What Is a Landing Page and Why Does Your Marketing Campaign Need One?

You’ve heard marketers talk about landing pages and how important they are as part of a holistic marketing plan. In fact, one of the most effective ways to generate leads is through a landing page. So, what is a landing page, and how do you incorporate it into your overall marketing strategy?

In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about landing pages, including why they’re important and what you should do to ensure your landing page is a success. Read on and discover more about this powerful marketing tool.

What is a landing page?

A landing page is a standalone web page designed for a specific purpose, typically aligned with a particular marketing campaign. It’s designed to communicate a message with a singular focus and encourage users to take a specific action.

For example, you could create a landing page to announce a special event and include a CTA for the audience to purchase a ticket. Another option may be getting users to provide their email addresses to receive your company newsletter or a one-off digital download like an ebook.

It’s called a landing page because it’s the first page targeted visitors land on when they click on your campaign link. You would usually promote this landing page link through social media, email, and PPC campaigns linked to your overall marketing strategy. 

Most businesses use a landing page builder to create their landing page, allowing you to choose free hosting through the builder’s subdomain or host the page through your own custom domain.

Landing pages allow you to create a unique experience for an express goal, motivating the user to act and initiating a conversion.

Landing page vs. homepage

While your website homepage is also an important marketing asset, there are several differences between a homepage and a landing page. 

If you think of your website as a brick-and-mortar store—your homepage would be your storefront where you’d let prospective customers know about all the great products and services you offer. 

The objective of a homepage is to get website visitors to explore other pages on your site, so your homepage invariably has several sections linking to different web pages.

We can highlight the main differences between landing pages and homepages as follows:

  • Page focus: Landing pages offer a more specific focus to a targeted audience, typically only incorporating one call to action (CTA). In contrast, your homepage has a broader focus with various CTAs.
  • Target audience: Your homepage caters to a wider audience of potential customers at different stages in the buyer’s journey. However, targeted users who visit your landing page have done so because they’re interested in the specific product, service, whitepaper, or event promoted.

Landing page vs. entry page

It’s true that both entry and landing pages are pages users land on when interacting with your brand, but there’s a difference.

An entry page is typically the first page on your website that a user finds and visits, generally through a search engine query. The page they land on depends on their specific search query. This visitor could land on any web page or blog post on your website as their first point of entry.

Landing pages differ due to their specific purpose, leading prospects to take a particular action, rather than serving as a gateway to explore your website.

Why landing pages are crucial to your marketing strategy

Landing pages focus on converting the leads you attract with your various marketing channels and strategies.

Building a landing page for your marketing campaign gives you a chance to draw in a specific audience. Through this page, you can present them with a clear message tailored to their needs and free from distractions.

It’s a great way to target a segment of your target market for better-quality leads and conversions. Including a well-executed landing page within your campaign strategy is an ideal way to attract new customers.

Landing pages also make tracking and evaluating your campaign metrics easier, including traffic sources, demographics, and engagement.

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The different types of landing pages

In essence, there are two types of landing pages you could employ as part of your marketing strategy.

Lead gen landing pages

Businesses use lead gen (or lead generation) landing pages for—you guessed it—generating leads. This type of landing page asks prospective customers to input personal information that you can use to contact and nurture them through your sales pipeline.

A lead gen page usually offers the prospect something in return for their name, email address, etc. In this case, the prime lead gen page CTA is a form.

The customer data collected can also prove useful for audience segmentation and targeting in later campaigns. Each prospect that completes a form provides you with more information about the type of prospect that’s interested in your products or services.

In fact, lead gen pages can provide you with a wealth of information to boost revenue and improve your campaign success rate.

Some lead gen landing page examples include:

  • Webinar registration landing page: You could promote a link to your webinar landing page, telling prospects about the topic you plan to cover in the webinar. This type of lead gen landing page will include a registration form requesting the visitor’s details.
  • Whitepaper landing page: Whether you have a report, in-depth guide, or ebook to share, you can include a short form asking for contact information in exchange for the whitepaper.

Click-through landing pages

Although the goal is still to generate leads, click-through landing pages ask users to click on a button that directs them to a different page where they need to take a specific action.

The ultimate CTA typically involves a purchase or signing up for a service. That’s why click-through pages often lead prospects to a specific page on your website where they can complete the purchase or signup process.

Here are a few click-through landing page examples:

  • Trial signup landing page: For businesses with products or services that users can try before they buy, this landing page promotes and offers a gateway to the trial signup page.
  • Product purchase landing page: E-commerce businesses can use the landing page to highlight the features and benefits of a specific product, with a link to the page where customers can purchase the product.

The core components of a landing page

Landing pages will differ according to brand, message, product, service, and more. However, there are some central elements that all landing pages should comprise, including:

  • Title or headline
  • Section describing the product or service
  • Relevant visuals, including images or videos
  • Trust signals, like customer reviews, testimonials, and awards
  • Form to capture customer data

These components form the backbone of every landing page and are essential to an effective campaign.

Primary landing page benefits

Now that we know what a landing page is and what it can do, it’s time to examine how this indispensable marketing tool can benefit your business.

These are some of the leading advantages associated with deploying a landing page as part of your marketing campaign strategy:

  • Build audience trust: With authentic, straightforward landing page messaging that provides value and includes social proof, you’ll build and reinforce your customers’ trust in your brand.
  • Strengthen brand identity: Landing pages offer an additional opportunity to create brand awareness and aid your remarketing and customer match efforts to touch existing and similar prospects. 
  • Capture quality leads: Whether you employ lead gen or click-through landing pages in your campaign, you can use these to gather leads you know are interested in what you do.
  • Generate website traffic: Your landing page could generate additional traffic to your website through your campaigns or organically if search engine optimized.
  • Boost conversions: Targeted landing pages eliminate the fluff and deliver relevant messages and solutions to prospects who need them, often resulting in a higher conversion rate.
  • Understand your audience: Promoting a landing page gives you direct access to customer data related to that specific offer, giving you insight into your audience’s interests and where your promotions are most successful.
  • Expand your mailing list: Having prospects provide contact details in exchange for information, a service, or a product is an ideal way to build your email subscriber base.
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How to create a top-notch landing page: 9 best practices

We decided to dedicate this section of the article to giving you some pointers on how to create an outstanding landing page experience for your audience. These best practices are the foundation of a successful landing page campaign.

What is a landing page? Builder interface example

1. Establish your campaign goals

Before you do anything else, make sure you and your team are clear on what your landing page campaign goals are.

Do you simply want to capture leads? Are you trying to get prospects to subscribe to your newsletter? Would you like to encourage users to sign up for a free trial?

Whatever the goal, define it, detail the numbers you’d like to aim for, and set a time frame within which to achieve this goal.

2. Segment and understand your target audience

Most businesses sell to at least a few different types of customers. These could be customers in different industries, age groups, geographical regions, etc. Therefore, communicating with each segment requires a slightly different approach to ensure your messaging is relevant to the audience in question.

For this reason, promoting your landing page to a select audience segment makes the most sense. Doing so helps you better understand the target audience, their needs, and how to tailor your messaging to engage with them.

3. Create captivating content

It should go without saying that your landing page content should be engaging and concise, providing the audience with valuable information in an easy-to-read format. 

Start with an attention-grabbing headline that prompts the reader to want to know more. Then, focus on highlighting the benefits associated with your offer rather than the features. You want your audience to understand how your product, service, or information will solve their problems.

Ideally, you should aim to build a landing page that people want to read and share with colleagues and friends. Presenting them with an intimidating wall of text is sure to increase your bounce rate and render your campaign unsuccessful.

4. Ensure a great user experience

While content is part of the user experience, the landing page design, layout, and visual elements you choose all influence the UX and can make or break your campaign. 

Think about how your audience will likely read what’s on your page and where you’d like to lead their eye when designing your layout. Make sure you include ample spacing and whitespace around text and images to ensure information remains clear and easy to find.

Incorporate eye-catching imagery, from photos to illustrations and more. But avoid adding images for the sake of adding images—These visual components should serve a purpose and enhance the overall message you want to convey.

If possible, include a video with or without a written explanation. Over 44% of consumers prefer video to ebooks, graphics, articles, sales calls, or presentations when learning about a product or service.

5. Include a clear call to action

One of the primary landing page elements is your call to action. To encourage conversions, it’s best to have a clear CTA above the fold—in other words, within the header section you see before scrolling down the page.

You should also include at least one more CTA further down the page, typically towards the bottom before the footer section. 

Your CTAs could be buttons or hyperlinked anchor text, but making sure they are noticeable is crucial. Highlighting them with an accent color or using graphic elements such as arrows to point them out is a great way to draw attention to your CTAs.

Remember to include a form to capture your prospect’s contact details. At a minimum, ask your audience to provide a name and email address to receive your offer. Stipulate that they will receive the confirmation of registration, special offer, or downloadable content via their email address to ensure they provide you with one you can use to contact them in the future.

6. Encourage audience trust

Building trust with your target audience is no easy feat. That’s why you should use every opportunity to display any social proof and trust markers you have.

These may include customer testimonials and a summary of your Google, TrustPilot, or similar review platform rating with a link to your profile on the platform. You could also include badges representing any awards your company has won or been shortlisted for.

Another great way to establish credibility is to include photos and videos of your products or services. Showing your team at work or a customer using your product gives prospects visual proof of your authenticity as a business.

7. Optimize for search engines

Even though you intend to promote your landing page through targeted channels like social media and Google Ads, it’s likely still hosted on and associated with your website domain. That means you can optimize it for search, allowing more prospects to find it beyond the campaign timeline. 

You’ll follow the same basic SEO rules to optimize your landing page for search as you would any other web page, including:

  • Targeting high-search-volume, low-competition, long-tail keywords
  • Building quality backlinks from credible websites
  • Speeding up page load speeds for improved UX and reduced bounce rates

8. Optimize for a higher conversion rate

You can refine your landing page campaign further by carrying out an A/B test (also known as split testing). This conversion rate optimization technique offers a highly effective way to gauge your audience’s response to your messaging and landing page design.

Start by selecting one element you’d like to test, such as your headline or the wording or color of your CTA buttons. Create two versions of your landing page, varying this single element in each—never test more than one element at a time.

Then, launch both landing pages and keep an eye on the metrics to determine which of the two garners the most engagement and conversions. If one performs noticeably better than the other, you can stop sharing the underperforming page and double down on the more successful one.

9. Use a reputable landing page builder

What is a landing page? Nutshell Landing Pages

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Instead of creating a landing page from scratch, use a user-friendly landing page builder to streamline the process. There are several to choose from, so finding the ideal one may initially seem overwhelming.

To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of things to look out for when searching for your perfect landing page tool. When sourcing the best landing page builder for your campaign, make sure it offers you the following:

  • No coding skills needed: You shouldn’t need to learn a coding language to build your landing page.
  • Custom hosting: Your landing page builder may offer native hosting through their subdomain, but you should have the option to select custom hosting through your domain.
  • Easy editing: A great landing page builder will offer drag-and-drop design functionality, making building a landing page as easy as pie.
  • Design templates: Sometimes, we need a little inspiration to get the creative juices flowing, so having professionally designed templates is a useful landing page builder feature.
  • CRM integration: You need somewhere to save and organize the customer data you capture through your landing page, so integration with your CRM is an absolute must.
  • Engagement tracking: The best landing page builders include tools for tracking and analyzing engagement data related to your campaigns.

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4 effective landing page examples

For illustrative purposes, here are a few excellent landing page examples we’d like to share.

1. Shopify free trial campaign

Shopify landing page example

This landing page aligns with the Shopify brand identity in terms of color, illustration, and design. Notice the CTA is right at the top of the page, with three clear benefits listed below the header image. And the final above-the-fold element is a short list of some of Shopify’s world-renowned customers as social proof.

Visiting this landing page a second time reveals another version with a different illustration. This variation tells us that Shopify is running A/B testing on their free trial landing page campaign.

Shopify landing page A/B test example

2. Slack promotional campaign

Slack landing page example

This Slack landing page includes no less than three CTAs above the fold with a short description and UI imagery at the top of the page. These UI images show Slack in use and give users a good idea of what the app interface will look like on PC and mobile devices.

Slack also includes a short list of prominent customers as trust markers and offers its audience a video with further information within this initial section of the page.

3. MasterClass course campaign

MasterClass landing page example

MasterClass does a great job of using negative space and color to draw the audience’s attention to the two above-the-fold CTAs. They also included two screenshots from the course material showing Aaron Sorkin, letting prospective students know they’ll receive classes from the screenwriting legend himself.

4. Nutshell free trial campaign

Nutshell free trial landing page example

This Nutshell landing page example shows you how to include loads of information above the fold in a concise manner. It highlights several benefits, includes a client testimonial, awards badges as trust markers, and incorporates two different CTAs.

These different CTAs offer users the option to try out the product for themselves or speak to a sales representative, depending on how they prefer to discover and learn about a product or service.

Choose Nutshell for next-level landing page features

Nutshell’s innovative landing page builder is the answer to your marketing campaign needs. Our advanced builder gives you the tools to capture and convert more leads, taking your marketing strategy to new heights.

Just take a look at the amazing benefits you can look forward to when you choose to use the Nutshell Landing Pages builder:

  • Design stunning landing pages without any coding
  • Customize your landing page design to align with your brand
  • Host your landing page through Nutshell or on your website domain
  • Use our drag-and-drop editor for seamless landing page building
  • Choose from a host of professional landing page templates to get you started
  • Capture leads and book meetings directly from your landing page by integrating with Nutshell Forms and Nutshell Scheduler
  • Bring everything together in Nutshell, giving you a CRM with powerful lead management tools to help you close more deals
  • Monitor key landing page engagement metrics to gauge success and enhance campaigns
  • Continue to market to your leads using Nutshell Campaigns’ industry-leading email marketing tools

Sign up for a free 14-day trial and discover how easy it is to build successful lead generation campaigns with Nutshell Landing Pages. For more information, check out this recording of our recent webinar, which is all about Nutshell Landing Pages.

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