Landing pages, blogs and micro-sites all refer to web pages that have a specific distinct purpose. They are usually a part of an overall website, but may stand alone. Each of these have a unique purpose.
“Landing Page” is a term for any web page that a visitor “lands on” directly from search, banner advertising or from links in email or social media. Often a landing page will be the home page of a website or a purchase / registration page. These landing pages have very low conversion rates. Good landing pages will encourage a visitor to take a specific action. The goal of a good landing page is to either capture the visitor’s information or to provide detailed information to have them click thru to make a purchasing decision.
Lead Capture pages
A landing page that converts the casual visitor into a sales lead for follow-up or for a drip-marketing campaign is typically called a Lead Capture page. The goal of this page is to provide the visitor with something of value in exchange for their information. The page will typically have a form with a description of what the visitor will get in exchange for their information.
Some examples of the items given to a visitor are:
- Ebook or whitepaper
- Webinar registration
- Consultation for professional services
- Discount coupon/voucher
- Contest entry
- Free trial
- A physical gift (via direct mail)
- Notification of a future product launch
Click Thru Landing Pages
Often paid online advertising directs to a shopping cart or registration page. This leads to poor conversions as the online ad doesn’t provide sufficient information for someone to make an informed decision.
This is where the click through page comes in. Click thru landing pages have the goal of education the visitor, persuading them to click through to another page. Typically used in e-commerce situations, they will describe a product or offer in sufficient detail leading a visitor to making a purchasing decision. As a result, the destination page from a click through page is typically the shopping cart or registration page – now with a much higher chance of conversion having passed through the details of the landing page.
The word blog came from a contraction of the phrase web log, a place to keep an online journal. Blogging software allowed non-techies the ability to post journal entries, and would display them in chronological order on the blog page. In fact, this was the origins of WordPress.
Overtime, blogging software increased in capabilities to allow authors to insert images and videos into their posts, as well as to sort their posts into different categories. Companies started to use blogs as ways to add niche content to their online presence, without the costs of hiring a web programmer. Often, rather than having a totally separate web presence, companies would add a menu item for “blog” on their website, and they would style their blog to simulate their website. WordPress grew in popularity due to it’s ability to be custom styled.
Content Management Solutions, like Joomla, added categories and had a page layout option to display a blog-style presentation of article that are all in the same category. With WordPress 3.0, we can now have dedicated custom menus on on our WordPress blog, and the distinction between a website and a blog blurred. Dynamic content, such as FAQs, Case Studies, Testimonials, and Recent Events all use blog technology.
Calibrate Marketing still offers dedicated blogs for businesses, public personas, and enthusiasts. Some reasons to start a blog are:
- It is a cost effective method to develop an initial web presence without having to create a full website
- Since blogs are often in the first person, they can help build a fan base for you as a public person
- Your corporate website is complex and can not be updated in a cost effective and timely method
- You want an exploratory web presence detailing a new product development, gather market data or to build an audience without a corporate brand
- You are looking to become an authority on a niche topic – to be recognized as a “blogger”
A micro-site is a website that is an off-shoot of a corporate website. It is usually dedicated to a niche market and could standalone from the corporate site. A microsite is usually a sub-domain of the company website, meaning it’ web address includes a prefix added to the main domain, such as m.maindomain.com. Microsites were very popular as a SEO process, but simple micro-sites have lost some of their potential value. Now a microsite’s value comes from keeping a simple navigation and not presenting too many options or distractions to a visitor. A blog and a series of connected click-thru landing pages may be considered Microsites.