The truth is that every site is different and every business has unique goals and KPIs, which means that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this important question. So, if you’re wondering whether your business should be using landing pages in conjunction with your online marketing, here are the pros and cons that we usually discuss with clients:
Some digital marketing agencies act like landing pages are the greatest thing ever invented. Let’s look at the top touted benefits to using landing pages:
• Targeted Messaging
The most common reason to use a landing page is for targeting purposes. Landing pages allow you to craft a message that’s targeted to each of your audiences and present it to that specific audience to increase conversions. Now, the thing to remember is that those conversions may not actually be sales – they may be in the form of email signups, whitepaper downloads, or free trial signups. But whatever your conversion goal is, landing pages can help you achieve them by providing a place to speak the language that your target audiences want to hear.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to using landing pages is that they’re trackable. Because landing pages are hidden from the rest of your site and used for individual marketing purposes, you can easily gauge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts by monitoring traffic to your landing pages and analyzing the results. You can see where visitors went after arriving on each landing page, how long they stayed, what other actions they took on your site, etc. This data is incredibly valuable because it gives you the full picture of the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
• Easy to A/B Test
Testing is a must in order to hone in on the best performing messaging, color palate, layout, call-to-action buttons, visuals, imbedded media, and any other elements on your landing page. Luckily, landing page testing is fairly easy to do as long as you have the design skills needed to create page variations and the technical skills needed to set up a test.
So, if landing pages are so great, why doesn’t everyone use them all the time for everything? Well, not so fast. Let’s look at the drawbacks to using landing pages next:
Creating one or two landing pages isn’t too expensive, but companies that need a multitude of pages created or tons of variations created for each page can rack up some serious web design service bills. This is one reason why larger companies will often employ full design teams in-house. By having their own design team, they can reduce cost over the lifespan of every marketing campaign.
• Can Add a Conversion Step
When it comes to increasing conversions, you want to try to eliminate as many steps as possible to make it easier for visitors to convert because each additional step provides another opportunity to lose people along the way. For this reason, your landing page should have a call-to-action that results in a conversion. The most effective landing pages are ones that allow visitors to sign-up or buy or call or download directly from the landing page. Some ecommerce stores, however, direct traffic back to their main website (category pages, product pages, etc.) from their landing pages. This actually ends up acting as a barrier to purchase by adding another conversion step. When using landing pages, ensure that they fit seamlessly into the traffic flow of your website so that they don’t prevent people from converting.
• Hidden Page
Because landing pages are situation-specific and highly targeted, you can only arrive at them from a promotional email, PPC advertisement, social media post, or some other marketing effort. This is great from a tracking perspective, but as a user it can create a frustrating experience because you can’t find your way back (unless you have it bookmarked or go back to the original source). That means that the limited-time offer or other appealing information you found there is lost to you. This can create a frustrating user experience if that offer isn’t reiterated elsewhere or presented to you again.
Hopefully now you have a better sense of whether landing pages are right for your business.
If you need landing pages designed and don’t know where to start, we can recommend some top-notch web designers to do the dirty work for you. Just let us know if you’d like a recommendation!
Whether you choose to go the landing page route or not, we’d love to help you with your online marketing efforts!
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!