Make the most of your digital marketing campaigns with these easy-to-implement landing page optimizations.
Here, you’ll find:
- Why landing pages are so crucial for your digital marketing efforts
- The most important elements of effective landing pages
- Conversion optimization strategies for your landing pages
- Landing page optimization best practices from experts
Landing pages are your shot at a killer first impression.
As the destination on your website where people land after clicking an organic or paid promotion, landing pages have the power to entice visitors further down your sales funnel.
But when it comes to getting those visitors to convert, you’ll need more than a call to action (CTA).
More specifically, you need to leverage the art of landing page optimization to turn clicks into customers (or clients).
What is landing page optimization?
Landing page optimization is the process of improving a webpage’s design and messaging to achieve more conversions.
Between understanding user behavior and analyzing more concrete metrics, landing page optimization is all about improving the user experience and clarifying your value proposition to make the path to a conversion simple and irresistible.
15 landing page optimization tips
- Craft a clever (but clear) headline
- Stick to one CTA (but multiple buttons)
- Use real photos when you can
- Ensure the design is intuitive
- Create a content-minded CRO strategy
- Make your forms easy (but spam-resistant)
- Ensure your ads and landing pages match
- Include social proof
- Highlight your contact information
- Make it easy to share offers & information with social buttons
- Use PageSpeed Insights to check your page load time
- Check your page’s mobile responsiveness
- Nurture prospects with email campaigns
- Offer a limited-time deal for leads
- Conduct regular optimization testing
1. Craft a clever (but clear) headline
An effective, eye-catching headline can be the difference between someone bouncing from your landing page and completing the desired action, like filling out a form.
Your headline can be a question that touches on a pain point (“Ready to say goodbye to toxic cleaning products?”), an enticing offer (“Grab one before it’s sold out”), or a solution to a common problem your target audience faces (“Time to get organized — and in better sync with your team”).
No matter which avenue you choose, your headline is what reels people in and entices them to take the next step instead of closing the tab. Just remember to use a tone that resonates with your audience — a catchy header for a hair care product is going to have a different voice than a nonprofit.
2. Stick to one CTA (but multiple buttons)
The point of a landing page is to usher your visitor on a journey, ideally resulting in the action you want that person to take — i.e. your call to action.
Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter or requesting a consultation or demo, you want your call to action button to almost jump off the page, grab the viewer’s attention, and inspire them to click.
Your landing page should have one clear CTA that appears early and often. Need some inspiration? Here are some great examples of stellar CTAs in the wild.
Pro tip: Rather than opting for the standard “click here” message, you can create customized button copy that’s cohesive with your landing page design to make the ask crystal clear. Bonus points if you A/B test various CTA buttons to see what your audience prefers.
3. Use real photos when you can
Sure, stock photos are fine. But studies continue to show that original images (and real photos of your team or your product) are more impactful.
This demonstrates the incredible power of trust when it comes to building a high-converting landing page for lead generation and ecommerce businesses alike.
Original images, photos of the face(s) behind the business, and lifestyle imagery of products in action help the visitor connect with your brand on a more human level. If you can’t swing original images, don’t sweat it. Using relevant stock imagery is always better than nothing at all.
Pro tip: Consider investing in a one-time photo shoot. The upfront cost is likely worth the use of original imagery for years to come for landing pages, product and service pages, and social media content.
4. Ensure the design is intuitive
Your landing page’s design should be intuitive as well as aligned with your website and overall branding.
You want to find a happy medium. Add too many elements on the page, and you risk your CTA getting lost in the shuffle. Add too few, and you risk underwhelming the user and boosting your bounce rate.
Your landing page design should also line up with your ad, both in verbiage and look (if applicable). These successful landing page examples illustrate how a good mix of imagery, graphics, and verbiage can create a strong landing page that accomplishes its goal.
5. Create a content-minded CRO strategy
A proper conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy contains a few essential factors that can transform a regular ol’ landing page into an optimized landing page that’s ready to achieve some serious conversion goals.
These generally include:
- A headline
- Subheading that explains what the viewer can expect
- Concise and value-centric offer description
- An image
- A landing page form
- Proof points that’ll drive your message home (more on those below).
As you continue to optimize, you can use CRO tools like heatmapping to track where your visitors are flocking. You can also split test various singular elements like photo choice and tweaks to your headline copy.
From there, review the data after a statistically significant amount of time so you can optimize accordingly.
You don’t want anything to get in the way of someone going to your landing page, filling out the form, and submitting it. So, it’s a good idea to remove unnecessary features on these pages even if they appear on your regular website.
The fewer distractions you offer, the higher your landing page conversions will likely be.
But don’t get it twisted — a landing page isn’t the place to keep things brief. While, visually, your landing page should be simple and uncluttered (white space is your friend!), you want to offer plenty of valuable information throughout the page to qualify your lead.
That means addressing pain points, any prospective concerns or questions, offering your value proposition, features and benefits, and social proof. But more on this in a moment.
6. Make your forms easy (but spam-resistant)
Speaking of forms, there’s a delicate balance to strike between asking for the information you need and not turning off the user by asking too much.
The less you ask for, the higher the conversion rate will likely be.
However, click farms, spammy bots, and (less malicious, but still problematic) unqualified leads are also more likely to fill out forms if they’re too simple.
If your lead generation volume is high but doesn’t result in meaningful conversions, you may want to reevaluate your forms.
Simply put, you want to ask for the minimum amount of information you need to qualify a lead. You can conduct some testing to determine the best form for your business. Some CRM tools even offer smart forms that limit fields for returning visitors.
If you’re already tracking someone who has signed up for your newsletter or previously made a purchase, for example, you don’t need to ask for their email address again.
You may want to implement pop-up forms instead of having an embedded form on the page. These can be triggered after a set amount of time (like after 60 seconds on the page), once they scroll to a certain point (like halfway down the page), or by exit intent.
Pro tip: Seeing lots of drop-offs when it comes to your form? Try starting with a softball question (not literally — unless that’s your industry, of course). Starting off with a fun, easy-to-answer question can get visitors engaged in filling out the form and make them more likely to complete it.
7. Ensure your ads and landing pages match
If the messaging in your ad is drastically different from your landing page, you risk confusing your user.
That’s why consistency in your messaging is key. Your ad verbiage should very closely mirror your landing page copy for a seamless experience. The copy should also be easily scannable, so someone skimming your content can still grasp the gist of what you’re offering.
8. Include social proof
Sure, brands can talk about how great they are all day long. However, your competitors are vying for the same clicks you are — and trying to convince your audience that they’re the ones with the best solution.
Add some credibility for improved landing page conversions with proof points like badges, testimonials, and case studies.
Are you partnered with a well-known brand in your industry? Do you have stellar quotes from satisfied clients? Use these to your advantage! This will help viewers see you as trustworthy and legitimate.
Pro tip: Reports show 63% of people prefer when a product they’re considering has both ratings and reviews they can look through.
9. Highlight your contact information
While your call-to-action might be a form of contact (like scheduling an appointment or receiving a free quote via email or phone call), it’s important to make sure your contact information is easy to find on your landing page, too.
Providing a phone number is an easy way to assure your visitor that you’re trustworthy — just make sure you follow through. Believe it or not, many businesses receive an influx of phone calls from leads but fail to answer the phone, which skews conversion rates and minimizes returns.
10. Make it easy to share offers and information with social buttons
While we mentioned keeping landing pages minimal, social sharing buttons are a worthwhile addition. These make it easy for users to share your offer on social media (via social share buttons).
This way, you can instantly expand your reach into networks you may not have been able to access otherwise.
And if you’ve got an email forwarding option to boot, even better. People like to share in different ways, so the simpler you make it, the more you’ll see your message spread.
Pro tip: Make it easy for people to contact you for help or with questions. The more reachable you are (in as many ways as possible), the better your landing page conversions will be.
11. Use PageSpeed Insights to check your page load time
A good page load time is under three seconds — how does your site compare? Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to run a quick test.
In other words, make sure your technical search engine optimization (SEO) is in check.
Search engines consider the overall quality of a website and the relevance of its content when choosing which results to display for both organic search and paid results (i.e pay-per-click, PPC, ads).
12. Check your page’s mobile responsiveness
One big part of effective online marketing is meeting your potential customers where they are.
Often, that means on their phones.
That’s why it’s crucial to make your landing pages mobile-friendly.
But beware of mirroring desktop landing pages for a phone environment. The truth is, trying to fill out a form via your cell phone can be a nightmare. For mobile landing pages, it’s best to ask for as little information (at least in the first step) as you can.
13. Nurture prospects with email campaigns
So, you got the lead. Now what?
For brands that capture an email address on their landing page with a form fill, it’s super important to connect with that visitor right away.
One way to do that is to create a welcome campaign, introducing them to your business, offerings, and brand.
You can also use this as an opportunity to ask for feedback, thank them for making a purchase, or recommend other products or services they may like.
HubSpot puts the return on investment (ROI) for email campaigns at $36 for every dollar spent.
14. Offer a limited-time deal for leads
Not to blow your mind or anything, but limited-time offers are one of the most effective psychological marketing tactics around.
Who doesn’t love the feeling of getting a deal? If you promote a special discount, time-sensitive offer, or even a freebie, your conversion chances should go up.
Of course, this offer should make sense for your company, both fiscally and from a brand standpoint. Maybe you offer a 10% discount if someone schedules a consultation within a certain amount of time, or you waive the setup fee you usually charge. Not sure what deal to start with, think of a few variants to test, then let the resulting data guide decision making.
Need more help with your landing page strategy? Let’s talk.
15. Conduct regular optimization testing
Though the above tips can help you improve both landing page conversions and optimization, your audience may surprise you. That’s why you should continuously be testing your landing page elements like:
- CTA locations
- The number of form fields
- The type of validation (such as a quote, review, stars, or accolades)
Need some additional inspiration?
Check out these landing page examples to spark some creativity
Landing page optimization checklist
Helpful landing page optimization tools
Planning to optimize your landing pages solo? Here are some general tools that will help you along the way:
- Reporting tools, like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics
- Survey tools, like Hotjar
- Usability testing tools, like SmartBear
- A/B testing tools, like Instapage
There’s no crystal ball to tell you what will inspire a person to do exactly as your CTA says on your landing page.
But with these expert landing page tips, you can ensure that everything is well-optimized so you’re well on your way to increasing landing page conversions in no time.
This post has been updated and was originally published in September 2019.