Landing Pages: As Told By The Wizard of Oz

Guide your website visitors through the sales funnel like Dorothy on the yellow brick road.

We’ve covered landing page (LP) basics, how to craft effective LPs and why custom LPs will bring you more success. But what about what not to do? With so much information about landing pages circulating on the internet, it can be difficult to decide which LP type is right for your campaign. Our analytics team outlines the three main types of LPs, along with what to prioritize and what to avoid. Oh, and they’re doing it all through a The Wizard of Oz metaphor. Read on.

Recap: What is a Landing Page?

“A landing page is a web page with a single, specific purpose,” says SEO Analyst Curtis Weigel. An LP typically includes a conversion form, or “lead-capture” form, which is designed to gather information in exchange for a particular product or service.

“In The Wizard of Oz, the yellow brick road is the landing page. It’s there to guide Dorothy to Oz with the sole purpose of finding the Wizard. It’s essentially the end of a call to action,” adds Yakkety Yak Senior Analyst Chris Mueller. “A landing page is where we direct people to take a specific action we’re interested in. If the yellow brick road is the landing page, Glinda is the CTA bringing it to Dorothy’s attention.”

3 Types of LPs

While they all share the same goal of prompting visitors to take a specific action, there are three different types of LPs to be aware of. Depending on the promotion or product you’re offering, you’ll want to design your LP like one of the following:

1. Standalone LPs

A standalone LP looks like part of your website, but visitors can only navigate to it by following a specific CTA, like an email campaign or a targeted ad. Standalones don’t include navigation tools, so visitors are forced to follow the yellow brick road. This might sound like a trap, but consider this: Only contacts who have subscribed to your emails or users who searched for your offer are going to end up on a standalone. They’re already inclined to take the desired action; a standalone LP is just the friendly Munchkin giving Dorothy the extra nudge.

2. Microsites

Microsites are supplemental websites, typically used to promote large campaigns. “They usually have their own branding and domains, which can actually do some harm to the campaign’s success,” Curtis explains. Building a microsite is like building an entirely new website, and it takes search engines time to find and trust a website. “Think of a microsite as a wider yellow brick road, designed to accommodate the entire Munchkin population,” say Chris.

3. Internal Website LPs

An internal website LP is a standard page on your website. Because it exists directly on your site, visitors can easily navigate to it and collect your offer. However, they can also quickly navigate away from your LP. Unlike a standalone, internal LPs have all the features of your standard web page—navigation bars and banners and links, oh my. More distractions means visitors may be less likely to stay on the intended path and not convert. Internal LPs are like finding a fork in the yellow brick road.

Do’s and Don’ts of Effective LPs

Do make it relevant. “A good landing page is relevant to what the user is seeking, or what the ad is promoting,” Chris explains. If an ad promotes a specific product or service, but links to a website’s homepage, that’s an unsuccessful LP. “It’s not in-line with where we want them to end, which is purchasing the product,” says Chris.

Do keep it interesting. While there’s some disagreement on whether images serve as distractions or not, Curtis recommends including one. “A web page that only includes text and a form asking for personal information is going to look boring, and it’s going to seem outdated. As a result, users might question your credibility.” For ads, maintaining a consistent look is key. “Including an image that resembles your ad will reassure your visitor that they ended up in the right place,” Curtis says.

Don’t include navigation tools. “Distractions increase the possibility that the visitor won’t complete the desired action,” Curtis explains. Think of the field of poppies as the navigation bar. “It distracts Dorothy from Oz, takes her off the intended path, and temporarily prevents her from completing the desired action: getting home,” he adds. Do, however, keep logos and social icons on the page. They’ll help remind visitors they’re on your site.

Don’t let them scroll. Users shouldn’t have to scroll to get to the important stuff. “If you can, format everything to fit on a single page,” Curtis recommends. This keeps things simple for the your prospective customer, who is more likely to fill out a quick, one-page conversion form than a lengthy one.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be converting new leads in no time. For even more tips on creating effective landing pages, contact us. We love this stuff—and The Wizard of Oz (obviously).

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