Curious about landing pages and what they’re used for? You’re not alone. In fact, a quick Google search will show more than 400,000 results for the query “What is a landing page?” Find out the answer in this short article!
Let’s cut right to it. Here’s my definition of what a landing page is:
“A landing page is a dedicated, campaign-specific destination that persuades a member of a target audience to take one clearly defined action.”
Now, let’s break that down, one part at a time.
Landing pages are dedicated
First, landing pages need to be “dedicated” in the sense that they stand apart from your website. They are built independently of your website, which is great news, because it means that you don’t even need a website if you don’t already have one.
There are many successful businesses out there that run with landing pages only.
Now, of course, you can certainly build a landing page on your website if you want, but you don’t have to.
Landing page tools such as Unbounce (which I use and recommend) allow you to create subdomains for your pages, and they take care of all of the hosting. You can have a page up and running in minutes.
Landing pages are campaign-specific
Next up in my definiation is the phrase “campaign-specific destination.” What I mean by this is that landing pages should be tied to a specific campaign, whether that be a paid media campaign, or an email marketing campaign or something else.
Each page should be build with the goals of a specific campaign in mind.
Landing pages are built for a target audience
Getting even more granular, you’ll want to ensure that your landing pages speak to the right people. After all, “everyone” is not your market.
Before you begin building your first landing page, it is important to do customer research.
That’s where a customer avatar or persona comes in handy. Create that first and develop your landing page copy off of it.
The more focused you can be with your target market, the more relevant your landing page will be once they arrive on the page.
Landing pages have one clearly defined action
Don’t try to do too much with your landing page. This is a common mistake marketers make. They try to get their landing page to do ten jobs at once, we it should really only be doing one job.
Stay focused, and create one compelling call-to-action on your page. It’s fine if you repeat that action throughout the page, but don’t switch things up too much and have your page ask the visitor to do a handful of different tasks.
This is why I often remove any external links from my landing pages. The same goes for social media icons or social sharing buttons. There’s no need for them there.
Landing pages vs. homepages
Now, after all of this, you might be wondering, how is a landing page different from a homepage? Good question!
First of all, homepages try to appeal to everyone. You never know who will land on your homepage, or what they’re looking for.
Maybe they want to get in contact with you. Maybe they want to read your blog. Or maybe they have no idea what you do and need to learn more. There are so many possibilities for their visit!
So homepages need to intentionally stay pretty broad. It’s difficult to have just one call-to-action on a homepage.
On the other hand, as you now know, landing pages are very focused. They are speaking to one specific type of visitor and trying to get them to take one very specific action.
Airports vs. boarding gates
An easy analogy I like to use is this:
Homepages are like entire airports; they offer a whole bunch of different destinations and things to do. It’s up to you to figure out what you want.
Landing pages are more like the boarding gate in the airport. You’re at the boarding gate because you want to get on that very flight. You have one purpose in mind, to get on the flight.
See the difference?
So, there you have it. You now know the difference between landing pages and homepages, and you hopefully have an answer to the question, “What is a landing page?”
If you found this article helpful, and you want to learn more on the topic of landing pages, I encourage you to check out my free 3-part video course called Landing Page Jumpstart.
You can get instant access to the first video right here.
Nicholas is a growth marketing consultant and the founder of Earnworthy and Landing Page School. He specializes in landing page design, testing, and optimization.