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The Difference Between Marketing and Technical Landing Pages

November 8, 2018 - Marketing - ,
By: Chris Riley

Marketers are very familiar with landing pages. And nine times out of 10, they are focused specifically on marketing landing pages. But there is another type of landing page that is extremely powerful — the technical landing page. I will explain the difference between the two and their value here.

What they share

Technical and marketing landing pages are tools marketers can use to get more leads and drive traffic to their site. Landing pages share these common elements:

  • They’re focused on inbound leads.
  • They’re generally not included in site navigation, so the only access point is the campaign they are tied to.
  • They are focused on very targeted traffic.

The power of landing pages is that they are inherently easy to measure because they are more focused, and they give only one path of entry for the campaign versus unlimited possibilities. With a landing page, it is very easy to determine if a campaign works or not.

But this is where the similarities between marketing landing pages and technical landing pages stop.

The marketing landing page

Marketing landing pages are almost always tied to some other campaign, and are usually the destination of that campaign. For advertising, it will be the link the ad points to. For trade shows, it might be a URL shared at the show or as part of an email drip campaign.

The purpose of marketing landing pages is lead generation in the form of registrations. Once the lead visits the page, you want them to enter some relevant information in exchange for maybe a white paper, access to a webinar, or more directly, a call. Visits to the page are key because they show the effectiveness of the campaign that proceeds the visit. And registrations are even more key because it shows the success of the page itself — that it’s done the intended job of obtaining a lead. The cost per lead is easy to calculate because it’s the cost of the page, the asset the page goes to, and the proceeding campaign divided by the number of form completions.

The structure of marketing landing pages includes some registration or information-gathering web form, and very little (but very compelling) text to drive the user to complete the form. Because of the gated aspect of landing pages, it’s self-policing the quality of visitors, which increases the value of the leads you obtain. And because normally the only path to the page is via some existing campaign, you know that traffic is the result of direct effort, not just random exposure on the Web.

Marketing landing pages that struggle usually do so because they ask for too much information, give too little value for that information, are not relevant to the preceding campaign, are unclear, or are too wordy.

The technical landing page

Technical landing pages, on the other hand, are not meant to be concise. With technical landing pages, the more words the better! Technical landing pages are meant for organic inbound traffic. (But you have to be careful, because more words does not mean more fluff.) Technical landing pages are architected for technical markets where the page itself is the value. The page has to be readable and impart actual value to the reader. It should be as valuable as a technical blog post or whitepaper.

These pages are structured around a single focus keyword, and 3-6 supporting keywords. They are generally 850 to 1,500 words long. They are deeply technical (even code level). The keyword density should match your SEO strategy. And there should be several calls-to-action that — most of the time — point to a trial sign-up.

For marketing landing pages, the most important measurement is form completions. But for technical landing pages, the most important measurement is page traffic — because like your blog, the traffic is predicated on organic searches. More people arriving at the page means that it’s performing well on search engines. However, clicking on a CTA is less common. Readers of these pages will often do further research as they would in response to a blog, and may not take a direct action immediately. But it’s a strong foot in the door, especially if you’ve provided them with some technical value. You are demonstrating credibility, and helping users understand your product or technical concepts better, which improves their perception of you over time.

Architecting a good technical landing page is tough, because you have to balance SEO with real-world technical knowledge. And it has to be credible (remember that techies’ BS filters are amazing). The best way to produce a technical landing page is to have the content written by an actual practitioner. But you can’t expect that practitioner to know or even care about what it takes to succeed with SEO. So the practitioner needs to have the support of an editorial team that does. Our clients have seen large organic traffic gains from technical landing pages that we have created for them, and our practitioner network has a blast doing it.

The takeaway

Marketing and technical landing pages are both fantastic tools. If you are in a technical market, you should be using some combination of both. Marketing landing pages cost more, and generally there is one page for many other campaigns. So you will only do a handful per quarter. For technical landing pages, you will probably do as many as you have identified strong keywords for that connect to your brand and product. Some clients will do 50 at a time. If you want to learn more about technical landing pages and you’d like to see examples, say hello.


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Chris Riley (@HoardingInfo) is a technologist who has spent 12 years helping organizations transition from traditional development practices to a modern set of culture, processes and tooling. In addition to being a research analyst, he is an O’Reilly author, regular speaker, and subject matter expert in the areas of DevOps strategy and culture. Chris believes the biggest challenges faced in the tech market are not tools, but rather people and planning.

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