What is a Landing Page? Landing Pages 101

What is all this you’re hearing about "landing pages"? Why are they so important? And how can they help you increase your lead generation while decreasing your advertising spend? In this series on landing pages, I will go into specific tips and best practices, PURLs (personalized URL's), and conversion optimization. But I’ll start with the basics—this is a 101 course, after all . . . 

What are landing pages?

Technically a landing page is any webpage that someone can “land” on. For marketing and advertising purposes, a “landing page” refers to a specific standalone page with a single laser-focused objective. These landing pages should only receive traffic from specific campaigns. The objective is usually to get someone to click through to another page (registration or e-commerce funnel) or generate a lead by using a short form to collect data. 

Types of landing pages

Click-through landing pages are designed to introduce your school’s brand and get visitors more comfortable with you before you ask them to inquire with an admission counselor or apply. When someone is coming from a display or search ad, they may have very little detail on who you are. The click-through landing page gives them more information and helps move them through your enrollment funnel.

Lead generation landing pages are used to capture data from your visitors so you can follow up with them at a later time. They are most commonly used when you offer something in return for getting their personal information. Academic program pages and open house registrations are a couple examples. 

You can use either type of landing page—but don’t ever use your home page in place of a landing page. It’s crucial that every campaign you start has its own dedicated landing page. Launching a paid campaign without a dedicated landing page is like a giraffe without a neck: it just doesn’t do anybody any good. Especially the giraffe.

A lot goes into creating a successful landing page and optimizing its effectiveness. In the coming blog posts in this series, I will help you understand some of the things that every successful landing page has. I will also cover some tips and tricks to optimize for conversions. Stay tuned for more on PURLs, the importance of message and design match, attention ratio, clarity, and reducing friction on your landing pages.

More in our Landing Pages 101 series:

You can follow me on Twitter @seo_george or on Google Plus as +George LaRochelle

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