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Proforma Blog

Landing Pages 101: What They Are & Why They Matter

By Proforma Durkee on January 27, 2015

Landing pages are one of the most important parts of your website, and if you're not writing and building them correctly, you could be losing out on a significant number of potential customers.

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Here's what you need to keep in mind...

What Is A Landing Page?

At its most basic, a landing page is any web page a visitor "lands" on.

That said, when marketers and sales people talk about landing pages (especially those marketers who practice inbound marketing), we typically define a landing page as having a very narrow focus/objective: we want the visitor to take action (e.g. buy, download, request, get).

The landing page, in this sense, usually has a form--the goal is to get people to fill out the form. Once filled out, the site visitor effectively becomes a "lead." And from there, you would nurture them along the sales funnel until they become customers.

These types of landing pages are known as lead generation landing pages (rather than click-through landing pages).

For the purpose of this article, we're going to focus on lead generation landing pages.

Landing Page Copywriting: It Matters

When it comes to creating effective landing pages, the copy is EXTREMELY important. And good copy doesn't just happen. Often, the writer will test a few different versions to see which one converts the most people into leads. 

But there are some basic tenets that most writers follow:

1. The headline and copy must match the promise that got people to this page in the first place. Whether the site visitor enters the landing page by clicking a call-to-action button, a PPC ad, or even through organic search, the page must match the visitor's expectation. So the headline and body copy should reflect the message promised in the CTA, the PPC ad, or the meta description people would see in organic search.

2. Length will vary. Short landing pages vs. long landing pages. There's no definitive answer: it will depend on your business, your audience, what you're trying to get people to do. The only way to know what will work is by conducting A/B testing (where you would test a long version of the page and a shorter version and seeing which converts better).

3. Short sentences, bullets, skimmable text--all good. Landing page copy should follow web copy best practices, which involves providing skimmable text, short paragraphs, bullet points, highlighted text, and so forth.

4. Social "proof" is becomming more and more important. Incorporating testimonials, either as text or video, can make a difference in getting someone to take that next action: filling out the form.

Landing Page Design is Just as Important

You might have GREAT words, but if the design stinks, then you could be inadvertently dooming your copy.

1. Design should be clean, aesthetically pleasing, and reflect the brand. And, just as you do with copy, you will likely need to test a couple different looks/layouts to see which one performs best.

2. Lose the navigation. Landing page best practices suggest you get rid of the website navigation. The thinking is that you don't want to give people a reason to click away. Keep them focused on that page, forcing them to take action. (This is one of the reasons landing pages are sometimes called "squeeze" pages.)

At Proforma Durkee, we can help you create effective landing pages that convert site visitors into leads. Let's chat about your needs.

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Topics: Marketing Tips, Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing