What is a Landing Page?
A landing page is designed to convert an anonymous visitor into a customer or lead. Landing pages typically have a single goal and they remove any links or escape points that could entice a visitor to leave the page.
In Google Analytics, a landing page is the first page that a visitor enters your website from. It’s the opposite of an exit page, which is the last page a visitor looks at before leaving.
Landing pages designed for lead capture often don’t have a main navigation at the top, and will have a form that asks you to submit your information.
I’ve included some example landing pages in a below section.
Why Should You Trust Me?
Many reviewers of software haven’t actually used the product because the tools are expensive. For landing page tools, the cost can be hundreds to thousands of dollars a month.
I’ve personally used both Unbounce and Instapage in my professional career as a growth marketer. It’s one of my favorite growth hacking tools.
One of my freelance clients uses Instapage and did a head-to-head comparison with Unbounce before committing to a yearly contract with Instapage that costs thousands of dollars a month.
I’ve created landing pages, setup conversion tracking, and ran a/b tests on both Unbounce and Instapage.
My background is in paid search marketing, where I’ve spent $6 Million on Google Ads in a single year. Throughout my career I’ve spent over $15 million on digital advertising.
At those levels of spend you can’t afford to have low-converting landing pages.
Don’t be fooled by other reviews that haven’t used the product.
When To Use Landing Pages
Landing pages are best used to maximize your conversion rate on paid advertising campaigns, like those from Google Ads, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
It is not recommended to use landing pages for SEO for one main reason.
Your SEO pages should live on your root domain, e.g. nicklafferty.com
Most landing page tools need to be setup on a subdomain, e.g. leads.nicklafferty.com.
This is because you’re really redirecting traffic from your web server to the landing page software’s web server. They host the actual page, you just mask it like it exists on your webserver with a CNAME record.
For SEO, Google sees subdomains differently than your root domain. Each of your subdomains have separate domain ratings. So to maximize the chances of your SEO pages ranking on page 1, they should all be hosted on your root domain.
Landing Page Examples
Here are three examples of landing pages in different industries. They each share some key attributes that we’ll talk about more in depth:
- No navigation
- Few escape points
- A single goal
- A lead form or signup button
- Value propositions (also known as the “Why Us” argument)
- Large eye-catching images
Home Services Lead Generation, United States
Fundraising Lead Generation, United Kingdom
SaaS providing a curated bundle of Mac and iOS apps.
Best Landing Page Builders
To crown the best landing page builder, I’m looking mostly at price to value ratio. If a tool is great but super expensive then that is a big drawback as it prices out many potential customers.
I hate websites that make you scroll to the bottom to see the results, so I’ll put my winners right here.
My favorite landing page builder, based on 5+ years of experience using them as a professional digital marketer, is Unbounce .
I choose Unbounce because the price is low enough to make it an easy sell to my boss, the tool is easy to use and learn, and they have a ton of integrations.
I’ve personally integrated Unbounce with Mailgun’s Email Validation with Zapier to push the validation results into Salesforce. The integration was very easy and took less than 30 minutes.
The main drawback of Unbounce is their reporting and analytics, which I’ll cover more in depth below.
The main advantage of Unbounce is it enables marketers to quickly create landing pages for their paid media campaigns without needing weeks or months of design and development work. I’ve personally created over 10 landing pages with Unbounce that receive over 10,000 visitors/week.
Cheap Landing Page Builder
There’s no question what’s the cheapest landing page tool on the market today.
It’s Leadpages .
Some of their features lag behind Unbounce and Instapage, but for anyone looking to build a cheap landing page with unlimited users/month, Leadpages has the lowest cost.
Their pricing can’t be beat, starting at $37/month.
Leadpages is best for small businesses or anyone looking to start with a low cost. The differences between Leadpages, Unbounce, and Instapage don’t matter if you don’t have hundreds of dollars a month to pay for the other two. You’ll hardly notice the difference using Leadpages.
If price is what’s holding you back from creating custom landing pages for your digital advertising, then I recommend Leadpages .
Landing Page Builders
There is no free landing page builder. If you want an easy to use and feature rich way to build beautiful landing pages, then you have to shell out some money.
How much you shell out depends on what tool you select. Prices vary from $37/month to $199/month.
I have used Unbounce for years at my day job and have become really familiar with it’s strengths and weaknesses.
Unbounce is extremely easy to use and can be setup quickly. The interface is intuitive and even design-challenged people like me can build a beautiful lanidng page quickly.
But, Unbounce has some of the worst analytics and reporting capabilities out of all the tools I’ve used. Analytics are only viewable within each landing page’s setup screen, and you can’t customize the date range.
This makes it extremely challenging to reference past results or export analytics data out of Unbounce. It’s frustrating and frankly shocking how poor their analytics implementation is.
What is Unbounce?
Unbounce is a landing page creation platform based in Vancouver, Canada. They have over 200 employees according to LinkedIn and are one of the most popular choices for creating landing pages quickly.
- Unlimited Landing Pages, Popups, and Sticky Bars
- Super fast page speed load times (important for Google Ads Quality Score)
- Automatic Image Optimizer
- Integrations and Webhooks
- Lots of beautiful templates
Unbounce starts at $80/month and goes as high as $300/month. However, even the $300/month plan is limited to 50,000 visitors/month which is not very many. Once you go beyond that you’ll need a custom plan, which is likely much more expensive.
- Good if you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of traffic
- Starts at $80/month which is cheaper than Instapage but more expensive than Leadpages
- Pricing is based on Conversions and Visitors
- Gets more expensive as your traffic increases
- Very poor analytics and reporting UI
Instapage is the cadillac of landing page tools reviewed here. It’s also the most expensive, starting at $199/month. If you have more than 30,000 visitiors/month then you’ll need their Enterprise plan. Expect their Enterprise plan to cost in the thousands of dollars per month.
Instapage’s main feature, outside of building landing pages, is helping companies provide a one-to-one match of user to landing page personalization. They also let you dynamically change content on the page based on user behavior and attributes.
One of their other features is called AdMap, which helps you achieve a 1-to-1 ad-to-page personalization. It uses UTM parameters to achieve this and Instapage claims it has a significantly positive impact on conversion rates.
I’ll cover Unbounce vs Instapage in a below section.
What is Instapage?
Instapage is a Series A start-up with over 100 employees based in San Francisco, California. They make some of the best landing page tools on the market, and they’re priced accordingly. Instapage’s offering is priced at a premium, starting at $199/month.
- The cadillac of landing page builders.
- Top notch personalization and a/b testing.
- AdMap, which lets you create pages for each paid advertisement.
- 120+ integrations, including Hubspot, Marketo, and Pardot.
- Real-time visual collaboration.
- AMP support.
Instapage is the most expensive landing page software I’ve seen. Starting at $199/month it is very expensive for most use cases.
That price only gets you 30,000 unique visitors/month. Any more and you’ll need to talk to their Sales team, which means higher prices and a longterm contract.
- Feature rich. The cadillac of landing page tools.
- 100+ integrations
- Real-time collaboration. Multiple users can edit the same landing page.
- A highly-rated Wordpress plugin (4.8 stars).
- Great reporting and analytics
- Many companies are forced to talk to their Sales team for the Enterprise plan.
- Self-service plan appears to just be part of an upsell to Enterprise
Instapage vs Unbounce
They both have easy to use landing page editors. Both enable A/B testing and dynamic keyword insertion from PPC ads.
Only Instapage has real-time collaboration, so multiple people can edit the same page at the same time.
Both have many integrations, often the exact same ones, and they both support webhooks.
Instapage and Unbounce both have Wordpress plugins. Instapage’s is rated 4.8/5 stars with 200 votes, and Unbounce’s is rated 3.2 with 11 votes. Based on that it seems Instapage’s WP plugin is better maintained.
The two tools don’t differentiate much on available feature sets to call a clear winner.
I have accounts with both Instapage and Unbounce. Here are their page speed scores from Google’s Page Speed Insights tool. For privacy I’m keeping the URLs hidden.
- Unbounce: 42 mobile / 99 desktop
- Instapage: 75 mobile / 95 desktop
- The same website is not hosted on both tools
- The Unbounce page has a lead form, the Instapage one does not.
Still, based on these scores the winner is obvious.
Unbounce starts at $80/month for 20,000 unique visitors and scales to $300/month for 50,000 unique visitors.
Instapage starts at $199/month for 30,000 unique visitors. Any more and you need to talk to sales for an Enterprise plan.
Compared to Unbounce, Instapage also has much better reporting and analytics. Here’s a screenshot from my Instapage account.
And a similar screenshot from Unbounce.
From personal experience, Unbounce’s analytics reporting is horrible. There’s no way to change the date range for the charts or easily export the data for use in Google Sheets or Excel.
I have used both Instapage and Unbounce extensively in my day job. For a price to value ratio, Unbounce is the better landing page builder for small businesses, freelancers, and affiliate marketers.
I hate that Instapage forces most customers into an Enterprise plan which requires a sales contract. It’s clear they’re serving a certain segment of the market and onyl use their self-service plans to support their Enterprise sales motion.
Instapage’s UI is slightly better than Unbounce, and their reporting analytics is significantly better. But Instapage is also priced almost 2x more than Unbounce for a similar amount of unique visitors.
Out of the three landing page tools listed here, Leadpages is the one I have not used personally. Much of my opinion’s here will be based on what’s available on their website, and my personal experience using Unbounce and Instapage for years.
What is Leadpages
Leadpages is the cheapest and smallest landing page builder I’ve reviewed here. They have 40+ employees based in Minneapolis and are a privately held company. But don’t be fooled by their smaller company size compared to Unbounce or Instapage, that size likely makes them more agile and adaptable to changes in the market.
- Cheap prices (I do count this as a feature)
- 40+ integrations
- Unlimited website visitors and leads
- Landing pages, pop-ups, and alert bars
- A/b testing (available starting with their $79/month plan)
Leadpages has the most competitive pricing, starting at $37/month for one website and unlimited visitors. That is by far the best price to visitor ratio of any tool I’ve seen.
On the top end, Leadpage’s Advanced plan is $321/month and enables:
- Up to 50 sites
- Priority tech support via Phone
- Online Sales & payments
- Sub Accounts (good for agencies)
- Opt-in Text Campaigns
- A 1-on-1 Quick Start Setup Call
- Unlimited traffic and leads
- Good looking default templates
- Not as many integrations as Unbounce or Instapage
- A/b testing not available on every plan