Landing page optimisation is critical for a healthy website conversion rate and your online marketing success. As the pinnacle of your marketing funnel, a landing page plays an important role during the Decision stage of your Buyer’s Journey.
This is where all your hard work — raising awareness, gaining attention and encouraging your user to consider your brand — reaches a crucial tipping point as your prospect makes the decision to convert or not. The success and profitability of your entire marketing campaign can rest on the effectiveness of your landing pages, so it’s critical to invest the time and effort to get this right.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to optimise landing pages for conversion, plus cover the most important landing page principles. We’ll outline all the best practices for creating insanely high converting landing pages to double or triple your marketing profitability. Improving your landing page’s conversion rate can have a significant bottom-line impact. For example, if you manage to lift your 2% conversion rate to a 4% conversion rate, you’ve just doubled the profitability of your whole marketing campaign with twice the number of conversions. Boom.
We’ll provide a handy checklist of questions to guide your landing page development process and discuss:
- What is landing page optimisation?
- What makes a good landing page?
- How to craft an effective landing page headline
- Landing page design best practices
- Landing page SEO best practices
- Landing page UX best practices
- Best practice for navigation
- Thank you pages
Of course, these best practice principles are a great place to start, but if you really want to achieve the highest conversion rates, you’ll need to split test your landing pages using systems such as Hubspot, Instapages or Unbounce.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
What Is Landing Page Optimisation?
First off, let’s start with answering the question, ‘what is a landing page?’ A landing page is a page on your website that is specifically designed to convert visitors to leads. When this landing page is designed according to best practice principles, it acts as a single page conversion funnel and forms a crucial part of your conversion marketing strategy.
Let’s look at a landing page’s typical conversion path:
Step 1 – Your website visitor sees a call-to-action button or CTA letting them know there’s a relevant and interesting offer. This may be a reward such as a downloadable eBook, free consultation or entry into a competition.
Step 2 – They click on the CTA and are redirected to a landing page.
Step 3 – If the landing page is compelling, friction-free and matches the original offer they were promised, the user may choose to fill out the form.
Step 4 – After submitting the form, the user is redirected to a thank you page, where they can a) download the offer or b) receive an email with the offer.
Now you have their email address and an idea of their interests. They are no longer a website visitor. They are a lead.
Viewed from this perspective, landing pages are an essential part of your lead nurturing strategy, helping you build and grow a stronger relationship with your leads.
Landing Page Optimisation and SEO
Quick caveat: Landing pages should rarely be the focus for SEO, unless it makes sense. In many cases, you may use SEO-optimised pages to attract organic visitors, and on those optimised pages, include a CTA that links through to a high converting landing page. Often, trying to optimise a landing page with additional SEO content can decrease a landing page’s conversion with information overload! This is a delicate balance and normally the best choice is to create specialist pages for SEO purposes and to use specific landing pages for maximising conversions.
What Makes A Good Landing Page? Landing Page Optimisation Checklist
Above all, a good landing page is well-targeted. It drives qualified visitors.
To design an effective landing page, it’s important to balance UX and SEO priorities. Most often, UX will take the lead, while SEO plays a supportive role. But this doesn’t mean you should neglect SEO entirely! We’ll show you how to optimise landing pages for conversion with our checklist of 49 questions, designed to make your landing page design more powerful.
Planning A Landing Page
Goals and focus
1. What is the business objective of the campaign and this landing page? What problem are you trying to solve?
2. Do you understand the goals and motivations of users who will be clicking through to your landing page? What are the major questions that a potential user will have?
3. Does your landing page have one goal, one message, one call to action?
Audience and offer targeting
4. Have you segmented your audience? If you have multiple website user types, have you designed a landing page for each segment? Does each landing page drive traffic via a different source?
5. Is your landing page offer genuinely valuable? What value does it offer to your audience?
6. What is your primary CTA (call to action) for the page? Is it specific, focused and relevant to the user’s interests?
Headlines: How To Make The Right First Impression
7. Is your headline compelling?
8. Is it targeted to your audience’s psychology and interests?
9. Is your headline clear and concise?
10. For optimal SEO, does your headline clearly indicate the type of offer? (For example, an eBook or a template).
11. Does it inform them how they can access the offer? (For example, does it include the word ‘download’ or ‘watch’?)
12. Does the URL meet landing page URL best practices? Is it clean and concise? Does it contain your primary keyword for that landing page?
Landing Page Copy: How To Write A Landing Page That Converts
13. Does the landing page copy make it clear what exactly is being offered?
14. Have you demonstrated the value of the offer in clear, concrete terms?
15. Do you use clear, simple language?
16. Does your landing page copy contain plenty of white space?
17. Do you use numbers, bullets and bolding to break up the text?
18. If you need to create a longer landing page, do you repeat your core message and CTA at comfortable intervals throughout?
19. Do you provide terms and conditions in clear layman terms?
20. Does your language create excitement or trigger urgency?
21. Does your CTA button use action-oriented language, combined with an irresistible benefit (such as ‘Get My Free Guide’)?
22. Does your copy address your audience’s concerns?
23. Does every element of your landing page copy support your core value proposition?
24. Do you use verifiable facts to support your claims?
Visual Design: Landing Page Design Inspiration
25. Is your landing page’s visual design consistent with the rest of your website?
26. Do you include one or more high-quality images, animations or short videos on your landing page to demonstrate the value of your offer?
27. Is your primary messaging and CTA above the fold (the bottom of the screen for the average browser resolution of your target audience)?
28. Is your CTA button eye-catching and clickable?
29. For users who need more persuading, do you include FAQs that concisely yet thoroughly address your user’s pain points below your CTA, ideally in a contrasting colour?
30. Do you use and test additions like social sharing icons, social proof and testimonials?
31. Do you promote relevant certifications and brand logos?
32. Does your landing page include social media sharing to make it easily shareable?
33. Is your visual design clean and uncluttered? According to the Law of Prägnanz, humans naturally prefer and trust website experiences that are visually clear, orderly and uncomplicated.
34. Do your images supplement, rather than distract from the conversion experience?
35. Do your visual elements help make your landing page feel more human and personalised to your user?
Landing Page Form Design: Landing Page UX Best Practices
36. Is your landing page mobile optimised? The best converting mobile landing pages are designed for a streamlined user experience with the form and all website elements automatically adapting to the size of the screen and falling neatly into place beneath each other.
37. Do you hide your navigation menu to create a clear and focussed experience for your user? Check out Hick’s Law, which claims you can boost conversions by limiting the number of choices users have.
38. Is the user experience friction-free with no distractions?
39. Do you use interactive elements like a CTA with an anchor tag at the top of your landing page to direct users who click on the CTA to complete your form?
40. Do you make strategic uses of colour to guide your user through the landing page?
41. Does your form stand out visually on the landing page?
Here’s an excellent example of visual cues and colour done right:
Simplicity and Ease
42. Does your form consist of no more than four fields?
43. Do you only ask for information you really need?
44. Do you consider the preferences of your audience when choosing a style of form? For example, would a conversational flow, such as a chatbot, appeal more to your audience than a static form with this particular landing page or campaign?
Do you add interactivity to make the process of filling out your form more engaging?
Thank You Page
45. Does your thank you page for submitting a form include a navigation menu to help your user easily navigate back to the website?
46. Have you embedded a conversion tracking code to track completions?
47. Do you give users who complete the form a bonus on the thank you page, such as a link to related content on your website, or an extra free report?
Landing Page A/B Testing
48. Have you performed simple usability and page goal testing by asking people to view the page for 5 seconds and identify the purpose of the page?
49. Do you use landing page A/B testing to measure the effect your visuals are having on your landing page conversion rate?
Landing page optimisation plays a crucial role in lifting your website’s conversion rate. For the best results, it pays to invest a little extra TLC into the design of your landing page from the start. For the most effective landing page, always:
- Aim to make your user experience friction-free with minimal clutter (Law of Prägnanz)
- Strip out the navigation and aim to have a single conversion pathway (Hick’s Law)
- Make your landing page headline clear, concise and compelling
- Use action-oriented language and high-impact visuals
- Emphasise the benefits, not just the features
- Demonstrate the value of your offer to both humans and search engines in clear, concrete terms
- Uses colour to strategically guide your user through the landing page
- Make sure the contact form stands out visually
- Include FAQs to address customer pain points up-front
- Use facts and social proof to support your claims, wherever possible
- Ensure every element of your landing page supports your value proposition
- Continue to test and refine your landing page in an ongoing way
Crazy Egg. (2018). Landing Page Optimization: Best Practices, Tips and Tools (2018).
Hubspot. (2018). 19 of the Best Landing Page Design Examples You Need to See in 2018.
Quicksprout. (2018). The Definitive Guide to Landing Page Optimisation.
Hubspot. (2018). 3 Easy Landing Page Optimizations to Try Today.
Unbounce. (2018). 101 Landing Page Optimization Tips.
Neil Patel. (2018). How to Build a Conversion Funnel That Will Triple Your Profits.
Crazy Egg. (2018). A Simple Guide to Understanding and Creating a Website Conversion Funnel.
Optin Monster. (2018). 11 Web Design Principles that Will Boost Your Conversion Rate.
Neil Patel. (2018). 5 Psychological Principles of High Converting Websites (+ 20 Case Studies).