For new entrants into the e-commerce space, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at first. If you’re a one-person show, you’ll be responsible for everything from choosing your domain name, to designing your logo, sourcing products, doing SEO work, setting up payment and shipping solutions, and running marketing campaigns. And of course, you’ll need to put together at least one well-designed landing page.
Landing Pages vs Product Pages – Is There a Difference?
Landing pages are different from product pages in a few key ways. First of all, landing pages don’t have many navigation links. That’s because the goal is to guide visitors towards a singular CTA, as opposed to letting them casually browse a website. Second, the content on landing pages is often geared towards a very specific audience, and isn’t always optimized for organic traffic (SEO). This is because landing pages tend to exist in a bubble (not as part of a larger website), and rely on targeted, paid traffic. Finally, landing pages often use direct, straightforward product pitches with multiple selling points, followed by a strong CTA.
Why Create a Landing Page?
At this point, you might be wondering why anyone would focus on creating landing pages instead of product pages, when they both seem pretty similar. The answer is simple: consumer intent.
If you create a specific landing page geared towards a specific audience, and then run targeted ad campaigns, you’ve already successfully eliminated a lot of non-converting traffic. If everything goes smoothly, the people who see your ad will be more likely to click on it and will already be in the mindset to purchase the product you’re selling.
For example, PPC ads on search engines work in part because users exhibit very clear intent through their search queries. But what if you drive paid traffic to a generic product page instead of a niche landing page? Your site will definitely get visitors, but the consumer intent might be slightly different from the product you’re selling – think broad categories like “dishware” instead of specific products like “soup bowls”. A slight mismatch in intent could result in a higher bounce rate and a lower conversion rate.
Top Landing Page Formats
This brings us to the main topic at hand: landing page formats. While there are many different types of landing pages, we’ve narrowed our list down to 3 formats that should fit the needs of most businesses.
To draw a comparison to TV, long-form pages are the “infomercials” of landing pages. But don’t like the negative connotation of infomercials turn you off to this very effective format.
Long-form pages are great when you’re focused on selling a specific item, and when you’ve already identified your audience niche and have lots of selling points to write about. This type of landing page utilizes a lot of copy and images, so you should make sure you’re working with a good copywriter who knows how to psychologically engage with consumers. Finally, it’s important to mention that long-form page are generally targeted towards prospects who are nearing the bottom of the sales funnel and are ready to make a purchase.
Squeeze pages – also known as “lead capture” pages – are one of the most popular landing page formats. These pages offer a succinct sales pitch, sometimes in the form of bullet points, accompanied by a data collection form for the visitor to fill out. In return for providing his/her information, the user receives useful content. This content can be a white paper, an exclusive e-book, an email newsletter, or anything in between.
The strategy behind squeeze pages is quite smart. The user benefits from your exclusive content (which, by the way, also serves as a marketing tool), and the seller benefits by collecting contact info for new leads. This contact info can later on be used for targeted emails, social media campaigns, etc.
Squeeze pages don’t require as much copy as long-form sales pages. They should be pithy and direct in their approach. These pages work best for top-funnel lead generation.
We’ve already covered landing pages at the top of the marketing funnel, and the bottom. Click-through pages sit right in the middle.
Click-through pages can be understood as a low pressure version of long-form pages. These pages feature general product descriptions written in a way to highlight the product features but not give people too much pressure to make a purchase. The idea here is that your visitors are somewhere in the middle of the sales funnel. They are already interested in your product, but might be turned off by a strong sales pitch.
The amount of content on click-through pages is generally less than on long-form pages, but they’re similar in that both have a healthy mix of copy and images. Click-through pages have only one button, which takes visitors to a purchase page.
We hope this overview of different landing page formats is helpful in your e-commerce journey. Although this post only covered three general types of landing pages, remember that there are many paths to creating a successful e-commerce business. We encourage you to explore different approaches, and find the method that works best for you and your product.