Practical tips & software when building landing pages
Internet consultant Graham Jones looks at the practicalities of creating landing pages that draw clients into your service, including some of the available software
Landing pages are web pages that have a specific purpose – they are the pages that people ‘land’ on when you have directed them there for a particular reason. For instance, you may advertise a product or service on Pay Per Click, with the link from the advert directing people to a specific page, rather than your home page. Similarly, you may be promoting your newsletter with people wanting to sign up being taken directly to the subscription page, rather than to the main website.
A feature of many landing pages is that they are specific to a campaign. They might, for example, be the page on which people sign up for more information about a product or service and when they have added their email address they are taken to the next stage of the campaign process. Landing pages are also lead generation pages.
Using the right software
Ultimately, landing pages are just web pages, so you can create them in any web design program, or even produce them within content management systems such as WordPress. But this can actually be quite cumbersome because what you are trying to achieve is a pathway.
What you want with a landing page is for people to see only the information specific to the campaign that they are focusing on. They fill in a form, or click on a link to take them to the next stage in that campaign, where they take another action to get to another point. Doing that within web design programs or content management systems is sometimes difficult because you have to remove all the extra page “furniture” – the navigation and so on – so that people are focused on the specifics, rather than being distracted by other material.
For this reason it is often easier to produce landing pages in specific software or by using particular online services. Within WordPress, for instance, you can use plugins such as OptimizePress or WordPress Landing Pages to help produce the specific pages you need. If you don’t use WordPress and want to design your own pages using desktop software, then WebPlus is one of the easiest to use design systems that can easily handle landing pages.
However, there are now many online services which provide landing page design complete with lead generation and tracking systems, allowing you to build quite sophisticated campaigns and analyse their impact. One of the most popular of these systems is LeadPages; another is Unbounce. Meanwhile, Clickfunnels and Instapage also have thousands of users.
Route, stages and destination
However, it is not just a simple process of signing up, creating your pages and then sitting back and seeing the leads roll in. None of these systems work unless you have a ‘route’ in place and a ‘destination’. Where are you taking visitors to? What ultimately are they going to get from you and what steps or stages do you need to take them through to get there?
In other words, deciding how you will produce your landing pages and what system you will use is a secondary consideration. Much more important is planning the campaign for which these landing pages will be used.
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