Wikipedia says that landing pages are directional or transactional. Not sure that I agree with that. Not picking a fight, but I am just sayin’ there is one direction my best landing pages go toward —> transaction. Transaction means that something happened during the visit, a visitor became a lead. Directing has the implication of something leading to something else. I don’t think true landing pages, at least in my perfect universe, have anything to do with directing visitors elsewhere.
A true landing page is not generally intended for organic use, because they are two separate enterprises. While I wished that one were better than the other, it is the ancient paradox of comparing apples and oranges. The direction to go with search marketing (paid vs. organic) depends on your goals and short term needs.
“A bird in hand is worth two in the bush” my Grandfather always said.
I am of the opinion that money right now is nice. Ideally with a good landing page the navigation doesn’t do the lead conversion, your offer in combination with the on-page web form does it… A landing page isn’t generally used to direct people to other pages within a site willy nilly. The term for that is HOME page. Do not point ppc ads to your home page, just do not do it. A landing page is a directed offer that compliments the PPC ad.
CircleClick just released a product into beta which automates the building of effective landing pages. I would be interested in getting everyone’s feedback on our system. Go check out our landing page builder, sign up for beta!