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A corporate website typically serves as the one of the critical steps of an online marketing strategy and sales tool. After welcoming a customer to the digital presence (retailers would probably call this their digital storefront), potential clients have the ability to make a purchase, sign up for a service, engage with the brand by signing up for content, contacting sales directly for questions or determine they are not interested and leave. Ideally, all visitors convert to leads and eventually to customers, but on the Internet, as is the case with any brick and mortar store or facility, not all window shoppers end up making a purchase. While the website stands as the culmination of online advertisements and an electronic trail, designed to push potential consumers towards the site, placing signs and reminders of the website along the way helps keep more possible clients on track to visit the website and, eventually, turn into a customer. This is where landing pages come in. Landing pages can help reel in visitors at a fraction of the cost of a full-fledged website. Knowing how to take advantage of landing pages, how to properly optimize the stand alone page, and convert a visit into a lead is often what separates successful online businesses and those that fail. 

What is a Landing Page?

There are many varying definitions of a landing page floating around out there, so clearly outlining a landing page is necessary. Realistically, any page someone arrives on after clicking an external link can be referred to as a "landing page." So in this sense, clicking on a product link and landing on the product's page on a website can, technically, be referred to as a landing page. However, in terms of marketing and obtaining leads, the term landing page refers to something a bit more specific (HubSpot, 2010). 

In the world of marketing, a landing page is a page that helps a company obtain visitor information. This may be an email address, phone number, mailing address or other contact insights. For some companies, the main page on their website may serve as a landing page. However, for larger companies with an expansive marketing presence, a landing page often is a stand alone page, designed to work specifically within an advertising campaign. The stand alone page then directs visitors to the company website, product page or other designed site. It may also serve the purpose of only obtaining visitor information through a filled out form without any additional links (although taking advantage of generated backlinks can help the company's main page with SEO purposes). 

The Importance of Targeted Landing Pages

Marketing should never revolve around a one-size-fits-all approach. Even when advertising a singular product or service, different demographics will identify with the product. Varying demographics have different core values and are likely attracted to the product for different reasons. Using the same marketing pitch for each undermines the entire process of connecting with these customers and results in a loss of potential leads. Instead, marketing should implement a level of variance. What works for one demographic may not work for another, which is perfectly fine. The marketing needs to mold to the needs of a consumer, not the other way around. This is also why landing page optimization begins and ends with customization (Leadpages Network, 2015). 

Creating a unique website for each demographic does not pertain well to success. It splits visitors and hinders search engine results. The company website should stand as a singular entity. However, landing pages should target each demographic and each unique marketing campaign. Landing pages, as a singular page with information tailored towards the recipient, is much easier to quickly manufacturer. The page's main purpose is to then obtain lead generating information from the visitor, typically through the aid of a fill-in form (such as a request for an email account). The landing page then can direct traffic to the main website.

By meeting the needs of a marketing campaign, landing page optimization is easier to perform. The content on the page can be demographic geared. If visitors to the specific landing page are of retirement age, the imagery can focus on individuals just like them, while the information, text and other content can also target the demographic. A landing page should serve as an additional layer of personalization for a visitor. Once they provide the lead creating information, the visitor has demonstrated clear interest, so converting them into potential customers becomes that much easier (Sales Hub, 2016). 

Landing Page Optimization

Once identifying the need to create individualized landing pages for unique marketing campaigns and different demographics, it is possible to fully optimize the page. Landing page optimization is similar to that of optimizing any of a company's marketing content, whether it is a social media post, an advertisement or a website in general. However, landing page optimization comes in two forms as a company not only needs to optimize the content placed on the page but also the individuals sent to the page. This is because there likely will be multiple landing pages up and running at the same time, so ensuring the right target audience makes it to the specified landing page is a must.

For proper landing page optimization, identifying a specific demographic to correlate with the page is necessary. If a page is to receive primarily retired aged individuals living in the Pacific Northwest of the United States of a higher income level, it needs to reflect this while another landing page receiving traffic from college aged individuals in the Southeastern United States should reflect this as well. This optimization remains no different from that of a marketing campaign. Ensuring traffic reaches the set landing pages is the next most important step (Hubspot, 2014). 

Directing Traffic to the Right Landing Page

A landing page is successful in obtaining contact information, which allows an increased conversion rate as long as the right visitors make it to the page (due to the highly optimized aspect of the landing page). Visitors arrive at a landing page through a designated link. The link can be attached to an email or through personalized marketing. This is where creating individualized email marketing lists is important. Email, pay-per-click and social media marketing should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. Each needs to be directed towards individual demographics. With the marketing directed at different key demographics and fit into different marketing campaigns, links for the specific landing pages can then be attached. As long as everything is corrected connected, the optimized marketing will send interested demographic towards an optimized landing page. The optimized landing page then has the ability to collect visitor information, which in turn helps increase the chance of converting traffic into an eventual sale (Forbes, 2016). 

Landing pages are valuable additions to any company's online marketing approach. However, like any other part of advertising a company, it needs appropriate landing page optimization. By following through with these tips, it is possible to boost a landing page's presence online, which in turn helps boost conversion rates and traffic sent to the corporate website itself. Converting visitors to leads and possibly customers further down the line is part art and part science due to the ever changing nature of the Internet. By continually editing and evolving an online marketing approach, it is possible to reach new potential customers while improving upon the advertising's return on investment. 

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