Landing page Optimization: What it is & a free checklist to get it done
I first heard the term landing page roughly three years ago at a Digital Agency where I was interning. I was shadowing the digital marketer who was designing the landing page for a campaign for an investment firm.
Though I thought it was great in retrospect, he and I were joking about how bad it was just three weeks before. Recently I did a course on my CXL Minidegree and it made me appreciate the landing page optimization even more.
I believe many of us have various notions about what a landing page is, which is not surprising given that different analytics setups have varied views about what a landing page is. However, we can’t begin to grasp Landing Page Optimization unless we first define what a landing page is.
So this is just to make sure we’re all on the same page here. When we talk about a landing page, we’re referring to the page that a user lands on, which is essentially an entry page. It’s the first page the user sees when clicking on an ad source. It might be a PPC ad, a banner ad, something in an email, or a social media ad.
It’s a page that functions independently of the rest of the site or app, with a clear conversion goal in mind, whether it’s lead generation or driving purchases. A great landing page should deliver on the promises made in the advertisement. It should also motivate the prospective users and address barriers.
The main purpose of a landing page is to persuade your audience to complete a specific goal; therefore, the layout of the landing page should have components that can convince. To be clear, I am not suggesting that you imitate any of the landing pages in this post; rather, I am stating that virtually all landing pages that convert successfully do so because they have these foundations mastered.
Elements of a High Converting Landing Page
The elements in a landing page can be either content or design-based, so let’s break that down a little further.
Content Elements of a Landing Page
Creating a competitive landing page that converts successfully is not an easy task. The content of your landing page is made up of everything that goes on it. All of which should include:
- The main headline and a secondary headline
- The benefits of your offering
- Images or video demonstrating the context of use
- Social evidence
- A call to action (Conversion goal)
Design Elements of a Landing Page
I can make visuals when necessary (such as the ones in this article), but I am not a designer. However, having worked with designers and observed screen recordings of users interacting with various landing pages, here are some factors to consider when creating landing pages with the goal of optimizing for conversion.
- Text Font
- Text Size
- Visual Hierarchy
- Highlighted CTA
Steps to creating landing pages that convert
According to statistics, conversion rates can increase by more than 85% when you use an optimized landing page! Just imagine what impact that would have if you were to create a landing page for your next 10 campaigns. Maybe you can and maybe you can’t but these steps would definitely put you on the right path
Step 1: Start with a wireframe
While I was shadowing someone that was creating a landing page, my initial thought was, “What sort of content do I need?” and “What does the landing page need to contain?”. Put simply, finding the answer to that requires a wireframe. A wireframe is a skeletal framework that depicts the structure of your landing page.
I typically do all of my wire framing on paper first, and when I need to change things around, move to Keynote. The wire frame allows me to visualize the landing page early on. It helps me prioritize content and structure, and it makes it easier to align copy and design.
Do Some Research, It matters
“According to the research we carried out, our users are…” Many marketers make this claim, but very few actually conduct any type of research. Yet, growth is impossible without research, and the odds of conversion are even smaller without it. All research consists of two categories: qualitative and quantitative.
Step 2: Carry Out Quantitative Research Using Analytics
The process of gathering and interpreting numerical data is known as quantitative research. Quantitative research reveals what is incorrect, and I use Google Analytics to do it. Google Analytics is great for optimizing research. It reveals what is going on behind the scenes, in this case, the landing page.
Some important metrics to consider while doing research with Google Analytics include:
- Bounce rate
- Conversion Rate
Now you want to keep track of these metrics on a variety of levels, such as:
- Landing page > device category > Source/Medium: Track a metric on a particular landing page based on the device being used i.e mobile, tablet, phone
- Device > Landing Page > Second Page > Exit Page: Track users behaviour through the landing pages.
- Device > Landing Page > Gender > Age: To understand who is visiting the landing page
- Landing Page > Device category > Operating system >Browser > Browser Version: To check if the operating system or browser is broken or has any bugs.
Step 3: Qualitative Research
In qualitative research, non-numerical data is collected and analyzed in order to better comprehend concepts, ideas, or experiences. It may take far longer than quantitative research, but while quantitative research informs you what the problem is, qualitative research tells you why it is happening. To successfully carry out qualitative research, you can:
- Interview your customers and if you can’t, interview customer success
- Watch session recordings
- Carry out Heat Map Analysis
Step 4: Optimize Landing Page Headlines for Conversion:
The main headline should establish a logical connection between the ad source and the landing page.
It should draw the user’s attention, release dopamine, deliver the reward, and keep the user on the website.
It’s a vital component of the landing page, and it should clearly explain the value of your offer.
You can use the following formulas to improve the headlines on your landing pages:
Formula for Headlines: (Do something difficult) in a (short amount of time) without (a certain problem)
Example: Create a Wedding Budget in 30 mins Without Help From a Wedding Planner
Example: Get your taxes done in 1 hour Without driving Down to the Tax Office
Step 5: Include benefits of your offering
Beyond the headline, your landing page needs supporting material to persuade most people. The key here is to describe specific benefits along with features. To do this, try out these tips;
- Emphasize the value of the offer
- Answer important questions
- Experiment with various formats.
- Bullet points and checklists are excellent tools to help you get started.
Step 6: Optimize Images or video
Numerous research over the last few years have proven that landing page visuals either enhance the reader’s experience on the page or distract them from the task at hand. That means they can either raise your conversion rates and boost your results dramatically, or they might do major harm.
To avoid the latter, you may want to try out these tips:
- When in doubt, use a human’s face.
- When using a human face, ensure the face is looking towards the CTA
- Go for detail and interactivity for product images
- Include a human face along with testimonials/social proof
- Include a play button on the video and a caption beneath the video
Step 7: Don’t forget the impact of social proof:
Simply put, social proof is the influence that people around us have on the decisions we make. It’s the reason you bought or gifted someone the Alexis Dress from @Melodiang, or why you might regret buying that expensive perfume Onyiibeke talked about on Instagram.
Try out any of these forms of social proof on your landing page:
- Direct quotes from customers
- Case studies (or links to case studies)
- Video interviews or testimonials
- Logos of customer companies
Step 9: A call to action (Conversion goal)
Last but not least, a landing page should be focused on just one conversion goal. There are all sorts of advanced resources about creating the optimal CTAs, but here are two fundamentals to get you started:
- Use CTAs that drive action by beginning with a verb and expressing benefits your users stand to gain from clicking.
- Avoid bland button text like “CLICK HERE” or “SUBMIT.” Use conversational language and let your visitors know exactly what they’ll be getting for their precious clicks (“START MY FREE TRIAL” or “GET 50% OFF YOUR PURCHASE”).
Step 10: Optimize landing page design for conversion
I find it necessary to reiterate that I am not a designer and that you are more likely to learn more about design from a designer. However, because I am familiar with Visual Hierarchy, we will talk about it.
Visual hierarchy is really useful for guiding users visually through your landing page and letting them know which parts they should pay attention to.
Other elements to look out for include:
- Space: Don’t muddle all elements together, space it out.
- Text Font and Size: These elements can be used to highlight important elements as well as hide unimportant elements. Use Bigger and Bolder fonts for primary information and smaller fonts for secondary information.
- Colour and Contrast: Colour can be used to differentiate sections of the landing page and make elements stand out
- Direction: Guide users to important sections of the landing page using visual elements and cues. Your design should have a flow. In the image above, all the important content is on the left and the woman in the image is also looking towards the content.
To sum it up, there is no perfect formula for designing high-performing landing pages, but given the influence, it has on growth, it is critical for marketers to devote time to understanding the fundamental principles. These are techniques that have consistently worked for years, regardless of trends or changes.
What part of your landing page would you be optimizing first?
Hi, Onyinyechi Nneji here! I am a user-focused growth and digital marketing professional. I create strategies with one goal in mind, driving users to perform actions that align with business goals. If you’d like to reach out, follow me on Twitter or send me an email.