What is a Landing Page?
A Landing Page is a web page that is setup for a specific advertising campaign such a pay per click. You can learn more about Landing Pages by reading our previous article Landing Pages and Their Legitimate Use.
Some SEO and marketing firms create web pages for the purposes of Search Engine Optimization and refer to them as Landing Pages. In reality these types of pages are not actually Landing Pages and are actually Doorway Pages. We will not debate the effectiveness of legitimacy of Doorway Pages here as it is outside the scope of this article, however you may read more about them by reading the article Bad SEO Techniques: Doorway Pages.
In any case, whether the page is a true Landing Page or a Doorway Page, many SEO and marketing firms use Hosted Landing Pages as their method of publishing.
What is a Hosted Landing Page?
A Hosted Landing Page is a web page that is setup outside the domain name of your website. For example, if your website’s domain is ABC.com your Landing Page should appear on ABC.com/landing-page.html. Instead, many SEO and marketing companies will place the landing page on their own domain name such as MarketingCompany.com/landing-page.html or SomeOtherDomain.com/landing-page.com. In both of the these examples, the Landing Page exists outside the realm of your website address. This is problematic for several reasons.
Why is a Hosted Landing Page a Bad Idea?
Defeats the Purpose of SEO
While Landing Pages are not intended for SEO, many SEO companies still manage to sell and market them as such so it is worth mentioning the logistical issues with Hosted “Landing Pages” for SEO. If the purpose of the “Landing Page” is to become picked up and indexed within the major search engines then why would you place the content that is supposed to assist your website outside the domain of your website? If the page is truly supposed to help your site’s placement, adding good content to your website’s domain name is the correct approach. Placing the content onto another website 1) does little to boost your real website 2) redirect users to a page that you have no control over and 3) ends up competing with your real website for placement within the search engines.
Never Ending Payments
Having the Landing Page outside your own domain name means that you are most likely going to have to continue to pay to have the Landing Page remain active. This is not a huge deal if the Landing Page is temporary for an advertising campaign, however if the Landing Page was sold with the idea of using it for Search Engine Optimization, you will have a problem. What happens if the page ends up being indexed within the search engines. In order to keep that page active, you will most likely have to continue to pay to have it available. This can be costly and also sets up a perfect scenario for potential reselling of the page.
Although not a prevalent as in the past, some marketing firms have been known to get a client’s “Landing Page” ranked high in the search results only to raise the cost of keeping it active as time goes on or reselling it to another company if you decide to cancel.
Consumers are getting smarter and smarter every day when it comes to the internet. People are taught now days to look closely at the address bar of the site they are on to avoid scams such as phishing. Having a Landing Page at a domain other then what you use for your business can look suspicious and may deter visitors from proceeding past the page.
While true Landing Pages are a legitimate part of an advertising campaign, business owners should take care to make sure their Landing Pages are created within their own website domains. They should also understand the true scope of what a Landing Page is intended for.