Three Ways Landing Pages Are Different from Web Pages


Your landing pages – the pages that searchers land on after clicking on your ads – should usually be substantially different in content and style from a regular web page. This is because they are built around different goals. Web pages may  be built to rank organically, to inform, to entertain, and sometimes to sell. Landing pages are almost always intended to sell.

Here are three points to keep in mind when creating landing pages as opposed to other types of pages.

1. Landing pages should be closely aligned with your keyword and ad.

It's especially important when creating a PPC landing page to form a clear line between the keyword, the text ad, and the page. Using the keyword prominently in both the ad and the landing page demonstrates clear relevance to both the user and to Google, which will increase your chances of being seen in the search results. Having a relevant landing page also helps your Quality Score, which helps contain costs.

Regular web pages should be keyword optimized as well, but they’re more likely to be optimized for more than one keyword, and they don’t need to be aligned with an ad.

Here's an example of a landing page that uses the keyword ("samsung charger") in the ad and on the page, making it clear to the user that they have found what they're looking for.

keyword-rich landing page

2. Landing pages should be persuasive.

Web pages can serve all kinds of purposes, but the purpose of a landing page is always to provoke some action – if not a sale, then some softer conversion like a contact request or blog subscription. So the language and even the design/layout should be engineered with this in mind. For example:

  • Succinctly tell the user the benefits of your offering. Use images, graphs or charts, and bullet lists to help get this information across quickly.

  • It should be very obvious what you want the user to do on your landing page. If they want to buy the product, they shouldn’t have to search for the “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” button.

  • Giving the user too many options can reduce the chances that they’ll take any of them.

Take a look at Netflix's famously successful landing page. It quickly outlines the benefits of joining and urges the user to sign up for a free trial. The page clearly leads the user into taking that action, without offering too many other options.

Netflix landing page

3. Landing pages should be tested for conversion rate optimization.

Since the main objective of a landing page is to drive conversions, it’s a good idea to test more than one version of the page and see which performs better. You'd be surprised by the huge difference relatively small changes can make. Some of the elements you might want to test include:

  • Call to action (try different verbs)

  • Color, size, and placement of button

  • Location of the form

  • Form length

Remember to test one element at a time so you’ll know what change made the difference!

(Read more: How to Create the Best Landing Pages for Your Google AdWords Account)

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Andy Merrett
Nov 02, 2010

But a landing page is just a type of web page!

And I get the point about optimising pages you specifically send your visitors to from some ad, but every web page is a potential 'landing page', so it's worth employing some tactics to make them as good as they can be.

Elisa Gabbert
Nov 02, 2010

Hi Andy,
Yes, a landing page is a kind of web page, but not all web pages are landing pages. Every PPC landing page should make sure to hit upon these three points, but there are many kinds of web pages that don't need to be persuasive or tested for conversions.
Thanks for stopping by.

Chad Summerhill
Nov 02, 2010

Hi Elisa,

The biggest difference from my perspective has always been that when optimizing a landing page for PPC I don't have to worry about SEO.

I am free to test and try anything that will improve my conversions and messaging without having to worry about the SERPs.

I would encourage your readers to take what they've learned from PPC landing page optimization and apply this knowledge to your SEO webpages. For example, we at have added a lead form in the sidebar to every page as well as security badges, etc. All of these things were learned from our PPC testing and then applied to our SEO pages with great outcomes.

You should test everything that has enough traffic to warrant a test.

Great discussion, thanks for the post!


Elisa Gabbert
Nov 02, 2010

Good point, Chad -- it's nice to let go of the SEO obsession when developing these. Thanks for your comment!

Daily Digest for November 2nd | A Blog by John A. Lee
Nov 02, 2010

[...] @WordStream: NEW Post: 3 Ways Landing Pages Are Different From Web Pages [...]

Oli | Unbounce
Nov 30, 2010

Great article. At Unbounce, we did a very comprehensive guide on the best ways to optimize landing pages. Might be helpful to your readers.

Maneet Puri
May 20, 2011

I myself have designed landing pages for the websites of many clients. There are few new things that I learned from this blog post and really appreciate the assistance. I will try and follow the ideas! Really great piece~


Jun 15, 2015

Is there a more current version of this article or is it all still valid?

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