Why you should be using dedicated landing pages for paid media
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say “landing page?” What is your interpretation of a landing page? In many recent conversations with clients, I’ve had to specify the difference between a landing page and a “dedicated” landing page. Lately, clients have been referring to some of their on-site pages as “landing pages” because that’s where they are sending their paid traffic to. Is that wrong? Technically, no.
However, having “dedicated” landing pages is a strategy that should be taken advantage of so today I want to help you understand the difference between a landing page and a dedicated landing page as well as explain why dedicated landing pages can be crucial, especially for our paid audiences.
Landing pages vs. Dedicated landing pages
A landing page is the page where a user first landed – the first time they’re coming in contact with your site or brand regardless of the channel they come from. It’s the first page they landed on. This does mean that the URLs we’re sending paid traffic to are considered landing pages. This can and does create confusion if these URLs are actually just pages within the main site as clients do still refer to these as landing pages. For this reason, we often recommend a strategy around “dedicated” landing pages.
A dedicated landing page is a page created specifically for a certain audience. When targeting specific keywords or stages in the funnel, we can deliver a dedicated landing page that suits the needs of that user.
Who should use dedicated landing pages?
Anyone who has a specific action you want users to take would benefit from dedicated landing pages. These typically work best for lead generation or service industries. Oftentimes, there isn’t a need to have dedicated landing pages for full e-commerce sites unless you only have a couple of products you offer, you’re running a specific promotion you want to highlight on a single page, or you want to focus on building your email list.
Dedicated landing pages work best if there is a single action you’re hoping to drive users to take. Registering for a webinar, requesting a whitepaper, receiving a demo, and getting a quote are all perfect examples of when we could create dedicated landing pages to drive these specific actions.
Why should I use dedicated landing pages?
Think about the abundance of information available to a user once they land on your site. Regardless of the page you sent them to, they now have an entire site full of information at their fingertips. Although this may seem like a good idea because you’re giving them access to almost everything they need to know about your product or service, this will likely result in the opposite outcome you’re hoping for.
Think about how much money you’re spending to drive people to your site through paid advertising. How much money is wasted if the user lands on your site and bounces because they’re overwhelmed or aren’t sure where to even start?
Check out the following example:
The page on the left is the homepage of a rehabilitation site. We sent traffic to this page through paid ads for years, attempting to optimize the site and the conversion actions to get inquiries and fill beds. We knew, through our research, that there was far too much information available even just on the home page alone, not to mention the entire site.
Because of this knowledge, we tested removing quite a bit of the home page content, especially for mobile users, in hopes of improving that experience. As a result, we saw a positive lift in conversions but at the same time, this negatively impacted SEO. (A topic for another day!) We knew we needed to take a different approach and create a separate strategy for our paid visitors.
That strategy was to utilize dedicated landing pages. We were finally able to test creating dedicated landing pages for our paid visitors and it paid off. With this test specifically, we saw a 173% increase in leads.
What should I include on my dedicated landing page?
As we’ve discussed, the goal of the dedicated landing page is to drive users to a specific action. Therefore, this will likely be the single conversion goal that your dedicated landing page is focused on.
Many people believe that the shorter the landing page, the better but this definitely isn’t the case. It’s all about context. Just as we don’t want to overwhelm users by giving them our entire site full of information, we don’t want to create a dedicated landing page with too little information. If we do this, they’re just as likely to bounce in this scenario as the first.
When we send a specific audience to a dedicated landing page, we want to feel confident that they will understand what the service is that we’re offering. Create a seamless user experience by continuing the messaging they saw prior to landing on the page and reassure them they’re in the right place. Make the user feel confident that you’re going to be the solution to their problem.
There should be minimal distractions so we keep them focused on the desired action. Distractions can be anything from actual links away from the page to confusing or animated imagery to anything that might cause frustration or friction.
Can your users trust you? Because we’re not giving them an entire site full of information, this might be one of the more important elements that should be included on the landing page. They’re going to be skimming your landing page to ensure you’re a trustworthy and real company. Utilize the footer to display little pieces of information such as the location of the company, social links such as Facebook and Instagram, and a phone number. It might seem like minor information but people look for this information. Include social proof or testimonials to show past experiences with the brand and the success that others are having.
If there’s information that you know users search for before taking action, try and include it on this landing page to limit the number of users who click through to your main site before converting.
Are you taking advantage of dedicated landing pages? If not, can you see how you might be losing money by sending paid traffic to your main website? Utilizing what we’ve talked about today, I would encourage you to test out dedicated landing pages. Yes, I said TEST it!
There isn’t a guarantee that dedicated landing pages will always improve performance. Maybe your product or service is too abstract and a single page won’t give the user all the information they need. The key to understanding what your users need to complete your desired action is to test it.
I hope the information discussed today has helped distinguish between general landing pages and dedicated landing pages. Just remember that dedicated landing pages are created for a specific or dedicated audience with a desired action in mind.