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What Is A Landing Page?

Originally posted on July 7, 2015; Updated on December 24, 2021

What is a landing page

Two of the most frequent questions we hear are “what is a landing page”, and “why do I need one when I already have a website?” They’re good questions, as the term “landing page” can be confusing. Don’t visitors to your website “land” on different pages already?

Yes, but while all landing pages can technically be defined as web pages, not all of your site’s pages function as landing pages. As part of your overall digital marketing strategy, landing pages exist solely to capture visitors’ information. Contact Smart WSI Marketing to learn more about how an internet marketing company can help you create landing pages that convert.

What is a Landing Page?

Imagine your website and landing pages as buckets and the traffic that comes to them as water.

  • Your website bucket has many small holes in it, so the water that enters it flows in all directions, landing on different pages.
  • A landing page bucket has one hole in its bottom, so the water flows precisely where you want it to.

Put another way: Landing pages are accessible only from a link you or someone else provides, such as a call to action (CTA). They generally fall into two categories, with a third type, known as a direct sales page, used by online stores like Amazon.

  1. As lead generators. Also called “lead capture pages,” this type of landing page lets you gather pertinent information about your visitors so you can use it in future targeted marketing. The sole focus of a lead-generating landing page is to get a prospective buyer’s personal and contact info such as email address, name, location, and other demographics you’ll use further down the road to connect with them. Most lead generating pages include reciprocal offers such as downloadable how-to guides, eBooks, or newsletter sign-ups.
  2. As short-form introductions. Rather than describing your entire business, landing pages use eye-catching images and attention-grabbing content to highlight a single offer like a coupon, eBook, or contest entry. A slightly more advanced internet marketing strategy, these types of landing pages are ideal for relationship building. They’re designed to nurture prospective buyers by sharing a bit about your products and services. This “warming up” then helps guide leads into a sales funnel on your site, thereby increasing your number of conversions.

To sum up: landing pages are used to sell products and services or capture leads. They give detailed information on one item, attract visitors who are most interested in the offer, and offer limited navigation. Websites are designed to explain your business. They give visitors multiple pieces of information, attract users with a general interest in your business, and make all website pages accessible.

Why Landing Pages Matter

When you optimize your website’s landing pages, you can significantly increase traffic and conversions. Successful landing pages are about relevance, continuity, reinforcement, and, most importantly, value. An integral component of your online presence, they give visitors the details they need about your products or services and reinforce the belief you offer the most relevant solution to their problem or need.

When to Use Landing Pages

Now let’s look at all the different ways you can use landing pages in your internet marketing strategy.


When people click on the CTA link in one or more of your online ads, they expect the page they land on to give them the precise information they’re looking for. While the design and branding on your landing pages should be similar to the rest of your website, the content needs to respond to the exact need that made them click on your ad.

Landing pages are effective for all types of ad campaigns, including:

  • Pay-per-click or PPC ads that, because they appear higher up the page in search results, make it easier for users to find what they’re searching for.
  • Social media campaigns that target users on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Banner ads that direct users to your landing page when clicked on other websites.

Lead Magnets

A lead magnet is a marketing term for a free item or service you give away in return for a user’s contact information. They’re an excellent way to turn visitors into qualified business leads. People simply fill out a short opt-in form with their name and email address in exchange for a freebie, usually a download or coupon.

Lead magnet landing pages are also referred to as lead capture pages. Since they’re more targeted than website pages, you can create any number of them for different offers.

  • eBook downloads let you share your expertise on a specific topic.
  • Live or pre-recorded webinars cover important topics and answer questions about your industry and offerings.
  • Free trials can entice hesitant viewers and nurture them into paying customers.

User-Friendly Notices

Not all landing pages are about sales. They’re often used to notify people of something important, like a recent website update or change of address. These types of landing pages can also be used to collect leads.

  • Custom login pages provide users with their own page where they can check out your products, services, social media profiles, and more.
  • A “coming soon” page lets people know something new is on the way, and they can sign up to be notified when it’s released.
  • Maintenance mode pages explain your website’s temporarily down. People can fill in their email address to be notified of when it’s back up.
  • 404 or error pages let people know they reached the domain they requested, but the page they landed on is unavailable. If a link on your site is broken or dead, a 404 page redirects users to other areas on your site that might interest them.

Testing New Ideas

Given that landing pages have a single focus, they’re much easier to test for things like conversion rates and results than entire websites are. Continuous testing of your landing pages ensures they’re user-friendly and doing what they were designed to do - attract new leads. Things you can test with your landing page include:

  • Copy and content. Test different headlines, writing styles, and copy length. For some niches, long pages with lots of copy work great; for others, short, action-oriented copy is best.
  • Media content. Try out different types of images, graphics, and videos, including video testimonials which can be much more engaging than text versions.
  • Page elements. Some brands like putting their phone number or other contact info on landing pages. Many digital marketing pros suggest leaving that type of content off of them. Try it both ways and see which gets you the best results.

Can You Use a Landing Page as a Website?

It’s an excellent question with a simple answer. Yes, you can use a landing page to create a simple website. But (and it’s a big but) that limits your marketing options and growth abilities, so you probably won’t get the results you hoped for. The bottom line is websites and landing pages serve different purposes and have different audiences. You’ll get better results with a dedicated website that describes who you are and what you do with landing pages that tie into your online marketing campaigns.

Good Landing Page Design

Working with a digital marketing agency is a wise decision when designing landing pages. They can help you select the perfect elements to direct attention to precisely what potential leads are looking for. The best landing pages feature:

  • Minimal distractions, with only enough information needed to convince viewers to claim your offer and remove the extras.
  • Powerful headlines that are short and immediately grab attention. They ideally show the value of what you’re offering in return for a user’s contact information.
  • Social proof like reviews and positive testimonials that show people are using and enjoying your products or services.
  • Trust and award badges for instilling trust in potential customers.
  • Mobile-friendly designs that make it easy for users to browse your landing page with a mobile device. Like your website, your landing pages should work seamlessly on all devices.
  • Brief sign-up forms that ask only for the minimum information needed to verify a lead. In most cases, all you need is a first name and email address.
  • Clear and creative calls to action (CTAs) that contain actionable copy like “Get Your Free Report” instead of “Click Here” so users know exactly what they’re getting.

Landing Page Design with Success in Mind

You’ve done a terrific job building your brand and designing a website that represents it. To ensure all that hard work translates into sales, landing pages are the way to go. They drive traffic, improve SEO, and build your brand and can be part of a successful PPC strategy. Smart WSI Marketing is an Edmonton digital marketing agency that builds landing pages that make a solid first impression and grab your audience’s attention. Talk to us today about how our engaging and interactive landing pages can help you boost conversions and your bottom line!

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Digital Marketing Strategist
Specialty: Digital Marketing Strategies
Education: MA Communications & Technology, BComm [U Alberta]
Author: The Online Marketing Handbook for Busy Entrepreneurs (coming soon)

Lynne is known for her strategic approach to marketing communications, technologies, and lead generation. She has a passion for education, keeping up with current marketing trends and practices, and helping clients keep ahead of their competition.

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