Landing Pages and Microsites
Have you experienced frustration with a website in terms of finding the information you needed?
What is a Landing Page?
In the context of online marketing, web analytics and online advertising, landing pages are referred to as being standalone web pages that are distinct from your main website and have been designed for a single focused objective: conversion.
There are many advantages to having a well-crafted landing page for a site and they can do a lot for your site if done right. Whatever the genre of the site or however complex the site, a good landing page is crucial. Rather than simply dumping people onto the home page of your site, a focused message delivered through a landing page helps generate more sales and maximize a site’s marketing ROI. The landing page can help with providing a customized sales pitch to the visitor. Brands should take into account customer demographics – who he/she is and where he/she has come from. With accurate segmentation of demographics the chances of engaging a customer goes up, as does the conversion rate.
Types of Landing Pages
There are mainly two types of landing pages:
- Click-through Pages
- Lead Generation pages (also referred to as Lead Capture pages)
Click-through landing pages, as the name suggests, try to persuade the visitor to click through to another page. Typically such pages are used in eCommerce funnels where they describe a product in sufficient detail. Such pages serve to warm up the visitor to the point where they become convinced to make a purchase decision. The visitor clicks on the call to action (CTA – a banner, button or a graphic intended to take the visitor to the next stage) to move to the next step in the sales funnel. Below is a great example of a click-through page belonging to www.CampaignMonitor.com.
The click-through page must be focused and well-targeted to the intended audience. The landing page copy must match business goals and the messaging for marketing campaigns. If visitors see clear messages on a site, as opposed to random and conflicting messages, they will be more satisfied with their experience. A landing page should be able to provide an initial solution to the visitor’s problem (the reason why he’s there in the first place…).
The purpose of a site should be made clear on this page. It should also feature intriguing content that is original, informative and helpful. Visitors should feel a sense of accomplishment from accessing a site and accomplishing something when they clicked an ad or a site link.
Lead generation pages, as the name suggests, generate leads by capturing a visitors’ data such as names and email addresses. Typically they contain a form that asks for personal data and informs what one will get in return for submitting that data. By making quality lead generation pages, a site can control the value of leads by making content specific to the business. The key to the success of such a page comes down to ascertaining whether the brand is providing something to the visitor that is relevant to the target market.
Examples of some of the freebies that brands can provide to visitors to help garner personal information include an e-book or a whitepaper, a webinar registration, a free trial or a physical gift via direct mail.
Another point to be kept in mind after having created the landing pages is that each and every element on the page should be tested thoroughly. Quality error free web experiences must be assured before pushing them live. Or else a brand will miss out on valuable conversion opportunities.
We know that a landing page is a tool that is used in online advertising and search marketing to target specific users. Another such interactive tool used in conjunction with a landing page is a microsite – which brings us to the next section.
So What Are Microsites?
Microsites, sometimes called minisites and sometimes weblets, are off-shoots of a parent website and have their own navigation, design and content, separate from the parent site. They are usually made available to visitors on a temporary basis to promote a product that is to be launched or to showcase an advertising campaign.
Wikipedia states that, “a microsite is an individual web page or even a small cluster of web pages that are meant to function as a discrete entity within an already existing website or to complement an offline activity. The microsite’s main landing page has its own domain name or sub-domain.”
Advantages of Microsites
The advantages of hosting a microsite are many. Many companies use microsites as an opportunity to be more creative and informal than they usually are on their more ‘serious’ company parent website. Microsites provide the site owners with a lot of flexibility as regards to site design and content. This room for experimentation ultimately results in a closer integration between design and content. Microsites usually shy away from distractions such as footers and huge main site navigations. As a result they become pretty focused purely on campaigns. With such a targeted purpose, microsites can be a primary way to inform customers about specific offerings, deals, or product launches.
In The End... Focused Webpages Lead to More Conversions
Since microsites as well as landing pages contain keyword-rich content related to the search itself, they are inherently more likely to lead to higher search rankings than the parent site itself. This makes them both an effective tool for both organic as well as paid search. So it is a good idea to work hard on the existing site and develop and improve landing pages and microsites.