While we don't blame you for wanting to keep the conversation moving, landing and squeeze pages are two very useful tools that are worth knowing. The basic idea of both is the same, but their main difference is in the level of specificity.
What-in-the-Heck's A Squeeze Page?
A squeeze page is an intensely targeted page, the only objective of which is to push (or squeeze) your visitors to a single action that you specify (sign up, email capture, purchase, etc). Often times we'll even eliminate the main navigation on a squeeze page simply because it could distract from the goal!
So Then, What's a Landing Page?
The definition of a landing page, on the other hand, is broader. A landing page is whatever page of your site someone first 'lands' on. 90% of the time that's your home page, but depending on search terms or external links, the landing page could actually be any page on your site. (That's a whole 'nother conversation!)
Often times, we create special custom landing pages on your site that we choose to direct visitors to. As with squeeze pages these custom landing pages push visitors towards a goal, the main difference is we don't worry so much about removing distractions… I'm looking at you, main navigation.
Confused yet? Don't worry if you are, even marketers can be bad about using the right terms all the time. Because of the way we use them–directing visitors to them initially from outside your site–probably 99.9% of all squeeze pages are, by definition, landing pages anyway.
Why Would I Ever Use One of These Things?
Landing pages and squeeze pages come in very handy when you want to direct new visitors to your site and really tailor their experience. Let's use BKMedia as an example:
Brad is disappointed in the number of link-building leads he's been seeing and recently, he's been threatening his loyal, caring employees with a shutdown if the numbers don't pick up soon. Rich, the SEO genius that he is, realized that now would be the perfect time to run an ad campaign on Google and across the web to capture some possible leads. Lauren set to work and designed a killer ad that would entice anyone even remotely interested in link building to click it… but what now?
Our two main focuses here at BKMedia are web design and internet marketing. Sure, our ad could link directly to the home page, but what is someone going to think when they click an ad stating 'AWESOME LINK BUILDING!' and land on our homepage where the first message is CUSTOM WEB DESIGN? Even the main Internet Marketing page wouldn't do the trick because there are other services that dilute the message–we promised them link building so we're going to give them link building!
So what do we do? We create a custom landing page! This custom landing page is dedicated to link building and link building alone–why you need it, how we're awesome at it, and how it's going to change your world. You can't even see the rest of the services we offer from this page because we removed the navigation. We know this is what you're interested in since you clicked on our ad for it; if you sign with us we'll have plenty of chances to talk to you about our other services!
Can't I Just Use an Existing Page on My Site?
We have a Link Building page on our site already… why wouldn't we just use that? Well for starters, the content on the existing page is very educational, as opposed to the custom landing page which we want to sell, sell, sell. Just like in our recent post about better email copy, we want to focus on the benefit more so than the service itself.
Look at it this way: the definition of Web Rank is part of what's on our Link Building page now. It's interesting and important to understand–something we want to keep–but for those that came to the page by way of an ad for our link building, it does little to sell you on the service. Customizing our custom landing page copy to focus on the fact that we can increase your Web Rank and put you on Page 1 is more likely to do the trick!
Know Where Your Leads Come From
There's another reason we would want to avoid using our existing page for this campaign: tracking. ROI is important when you're spending marketing dollars, and custom landing pages help make tracking that ROI possible.
If your campaign is sending people to a page on your site that is easily accessible from the main navigation and elsewhere on your site, how do you determine which conversions came as a result of your marketing dollars? When your ad is the only thing that links to the landing page, you gain a clear view of how effective that ad really is, which becomes important down the road when you have to decide to re-up or give up.
Marketing campaigns–whether they use banner ads or postcards–are a proven way for business owners to put a customized message in front of specific parts of their audience. Combining those efforts with custom landing pages and squeeze pages allows us to carry that customized message on to the website, helping to move the consumer in both the direction they expect, and the direction we want them to. When used correctly, these landing pages can be an integral and invaluable piece of any company's marketing.
We'll be going into more detail about landing and squeeze pages over the next few weeks, discussing what you need to start, best practices, and conversion optimization tactic–taking your landing page and figuring out how to get the best results possible!