The ultimate guide to landing pages

How do landing pages work?

Chapter 04

Landing pages only have one goal: to convert web traffic. That means every element on the page has to pull visitors towards a single call to action.

Landing pages that convert best do so because of the combination of layout, headlines, supporting text, and related images.

Before you dive into crafting a page, it’s important to understand your landing pages as a game of give and take—particularly in the case of lead generation. In order to collect a visitor’s email address, you’ll have to earn it by offering value in exchange.

If your offer is enticing enough, visitors will willingly exchange their email address (or their money) for access.

Why are landing pages effective?

A landing page works significantly better for lead generation than a website because landing pages are specifically made to get visitors to take action.

When comparing the use of a landing page vs. a homepage, you’ll see that landing pages focus on conversion (taking action) while webpages focus on providing information.

Whereas a website tries to address all the questions of all the different audiences that could possibly visit the site, the best landing pages convert because they only contain content that relates to a narrow topic for a narrow segment of the larger audience.

This results in the individual visitor to a landing page feeling closely connected to what they see on the landing page, instead of having difficulty seeing how the information of a website is relevant to them.

Site homepage vs landing page
  1. Navigation menu links to informative sub-pages
  2. Multiple different CTAs
  3. High-level overview copy of company’s value proposition
  4. Supporting copy such as features or services with links to other site pages
  5. Footer links to both key site pages and auxiliary content
  6. Message customized to match what was clicked
  7. Single, primary CTA with lead capture form
  8. Persuasive, benefits-focused copy

So how do landing pages work? What does a landing page actually do from start to finish?

The Mechanics of Conversion: how does a landing page work?

The best way to understand the power of a landing page is to put yourself in the position of the people you hope to convert into prospects, clients, and customers.

Let’s imagine you need to generate leads, and in exchange for an email address you’re giving away a free online training course.

Here’s what this part of your customer journey might look like:

  1. An advertisement catches your prospect’s attention.
  2. She clicks the ad.
  3. She lands on your page.
  4. She reads your benefit-driven headline and wants more.
  5. She finds your offer to be simply irresistible.
  6. She clicks your call-to-action button.
  7. She fills out your opt-in form.
  8. She’s on your email list as a qualified lead.

The email opt-in form captures the contact information you need to then meaningfully follow up with your new lead and nurture the relationship until she’s ready to make a purchase.

The customer journey from PPC ad to conversion
  1. An advertisement catches your prospect's attention. She clicks...
  2. ...and lands on your landing page where she reads your benefit-driven headline and finds your offer to be simply irresistable.
  3. After clicking on your call-to-action button, she fills out your opt-in form.
  4. Her contact information gets added to your email list, where you can follow-up and nurture the relationship until she's ready to make a purchase.

That’s it! Landing pages really are that simple! With the right software and landing page builder, you just need to customize the design of your landing page, write compelling copy, and let the high-converting template do the rest to gather and store the information. See our landing page best practices to get the scoop on creating high-quality landing pages that convert.

Use conversion-tested landing page templates to get a head start

Because our landing page templates are engineered to be high-converting, and they’re pre-sorted by conversion rate, you can have the confidence that not only does your landing page look good, but it’s also going to turn visitors into qualified leads and customers.

High converting landing page templates

How many landing pages should a website have?

Your website should have as many landing pages as needed for the currently active marketing campaigns you’re running. For some businesses, this will mean one to three landing pages will be enough. For others, hundreds of pages that address different marketing objectives for specific audience segments may be needed.

How many landing pages a website should have is simply a factor of time and opportunity. But at a minimum, every business should have at least one landing page focused on converting traffic into qualified leads with a compelling message that matches the needs of the target audience.

Bottom line: How do landing pages work? By building an exchange of value between your visitor and your business. They are customized to each audience (traffic source) and marketing campaign, which makes them far more compelling and high-converting than a static webpage. And they contain the mechanisms (call-to-action buttons and/or lead collection forms) to turn visitors into email subscribers.