What is a Landing Page? Your Ecommerce Guide to Increased Conversions & Sales

September 22, 2021
by
Sean Flannigan

What is a Landing Page? Your Ecommerce Guide to Increased Conversions & Sales

September 22, 2021
by
Sean Flannigan
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There are a lot of pieces that go into building and marketing your store. 

You have an incredible product idea, an equally incredible set of essential store pages, and a set of marketing tools to get your brand in front of the right eyes. Love it!

With an amazing product alone, you won’t see skyrocketing sales. With the addition of awesome social media and advertising strategies, you’ll start building product interest and a valuable source of traffic.

But, without great store pages, that interest will fall flat and that traffic won’t convert.

The key to a successful store is building a powerful sales funnel. This means having the right pages with the right message at the right time for your shoppers.

We’ve already talked about stunning product pages, what makes for a great homepage, the importance of your About Us page, and how to create powerful landing pages on the blog. 

But, this time, we’ll take a step back and talk more generally about landing pages and how they can help your online store.

In this post, we’ll cover:

Let’s get started by defining the concept and go from there.

What is a landing page, anyway?

Generally, a landing page is a page on your site that is built to drive a particular action—a subscription sign up, an event registration, a demo request, the start of a sales conversation, a big purchase, etc.

You usually see these pages being used to promote things like SaaS products, educational content, events, mobile apps, and subscriptions.

Often, these pages aren’t navigable from the main site. 

Rather, traffic is funneled into the page from specific sources to help ensure the right people are landing on the page, resulting in higher conversion rates.

Traditional landing pages also often remove the temptation to click to other parts of the site by leaving off the header and footer from the page. 

Without the choice to surf the site, visitors are left with the singular call to action (CTA) that the landing page intended for them to take.

shogun ebook landing page elements for conversion
Here's our own landing page for the Shopify landing page showcase ebook

How are ecommerce landing pages different?

Well, the most obvious difference is that ecommerce landing pages are created to sell physical products. 

Brands will use landing pages to promote a limited-time offer, launch a new product, capture leads for future sales, drive traffic to a particular product, or to create buzz before the brand goes live.

Traditional landing pages are often utilized to drive sign-ups for events or (like in the above example from Shogun) to drive downloads of an ebook.

#cta-visual-pb#<cta-title>Start converting better with ecommerce landing pages<cta-title>With Shogun Page Builder, you can create the perfect landing pages for your store, super fast.Start building for free


What is the purpose of a landing page?

The purpose of a landing page is to attract the right audience and convince them to take the intended action—subscribe, register, download, shop the collection, take advantage of the sale, whatever.

Landing pages are the most focused sales tools a store has in their arsenal.

By driving traffic from particular audiences, landing pages can be more specific in the language they use in order to more effectively drive conversions.

Why do you need landing pages for your store?

Simply, to get more sales and capture more leads.

When you are able to speak to a specific audience with a specific message, they are more likely to click that button or fill out that form. 

Let’s face it, marketing to the masses is hard. But, marketing specifically to Tom from Accounting is super easy. 

Using landing pages is somewhere in between these two examples (but closer to Tom).

And, when your goal is more focused—like driving interest in your brand new nose trimmer product—you can spend more time speaking to all the things that make your product amazing.

Landing page vs homepage

The easiest way to define a landing page is to compare it with the page that it is least similar to—the homepage

Where the landing page is intentionally limited in its options, the homepage is a carnival of choice.

landing page vs homepage from utz snacks
See how Utz structures their landing page compared with their homepage

The homepage’s navigation bar itself is loaded with click opportunities—collections, products, brand stories, policy pages, FAQs, blogs, etc. Scrolling down, you are met with images, animations, headings, and CTAs that all offer you a different thing.

The homepage, as opposed to the landing page, is meant for the masses. It is the page that will get the largest share of traffic and thus it needs to show off its array of options in full to convert those visitors into engaged shoppers.

Both pages are necessary but their goals are very different.

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Elements of a really successful landing page

To create a successful landing page, you need to assemble the right pieces. Remember, your job here is to persuade. Expect resistance and do your best to overcome it.

Here are the most important elements of a great landing page.

Excitement above the fold

When your landing page first loads, you want it to wow your visitors before they even start to scroll. Whatever they see right off the bat is called ‘above the fold’, borrowing a term from the newspaper industry.

It may very well decide whether they will bother with scrolling down at all.

This example from Nuun—which we highlight in our best ecommerce landing page roundup—has a lot going on that would make you want to keep reading. 

nuun loyalty club landing page gif above the fold
Image: Nuun

An animated header draws your attention to their loyalty club headline directly followed by the line “Free stuff starts right now!” Who doesn’t scroll on the promise of free stuff?

It goes to show that you’ve got to pay attention to what information you are packing in that upper quadrant of your landing page. 

The headline, the header design, the copy—it all comes together to drive that downward action.

A killer headline

Speaking of headlines, you’ll want to make it just right.

The first text your visitors will read, the headline is your landing page’s creative thesis. You are telling them what this whole thing is about in a short and compelling way.

It doesn’t have to be mind-blowing, just something to pique the interest of your visitors. 

For instance, in the case of this one from TKEES, the headline follows a massive product-forward video with the simple line “Meet Emma and Senna”. You’ve been formally introduced and it’s time to learn more about these elegant sandals.

tkees landing page emma and senna great headline
Image: TKEES

Where the purpose of the above landing page is to show off a product, the headline fits perfectly.

When crafting your own landing page headline, think about the overall purpose of your page and the action you’d like visitors to take. 

One valuable strategy is to bring the visitor into the conversation by giving them an action to take in your headline. Writing in second person works well to include the reader (even when the ‘you’ is merely inferred).

The biggest thing you want to do is communicate the value of your offer, product, service, etc. You need to have a unique selling proposition.

A unique selling proposition that sets you apart

No doubt you aren’t the only one selling what you are selling. But, your offering is unique in some way that makes people want to buy from you.

This is your unique selling proposition (or USP, for short).

Your landing page, just like your business at large, needs a USP. You can include this in your headline, the supporting headlines, or prominently within the copy.

olipop USP a delicious soda that's actually good for you
Image: Olipop

Olipop clearly communicates their USP in the copy that follows their headline (helpfully directing the visitor to take action). 

Their simple statement: A delicious soda that’s actually good for you.

Soda lovers know that their habit isn’t good for them but now they found a solution—keep drinking soda and remove the guilt.

What’s your USP?

Stunning visuals and design

Being visual creatures, humans are drawn to or repelled by things depending on how they look. This is as true of real-life stores as it is of online stores.

On your landing pages, great design helps guide visitors through the page and increases their dwell time. This comes down to understanding how people scan content (see our ecommerce landing page best practices to learn more about scan patterns).

Outside of page design, it’s also important to use high-quality and expertly shot photography

This example from Ella Baché has an easily readable design with a simple z-pattern and beautiful images that show off their products in the best way possible.

ella bache landing page visual design great photography
Image: Ella Baché

The difference between a great photo and a bad one is huge. Personally, it’s the difference between shopping around on a site and going elsewhere for what I need. 

#cta-visual-pb#<cta-title>Your landing pages could look this good<cta-title>Try Shogun for free and start building out your perfect store to create a totally unique customer experience.Start building for free


Clear benefits and features

Outside of declaring your USP, you also want to highlight the various features and benefits of your product or offering.

Depending on the purpose of your particular landing page, how you present these benefits can differ. 

For example, First Day shows off the benefits of their children’s gummy vitamins with a simple grid of icons and text to show not only what is in their gummies (organic fruits and veggies) but more importantly, what isn’t in them (gluten, gelatin, etc).

first day gummy vitamins landing page features ingredients
Image: First Day Inc

But, you can also dedicate most of your landing page to showing off all your great features—just don’t lose your audience by overexplaining things. Make it easy to read and understand.

Trust-boosting social proof

Humans aren’t quick to trust. Which, honestly, makes a ton of sense. 

While there were pioneering souls that helped us determine what foraged foods were fine to eat and which ones resulted in certain death, most of us would rather wait until we’re totally sure what we’re eating will only result in satiation.

The same is essentially true of what we buy online (happily there are no poison websites, just ugly ones).

Studies have shown that social proof is one of the most important things for building trust in your shoppers. In fact, over 93% of shoppers rely on customer reviews when looking into retailers they are unfamiliar with.

On their driveway shovel product landing page, DMOS includes a slider section with customer reviews to show off what real people think of their snow shovel.

DMOS customer reviews section ranked and rated
Image: DMOS

And, social proof doesn’t just come in the form of customer reviews. You can also build trust by showing where your brand has been featured, like in this example from Hamama.

hamama as featured in publications logos landing page section
Image: Hamama

By leveraging the credibility of trusted publications and the honesty of real reviews, you can shorten the time it takes to earn customer trust.

A compelling call to action

Finally, the most important thing on your landing page is the call to action (CTA).

You’ve spent all this time developing a landing page with a great headline, exciting visuals, a truly unique selling proposition, clear benefits, and super social proof. They are persuaded.

Now, call them to take that action.

You might be asking them to check out your new product collection, to sign up for promo notifications, to switch to your product from a competitor, or to become a brand ambassador.

Whatever it is, you just need to be there when they’ve been properly persuaded to tell them to take action. 

The CTA can be as simple as Shop Now—no need to be too fancy when you needn’t be. Or GET YOURS NOW in the case of DMOS.

DMOS alpha driveway shovel CTA get yours now
Image: DMOS

 On their mattress promo landing page, Helix shows off various promos and invites shoppers to REDEEM OFFER. For those that aren’t ready to buy yet, their final CTA is an email capture form to hear about future promos.

helix sleep mattress offer landing page CTA redeem offer
Image: Helix Sleep

Types of landing pages for ecommerce stores

There are several types of landing pages, differentiated by their goals. 

Some landing pages are very limited, strategically allowing visitors to do the one thing they want them to do.

Other landing pages are a bit freer, offering a selection of CTAs and hoping their visitors will take one.

Let’s look at a few types of landing pages that ecommerce store owners might use to increase conversions.

Squeeze page

Also called a lead generation page, this aptly named page is built for the express purpose of ‘squeezing’ information from visitors.

The only CTA on the page is to fill the form and click the button. Even subsequent buttons will just bring visitors back up to the form. 

You can’t click around the site with squeeze pages as they are designed without exits. Visitors either fill the form or close the page.

These are valuable pages for building your email list, which will allow you to keep marketing to people who are warm to your brand.

Click-through page

This landing page just wants you to click on to the next page, a specific page that it has primed you to better appreciate—be it for a service, a product collection, or a product. 

Instead of attempting to capture visitor information, the click-through page warms leads before sending them to the page with the buy button. 

Coming soon page

Say you have a great store waiting in the wings but its launch is still weeks out. Instead of waiting for the launch to start marketing, you can get ahead of it with a coming soon landing page.

A coming soon landing page builds interest in your site ahead of its launch and allows you to capture emails that will be used in your first email marketing campaign

Product detail page

This page is really a subset of the click-through page, but it’s worth calling out on its own.

The product detail page is a dedicated sales page for a particular product without the specter of the buy button. It isn’t pressuring visitors to buy, just to learn.

Visitors that go on to click to the product page will be sufficiently warmed to the idea of purchasing, having been fully informed and sold on the product.

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How to get traffic to your landing page

With your beautiful landing page constructed and readied for maximum persuasion, you can now move on to the next step—getting traffic to it.

You don’t want everyone and their grandpa coming to your landing page. You want to curate the audience that steps through that digital veil to find your lovely new page.

Email marketing

Your email list is a great place to start. If your list is segmented, you can easily pick and choose exactly the audience you want to drive to your landing page.

SEO

By optimizing your landing page for keywords that your ideal customers would be using, you can drive free traffic without worrying about inviting the wrong crowd.

Paid search advertising

While you can certainly get some traffic from your SEO efforts, it won’t be immediate and it won’t be driving the quantity that you really want. That’s where paid search comes in.

By targeting specific keywords in Google and other search engines, you can bid to show up at the very top of the search results page. Using Google Keyword Planner, you can estimate the number of visitors you might get to your landing page.

Paid social advertising

You can also advertise your landing page on social media, taking advantage of these platforms’ ability to target audiences by demographics, interests, and more.

Start converting with powerful landing pages

By now, you can see how important landing pages are for your store’s marketing strategy.

If you take time to perfect your landing page creation process, you can make short work of developing high-converting landing pages when you really need them.

With Shogun Page Builder, you can simply drag and drop your pages together with all the most important elements pre-built for you. You can start building your first landing page in minutes.


#cta-visual-pb#<cta-title>Create your perfect landing page today<cta-title>Start building for free with Shogun Page Builder to create a truly custom landing page that really converts.Get started now


Sean Flannigan

Sean is one of Shogun's tireless content marketers. When he isn't creating exciting ecommerce content, he's probably biking or at the park.