of how many visitors a) visit your landing page, and b) do something. The do something part depends on what the objective is. If you are generating leads by capturing email addresses, you can track the number of visitors who sign up. Based on your number of visitors and the number of conversions, you can determine a conversion rate.

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A conversion rate is a significant metric which you can use to create variations for your split tests.

Split testing or A/B testing is a powerful system which allows marketers to test different variations of the same page. As an example, you can change the primary call to action button to orange from red. So effectively you have two variations which you can test by splitting the traffic 50:50. After a set period of time and enough visits, you can determine what’s known as a vital significance.Although you can get quite geeky and play around with numbers, if you are just starting out with landing page conversion, I would recommend using Unbounce, VWO or Optimizely.

To track conversions you can also set up goals in Google Analytics, which we covered extensively in our previous post about optimising your website’s conversion rate. We also use MixPanel to track conversions. Although you can achieve the same result in Google Analytics, in Mixpanel you can create advance funnels and track them. I find them very useful especially when landing pages are on a different domain/web host.

How do you create a landing page and which Landing Page Generators are out there?

To create a landing page you have quite a few options:

1) Go Simple:

You can build a lean landing page using simple HTML/CSS. However, in order to capture leads, you will need a lead capture form. You can either convert the form into PHP and add a form or you can use a Form Builder app such as LeadGenApp, Wufoo, or Paperform.

There are few pros and cons on why you should use pure HTML/CSS static pages,

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  • Fast load times
  • Can be easily hosted
  • Granular control over responsiveness
  • Mobile pages can be converted to AMP ones
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  • No editor capability
  • Requires coding skills
  • Rely on third-party apps or scripts to capture leads
  • Split testing the page could be a challenge unless you manually measure everything yourself

2) Using Wordpress:

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Wordpress is one of the world’s favourite Content Management System. We love it too. However, when it comes to Landing Pages we feel Wordpress may not be the right tool for the job. Landing pages are snappy web pages which require less heavy lifting, plugins and code libraries.

Including a landing page inside a Wordpress website could be an overkill. Having said that though,if done cleverly, you can leverage the power of Wordpress and still build blazing fast pages.

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  • Wordpress community is huge; it’s easy to find Wordpress developers, agencies and freelancers
  • Wordpress has tons of plugins which can be used for lots of fun and cool stuff such as split testing
  • Granular control over responsivenessWordpress pages are easy to edit
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  • Wordpress websites are bulky and have high load times because they usually end up loading javascript, plugin and template files. When aiming to load a page in less than a second, these factors count
  • Wordpress has extensive lists of plugins, however, sometimes outdated plugins can end up in allowing backdoor access to hackers and can compromise your website security
  • You would need a proper tech person to deal with your WordPress landing pages
  • You can use plugins to create AMP pages, but it would still need a lot of tech knowledge

3) So the future, Web generators:

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Back in the day when I used Frontpage to “code” my first website, it felt lazy. It was almost cheating the system to come up with a website without actually writing any code. After about two decades now, website generators have evolved and thankfully about time. Unbounce is our clear favourite. Unbounce is a tool which allows marketers like us to create fast pages. Unlike other technologies, where business owners rely on seasoned developers, Unbounce editors can be used by literally everyone. I usually say to clients, if you can use MS Word you can use Unbounce.

Although I feel more biased with Unbounce, I would like to mention, I have had my fair share with other builders. In our agency, we have used Instapages, Clickfunnels, LeadPages and some others, but unbounce.jpg has been the popular tool across all our dev teams.

Here is what we heart-icon.png about unbounce.png

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  • Speed: You can get a landing page up and running in less than 15 minutes
  • Configuration: DNS mapping is quick and easy. Unlike setting up servers, Unbounce is a walk in the park
  • Desktop/Mobile capability: Unbounce’s easy-to-use editor has a simple switch to edit the desktop and mobile versions of your webpage
  • Forms: Creating lead capture forms is easy. Simply drag and drop and you are ready to capture leads

Although there is a lot more we love about Unbounce, these are our top four reason

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  • No support for the tablet version. Although tablets usually load up desktop versions, it would still be great to have tablet view/editor
  • Setting up multi-step forms is clunky and prone to error. We end up using LeadGenApp.io to create multi-step forms within Unbounce
  • Reports / Charts are not configurable and can be exported out as CSVs
  • The mobile editor could sometimes get challenging and difficult to manage especially when building complex landing pages. We end up hiding/showing layers as a hack to get around some of the layout issues

How does a Landing Page work?

I discussed why you need a landing page and how you can set it up, but I think it’s also necessary to understand how landing pages work.

There are 2 things to consider:

1) Technical

Landing pages are usually linked to paid campaigns and I strongly recommend using separate sub-domains to host landing pages. If you have a WordPress website hosted on GoDaddy for example, you can easily create a separate hosting account using your subdomain and use that space for your landing pages. e.g. a URL for a sub-domain hosting a landing page could look like: https://deals.furniturestore.com/winter

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Here “deals” is the name of the sub-domain and winter could be the name of your landing page. There are three benefits to using a sub-domain approach

  • Since the host accounts are different if by any chance your Wordpress site or main website is compromised your PPC traffic will remain unaffected as these will be linked to a separate hosting account
  • You can efficiently organise landing pages. E.g. a deals sub-domain could link to your special deals whereas a downloads sub-domain could host all your free resources
  • Ability to link sub-domains as CNAMES to third-party landing page editors like Unbounce. Once you point your CNAME to unbouncepages.com you are all set. Unbounce will serve all your landing page. This helps marketers to get away from infrastructure blockage and get things done quickly which in turn means items get tested quickly

2) Conversion Focused

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Landing pages work as they have one objective. If we break it down here is the journey.

A visitor sees an ad on either Facebook or as part of Google’s sponsored search results. The ad has an eye-catching headline and a sub-heading/description which usually makes a promise. The ad copy entices the user to click. When the user clicks the ad and visits the landing page. The landing page needs to do a few things

Be relevant

The landing page needs to complement the ad copy. If the ad text is not relevant to the landing page, users will bounce back. To avoid any ambiguity you should match the headline with the copy of your ad copy.

Keep the Promise

Ad copies are enticing and set the stage where you make a promise to the visitor. Once the ad gets clicked, you need to fulfil the promise with your landing page. If a user clicked an ad to get 20% off on a product, they should see a landing page which exactly lets them get the deal. Many click-bait websites do not fulfil the promise and leave the visitors in anguish and disgust.

Build trust

Chances are that visitors might not have heard about your brand. Your job is to build trust using the right elements; social proof, testimonials, partner logos and badges all assist in increasing confidence. You can also use your social media like or follower counter badge to showcase your brand.

Define conversion

Whether it’s visitors signing up on a form or clicking through to a squeeze page. Whatever the objective is set for the landing page, you need to track the conversions and have reports which give you cost per conversions This simple metric can calculate your return on investment if you know how much a lead is worth to you.

websites and website homepages are full of distractions and lack the laser focus. So next time when you think of spending money via the paid campaign, think landing pages

Is Landing Page a Website?

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The answer is yes, but think of landing pages as a 1-page website which has their audience linked to a specific marketing campaign. If you compare that to your homepage on your website well, it’s pretty public, and any user can access it. Landing pages tend to load faster as they are typically outside the website eco-system.

When to Build a Landing Page?

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If you are planning to capture emails in exchange for a free resource like an ebook or whitepaper, then landing pages would be perfect for the job.

If you are planning to run a campaign and don’t want to send your highly targeted audience to your homepage, then the answer is - Yes you need a landing page.

If you are running Facebook ads and want to share an educational post and want the visitor to click through to the next page in your funnel, then yes I would recommend an advertorial click-through landing page.

If you want to sell a specific product and want to focus on driving sales, then a landing page with a simple buy button will do the job.

Can I have a Landing Page without a website?

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Yes! You can either create a landing page directly on your main www root domain, or you can link your paid traffic to pages hosted on your subdomain. If you are worried that visitors would want to check out your website and you are still setting it up, the simplest solution is to have a redirect in place which links the www site back to the landing page.

In tools like Unbounce, for example, you can set up a naked domain, which implies you can host your Unbounce landing pages on the root domain. You will need to point both an ‘A’ record and a CNAME record to Unbounce. You can apply the same principle to the majority of landing page generators.

Having a website is great, but if you are a startup and want to test your idea by using a landing page as your MVP (Minimal Viable Product), then you can easily build a landing page without needing a proper dedicated website.

Can I use a landing page for SEO?

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If you have a website and would like to rank for particular keywords, yes I would recommend using dedicated landing pages for top keywords/ services/products.

If you search for iPhone in Google, the first organic result is the correct landing page for iPhone. Google understands and learns with the context that https://www.apple.com/uk/iphone/ is more relevant to iPhone than https://www.apple.com/uk/mac.

Some people might argue these are normal child pages on a website and shouldn’t be viewed as a landing page. I would say people who are searching for these keywords are further down in the buying journey funnel; they have a problem which they are trying to solve.

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The pages they land on should have

  • Clear concise information about the product/service
  • Social Proof
  • Product Photos etc
  • Clear call to action on what the next logical step the customer should take
  • Videos or Demo GIFs

Should I host the SEO landing page on the same host as the website or on a different server?

There is much debate on whether SEO landing pages should be on the same server as the main website. Our take is to host the SEO landing pages on the same host.

Here are a few reasons:

-The link juice from the main site stays within the site. This means the SEO pages will also rank and have the same Domain Authority as rest of the website.

-If you move them away on a different server, then they act as “doorway” pages which almost borderlines the black hat SEO strategy overused in the early days of SEO

“We recommend putting your best product/service pages in the top navigation and quick to find areas on the websites. These pages should be treated as landing pages where you aim to convert visitors to the next step in their buyer journey”

What are the different types of Landing Pages:

1) Click-through Landing Page

A click-through landing page is a particular page which has one purpose - Make the user click-through to the next page in the funnel. You might be thinking at this point why bother?

Here are some reasons on why you would want to have a Click-through page in your marketing funnel:

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1. Warm up visitors

If you are running ads and promoting an e-commerce product you can have a click-through page which would then link to the product where visitors can buy. However, at the click-through page level you can address all things which will allow visitors to make a purchase decision. Adding a video on a click-through can be very effective as it would educate the customers and can answer any objections.

2. To guage intent

We use click-through pages as part of online sales funnels. To generate awareness we typically have a blog post. The post has an offer/freebie at the end of the post. The post has no other links on the page so acts as a click-through page. The page we link to is typically a lead generation page which gives away a free resource in exchange for an email. However, to allow visitors to become problem aware and get more information about the product or service you are selling, you can further break the steps to establish trust, leadership and market positioning. A series of click-through pages can help you achieve it.

Ideal for: B2B / B2C

Raising Awareness, Warming up Paid traffic visitors.

Click-through landing page examples

Leadgen Landing Page

A lead gen (lead generation) landing page has a form to capture lead details in exchange for a freebie. A lead gen landing page can be used in various stages in the content funnel to generate leads. However, the most common element is to generate leads.

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1. Generate leads via lead gen landing pages for give-away resources like:

  • eBooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Case studies
  • Email course

2. Enrich leads already generated. If your leads are further down in the sales funnel, for example a lead is now tagged as a hot prospect, you can make them sales-ready by sharing resources like:

  • Free consultations
  • Free Demo/Trials
  • Email courses etc

At this stage in their journey, as you have already collected their email address, you can ask further info like:

Company size, industry, and the contact details of the person who is going to book the free consultation/trial. There are some enterprises solutions available which help in enriching client data e.g. Full Contact

Ideal for: B2B

Leadgen Landing Page Exampes

Who designs Landing Pages?

You can hire conversion focused web designers and developers. Although many designers build creative layouts, it’s sometimes a challenge to get it right. As an agency, we specialise in creating landing pages. We use tools like Unbounce, HotJar, Mixpanel etc. to develop split tests.

We design all landing pages from scratch. Every landing page is different as each page has a different objective and when mixed with business value proposition you want a landing page which meets your goals and takes your message to your target audience. We ask all of our clients to fill in a landing page design brief which helps us to build a persona. We estimate the time and cost and send over the landing page design proposal.

As a Landing page design company we follow four steps, we call it the ABCD step.

A) Define the Aim/objective of the campaign

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B) Build a wireframe

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C) Content creation

D) Designing the Mockup

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Once the mockup is confirmed, we integrate the design in a page builder or custom HTML/Page.

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If You Would Like To Know More About Things Like

How much does Landing Page Cost?

or

How to hire a landing page designer for your next campaign

Please book a slot with us, and we would be delighted to have aquick call to discuss them with you.

Book a call with us

The complete guide to high-converting landing page design in 2019

About The Author

Waseem Bashir

Founder & CEO of Apexure, Waseem worked in London’s Financial Industry. He has worked on trading floors in BNP Paribas and Trafigura, developing complex business systems. Waseem loves working with Startups and combines data and design to create improved User Experiences.

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