Landing Page Fundamentals


by Heather Lutze, CEO/Founder Lutze Consulting


In the world of Pay Per Click marketing, so many terms are thrown around in reference to strategy like ROI, CPA and Landing Page. I often get the question, “What is a landing page? Is this not my home page of my site?”. The answer to these questions are YES. You can use your home page as your “landing page” but is that the most targeted experience you can give a user from a paid click. Often times the homepage is not built for conversion purposes. It may give the visitor all the breadth of your offering, all your navigation elements and some basic text on your company but is this giving a specific, relevant result from a paid click? At this point you are asking paid click visitors to make a decision on “What do I do now?”. This may cost you valuable seconds of an already very short decision making process. The easier and quicker a searcher can get the information they are looking for, the more satisfied the searcher will be overall. As an advertiser, you get a better chance of a bookmark or a conversion from that click you just invested.

A landing page can be any page within your web site or an orphaned page or separate page from your primary navigation that gives users a directed and conversion oriented experience to take action. Ahh, . . . here is the great debate. Do I offer navigation on these special pages or do I try to get them to convert on that page. The answer is YES again. Try testing both strategies and seeing which one is more compelling to the searcher. We have found that the more complicated of a service offering you have, the more you will have to educate them before they buy. This may require you to include navigation on your landing page. If you have a simple single purchase item to sell, driving them to a no navigation page and giving them everything they need to know is possibly the best user experience.

Do I need landing pages? Ask yourself some basic questions first:

  1. Do I have a complex or long sales cycle or a simple one off retail item(s)?
  2. Do I have an “internet only” incentive I can test on my landing pages?
  3. What action do I want them to take when they get to my landing page?
    • Email signup, white paper download, bookmark on page? Know your intent.
    • Tell them what and how you want them to take action? ” Sign Up for Newsletter for 10% Off”.
  4. Do I have the resources to build these landing pages? In-house or outsource.
  5. Can I host these landing pages on my current server?
  6. Do I need a third party landing page solution to help me with landing page variations? i.e. Marketo, Vertser, Offermatica etc.
  7. And many more. Listen to this podcast for further clarification.

This podcast is an interview with landing page expert Mary Kingsley Huffman, Executive Vice President of Ionic Media. Mary works with clients to build specific landing page strategies and testing methods for greater conversion from their paid search investments. We sat down for an interview in Los Angeles, CA at the PPC Summit event to talk about ”What a landing page really means?” and how to get started utilizing this methodology as part of your paid search programs. I wanted to specifically keep the interview at a basic Landing Page 101 level. We will continue to build upon this introduction in coming podcasts with Mary Kingsley Huffman.

Mary Kingsley Huffman is a founding Partner at Ionic Media, and heads our Usability & Conversion Improvement & Online Marketing Practices. She speaks regularly on the topics of landing page development and testing, B2C marketing and lead generation campaigns. Previously, she was Director of Marketing at Overture Services. While at Overture, she was responsible for the acquisition marketing and communication departments, leading all advertiser acquisition efforts and customer communications.

Prior to Overture, Mary was an Engagement Manager in the London office of McKinsey & Company, specializing in marketing solutions. Mary also led marketing efforts for student loans at Wells Fargo Bank, expanding the Bank’s market into 9 states. Mary has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from UCLA.

Thank you again Mary for your time and expert advise on this subject. Mary Huffman can be reached at

Heather Lutze has spent the last 10 years as CEO of Lutze Consulting – Search Engine Marketing firm that works with companies to attain maximum Internet exposure. As a nationally recognized speaker and author, she is releasing the forthcoming book, “The FindAbility Formula: The Simple and Non-Technical Approach To Search Engine Marketing” (Wiley and Sons) Spring, 2009. Heather is a lead speaker for Pay Per Click Summit, and previously spent two years speaking for Yahoo! Search Marketing. For more information, visit


  1. I found your site through Social Spark. Very informative and well-written post. I am happy to see posts focusing on the importance of landing pages in PPC campaigns. I will definitely become a regular viewer of your blog.

  2. Very interesting article. I’ll listen your podcast tonight, hope to get some useful tips 🙂 . Regards

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