In our Intro to Inbound series, we've already explored some of the basic pieces that make up an inbound marketing strategy, specifically content, buyer personas, and blog posts. Today, we're going to talk about another important piece that serves to tie a lot of these elements together: the landing page.
When you're shopping for a new pair of jeans, are you more likely to go into a store if they have a sign out front advertising 75% off all denim and had your favorite brand and style hanging in the window? Or would you opt for a dimly lit warehouse where you had to paw through piles of unwanted tube socks and tank tops to find one pair that you might possibly like?
Though there is certainly something character building about a good warehouse sale, the answer seems pretty obvious. You want to go where you get a clear message about what's inside and all the supporting collateral (signage, sales, etc.) sends you right to what you want.
In inbound marketing, the landing page serves a similar purpose to a well positioned pair of jeans and a sale sign. That is, it directs your prospects to what they're looking for and helps you turn them into leads.
According to some definitions, a landing page is any webpage that a person "lands" on when they click a link from another site, such as Twitter, Facebook, or a link on another company's blog. However, our friends at HubSpot have narrowed down the landing page definition as it pertains to social media, saying that a landing page is:
any page on the web on which one might land that 1) has a form and 2) exists solely to capture a visitor's information through that form.
Let's take a closer look at what makes a landing page great and why they are essential to inbound marketing.
Why Are Landing Pages Important?
Landing pages create the optimal opportunity for visitors to your site to become leads. Most often, a landing page is where you will put your premium content offers. For instance, a landing page might be where someone can register for a webinar or download an eBook. When they fill out the form, they'll be signed up or taken to their download. Through a landing page is how you are able to turn your premium content into leads easily.
What Should a Landing Page Look Like?
Landing page design is deserving of a post of its own, but we can give a few key elements for creating a great landing page.
First, simplicity is important. Because the goal of a landing page if you to collect leads, you don't want to give people other options for how to navigate through your landing pages. Many inbound marketing experts suggest removing your website navigation completely (or mostly) from your landing pages. That way, the only way out, so to speak, is for your prospects to fill out your form.
Overall, your landing page should be simple, clear, easy to digest, and guide people directly to your form where they can enter their info and submit the form. You also want to be sure to have a prominent button that lets people know what happens when they fill out the form, like "DOWNLOAD NOW" or "REGISTER" or "GET STARTED".
What About Landing Page Copy?
You're in luck when it comes to landing page copy, because we just posted some super helpful tips on writing great landing page copy that converts, so go over and read that post.
As with many inbound marketing strategies, you will get better and better at writing landing page copy over time. The main thing to remember is that your landing pages should be a direct continuation of whatever call to action brought people to your page to begin with. If someone clicks a link for a free trial of your software and they're taken to a landing page
How Do I Get Started?
Getting started with landing pages does involve a little bit of technological know-how. But if you're a HubSpot customer, the process is extremely easy, even if you've never build a page for your website before. In HubSpot, you can simply go to the Landing Page link under Content and create a new page. Select a template or start from scratch. Because the most effective landing pages are extremely simple, designing them can happen quickly, even if you don't have any design experience. Make sure the page links to your offer and to an appropriate landing page.
If you don't use HubSpot, you'll need to build a separate page and form within your website and be sure that it links out to a download, registration, or other content offer. You also want to be sure that any leads who do fill out your form are sent to the appropriate member of your team and/or enrolled in relevant workflows.
When developing and perfecting your inbound marketing strategy, your ultimate goal should be to have at least one landing page for each content offer. In some cases, you may even optimize your offer by creating more than one landing page, each addressing a separate persona. It might seem intimidating at first, but the great thing about landing pages is that you can and should always be optimizing them for maximum conversions, so don't be afraid to try different iterations of your copy and different designs until you find one that really resonates.