A landing page, in the world of marketing and advertising, is a standalone web page distinct from your main website that is designed for a single focused objective: to guide visitors to a certain action in order to reach your conversion goal. While there can be many different goals of a landing page, the two basic types are Click Through (persuades visitors to click through to another page, helping them make an informed decision), and Lead Generation Pages (designed to capture a visitors information to be used for future marketing purposes). And while these goals may seem simple enough to accomplish with a simple design, clever copy and a subscription form or link; there are many important ways to optimize your landing page to dramatically increase you conversion rates.
Increase your Landing Page Conversion Rate Optimization with these 40 Strategies
If you’ve found that you’re having a hard time getting customers to click past the first page, are finding your site has low pay-per-click performance, or you are looking to find ways to increase conversions, the following landing page optimization tips are designed to help you increase the success of your landing pages. Whether you’re a small business or a major corporation, have never designed a landing page before or have created countless ones before, this guide will help you get the jump start you been looking for.
1. Create an ad-specific page
– First impressions are critically important when it comes to landing pages, and you have a small window of time to convince a visitor that they have arrived for a specific reason. You want to create a landing page that is most relevant to the ad or link that they initially click before arriving, so they know why they have arrived there and what they need to do next.
2. Keep the focus narrow
– The landing page is your opportunity to narrow the focus of your goal and remove the clutter that might distract a visitor. That’s why home pages can’t function as a landing page, because there will be too many distractions and they won’t know exactly what you want them to do. You’ll have greater control over where to direct them and help them find what they want much faster. This not only helps boost conversion rates, but also can positively affect your search engine ranking, as search engines like Google are all about relevancy and making sure people find what they’re looking for.
3. Offer the quickest action possible
– Even if a visitor knows why they’ve arrived on your landing page, you want to enable them to take the quickest action possible to get results. Generally speaking, shorter, easily digestible copy will increase conversions as visitors won’t get bogged down in lengthy, sprawling pitches or sales letters.
4. Create different landing pages for pay-per-click ads
– By creating specific landing pages for each keyword and group, you can more easily test, track and monitor the performance of each one.
5. Use landing pages to create anticipation for a product launch
– Landing pages can serve as a “coming soon” teaser to create excitement and encourage future conversions for a future product or service.
6. Steer visitors to exactly what they want
– You can segment your offers to appeal to different audiences and lead them to the types of engagement that they prefer. Some people may be looking for promo codes for online deals, while others may be looking for printable coupons. Tailor each landing page to the specific audience and their needs.
7. Avoid the hard sell
– Landing pages shouldn’t be used to pressure buyers with a hard pitch.. You want to encourage them to take the next step and get involved, rather than pushing them to buy, buy, buy!
8. Address the intent of the visitor
– What was the visitor looking for when they came to your page and how did they come to your page? Think about the mindset of the user and match it as perfectly as possible.
9. Match landing page headlines with search queries
– By synchronizing the focus of the page with exactly what the visitor is searching for, they can very quickly tell that they have arrived at a relevant destination just by visually scanning the page. This can also help improve ranking by establishing the page as a recognized authority.
10. Use headlines with clear direction
– You want to provide the visitor with a concise and accurate message that immediately speaks to what they want or need. Tell them clearly where to go, what to do, and how to do it. Keep the message brief, informative and easy to understand.
11. Use language that focuses on the customer, not your business
– Using a lot of “I” and “we” distances the customer and makes your message sound self-important. Whereas using “you” engages the visitor more and puts them in a position of control and convenience.
12. Establish your trustworthiness and reputation
– Where relevant and appropriate, let visitors know of any third party credentials that help reinforce your reputation and reasons why they should trust your business.
13. Target personas rather than just demographics
– While often times audiences are thought of in terms of age, gender, education, income, etc., you will have better conversion success if you focus on specific personas or personalities when designing your landing page. Think in terms of aspirations (hopes and dreams), attitudes (perspective on life), lifestyles (choices about health, wealth, family and work), and opinions (point of view on divisive issues).
14. Set conversion goals
– In order to accurately analyze the effect of your landing page optimization and refine and improve your strategy, it’s helpful to use an analytics program like Google Analytics. Also, it’s helpful to explore which referrer, search engine and keywords bring you the highest converting traffic.
15. Analyze where visitors’ attention goes on your landing pages
– Measuring conversion rates can only tell you part of the story on how successful your landing pages are. To better optimize your pages consider analysis such as visual heat map tracking to determine where you visitors’ attention and clicks are going.
16. Maintain a consistent message between your ad headline and landing page headline
– You will help increase your conversion rate if you use consistent language that accurately describes what the visitor expects and then delivers on that promise.
17. Use a secondary headline to lead into the content
– Once the visitor has arrived on the page, a short and direct secondary headline should grab their attention immediately to compel them to keep reading.
18. Proofread everything
– Quadruple check grammar, spelling and readability using multiple sets of eyes to ensure that your landing pages are free from error. This is likely you’re first impression, so you don’t want to come off as sloppy, amateurish on not credible.
19. Use strong calls to action
– Use bold action verbs and compelling language to grab the reader’s attention and encourage them to act.
20. Limit the number of links
– Avoid confusing the visitor with too many links to other sites or pages on your own site. You want to keep them on the landing page and move them towards the call-to-action.
21. Create buttons that stand out
– The action button or link needs to dramatically stand out to the reader, so they know how to get involved immediately. Utilize distinct colors and shapes to help it stand out.
22. Consider images and video
– As we know a picture speaks a thousand words. You can help give your visitors a quick understanding of what you are offering through image and video.
23. Stay “above the fold”
– Keep your message and action button in the top 1/3 of screen space so that the visitor doesn’t need to scroll down to find out what to do.
24. Explore different types of landing pages depending on your goals
– In addition to the Click Through and Lead Generation styles mentioned above, other options include Viral (encourage sharing through contests or quizzes), Mobile (simple and clean with tappable call-to-action), Microsite pages (small, hyperfocused and time-specific), and Product Detail (promotes a particular product).
25. Experiment with Inline Forms vs. Self-Segmentation
– Some customers prefer to fill out their details in a form to learn more (Inline Forms), while others prefer to choose between different types of products or services depending on their needs using distinct buttons (self-segmentation). The results of each can vary depending on the type of product your offering and where your visitors are coming from, so experiment to see which works best for you.
26. Consider Geographic Targeting
– Using Google Adwords and other similar services you can target your ads based on the users location, which enables you to custom tailor your landing pages to their specific country or even region. This helps to show that you understand the customers specific needs based on where they live.
27. Experiment with form orientation
– In some cases visitors might be more inclined to engage with a landing page if the form or button is on the left side, while others prefer the right. Test to see what layouts work best for your landing page.
28. Utilize On–Page SEO
– Be sure to incorporate best SEO practices with the content of your landing pages, including a strong headline with relevant keywords, relevant images with accompanying alt text, image filename with appropriate keywords, body text incorporates targeted keywords and close variations.
29. Use SEO–friendly URLs (Permalinks)
– By creating keyword rich page names for your landing pages, they will be more likely to rank higher in search results.
30. Test page loading speeds
– While rich multimedia like videos and images are great for catching the visitor’s eye, they can sometimes result in slower loading speeds, which in turn can cause visitors to leave the page prematurely. To help address this issue you may want to consider a Content Delivery Network that utilizes local servers nearest to the visitor to increase load times.
31. Incorporate Long Tail Keywords
– By using long tail, specific keywords that look and read naturally to a human, you help send signals to search engines that your landing page is valuable and specific. Words such as “reviews”, “guides”, “tutorial” and “walkthrough” will also indicate that your page is a credible, information-rich source for visitors.
32. Consider page content length
– As mentioned before, you don’t want to overload your landing page with dense, distracting content. Instead keep the content straightforward and concise, then you can go into more detail once the customer has moved past the landing page.
33. Provide motivation to the visitor
– Explore different strategies to help motivate visitors to engage depending on your product or service and the type of audience you are targeting. For some fear can be a strong motivator (your product should offer a way to calm or address that fear), while urgency works well for others (limited time opportunity or scarcity can encourage people to act). Showing results (through testimonial or figures) can also entice people to act if they can be convinced that your product or service delivers on its promise.
34. Optimize your call-to-action button
– Your call-to-action button should use strong active language and should stand out from the rest of the landing page without being blindingly obnoxious. You also want to make sure the button aligns with the original promise of the landing page and takes the user to the what they initially came to your landing page for.
35. Test, tweak and test again
– Optimizing your landing pages is an ongoing process, one that requires testing, analysis, tweaking and experimentation. Don’t expect to get everything right on the first attempt, and even if you’re reaching some of your goals, don’t rest on your laurels as the marketplace is constantly evolving and so should your landing pages. At the same time, have patience with your landing pages and see how they work over a period of time, rather than changing them every other day.
36. Don’t obsess over conversions
– Conversions are obviously important and often a major goal for many landing pages, but they shouldn’t be the only focus. You may also want to drive more traffic to your site or create brand awareness, which in the long run can ultimately lead to higher conversions, but not always immediately.
37. Test and experiment with different components of your landing page
– When you perform tests on your landing pages experiment with different variations of each component, including headlines, body content, images, layout, calls-to-action, buttons, etc.
38. Carefully consider the value you are offering with your landing pages
– In light of all of the technicalities mentioned above, you want to keep in mind what value you are offering to the customer. The three major questions that you want your landing page to answer clearly are: “What are you selling?”, “Who are you selling it to?”, and “Why should they care?”. Be as clear and specific about the answers to these questions with your landing page.
39. Explore different landing page builders
– There is a variety of landing page builders that utilize either an HTML editor or drag and drop functionality. Some them include: Unbounce, Instapage, and Launchrock.
40. Experiment with different landing page testers
– There are lots of testers available and each can offer a variety of results depending on what you are measuring. For starters, check out Optimizely, CrazyEgg, and Hubspot.
Clearly there is plenty to explore and experiment with when it comes to developing successful landing pages. What aspects of landing page optimization do you find to be most important or effective?