What is a landing page?

The web term ‘landing page’ – has two uses.

In SEO terms, the meaning of ‘landing page’ is:

A page, article or blog post positioned on a SERP (search engine result page) independently of the home page, for a self-supporting search term that drives traffic to the website.

Google Analytics and search engine analysis giant, Moz, use the term this way.

Confusingly a second explanation has taken hold – that landing page is created outside of the website. It is a page to which marketers direct traffic. It excludes the menu system and website information. The page limits the direction the visitor can take. The page has only one duty.

For example: a sign-up to an e-newsletter. Companies within the e-mail marketing industry such as MailChimp use the term in this way.

Either way, the term landing page is a concept to help your online business thrive. In this post I explain the two meanings.

What is a landing page? There are two explanations, shown on this diagram.

A landing page – part of your website

Back in the day, website owners saw a website’s home page like the front page of a book. It was the first page a visitor would come to and the website opened up from there.

You may be surprised to discover that the home page is not always the first page a visitor will arrive at from a web search.

They can ‘land on’ any page/post within a website.

As long as the page/post is informative (amongst other things) search engines will list it independently.

A website that offers a number of services or products should create different pages around each.

Increase the amount of landing pages on a domain using a blog, adding posts around even more search terms.

Pages and posts use key phrases to target search terms and be visible online.

Search terms and key phrases

Searches are ever more specific as we are more accustomed to typing longer search terms.

The increasing use of voice search means that even longer search terms can be used.

To target the searches that people make, we use key phrases on web pages and posts.

These make it clear to search engines what the page is about. So they list it for a certain search.

When someone generates a specific search for an item, the results are much more likely to list a service page or a product page, than a home page.

Let’s use a farm shop as an example.

“Farm shop” is a very general search term.

In reality someone would only make such a broad search if looking to immediately arrive at a farm shop in the local area. (Called a local search and not what we are covering today).

But what if they are more accurately looking for organic cheese?

They are more likely to use a term such as “organic cheese oxford” or even “local organic strong cheddar cheese oxford”.

People have now grasped that the more specific the search term the quicker they find their answer.

The search engine lists the specific page – Organic Cheddar Cheese, which is part of the farm shop’s website.

The above explanation is one meaning of the term ‘landing page’.

Created around a specific search term, a landing page gives the visitor the answer they want, fast.

A website can use many landing pages, developed around key search terms. Do not repeat content too much. Make each original, informative and interesting.

A lead capture page AKA a landing page

Services like MailChimp, HubSpot and Ubounce have coined the term ‘landing page’ as a page with a single objective.

People arrive at the page through social media or a link on a website.

I’ve always known these as capture pages or lead capture pages.

The marketer encourages clicks to this page by promising a really useful product in return for a sign-up to a newsletter or even a sale.

A capture page has no other links to the main website. The user can do one thing only.

There should be no distractions because you do not want the visitor to wander off to look at something else.

If preferred, email marketing companies like MailChimp’s can host the capture page.

Why use a landing page?

For clarity I will use the term ‘landing page‘ to mean a website landing page, which is my first explanation. The latter explanation I will call a ‘capture page’.

A landing page within a website

A website landing page targets a specific search term, as opposed to a page that would confusingly and ineffectively target lots of different terms, such as a homepage.

It is very hard to hone a home page when there is a lot on offer.

Nurture landing pages to do well on search engines for up to five similar key terms.

Websites that have well positioned landing pages will ranked more highly over all. Link pages well to improve them.

A landing page as a capture page

Capture pages are an intelligent way of building a newsletter audience, which is extremely valuable.

Using a newsletter, businesses communicate directly with an audience acutely interested in a brand.

The email address of a user is a well guarded and precious commodity.

A capture page must have a truly fantastic offer to gain any sort of sign-up.

How to create a landing page

Well this depends on which type of landing page you would like to create.

How to create a landing page on a website

For a landing page on a website the first thing to do is to research a key term – one that people actually search for, and that your site might be able to list for.

There is little chance a listing for a general search term such as “cheese”. Especially as a small business.

If you have a CMS website like WordPress and you have the skill, you are able to create your own pages.

Create a page for each of your services and around a researched key term.

How to create a capture page (also known as landing page)

If you’d like to create a lead capture page and want to start very simply – I can highly recommend MailChimp.

  • Sign-up or log-in to MailChimp on their website.
  • Navigate to AUDIENCE via the link at the top (on a desktop).
  • Create an AUDIENCE, call it something sensible such as Kaydee Web Newsletter – this will be public.
  • Your audience will be all the golden contacts that have signed up to your newsletter.
  • You’ll now need to create a landing page, so go to CAMPAIGNS.
  • On the left hand side you should see a link to LANDING PAGE. This is where you can create multiple landing pages for different reasons – be it a sign-up or a sale.

What is the correct answer? What is a landing page?

A landing page is where a visitor lands after clicking a link – be it a result on a search engine, an advert or a link on social media. Use them to drive traffic or capture information.

After reading this post you will understand the lingo.

Email marketers and SEOs seem to be using the term differently, and both are correct.

Now you know what a landing page is!

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