The primary purpose of a landing page is to to attract warm leads into your sales funnel for a particular product or service.   It’s not typically used to make the final sale although, depending on the product or service, it could be.  It’s really more of a lead qualifier since usually anyone who found your landing page was conducting a search in the first place that led them to your offer.  How you get those warm leads and potential prospects to your landing page and how much it costs to do so in the first place is the crux of the whole thing, of course.

But before we get into how to generate traffic to your offer you should make sure that your landing page has a very clean and simple design with a singular message and call to action.  You want to give your landing page visitors only two choices:  fill out the form or leave.  Maybe, a distant third choice would be a link to additional information about the company, etc.  But you basically want to make the landing page airtight, without any leaks or holes.

NECESSARY COMPONENTS

Any successful landing page should have the following components :

  •  A data capture form:  this is the heart of the entire landing page.  It’s all about capturing the lead for additional followup
  • A clear call to action, repeated at least twice, ideally three times, at the beginning, middle and end
  • Testimonials or other credibility builders such as association seals and logos or guarantees
  • Special bonus offer
  • Thank you page after successful sign-up
  • Google Analytics

Typical landing page components

DRIVING TRAFFIC

The only way to drive measurable traffic to your landing page is via a pay per click (PPC) campaign where you bid on relevant keyword terms in an effort to come up in the search results.  Most PPC campaigns drive leads to a specially-created landing page instead of the main company website.  The reason is two-fold:  you can measure your conversions down to the exact cost per lead and even cost per sale.   And by creating a dedicated landing page with a singular message and a specific call to action you get the visitor to focus on your offer without other distractions on the page.

CONVERSIONS & MEASURING EFFECTIVENESS

Granted, you can conduct PPC campaigns on other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing, and in some cases the PPC costs are actually lower, but for huge traffic and great tools for measuring the effectiveness of your campaign, Google and Google Analytics can’t be beat.

Using Google Analytics, you will paste tracking and conversion codes on the landing page itself and the more important thank you page.

The only way for the conversion code on the thank you page to be triggered and counted as a “conversion” is if someone reaches that page after they fill out the data capture form.  Remember, the only way to reach that  thank you page is via a successful email inbox confirmation.

So if it cost you $1 per click for a particular keyword phrase and 100 people click on your link after conducting a search and arrive at your landing page, if 20 of them fill out the form, confirm their requests by clicking a confirmation link in their email inboxes and arrive at the thank you page with the confirmation code, that would be a 20% conversion rate.  The cost for each lead would be figured by taking the $100 in clicks and divide by 20 conversions for a total cost of $5 per lead.  Tracking how many leads you can close and turn into sales is the ultimate goal, so if 2 out of the 20 leads converted to a sale it would have cost you $50 per sale.  So depending on how much your product or service costs you would need to evaluate whether the campaign is successful enough to continue.

WHO SHOULD USE LANDING PAGES

As you can see from the above example, PPC advertising can get expensive, not to mention the costs of creating the landing page itself, which can use video, audio or just persuasive sales copy.  So because your clicks can add up fast, we would not recommend using a landing page driven by PPC for a $10 item.  Or even a $50 item.  Again, part of the science of successful landing page campaigns is to conduct your homework in advance so you know what your most-effective keywords are and how much they cost.  Estimating a less than 1% click-through rate (click here for PPC campaign averages) but a healthy conversion rate of just under 7%, spending $50 to sell a $1,000 item is something that most people would do all day long.

Bottom line:  The beauty of landing pages is that they can be tested and tweaked and constantly adjusted.  Creating A/B split tests is another way to hone their effectiveness.  Following the PPC budgets is completely transparent and you’ll only pay when someone looks for, finds and clicks on your ad so you know it’s a warm lead.  And if the conversion costs make sense relative to the price of your product, like it says on the back of your shampoo bottle — rinse and repeat!

Gene R. Sower is the president of SamsonMedia.net, a New Jersey-based professional internet marketing company based in Montclair.