A landing page is, quite simply, any page that a visitor arrives at (lands on). A visitor can arrive on a landing page when they click a link in an email, a banner advert, social media post, a search engine result page, or any other source.
Landing pages are a tactic used in marketing & SEO. A landing page is the point at which visitor enters your site. It can be any page, so the point of landing pages is to control where a visitor enters, and how they proceed from there.
In marketing terms, a landing page refers to a page that is deliberately set-up (optimised) to make the most of that visitors arrival. If you’re spending good money on advertising, or promoting a product in an email, you want the people arriving on your landing page to do something specific – you have an objective.
A marketing landing page should be optimised for conversion, depending on the objective. That usually involves streamlining the landing page, removing distractions and making it very clear what the visitor should do, and how. It is quite common for marketing landing pages to have all visible navigation removed, with a single call to action above the fold.
There are also SEO landing pages, which are pages that bring traffic from search engines. SEO landing pages are a core part of any SEO strategy but differ from the other type of marketing landing pages because they are usually an integral part of a website, and not orphaned like the type of landing page mentioned above. SEO landing pages are not linked from emails or paid adverts – but they can still be optimised for conversion.
Not all SEO landing pages are intentional – sometimes you might have a page that performs very well for specific search terms completely by accident (we have a few on this site). Sometimes you can turn that to your benefit which is why it’s important to keep an eye on your analytics
We have several deliberate SEO landing pages on this website. We also have some old blog posts that happen to bring a lot of traffic and are, therefore, accidental SEO landing pages.
From a semantics point of view, it doesn’t really matter how a visitor gets to your landing page, or where they come from; whatever page they land on your website is, by definition, “a” landing page – It just might not be the page you wanted them to land on.
The main use of the term, though, is when a page is specifically created & crafted to achieve a specific objective, and traffic is driven to it, in an attempt to control (and influence) the visitor’s experience.