Website Design & Development

Fred Lebhart Posted by Fred Lebhart on October 19, 2010

The Elusive EFFECTIVE Landing Page...

So...what exactly IS a Landing Page?

Let me answer that by saying what a landing page isn’t because landing pages are often confused with splash pages, bridge pages, jump pages and microsites.

Splash Pages

Splash pages are usually flash introductions. And users dislike them vehemently.  Use a splash page and your site traffic will generally plummet as a result of having placed this barrier in front of it.  Imagine your website as a room full of furniture and your users as half blind visitors.  A splash page is like a stained glass door without a knob. And they have to figure out how to get inside.

Many splash screens are graphically rich to entice users to explore the site. Unfortunately, splash pages decrease credibility, traffic, search engine rankings, and web site performance.  And don’t think that by adding a “Skip Intro” link is going to solve your problems.  Skip intro splash pages degrade performance, increase bailout rates [because of frustration] and decrease your search engine rankings.  Most importantly, studies have shown that splash screens reduce web credibility with up to 71% traffic loss.


Here is an example of a splash page in case you are a cat lover.

Doorway pages are designed to be particularly enticing for search engines, but not visitors.  Doorway pages are like architecture that appeal to the builder of the home, but is not functional, or even practical, like this glass bathtub.

Doorway pages are sometimes referred to as portals and gateway pages.  Here’s the problem with gateway pages: they must be closed or navigated through to get to desired content.  A gateway page is like a smoky sheet of plastic in front of your door. This is bound to cause some pain and frustration. A good example of a gateway is the full page ad that appears in front of you when you are trying to visit Salon.


Microsites are a cross between a landing page and a website.  They often have their own domain names. You may even brand them with separate colors from your company’s brand. Maybe even its own logo.They are small, self-contained web destinations that are separate from a company’s primary site, have their own distinct URLs, and consist entirely of content focused on a particular product or service.

They’re more easily optimized for search engines and, if their content is good enough, can drive word-of-mouth or viral marketing through linking and pass-along.

With the prevalence of keyword contextual advertising, (more commonly referred to as Pay per click or PPC), microsites may be created specifically to carry such contextual advertising. Or along a similar tactic, they’re created in order to specifically carry topic-specific keyword-rich content with the goal of having search engines rank them highly when search engine users seek such content topics.

Because of that narrower focus, these small web sites can be used as hubs for a specific marketing campaign.

They are used when a real estate marketer wants to offer a user an extended experience for branding or educational purposes.  Think Philips Bodygroom.  Or Boutari Moschofiari.  Or the Tedst, real estate sales legend.

A good micro site is in fact a site the visitor might even return to as a destination. Or share.

But it’s not a landing page.

Awebsite is a website, right?  So Why Does It Matter?

A landing page is where a person “lands” when theyclick on an online ad banner, search engine result, email link, or when they visit a special promotional URL that they heard about on TV, radio or other offline media.

Very few perfect landing pages exist.

The perfect few are usually the result of exhaustive multivariate testing.  However, like most people, you probably don’t have the budget or time to dive into multiple tests.  You need to launch something today on a shoe string budget.  But the problem with most landing pages is that they are asking your prospects to do some pretty unpleasant stuff:

  • Read a bunch of copy
  • Type their name and address
  • Hand over a phone number
  • Give an email
  • Dig out a credit card
  • Pay for something

The trick is to get them to see doing these things as a something they want to do. Something that sounds beneficial, even in the smallest of ways, to them.  If the next several posts I’ll get into exactly how to do that.  But first: do you know of any successful landing pages?

According to industry numbers, typical conversion rates are low.

Depending on whether it was emails to a house list to a free offer through search to an email to a 3rd part list, you’re looking at something as high as 11.31% to 6.1% to as low as .97%.  I’ve heard of 50% conversion, but the low teens and high single digits is the norm.

Looking for an effective Landing Page?

The online marketing experts at efelle have gone through the ringer on this stuff since 1999 -if it's been done, we've done it.  Why not use our experience to your benefit and contact us today for guidance on the best landing page approach for YOUR business?