Do you have abandonment issues because your landing page bounce rate is through the roof? Wasting precious time and money on ineffective PPC campaigns? Tired of your boss complaining about how the industry average conversion rate is double what you achieved last month? Donʼt know how to ﬁx the problem?
With our authoritative, definitive, essential, ultimate collection of 101 landing page optimization tips—yes, you heard us, it’s all those things!—weʼll have you testing, reporting, increasing ROI, and leveling up your online marketing campaigns in no time.
The tips are broken up into 14 chapters, starting with:
What is landing page optimization (LPO)?
Landing page optimization (LPO) is the process by which you make incremental improvements and changes to each element of your page to drive leads, signups, or sales.
Optimization includes starting with best practices and data-backed insights, but it also involves testing variants (different versions of the page) to see which one performs best with your target audience. Doing so will help you increase their effectiveness and enhance your return on your investment.
More recently, artificial intelligence has become a powerful tool in landing page optimization. (We even wrote a guide to optimizing your conversion rate with AI.) For example, marketers can use AI optimization to automatically send each visitor to the landing page variant where they’re most likely to convert—helping to maximize conversions and marketing ROI.
When you should use a landing page
You probably donʼt have the time, money, or resources to use a landing page for every little idea or campaign initiative that you come up with, so here are our suggestions for when they are a relevant (and powerful) option.
Let’s start this guide with tips for when you oughta be using a landing page.
1. Use a landing page for every paid ad or email campaign
Okay, so we literally just said you probably canʼt do this. (Jeez, this guide is off to a bumpy start.) The truth, though, is you should at least try to use landing pages for any paid campaigns.
If youʼve begun to grasp the fundamental purpose of the landing page, youʼll know that sending visitors to non-campaign-speciﬁc pages (like your homepage) is just wasting money. That’s because you’re not giving your traffic the best opportunity to convert—so you’re getting lower ROI on your marketing spend.
So: The best way to ensure that you can build a landing page for every campaign?
Develop a painless process and some standard landing page templates for the types of campaigns you do, and be ruthless about reporting on your success. If you can demonstrate that you can a) build landing pages quickly, and b) achieve improved ROI through reporting and testing, you’re well on your way to convincing your stakeholders.
2. … And when you’ve got multiple inbound trafﬁc sources
If you’re expecting trafﬁc from multiple sources (Google Ads, afﬁliates, organic search, social, email), you may want to create separate landing pages for each source to simplify the funnel and enable more distinct testing.
Thankfully, you don’t need to start from scratch each time. Once you’ve created your first landing page, you can easily duplicate it and create new versions tailored to each source of traffic.
3. … And when you’re targeting people on mobile devices
This optimization tip goes hand-in-hand with different channels, but designing for mobile is so important that it’s worth calling out on its own.
If a significant amount of your traffic comes from smartphones—either through searches, email, or social apps—even a responsive website may not be the best experience for your visitors. A mobile-first landing page, though, lets you keep people laser-focused on your conversion goal—whatever the device.
4. … And when you’ve got short-term or special promotions
Sometimes you’ll need to launch a promotional campaign quickly. These typically come in at the last minute. If your website is clunky or you don’t have the web developer support you need to get things up quickly, you’ll need somewhere to communicate your campaigns.
Standalone landing pages are great for this because they can exist outside of your existing infrastructure. Plus, they’re easy to switch off when the campaign ends without adding unnecessary complexity to your site.
5. … And when you need to get stuff launched quickly
Sometimes you just need to get a web page up and live. But maybe you work for a big company that has a rigid deployment schedule. Sometimes they have the ﬂexibility to break the rules, but not always.
Well, imagine itʼs Mother’s Day, and you have to get a critical message out regarding a promotion you are running, and you forgot to update the promotions page on the website. What to do?
Build a simple, focused landing page, bypassing IT (theyʼll forgive you when you show the conversion report) and getting the job done. Not ideal, but sometimes you have to think on your feet.
6. … And when your CMO or CEO has a “big idea”
Weʼve all been there.
Some creative executive type (I canʼt be too harsh here, as Iʼm one myself) comes up with a great idea that must be dealt with immediately. The simplest way to do this is in a disconnected landing page that can break code conventions, brand guidelines, and can be efﬁciently measured to provide instant feedback on itʼs ridiculousness.
Or maybe, perhaps, itʼll work like a charm—in which case youʼre going to be re-designing the whole site according to the new direction. Pray for failure.
What to do before you build a landing page
For the marketers (or designers, or developers) responsible for creating a landing page, the following landing page tips will help ensure the page meets the needs of your campaign.
7. Make sure you’ve got a creative brief
Ideally, there’ll be a well-deﬁned concept that ties business and user goals together into a simple and implementable idea. This will help you to design something that doesnʼt stray from the goals of the campaign.
That’s the power of a creative brief.
If you are a small business or entrepreneur, then this might seem like a bit of a luxury (or an extreme waste of time). If you’ve never used a brief before, try searching for some examples or templates—it can be really useful to go through the process of creating a simple half-page brief just to get the idea down on paper before you commit it to the digital realm. And once you’ve done it once, it gets easier and faster.
8. Know the objectives of your campaign
Make sure you fully understand the business objective of the campaign, and—in particular—the landing page. What problem are you trying to solve? What role does it play in your marketing funnel? How does the page fit into the larger strategic picture driving company success?
Every decision that gets made in creating a landing page should be informed by these kinds of contextual considerations.
9. Empathize with your target audience
It should go without saying that you need understand the goals and motivations of the people who’ll be arriving at your landing page. What are the main questions that a potential visitor will have? What do they already know about your product or service? What pain points are plaguing them?
Knowing the answers will allow you to design an experience that answers these questions in priority sequence on the page. (And avoid distractions or needless repetitions.)
10. Get clear on the action you want people to take
Before you start building, you need to know the desired action of the visitor: the primary call to action. This might sound obvious, but if you don’t have a very specific idea in mind, your page can lose focus—fast.
Sometimes, when designing your page, it’s even worth starting with the button you want folks to click, then moving backward from there.
11. Know where your visitors are coming from
Take note of all campaign entry points (email, organic, PPC, social media) and any existing collateral materials to ensure you maintain a consistent brand experience and design.
For example: If your landing page doesnʼt match the aesthetic of a banner ad, then people will often (rightfully) assume they’re in the wrong place and leave. Avoid unnecessary bounces by keeping the visitor journey consistent, from first click through to conversion.
12. Understand the technical limitations of your audience
Are they primarily iPhone users? Android? Windows? Mac? Are they elderly folks who still view everything at 480×600 resolution? Or are they designers with big 4K screens?
Knowing the devices that your visitors most commonly use will help you build pages that match their context. (As a rule, we always recommend creating mobile-responsive landing pages, but sometimes it’s even better to create separate pages for separate devices.)
13. Check the availability of your campaign domain name
Did you remember to buy the domain for the campaign?
(No? Sometimes this happens after a few beers.)
This will normally have been checked and purchased by someone in IT, but itʼs a good idea to verify it. Strongly branded domain names can place a heavy inﬂuence on design direction, and having to patch something up at the last minute because someone forgot to get the domain will affect your time to market (which can be critical for event-based marketing).
14. Remember (and avoid) past campaign mistakes
Sounds simple, but unless you make the effort to track and record problems in previous campaigns, you’ll never learn from them.
My suggestion? Put a big poster on the wall with the “top 10 things to avoid doing.” If you learn something from how your past landing pages perform, make sure the new people on your team know about them going forward.
15. Remember (and repeat) past campaign successes
Likewise: If something has worked in the past, repeat it in your new campaigns. Some teams get bored of their own marketing and needlessly implement changes that end up working less well than the tried-and-true. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
This can become your own personal best practices list—a companion to this one!
16. Check out what your competitors are up to
For whatever reason, some teams really don’t like to look at what the competition is doing—either they’re intimidated or they feel like it’s a distraction. But really, you should be checking out what your competitors are up to on the regular.
This can serve two purposes; if you need inspiration, it can give you some ideas—or if you’re trying to innovate and differentiate, you’ll be in a position to zag away from the competition.
The best practices of landing page optimization
Great—we’re ready to build our landing page!
Sticking to the fundamentals and landing page best practices can take you from having a terrible landing page to having one that people ﬁnd hard to poke holes in. Apply these optimization tips vigorously as you get started, then enhance your pages by digging into the areas we discuss later on.
17. Send people to a relevant and targeted page
Because it’s meant to serve visitors coming from all kinds of different traffic sources, your homepage is a total mish-mash of messaging. “Get 10% off your first purchase,” “check out our new product,” “meet our leadership team.” There’s a ton of stuff visitors can do and see—which means it’s hard to keep ‘em focused on your campaign goal.
With that in mind, resist the urge to send campaign traffic to your homepage. It’s better suited to someone who organically learns about your brand than someone clicking through a PPC ad promoting a specific offer.
Remember: One goal, one message, one action. That means one page for your ads and emails—a dedicated landing page with corresponding messaging.
18. Provide a consistent visitor experience
From your ad or email, through to your landing page, and into your checkout or signup flow—your design, your messaging, and your tone should all be consistent with the expectations your visitor had when they first clicked.
We call this “message match.” When somebody sees an ad on Facebook, it catches their attention through a combination of copy and design: the “message.” That message sets an expectation for what’ll happen when a person clicks. For example, if the ad says “Buy one pair of shoes and get one free,” the visitor will expect to end up on a page that allows them to redeem that offer.
When you don’t have message match in your visitor journey, people get confused or frustrated—and then they bounce.
Think of it this way: If your upstream ad is the source, you should be drinking from the same stream at the end of the journey as you were at the beginning. (We must be feeling parched.)
19. Remember Roxette: “Donʼt bore us… Get to the chorus”
This landing optimization page tip comes from Swedish pop duo Roxette. As one of the masters of bubblegum pop, they knew how to highlight the most important element of each song: the chorus.
No one likes a rambler or a dillydallier. When dealing with online prospects, don’t assume you have their attention. You need to get to the point—fast.
(The astute among you will recognize that by using this analogy, we’re essentially countering our own argument.)
But sometimes, you have to provide some editorial or instructional introduction for the sake of clarity. (Marketers occasionally go a little too far in trimming their landing page copy, honestly.) If you need to say something before you “get to the chorus,” like Roxette, just make sure the juicy bits stand out.
20. Focus attention with a clear and concise headline
Imagine yourself walking down a busy street. You glance at the newspaper vending machine (those still exist, right?) to see a big, black, bold headline.
If it captures your attention, you might stop, bend over, and read it for a while. If itʼs really good, you might ﬁsh a dollar out of your pocket and actually pay for it. But if itʼs just a big page of small type with no visible purpose, you wouldn’t even break your stride.
The landing page optimization lesson? Make your headline very clear and easily noticeable, then put it somewhere obvious at the top of your page. It should be the first thing that your visitor notices, and it should be compelling enough to keep them reading.
21. Segment your customers and traffic sources
If you have different types of customers, build a landing page for each segment and drive trafﬁc via separate sources. This will allow you to measure your most effective market segmentation.
If your landing page has extended logic or geo-targeting capabilities, you may be able to create a single page with changing content based on each type of visitor. If this is the case, ensure your tracking can handle these complexities.
22. Remove any visual clutter or distractions
Did you ever see that ad campaign with a single button proclaiming “don’t click me”? Turns out, it did quite well. In fact, it was wildly successful. Nobody could resist clicking it. Not only was it a tempting bit of reverse psychology, but it also didn’t have any competing information to distract visitors.
As you create your landing page, step back from time to time, look at it from a distance and see how many things are vying for your attention. Reﬁne your landing page until the answer is… just one.
23. Don’t provide any on-page navigation
Similarly, donʼt give people a full-scale website experience on a landing page. You often paid to get them there, so keep ’em focused and on track.
If they really want to know your favorite color or to look you up on Google Maps, they can go to your website another time. Each navigation option you provide dilutes their attention.
24. Keep the reading to a minimum
Chances are your offer or product doesn’t need a whole peer-reviewed thesis paper to explain it. Ensure visitors get a chance to read your most important copy right off the bat. If it’s buried in five paragraphs of text, itʼll be missed.
An exception to this rule would be a page designed to provide a high level of detail, but this is usually best used as the deep-linked “product detail” page on the target website and not on a landing page.
25. Make the most of space “above the fold”
These days, “above the fold” isn’t relevant for every type of web pages, but it still holds true for the landing page. Your primary messaging and call to action must be above the fold (the bottom of the screen for the average browser resolution of your target market).
Think of it this way: If a visitor doesn’t scroll down, they should still be able to get the gist of your offer and take the action you want them to take.
26. Repeat your call to action on longer pages
Despite the existence of very successful long-form landing pages, you still need to ensure that the call to action is present above the fold and then repeated at comfortable intervals further down the page. This allows people to read while keeping the action visible when the urge to buy arrives.
Different people react to different content, so they may be two-thirds of the way through before they believe what you’re saying. If there is a button right there, they’ll be more likely to convert when they finally form an emotional connection to your message.
27. Always maintain landing page “congruence”
“Congruence” sounds like a big word, but it just refers to the concept of ensuring that every element on your landing page refers to, or supports, your core value proposition.
Look over your design and copy. If an element is not directly supporting your goals, then ditch it or change it so it does. Simple, right?
28. Experiment with different media types
Faster download speeds and improved compression mean that including video is no longer a technical barrier, even on mobile devices. Visitors are likely to spend more time on your site engaged in passive activities such as watching a video because itʼs easier than reading. This extra time can be the difference between someone “hearing” your message and not.
(That said, video on landing pages isn’t always the smart choice. So be sure to test.)
As with everything else, quality is king here: say something important and say it well. If you canʼt afford to build something with a high production value, then aim for a screencast—an on-screen walkthrough of your product or offer. These are intended and expected to be lo-ﬁ and this quality can enhance the realism and authenticity of you and your approach—where the message now resides in what you say and what you show, rather than in the production value of the video.
29. Enable sharing on viral landing pages
If your goal is to create buzz with a landing page—like a quiz, game, or humor piece—ensure that it’s easily sharable. The most obvious choices for social media buzz creation are Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok, and Instagram. They can help to spread your message quickly and in an exponential fashion if what you are doing is tweet or like-worthy.
The key to success lies in the fact that social sharing is not 100% altruistic—it adds the content into your own personal timeline, letting you show off stuff that represents your personality and beliefs. It’s reminiscent of the psychology surrounding a hipster’s vinyl or book collection, where you gain pleasure from the reaction of others to your taste. Create pages that make the person sharing them look good in the eyes of their social networks.
30. Maintain campaign momentum at every step
It’s important to maintain the message of your campaign from ad to post-conversion and everything in between. Campaign momentum is about removing the break in communication that can occur after the first click and ensuring a smooth buyer journey with no surprises (except good ones!).
The best way to maintain momentum is by repeating the offer. Show that clicking through to your landing page didn’t cause the promise to be forgotten.
31. Provide extra value on your conﬁrmation or thank you page
If you are asking your visitors for personal data on your landing page (such as an email address for lead capture), take it one step further and give them a bonus on the thank you page. This could just be something useful, such as a link to related content on your site, or it could be an extra free downloadable or worksheet.
Giving something away for free (or for an email address) is good marketing. Surprising someone and giving them a bonus is smart marketing.
Optimizing your landing page call to action (CTA)
Your call to action (CTA) is the primary conversion goal of a visitor to your landing page. Examples of common actions are purchasing a product, subscribing to a newsletter, calling you on the phone, downloading an ebook or whitepaper, watching a demo, or requesting information.
Optimizing your CTA can have a big impact on your conversion rate—so be sure to experiment with different copy and design to see what works best for your audience.
32. Make your copy clear and unambiguous
Generic CTAs are the death of your conversion rates. If you are offering a free ebook, for instance, then make the button say “Get your free ebook”, and not something vague like “go,” “submit,” or “subscribe.”
(You also don’t need to tell people to “click.” They know how cursors work.)
Check out these call to action examples for some tips on writing copy that gets conversions.
33. Avoid pulling a bait and switch
Related to the previous tip, donʼt promise one thing and then deliver something else—or even worse, nothing at all.
To follow the same example as above, if you are giving away an ebook, and your CTA says, “Get your free ebook,” donʼt ask for $2.95 on the next screen or say “thanks for registering” without a link to the product you are offering. Yes, you will have gained a lead—but because you’ve burned ‘em, the customer is now worthless, and they’ll tell others about your unscrupulous tactics.
34. “Amazing, awesome, kick-ass!”
Resist the temptation to include bloated adjectives. Such claims are likely to make people think you are overselling and trying too hard.
The same goes with overly negative opt-outs, like making somebody click “No, I don’t want to make extra money!” to close your popup.
35. Provide a little bit of breathing room
Allow your CTA room to breathe visually. The expansive use of whitespace will allow your button or statement to stand out on the page.
Color choice is important here also. Create a high contrast between the CTA and surrounding elements to assert its dominance on your page.
36. Keep your button where it can be seen
Donʼt let your CTA fall below the fold on the devices that your visitors are using, and if you have a long page, repeat the call to action at the bottom of the page or once on every page length to remind the user and provide them with a mechanism to act, regardless of where they are.
More advanced designers can even create a floating CTA button that follows the reader down the page, but these aren’t always as effective because they get stripped of a little context. Test it!
37. Personalize your call to action
For example, if the desired action is for the customer to call a phone number, donʼt make them work. Provide a toll-free number, or geo-targeted local codes as required.
You can also use features like Dynamic Text Replacement to pull copy from the ad they clicked directly onto your page.
38. Give your visitors a safety net
Not all customers are ready to engage right away. They might need some supporting information to ease their worries or answer their questions.
If you’re asking someone to buy something, a sensible secondary CTA would be to download a product brochure. This keeps them in your realm of inﬂuence (as opposed to leaving them to do research elsewhere) and builds conﬁdence.
Ensure that the safety net CTA doesnʼt compete in size and visual dominance—often a simple text link is adequate, beneath the main big action button. If you’re asking someone to purchase online, offering a phone number can make a potential customer more likely to convert if that is their preferred contact method.
39. Optimize your CTA for continuity
You’ve heard of failing to see the forest for the trees. But what about failing to see the campaign for the landing page? Sometimes a focus on optimizing just one touchpoint in your buyer journey can blind you to significant opportunities to optimize elsewhere.
Carry your primary call to action throughout the entire acquisition and conversion experience, from upstream ad (PPC, email, social media post, QR code, etc.) through your landing page and on to the ﬁnal destination page (if there is one).
Evaluate the journey from the perspective of somebody who’s never been on it—are there disjointed elements? Confusing or unexpected shifts in tone or focus? Mismatched offers or products?
All of this should be optimized.
40. Make sure your copy is audience-appropriate
If you are selling spa getaways, then donʼt be aggressive with your tone and language. (“Get ready to feel hella relaxed, bro!”) If you are offering funeral services, donʼt add six exclamation marks at the end of the call to action.
Our study of the dominant emotions on a landing page shows that some sentiments correlate with higher conversion rates—while others can put sales and signups in the gutter. You can read more about it in the Conversion Benchmark Report.
41. Stay focused on your campaign goal
If you have only one message and action, you should be able to look at the page and have your eye immediately drawn to the action area. Donʼt place extraneous offers or navigation on the page that could draw the user into doing something else.
In the case where you have several choices (such as different packages or pricing options), there is still a single goal (choose a package). Ensure that each action area is consistent and they are grouped in a region that can be considered the action area.
Creating high-performing forms on your landing page
Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a web visitor more than the dreaded form, especially if involves multiple steps or dozens of form fields. Follow these simple landing page tips to reduce your bounce rate on your forms.
42. Ruthlessly remove unnecessary form ﬁelds
Every Jack and Jill in your company will want some extra data from your lead capture or subscription forms. Itʼs your job as Chief Landing Page Optimization Ofﬁcer to cut this down to a minimum.
Experiment with the number of fields on your forms to see how much information your visitors are willing to provide before they give up. Do you really need to know a visitor’s fax number these days? Probably not—so try removing it and see if it improves your conversion rates.
43. Use directional cues to draw attention to the form
If your primary goal is to have someone complete a form, you should use design elements to visually direct their attention so they know what they are supposed to do. (Never assume!) Check out this resource on designing for conversion for an in-depth look at the use of directional cues.
44. Include plenty of whitespace in your layout
Donʼt crowd your form. Make it inviting, clean, and simple by surrounding it with a decent margin of clear space. (This is true of every element of your landing page, but it’s especially true of your form. Design counts!)
45. Use oversized, attention-grabbing buttons
We’re not trying to create a snotty online banking application. It’s a one-shot deal (which may still be to do with banking). As such, donʼt be afraid to design big shiny buttons that really stand out. They donʼt need to be grey or be the same height as a standard text ﬁeld. Go big to stop your visitors from going home.
46. Make form labels and ﬁeld text easy to read
Use a large enough font that anyone can read it easily. Web design standards are moving in the direction of form ﬁelds and text that are bigger than the previous norm, so follow suit and make your forms feel friendlier and happier (and more readable).
47. Give people a reason to ﬁll out your form
We’ve never heard of anyone who actually likes filling out a form (even if their browser is autocompleting some of it for ‘em). Be sure to make the beneﬁts and reward very clear and position them in context with the form so that people are constantly reminded why they are bothering.
How to build trust with your landing page visitors
Building trust may not feel like an obvious way to optimize a landing page, but it’s actually a very important factor. With the proliferation of spam, rug pulls, dubious dropshipping, and get-rich-quick schemes found in online marketing, becoming a leader with regard to trust can give your pages an instant leg up.
The first key to success here is simply to care. Donʼt just pay lip service to this area. Itʼs more important to people than you may think.
48. Provide a phone number to establish authenticity
A phone number present tells people you are legitimate and that there are real people at the end of the line. It can also be a good fallback for people who aren’t comfortable with online transactions, but who like your offer.
And, of course, if you’re targeting locals—for example, if you offer a service in a specific geographic area—it’s a great way for them to get in touch with you.
49. Remove any barriers to valuable content
If you are giving something away for free, but asking for personal details in exchange, offer something that really is free in advance, like a small portion of the materials you’re providing—the first couple chapters of your ebook, for example.
This piques interest and lets people know you are not going to send them something worthless in exchange for their personal information. People like the try-before-you-buy option.
A real-world example would be the unwritten rule that it’s okay to eat a grape in the supermarket. Arguably it’s theft, but everyone likes to do it to check that the goods are, in fact, good.
You might be thinking, “Yeah, but if the grapes are bad, people will find out and not buy them.” Exactly! If you have a great product, you shouldn’t be scared to share a little upfront. (And if you don’t have a great product… well…)
50. Ensure consistency at every stage
If your banner, landing page, and destination site donʼt feel part of the same family, you’ll lose business. The landing page falls right in the middle of the acquisition process and should extend the minimal size and copy of an ad (or email) into a real sense of brand values.
In a world of scams and shams, brand consistency reassures your visitors that they’re not being led down the wrong path and that the product—or whatever you’re promoting—matches what’s written on the box.
51. Extend your brand messaging throughout
Ensure that your landing page design is the same from ad or email to landing page. Donʼt change the color palette and typography from one to the other. Repeat the original core message on the landing page for instant recognition and increased conﬁdence that you are in the right place.
52. Refrain from gimmicky sales tactics
The internet is littered with so much crap that hip-waders should be the preferred footwear of today’s web surfer. No matter how much you feel the need to use the BUY NOW, BEST DEAL EVER type guff that proﬂigates the sad lower-end of our industry, just remember one thing: authenticity rules.
Most people see through the hype and understand when you are telling the truth. (Today, a lot of false scarcity tactics on ecommerce landing pages are probably doing more harm than good for people’s conversion rates.)
53. Avoid aggressive use of popups
If you use six popups on a single page, you should hang your head in shame as your entire customer base leaves you for a company with more integrity. Sure, you may notice a slight improvement in conversion rates in the short term, but if youʼre attracting the types of customers who click on popups simply to get the ad out of the way, they’re very unlikely to be a long-term source of revenue.
You may be in a position where you just want to present higher numbers at the weekly meeting a few times to fulﬁll your contract, but if you are an entrepreneur, stay away from aggressive tactics.
Use your gut—if it makes your stomach feel even a little uneasy, it probably doesnʼt make good business sense. Artfully deployed, popups and sticky bars can give your prospects the extra nudge they need but do it gently and from an authentic desire to help ‘em.
54. Use veriﬁable facts to back up claims
In an age of comparison shopping and online research, bold claims about your product or service may elicit skepticism on the part of the consumer).
If what you are promising isnʼt really true, then donʼt say it. You will get caught out. Perhaps by only a few individuals—but if they turn out to be social connectors, you could quickly ﬁnd yourself plastered all over the blogosphere with devastating consequences.
Keep your brand healthy by avoiding any claims that erode trust.
55. Include endorsements from recognized sources
If you have afﬁliations with well-known people or businesses, use their endorsements to build credibility. (Company logos, written testimonials, and even short videos can play this role.) Social proof like this can provide the extra uplift your messaging needs to convince people to buy.
Iʼm pretty sure that Proactiv isnʼt some miracle cure for acne, but Iʼm willing to suspend that doubt purely because the celebrities promoting it are placing their reputation on the line.
56. Donʼt ask for information you don’t really need
Sure, there are five people in your ofﬁce beating down your door asking for an extra phone number or age or favorite pair of underwear—sometimes qualified leads are overqualified—but if itʼs not critical to the information or product being requested on your landing page, then donʼt risk scaring people away. Chances are that the extra information will be scantily used anyway.
57. Put your legalese in laypersonʼs terms
If you need to have a terms and conditions page or section, try to put the important stuff in layperson’s terms. Better yet, make it entertaining, by separating it into two segments—the T&C that keeps the legal teams happy, and the T&C for the rest of us.
58. Gather real testimonials from customers
Testimonials work to create trust on your landing pages. But resist the urge to use false or made-up ones. If you invent overly enthusiastic statements using caricatures of stereotypical personas, and position them with images grabbed from stock photo sites, you’ll do more harm than good.
If you have a great product or service and you treat your customers well, testimonials will either come to you or you’ll have established the relationships where you can go and ask for them. Wait for that great customer story that could be the tipping point in making people believe your landing page message, something that shows you have affected someone’s life or business.
If you don’t have a great testimonial yet, increase the feedback mechanisms on your website to allow your customers to provide the information you need.
59. Add certiﬁcation and brand logos
This is a classic technique to garner trust. If you have awards or recognition through a review site like G2, wear it proudly on your sleeve. However, itʼs important to use relevant and well-known brands in your alignment strategy.
There are plenty of certifications out there that aren’t any more trusted than you are. Saying you are part of the Viagra Sellers Alliance probably wonʼt help you convert retirees into paying customers for a trek in the Andes.
60. Use professional landing page design
Often, the more expensive you look, the more believable your story will appear. In this case, money talks.
You still need the right call to action and landing page copy, but paying attention to landing page design can make a huge difference, too. As single people often learn, a beautiful apartment with picture-perfect interior design can make the difference between stopping by for coffee and stopping by for coffee.
61. Donʼt exaggerate about your product or service
Following on from the last point, if you oversell yourself in the living room, you may very well attract your guest into the bedroom, only to ﬁnd that they leave at the sight of the real thing.
62. Address potential concerns around privacy
As the internet has grown up, ensuring visitor privacy has become a bigger and bigger concern for marketers. Provide links to a privacy statement (or add it to your terms and services page) to quell fears of email abuse and misuse of personal information.
A good technique is to write, “Weʼll never sell your email address” in close proximity to your lead gen form, and make sure you’re adhering to local privacy laws (like GDPR) when it comes to disclosure and consent.
63. Invest in co-branding and partnerships
Partners drive trafﬁc to your business, often to a landing page. Using a co-branded landing page can enhance the ad message momentum and improve your conversion rate. This provides the customer with the conﬁdence that their intended goal is being maintained.
For example, if an affiliate is offering a discount coupon (something they have arranged with you so that they can attract customers based on this special deal), the customer needs to know that when they click from the initiating site over to your landing page, the offer hasn’t been “digitally disregarded.”
Don’t miss out on the latest industry trends, best practices, and insider tips for your marketing campaigns
Driving organic traffic through landing page SEO
For short-term marketing campaigns, landing page SEO isnʼt a factor and can be safely ignored. But for longer terms projects—especially lead-generation or ebook sales—itʼs a critical aspect of your business model. And despite a reputation for being technical, the basics aren’t that hard to implement.
Whether you think you’ve ever created a landing page before, you need to recognize that landing pages are not just standalone campaign-based entities.
As the search economy grows, every deep-linked product detail page on your site is essentially a landing page. (That’s actually how Google defines the term, and a common way you’ll see them discussed outside of campaigns.)
64. Juice your SEO through thoughtful page hierarchy
Use text headlines for your primary messaging/statement instead of having it inside an image. Placing it into an H1 lets the web crawlers know what your page is about.
Yes, you might sacriﬁce visual quality, but there are ways around it. If the goal of your page is to attract organic traffic, you need to be willing to make some trade-offs. Pick your priority and make your decision.
65. Use internal linking on SEO landing pages
While campaign landing pages often exist in isolation, driving visitors from an ad further down your funnel, organic landing pages on your site need to be accessible and integrated into your site structure through internal links. Any single page (“orphan”) that doesn’t sit within an architecture of internal linking is going to struggle a bit when it comes to ranking well.
66. Write long-form copy to hit more keywords
Campaign landing pages generally need to be short and focused to convert at their best. Organic landing pages need enough content that Google deems them worthy of a high spot in the search results. For this reason, you probably don’t want to try to create a hybrid page.
With well-written copy, long-form landing pages can convert just as well as their shorter counterparts—so don’t be afraid to be a little verbose on pages meant to rank.
67. Provide a valuable resource to gain backlinks from others
Most evergreen landing pages exist for the purpose of lead gen. If you give away something (a whitepaper or ebook) that contains excellent content you are more likely to attract inbound links, which will give your site a healthy boost in rankings and drive new visitors to your landing page.
68. Make sure your page loads super fast
All the great content in the world won’t help you if you haven’t nailed page speed, especially on mobile devices. These days, huge media or script files, excessive use of website plugins, and poor hosting are the usual culprits. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to get a sense of how you’re doing.
Mistakes to avoid when building your landing page
Weʼve all had horrible online experiences: trolls, scammers, dark patterns, and unscrupulous merchants seemingly lurk around every corner. Even though the web has evolved a lot since 2010 (or 1995), the standards for good digital marketing remain quite low.
Follow these landing page optimization tips to avoid annoying potential leads and customers.
69. Don’t ramble on (if you can avoid it)
Keep it short and sweet. Although there are occasionally applications for long-form landing pages, 99% of landing pages benefit from going shorter.
How short? To paraphrase Steve Krug (author of “Donʼt Make Me Think”), cut your copy in half and then throw away half of what is left.
70. Don’t lie to your customers
To be an effective marketer, you simply must deliver on your promises. Treat people well, and theyʼll tell their friends. Treat people poorly and they’ll tell their friends. Get the problem? (We’d extend the definition of lying to “soft lies” like fake scarcity tactics and countdown timers, but you do you.)
71. Donʼt include a form if you donʼt need it
If you can honestly get away without a form, donʼt be greedy and throw one in there because it would be nice to be able to capture some data. Keep it out and reap the beneﬁts of a slimmed-down landing page.
If you are trying to extend your brand exposure and expertise with a free white paper, consider giving it away without the email capture—but make sure each page is branded with your identity and contact information. If itʼs worth itʼs salt, people will share it, and you get more visitors as a result. You also get plenty of karma points.
72. Don’t blast ‘em with music (or a video)
If your page requires sound to function, then ensure that you provide the facility to control the volume, including a prominent mute button. And for goodness’ sake, start with any videos muted. (Subtitles are a great idea here, and not just for accessibility.)
If someone is viewing your page during quiet time—on their commute, or at the ofﬁce—sudden sounds can be a sureﬁre way to drive them to the close button.
73. Don’t do lead gen with the intention to spam
This is more of an email marketing tip, but still. Keep your communication with your leads on-topic and avoid sending them unasked-for communications. (Make it clear with the landing page, thank you page, and follow-up email what they’ll be receiving and how often.) If they are completing a form to get your whitepaper on gardening, don’t start sending them emails about motorbikes.
We’d recommend reading “Permission Marketing” by Seth Godin for more good behavior ideas.
74. Donʼt use “free” photos you found on the internet
Free images often aren’t free, especially the ones that appears ﬁrst in a search of Google images. And even if you avoid (or don’t care about) international copywriting law, chances are that by using them, youʼll appear generic and untrustworthy.
Instead, we’d recommend asking for ad budget to take your own photos, using a high-quality stock photo library, or even jumping on a free resource like Unsplash. (No relation.)
75. Don’t assume your visitors know everything
Donʼt make assumptions about what your visitors already know. If you know your product or your market really well, it’s very easy to forget that other people haven’t had the benefit of your experience.
Put yourself in the shoes of somebody completely new and anticipate their questions and objectives. Then make sure you address them on the page. This will help prevent people from going elsewhere to ﬁnd their answers and potentially ﬁnding a better offer. (Sometimes, usability tests and customer research can help too.)
If you’re looking for another book recommendation on this topic, we’d recommend “Made to Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath.
76. Don’t prevent people from opting out
No form should feel like forever. If someone is registering with you for a newsletter or ongoing communication, make it clear that they will be able to easily opt out at any time. Saying this upfront is often the tipping point between someone saying “okay, sure” and “no way.”
What to do before you publish your landing page
It is tempting to be impatient and “get it out the door” as soon as you can, but it pays to take a few deep breaths and do some ﬁnal checks and balances before you start pushing traffic to your landing pages. Remember, conversion-optimized landing pages do best when you set yourself up for success from the very beginning.
77. Have a pre-publish checklist
This is a tip in itself, and the next few items will explain some of the tasks you should perform as part of this checklist. If you can establish a checklist and incorporate it into your process, you will soon start to develop good habits that produce better, more effective landing pages.
Make sure you’ve got somebody on your team (maybe you?) who is accountable for checking everything off in the right order.
78. Apply the five-second rule
If you’re on a budget, you can do some simple usability and page goal testing using people in your ofﬁce (or friends and family). A good rule of thumb is to follow the five-second rule.
Sit your subject in front of a computer screen and show them the page for five seconds. Then hide it and ask them what the purpose of the page was. If they are unclear, you may need to re-address the communication of the primary message and call to action. You can also crowdsource this activity through a service like Five Second Test.
79. Get as many eyes on it as possible
If you work in an office, print your landing page out and pin it to the wall so that people can see it. This will open up a discussion about your design. Often, an objective set of eyeballs will spot simple things that can help reﬁne the page before you push it live.
This is also a good way to increase collaboration. Youʼll be surprised at some of the skills or insights your co-workers can provide, even (especially!) non-marketers. Invite them to drop some stickies on it too. (If you’re hybrid or work remotely, you can also use tools like Miro or Figma.)
80. Spend some time on quality assurance
You can’t afford to have any typos or errors on your landing pages. With such a short time to convince a visitor that you have something of value, even minor slip-ups can cost you a sale. Make sure it looks good in the major web browsers your target market uses. Fortunately, most landing pages are relatively simple, but donʼt forget to check.
Some companies have this built into their process. Others are too small and rely on the founder to do everything. But even in large companies, small marketing campaigns often get the short end of the stick, and they donʼt have a dedicated person for quality assurance.
We’d recommend you establish a QA process a few hours (or even days) before your landing page goes live so you have the time to fix any mistakes that crop up.
How to test and validate your landing page
Many marketing departments rely solely on gut instinct and personal opinion instead of landing page conversion optimization. (Often the personal opinion of the most senior person on the team, too.) Be prepared to throw that out the window and start achieving real insight into what works and what doesnʼt.
81. A/B test to validate your decisions
Simply put, A/B testing allows you to perform simple comparative campaign studies, allowing you to produce alternate designs and messaging and see which performs the best. Having a testing infrastructure in place is critical to being able to measure your success.
Remember, though: in most cases, you can only test one variable at a time. Below, we’ve listed a few options to get you started.
82. Test the primary image(s) or photography
Most campaigns are intended for a speciﬁc segment or user demographic. As such, itʼs a good idea to try different images that provide varied emotional responses. The smiling happy old ﬂy-ﬁsherman may well evoke a happy retirement, but some people can be thrown off by generic stock imagery.
83. Test your primary message
Write multiple variations on your main message and run tests on each. If you’ve been handed a few possible messages from your product marketing team, landing pages can be a great way of seeing which ones actually resonate. (Also, try varying the size and color of the text.)
84. Test your call to action
For testing purposes, youʼll want to try varying the message in your main CTA. Ensure itʼs an accurate description of what the user will get when they act on it to avoid trust and annoyance issues.
85. Test your CTA button color
There are many viewpoints out there regarding button color. Some say that red is the best color to use as it evokes such strong emotional reactions, but itʼs also a negative “stop” type color, so be sure to test it with others like green for “go” and blue as a familiar web standard link/action color.
To be honest, contrast is more important than color. Ask yourself: does your button pop?
86. Test your form threshold
For lead capture and other forms, you will want to minimize the number of ﬁelds that visitors are required to complete. However, if you have a particularly strong need for data, try running an A/B/C/D/E test with varying amounts of information gathering. This way, you can make an informed decision about what abandonment rate is acceptable when weighed against the extra data produced.
87. Constantly refine and optimize
If you have new ideas, test them immediately! The more information you glean the better your landing pages will become.
Donʼt stop at the ﬁrst A/B test. Brainstorm areas of the page that should be tested and throw up two, three, four, or five different versions.
88. Use AI optimization to get a leg up
All this testing takes time and traffic that smaller teams and companies don’t necessarily have. Fortunately, today’s marketers have access to AI-powered optimization tools like Smart Traffic that do more sophisticated testing with way less effort.
In Smart Traffic’s case, you create multiple variants and it automatically routes visitors to the one that’s most likely to convert ‘em—getting you (on average) 30% more leads, sales, and signups.
How to report on landing page performance
Marketing campaigns without metrics and reporting are like a runaway train. Yes, they make you more accountable, but if you’re good at what you do—or at least desire to become better—accountability can make you a rock star. It’s a great way to show off the value of landing page conversion optimization too.
Here are some tips to get you started.
89. Use analytics software to analyze KPIs
If you donʼt have internal analytics software, you can get set up quickly and for free by using Google Analytics, or several paid options such as KISSMetrics.com, GetClicky.com, or LeadsRx. By adding simple code snippets to your landing pages youʼll be tracking results immediately and can prove/disprove theories (sorry boss, making the logo bigger killed our conversion rate) and start to produce professional reports.
90. Track the essential metrics (at the very least)
The good news is that you don’t need to be an analyst to use basic metrics. Ensure you’re recording the fundamental performance metrics for each campaign. These are campaign-speciﬁc but can include conversion rate (broad term), bounce and abandonment rate, and form completion rate.
Store these results so you have a basis for showing how your reﬁnement process (via A/B testing) is working, and to allow comparative reporting against previous campaigns that had the same goals.
91. Pay attention to the finer details
There are a lot of factors that might impact your conversion rates, and often a good analytics tool can help you tease them out.
For instance, using analytics can help you determine whether different time or day segments are more successful than others. If you have an increased conversion rate on Friday nights and weekends, and little to no success during midweek, you can either focus your efforts purely on the best days, or start A/B testing different messaging on the lower days to see if an altered communication strategy will lift the metrics at those times. You will undoubtedly learn something about your visitor’s behavior by doing this.
92. Be transparent at all times
Compile frequent and regular reports and make them accessible to as many people as your internal bureaucracy will allow. Success can inspire an entire team orcompany, and failure can elicit useful feedback from people able to spot issues you might have become blind to.
And trust us… as much as you may want to impress your boss, it’s better to be honest now rather than hide unflattering metrics and see the consequences later on.
93. Be cautious of the industry averages
Industry averages are often bandied around to show comparative results for your particular vertical.
While somewhat skewed by virtue of the fact that their campaign, goals, timing, budget, and product are all different from yours, they can play an important role in showing where you stand in the competitive landscape. Particularly if you are above average. In other words, use with discretion.
(You can read more about how to work with averages in our Conversion Benchmark Report.)
94. Gather and analyze customer feedback
Sometimes, metric mania can lead to focusing on strictly quantitative data, but qualitative data—like customer feedback—is just as useful. If you are gathering consumer feedback via a landing page, collating this serves two purposes.
Firstly, it gives you great presentation materials for internal meetings. Secondly, you can start to use them on your next campaign as testimonials to boost credibility and trust. Just remember to ask permission before quoting somebody publicly.
95. Use eye-tracking and heat mapping
If you have some budget available, eye-tracking reports can give you valuable insight into where people are looking and help you increase the positioning of key elements.
Similar to eye tracking, there is software available (like CrazyEgg and HotJar) that can show heat map overlays showing where people are clicking most. Use this information to manipulate and test copy in the most popular areas to see if you can increase conversions.
96. Consider assumed attention hotspots
Other systems can produce a virtual heat map based on assumed attention areas based on graphical contrast and basic design patterns (like Attention Insight). All of these tools can add to your understanding of landing page behavior.
What to do when your landing page campaign ends
Diligent attention to the success or failure of your campaigns will help you learn and grow as a digital marketer. Try to study what youʼve done after itʼs ﬁnished.
97. Perform a postmortem
After each landing page campaign, hold a postmortem session to analyze and agree on what worked and what didnʼt. This can then be fed back into your best practices lists.
You can include elements of the landing page and campaign itself, but also issues around your working process, feedback from stakeholders or customers, and even lessons learned from having to make the thing.
98. Evergreen your campaigns
Running seasonal campaigns (like a Christmas landing page with a special promotion) is often a good idea. But if you donʼt need to take it down, donʼt. You can gain trickle trafﬁc and SEO value by leaving a page in place, even if you are not directly sending trafﬁc to it.
And if you decide to reactivate the campaign in the future, having a live page that Google has been aware of for 6-12 months is a major beneﬁt. If the campaign was time-sensitive, consider a quick change to make it more generic so that you can leave it up.
Becoming a landing page optimization expert
Now you understand how to optimize your landing pages—but maybe you should optimize your career while you’re at it?
Gone are the days when digital marketers really needed to prove themselves. A lot of companies have grown very big thanks to smart online marketing. But how to get ahead as an internet marketer is still something of a mystery. Consider this section a little bonus advice.
99. Demonstrate your optimization expertise
If you follow the guidelines presented in this list and can report accurately on your results, you will be seen as the person to go to for improved marketing ROI. Keep reading and subscribe to the Unbounce blog (and other resources, we don’t mind!) to stay up to date on the latest.
100. Donʼt be smug about what you think you know
Assuming that you know everything and that your landing pages are infallible is naive. A humble approach to testing, validation, and experimentation is the best way to become a better practitioner. The fact that we are listing 101 tips here illustrates the complexities involved in such a seemingly simple concept. (And, really, we could add 101 more with little effort.)
One final thought on landing page optimization
101. Optimization is a mindset—so never stop testing
You’ve made it this far—and that’s great!
Maybe some of the landing page optimization tips you just read were obvious to you, or maybe you’ve already spent some time implementing some of them. Just don’t be complacent. Remember that there’s always another percentage point of conversion waiting around the corner to be squeezed out of your customers.
By using a landing page platform like Unbounce, you can cut down on the amount of time you spend building and increase the time you spend optimizing your pages.