What’s a Landing Page and Why Do We Need Them?

What’s a Landing Page and Why Do We Need Them?

So… what is a landing page…?? The generic term ‘landing page’ is another way of saying the first page that someone visits in your site or store. Literally the page that someone ‘lands’ on.

In sales and marketing terms we think of landing pages as being the pages that we intentionally send someone to. That won’t necessarily be the home page of a website or store, it might be a category page, a specific blog post… And typically we will be sending them there for a single reason.

For example, if I want someone just to browse my store I send them to my home page and let them get on with it. However, if I am promoting a festive line, I would send them specifically to a special page with just festive products. If my objective is to get people to sign up to my newsletter, I’d send them to my newsletter page.

Well, this is all pretty basic stuff. However, where the magic starts to come in is where a landing page is specifically created for a single purpose.

Going back to my festive product example, if I sent the customer to my store page, the chances are they are going to see other things, they may get waylaid by other products, or hop over to my blog to browse. On Etsy, they may even bounce out of my store entirely.

To counter this, I would make a landing page which focuses 100% on just the action I want the customer to take. Often, you will see that there’s limited or zero navigation on the page – to ensure that the visitor stays focused. A great example of this was the launch of Etsy Pattern. Before the site was launched, the aim was simply to get people to sign up.  Look at the image below you’ll see that the focus is 100% on getting people to click to start the trial. There’s no search bar or category list etc – just one single call to action – the trial button. People visiting this page wouldn’t have got waylaid with other things – they had no other option than click to start trial or go back to the main site.

So, in short, a landing page is a page where we want people to take specific action, whether it’s signing up to a newsletter, buying a product, and we make it as easy as possible for the visitor to take that action.

Optin or Opt In Pages

A popular form of landing page is the optin page. These are the pages where someone goes to sign up to your newsletter – they are ‘opting in’ to receive a regular newsletter or email from you.

Part of the sales process is to build ‘know, like and trust’ from potential customers. The more they know and trust your brand, the more likely they are to buy and in return become loyal fans. This is equally important on your own site as it is on a platform like Etsy. On your own site people need to feel confident to buy from you on Etsy, they need to want to buy from YOU because they know, like and trust you, and not from another seller.

And email plays an important part in this process. It’s the regular contact that helps customers get to know you and to build the relationship.

So the key to this, of course  is getting people onto your newsletter list – and making them want to be there.

When we spoke about landing pages earlier, you’ll remember that the purpose of the landing page is for the visitor to take one specific action. While you may have a newsletter sign up page on your website, or a sign up form from your email provider, the chances are this is relatively general.

An email optin landing page is designed to encourage people to sign up NOW. It is likely to have an offer, for example a free downloadable birthday date book, and in return they sign up to your list. If you look at the second image attached here, the offer is quite clear ‘get free shipping over…’ and the sign up box. There’s nothing else there to distract the visitor.

The aim isn’t to get them to buy from you or to browse your store – it’s simply to get them to sign up to your newsletter so you can start to build a relationship.

One of the joys of landing pages, is that you can create different ones for different occasions. You can test to see what works best and create very specific pages targeted to different customer types.


Sales Pages

And the same principle applies to sales pages. Again, the page is set up so there’s one action you want the customer to take – and they can only take one action on the page.

Landing pages have an important role to play in marketing online, and they are not too difficult to do. The key is to remember the one key action you want people to take and not be afraid to test different formats and layouts until you know what is right for you and your customers.