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Five Defining Features of Landing Pages 3.0

by Scott Brinker  |  
November 8, 2011
  |  22,882 views

In this article, you'll learn...

  • How design and content are pivotal to landing-page success
  • Why your landing pages should include social media integration and mobile access

The first generation of landing pages was basic, almost cliché. They consisted of a headline, a few bullet points, a "hero shot" image, and a form. They captured leads with the promise of a whitepaper, webinar, or demo—or simply contact from a salesperson.

Those first landing pages weren't great. But they were the first incarnation of context-specific, post-click marketing, and they were effective enough to justify their implementation. And they hinted at more potential.

In 2008, with the publication of books such as Tim Ash's Landing Page Optimization and Bryan Eisenberg's Always Be Testing, the second generation of landing pages was born.

The two foundations of that era were...

  1. Widespread adoption of A/B and multivariate testing
  2. Portfolios of scores or hundreds of landing pages, each focused on tight "message match" with the ads or emails driving clicks to them

Best-practices began to solidify around form length, calls-to-action, and social proof. Software products appeared to help marketers manage their growing conversion-optimization programs. Eventually, almost every digital marketer acquired some experience with landing pages of that kind.


Now, a wave of new innovations in landing pages has raised the bar yet again.

Over the past year, a third generation of landing pages has emerged—let's call it Landing Pages 3.0—that incorporates ideas from content marketing, social media marketing, HTML5 interfaces, marketing automation, and the explosion of mobile marketing.

Let's take a tour of five defining features of Landing Pages 3.0.


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Scott Brinker is co-founder and CTO of ion interactive, a provider of landing-page management software and conversion-optimization services. He also writes a blog on marketing technology called Chief Marketing Technologist.

Twitter: @chiefmartec.

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  • by Andrea Thu Feb 2, 2012 via web

    Great tip to think of landing pages as 'micro sites'. What is the best way to keep the SEO content (and thereby their result generation) of 'micro sites' included in the body of the company's website, in a relevant way?

  • by Jessica Collier Fri Mar 2, 2012 via web

    Hi Andrea, that is a great question! Microsites work well as 'landing pages' when visitors expect rich, compelling content. As Scott discusses, they should be as easy as single landing page to 1. create 2. test, and 3. optimize. Many online marketers like to specify which pages may be indexed by search engines (and which may not). You should be able to direct search engine spiders for each landing experience, setting directives for noindex, nofollow and noarchive at your discretion. Hope this answers your question!

  • by Mrinal Fri Apr 12, 2013 via web

    Glad to know about five defining features of landing page design 3.0, I am happy to know it and try to update and implement features of web 3.0 landing page on my landing page design site semanticlp. Hope it will help me in future.

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