Do you know that a well-designed landing page can significantly increase conversions for your pay-per-click (PPC) or email marketing campaigns?
For small businesses, a company’s website usually has only a few simple pages: a homepage, an about page, a page to list their products, a contact page, and (perhaps) a blog.
But online marketing has evolved, so websites should change too. High-performing websites need to have more than just those four pages mentioned above. Primarily, these additional pages should be in the form of landing pages.
Perhaps you, as a small business owner, might realize the needs of that change, but you’re not familiar with what a landing page is. You’re not sure why you need a high-converting landing page and which types of landing pages your website should have.
Or, maybe you have a landing page and get a few leads from it, but they’re not converting as well as you hoped. You’re not sure if you’ve been choosing the right landing page for your business.
So if you’re still stuck thinking about how to improve the impact of your marketing, you may be missing out on the value that different landing pages can provide.
Today, we’ll help you understand the role of landing pages and essential landing pages every small business needs. Therefore, you can stop leaving money on the table and start getting more conversions.
7 Essential types of landing pages for small businesses:
- Sales landing page
- Lead generation landing page
- Click-through landing page
- Product landing page
- Article or content marketing landing page
- 404 error page
- Thank you page
Before breaking down the differences between each of these essential types of landing pages, let’s make sure you can answer this fundamental question.
What is a landing page?
In plain words, a landing page is a specific page visitors land on after they click an ad or a link in an email.
However, you should keep in mind one thing: Not all the pages you visit after clicking an ad or a link are landing pages. Some small businesses misunderstand this.
Let’s say you’re searching for “study online” on Google. You click a paid ad, and that takes you to a homepage for Swinburne Online.
This isn’t a landing page.
You click another paid ad, and that takes you to a more appropriate landing page, from Deakin University.
There are two reasons why the Deakin University example will have better results as a landing page:
- It’s a dedicated and promotion-specified landing page. It doesn’t have menu navigation like the Swinburne website. It’s accessible only from the Google Ads campaign.
- It has one singular goal: encourage visitors to download the course guide.
A homepage might be a good place to send visitors if you’re just trying to build general awareness. But directing visitors to the homepage might not help increase your conversion.
That’s why you need a landing page that is designed to only receive campaign traffic. This separation allows you to be focused on a single objective and makes analytics, reporting, and testing a more straightforward task.
Besides, a landing page isn’t a splash page.
A splash page, sometimes called a welcome page, is an introductory page a visitor sees when they visit your website. A splash page can appear as a standalone page or a full-screen popup (a.k.a welcome mat).
Case in point:
A splash page doesn’t necessarily ask visitors to enter their email. It always has an exit button or link that takes visitors to the main site. Meanwhile, a landing page often doesn’t have that button or other navigation since its goal is to keep visitors on the page until they convert.
A worthy note that a landing page theoretically doesn’t have navigation, but in reality, 84% of landing pages have it. Brands do that because they don’t want to give visitors an easy way to exit their page until they have conversions. However, that’s always not the case because navigation links cause a distraction.
7 Essential types of landing pages for small businesses
With the definition of landing pages more clear, let’s explore the seven types of landing pages.
1. Sales landing page
A sales landing page is the page you create with an intent to promote a paid offer. It should have minimal distractions with its content directing visitors to the offer only. Also, it should have minimal links to other pages, except maybe to a shopping cart or the checkout page.
A sales page is at the end of your sales funnel. Its CTA button copy is often like “Buy NOW,” “Order Now,” or “Purchase,” which sends prospects through to an order form when clicked. Because of these, you should apply psychological techniques like urgency and scarcity to make your sales landing page more convincing and persuasive.
You can create a long-form or a short-form sales page, depending on some factors:
- A short-form sales page is enough when your product/service is straightforward, low-cost, low-risk, or low-commitment. You also don’t need a text-heavy sales page if your potential customers are highly aware of your product or brand.
A long-form sales page is an ideal choice when your product/service comes with a big price tag, when it is complicated to understand, or when it requires a high commitment. With a long-form sales page, since you need to add a ton of copy to convince prospects, you have a chance to include keywords to make the page SEO friendly.
There are some techniques to optimize a sales landing page. For example, you can include urgency, scarcity, limited time offers, money-back guarantee, or provide multiple product/service tiers, like this:
2. Lead generation landing page
Lead generation landing pages (i.e., squeeze pages) are designed for collecting personal information from visitors. You offer potential customers something valuable for free in exchange for their details, like an email address.
A lead generation landing page often includes an opt-in form where visitors enter their information. Here is an example:
Lead generation landing pages aren’t sales pages, so their copy is typically less sales-y. Once visitors are on your email list, you can then use follow-up emails to connect with them, build a long-term relationship, and drive them to take the core action you want.
Here are some best ideas for lead generation offers:
- Educational lead magnets (cheatsheet, swipe file, 30-day challenge, a PDF guide, etc.)
- Free consultant, training, and class
- Discount (percentage or a specific number) or coupon code
- Membership (making visitors feel special and inviting them into your VIP group that offers valuable things like bonuses.)
To choose an effective lead magnet, you can try to answer these two questions:
- Does it give prospects much value?
The better the offer is, the more they will take it. A free MacBook to every subscriber seems infeasible, but it would be a guaranteed 99% opt-in rate. Obviously, you can offer anything as long as it’s valuable to your customers. But you can also try something less unwanted, start with the best possible ideas, and downgrade from there rather than saying “subscribe our blog” only.
- Does your lead magnet evoke some emotional reaction?
“For free, really!? I want it” or “What? 30% discount? I’ll do it!”. Those are some reactions you want your visitors to have when they see your bait.
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3. Click-through landing page
A click-through landing page is often used as the middleman between a marketing ad, and it’s the final destination. Its role is to warm up visitors to your unique value proposition (UVP) before you convert them.
Click-through landing pages (also called interstitial pages) are popular in eCommerce. They provide enough information to inform shoppers, making them ready to purchase before pushing them further down the funnel—probably to a shopping cart or checkout.
Case in point:
A click-through landing page often includes the following elements:
- An eye-catching headline
- A subheadline that gives visitors the reason why they’re here
- A product image or a screenshot, or an embedded video
- Benefit-driven features that convince visitors to take action
- A strong call-to-action button that jumps off the page
- Number of purchase customers, book downloads, sales orders, etc.
- Testimonials or customer reviews
4. Product landing page
A product landing page is used to promote and sell a specific product or service. It covers product title, product description, testimonials, or possibly a video. The only purpose of a product landing page is to sell.
A product description is key to a product landing page. That’s why how you write a product description is so important. When you write, focus on customers’ pain points and benefits that your product offers. You should also show how your product works and set up your credibility to gain trust.
When creating your product landing page, keep these in mind:
- Use large, high-quality large images with multiple angle shots of your product. This way, your potential customers will have a good first impression of the look and aesthetic of your product.
- Include customer reviews and ratings to build trust. Ninety percent of shoppers of shoppers said that online reviews impact their buying decision.
- Crease a sense of urgency by showing a countdown timer or stock countdown.
- Provide different payment methods and show trust badges below the Add to Cart or Buy Now button.
5. Article or content marketing landing page
Blog posts are useful to generate search traffic, delivering value to your readers, and demonstrating your expertise in a given field. A well-written blog, backed with an effective marketing strategy, can bring you many potential leads.
Here is an example:
The main goal of a blog post as a landing page varies for your strategy. But usually, you may want to emphasize one of the following CTA: email signup, like your Facebook page, share your post, comment on your post, read other posts, contact your business, buy a product, or subscribe to your blog.
To leverage the result, you can write a blog post that sets something of value (i.e., an ebook) up to visitors as a content upgrade. A content upgrade landing page not only helps you drive more leads but also acquires more qualified prospects.
Here is a good example from Elnacain.com:
When a visitor enters their email to this opt-in form, they’ll be directed to a landing page which asks them to join a 1-hour video masterclass.
For more ideas about using content upgrades to build an email list, check out 18 Content Upgrade Ideas to Make the Most of Even a Low-Traffic Blog.
6. 404 error page
When someone clicks on your website from a referral link or from a Google search, they expect to land on a specific page. But if this page isn’t available, they’ll land on a useless 404 error page.
To sum it up, a 404 error is an HTTP status code that means the server couldn’t locate the page you’re trying to land on. In most cases, the page doesn’t exist on a given website.
For example, a typical 404 error page can look like this:
It often simply says “Not Found” and shows a simple link to the homepage.
What if you turn your 404 pages into a landing page that converts visitors like this one?
You add a search box, offer a lead magnet, or direct visitors to your product page—a few simple changes can drive sales and leads for your business. These changes make a massive difference in how a first-time visitor experiences a brand. A bad one is a missed opportunity.
Here is an excellent example from OkDork. This website has a clean and straightforward 404 page, but it’s useful to generate leads because it draws visitors to download a free toolkit.
Why does creating a 404 landing page matter? It’s because you can’t control the fact that people can misspell URLs. What you can control is the page they land on when they misspell a URL. It matters because it happens more often than you’d expect.
7. Thank you page
A thank you page is a page on your site that’s a goldmine waiting to be tapped. This is the page people are redirected to after they subscribe to your email list, sign up for an event, or purchase a product.
You can simply create a thank you page by writing something like, “Thank you for downloading our free ebook.” But doing that means you ignore an invisible conversion machine for your business.
The problem is many small business owners massively underutilize their thank you page. They don’t ask prospects to take action—which successful marketers always do. Worse, most aren’t even aware they’re doing it.
Take a look at this Thank You Landing Page from Bluechic, which is shown after a visitor downloads their cheatsheet:
Notice that the section starts with “But wait… We have a limited time offer just for you.” It tells visitors that Bluechic has an additional offer for them, and it’ll be gone soon. The brand also uses a progress bar to indicate how long the progress takes on. By doing this, Bluechic makes visitors spend more time on their site and (hopefully) convert.
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Focus on the core goal of landing pages: conversion
Landing pages can be used by any business, no matter how big or small your business is or what types of products/services you’re selling. Want people to join your event or attract them to your flash sales? You can use landing pages.
When creating a landing page, you want to give visitors detailed information about a specific product or service. But your ultimate goal is to drive sales and conversions. You don’t want people to land on your site and then leave without doing anything.
A high-converting landing page makes it very clear about what visitors will get from taking a specific action and how to get it. Two common uses for landing pages are:
- Collect emails (generate leads). In turn, visitors will receive updates, exclusive content, reports, ebooks, free course, podcasts, checklist, swipe files, free training, tips, etc.
- Warm-up potential customers up to your offering before pushing them deeper into your sales funnel. Doing that, you want them to purchase your product/service, register a paid event/course/training, buy a book, etc.
Each of these usages requires a different type of landing page.
Elements of an effective landing page
Let’s take a look at the different elements that go together to build your first landing page.
1. A compelling headline
The headline is the first thing that visitors will see and read. It should show your unique selling proposition, which means what your page is all about. It should tell visitors what you’re offering and gives them a reason to keep reading.
Your headline should be succinct, bold, and benefit-driven. As such, you should add a supporting headline to add more information about your page.
2. Strong copy
Effective copy is the backbone of a landing page. It highlights the core features/benefits of your product/service/offer on your landing page. To make your copy easy for scanning and skimming, you can use bullet points.
Landing page copy addresses the primary pain points of the web visitor, while articulating how the offer will benefit them, specifically.
3. A “must-get-now” offer
Landing pages are commonly used to drive sales or leads. To make sure they work, you should give away something people actually want, and want immediately.
A free offer could be a discount, a coupon code, a gift, a free sample, or anything you think it’ll bring real value to your visitors. People love free stuff, so if you can give them something for free, they’ll engage with you.
For sales landing pages, the offer needs to pass the test, too. The combination of features, benefits, and price point needs to be too good to pass up.
4. Visual cues
The brain processes visual information faster than text. That’s why you need to add a visual focus to your landing pages, such as a hero shot, photos, or videos.
Using visual cues, you can showcase products or product features, highlight customers, add human appeal and evoke emotion, tell a story about your brand, etc. So, make use of them to create an effective landing page for your business.
5. A convincing proof
To make your offer irresistible, you can show supporting evidence on your landing page. Visitors will feel more confident to be involved with you if they know other people have already done that.
Supporting evidence can be statistics, customer testimonials, trust badges, reviews, or third-party seals. Don’t just talk about how great you are—it’s much better if you let real-life customers praise your value.
6. A powerful call to action (CTA)
A CTA is a tipping point between conversion and bounce. It’s where you encourage visitors to take action. So if you make it right, you have customers. Otherwise, you just hear crickets.
A CTA could be downloading the PDF file, subscribing to the newsletter, adding an item to the cart, buying now, or registering for an event.
When creating a CTA, you should focus on its design and copy. A clickable and well-designed button shows visitors where they need to click. On-button copy tells visitors what they need to do and what they’ll get after taking action. How you design your CTA, where you place it, and what it says all matter.
Do landing pages still work?
A landing page always works, especially if you’re running a campaign.
Because your homepage and any other pages in your site provide general information. They’re loaded with links and navigation to different areas, which can distract potential customers from doing what you want them to do.
Meanwhile, you’re running a campaign with a specific purpose: to convert visitors into customers or leads. By creating a standalone landing page, you can achieve that.
- Companies see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15 (HubSpot).
- Across industries, the landing page conversion rate was 2.35% on average, but the top 25% are converting at least 5.31%. (WordStream).
How many landing pages should your business have?
Except for a 404 error page and a thank you page, the answer is: it depends. It all comes back to what you’re trying to achieve with your landing pages.
- If you want to get as many visitors into your sales funnel as possible after they click on your Google Ad, you should use a click-through page or a sales landing page, or even both.
- If you want to build an email list so that you can send subscribers future updates and promotions, then use a squeeze landing page.
In any case, you should create multiple landing pages per goal and continuously A/B test them to find out which ones perform better.
Of course, Leadpages makes it incredibly easy to track your conversions and split test pages in your marketing campaigns.
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If you remember one thing, remember this:
Landing pages are meant to provide more information about a product, generate leads, and drive sales. By taking advantage of them, you’ll make a huge improvement in your conversion rate.
If you’re running a small business, and you haven’t had a landing page, it’s time for you to create at least one.
Don’t know where to get started? Read our definitive guide to landing pages.