Landing pages are a lot of work. As a guy who builds landing pages all day…every day, I get it. Creating a landing page is not easy.
As a result, I often get asked during kickoff or strategy meetings with clients, “Do we really need a landing page for this particular campaign?”
Let me put this simply:
As marketing expert Oli Gardner puts it:Never Start a Marketing Campaign Without a Dedicated Landing Page.Click To Tweet
But why? Why does every new campaign need a landing page? Do the benefits of having a landing page really justify the extra effort?
Why Your Marketing Campaign Needs a Landing Page
Think about it this way. Say it was raining and you needed an umbrella. You head over to Wal-Mart and try to find an umbrella.
Unfortunately, since it’s Wal-Mart, you end up walking around the store for an hour looking for an umbrella. Finally, you ask an employee and they point you in the wrong direction.
By this point, the rain outside has actually stopped, so you just leave in frustration without buying anything.
Did Wal-Mart have what you were looking for? Yes. But you couldn’t find it, so it didn’t matter.
The same thing can happen to your online traffic. People click on your pay-per-click (PPC) ads because they think you can solve their problem.
However, if you send them to a generic page that doesn’t address their problem, they’ll leave. Even if you’ve got the best solution for them, people don’t have the time or patience to figure that out.
In contrast, what if a conscientious Wal-Mart manager (is there such a thing?) had seen the rain and placed an umbrella stand at the front of the store to capitalize on an obvious customer need?
Would you have bought an umbrella then? Almost certainly!
This is what a landing page is like for your traffic. A good landing page is designed to solve the problem that brought your users to you in the first place.
And, because you know why your traffic is there and what content they are interacting with, you can optimize your landing page to meet your traffic’s needs as effectively as possible.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Homepage
Essentially, your homepage is like the Wal-Mart store in our previous example. It has to meet the needs of a very large, very diverse audience.
Now, for a lot of shoppers, Wal-Mart’s setup works just fine. They come to Wal-Mart to buy all sorts of things—umbrellas might just be one item on their list.
Ideally, it would be great if Wal-Mart could have a custom end cap with everything you want to purchase on it, but that’s simply not practical. People get that.
They get that about your home page, too.
Most traffic that comes to your home page understands that your home page isn’t designed to meet a single need. They know they might have to poke around a bit to find what they are looking for and they’re okay with that.
However, everything changes when you pay for your traffic. All of a sudden, your money is on the line. If you don’t give people exactly what they are looking for, they might leave.
Plus, because you are paying for the traffic, you know why they are on your page. That gives you the ability to put exactly what they are looking for right in front of them.
Essentially, you can build them a custom end cap.
If you know why your potential customers are on your site, why wouldn’t you give them exactly what they want?
Whether it’s Wal-Mart or your website, people buy when you make it easy to buy. For a store like Wal-Mart, there’s no practical way to predict what every customer will want.
For online advertisers, however, it’s a very different story.
With all of the control that PPC gives you over your traffic, there’s no good reason not to create a landing page for every campaign. Sure, it takes some extra effort, but if you aren’t sending your paid traffic to a relevant landing page, you’re wasting your time and money.
By the way, if you’d like me to take a look at your marketing campaigns and help you come up with a good landing page strategy, let me know! I’d be happy to help.
How do you feel about this idea? Do you think every marketing campaign needs a landing page?
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