What is a landing page?
Landing pages are pages on your site set up specifically to convert visitors into leads. This is usually achieved using a form which users are encouraged to fill out in return for something. The thing they receive in return is often called a ‘lead magnet’.
What is landing page optimisation and why is it important?
Landing page optimisation is a pre-launch and post-launch process that B2B content marketers use to maximise the conversion rate of their landing pages. Obviously, in order for the user to offer up their contact details, the offer will need to appeal to the target audience. But there are proven landing page optimisation tactics that can be used to encourage users to convert, no matter what you’re offering.
Unless landing pages are optimised, they are unlikely to convert potential leads. This could seriously undermine the success of your campaign. You could have a great lead magnet, but if your landing page is poorly executed, your campaign will struggle.
Below are 22 landing page optimisation tactics that I’ve found over the years. If you can think of others that aren’t included, drop me a line on LinkedIn and let me know.
1 – One goal, one message, one action
This is the most important landing page optimisation – and the most regularly ignored.
Your landing page should have one core CTA. Usually to fill out and submit the form. The more secondary CTAs you have (such as links to other pages or videos to watch) the less likely you are to achieve your core goal.
Make sure that you have one goal (what the user is trying to achieve), one message (how you will help) and one action (fill out the form).
2 – Focus on the core landing page elements
A landing page doesn’t require much more than:
- A headline
- An optional subheading
- A paragraph or two of explanatory copy
- An image
- A form
You may choose to include other elements such as testimonials or partner logos. This is fine, so long as these elements support the core CTA and encourage downloads.
3 – Make it clear from the heading what you want the user to do and why they want to do it
The heading and subheading are the first thing that users will see. For this reason, it’s crucial that you make it obvious what the landing page is for and why they should pay attention. If the user has to figure it out for themselves, they will leave.
4 – Have a clear visual hierarchy
Visual hierarchy will ensure that the most important elements on your page catch the eye above the less important elements. This can be achieved by making them larger, more colourful or using call out boxes. The key things to focus on here are the headline, the CTA and the form.
5 – Lose the header navigation
A good way of limiting the users’ options is to hide your website’s header navigation bar. This removes the option to navigate to another page of the website and focuses their attention on the only remaining action – the form.
6 – Bring the form up the page
Forms don’t have to be at the bottom of the page, you can right-align them so that they appear above the fold. Some brands even embed them into the header banner.
7 – Limit the form to essential information
While it’s tempting to capture as much data as possible, the more fields you include the less likely people are to complete it. Every company has different data requirements, but try and keep your fields sensible.
8 – Reassure the user their data is safe
Data security is more important than ever. Include links to your privacy and data security policy. You can also include badges of any data security partners that you work with. And always make sure that your forms are compliant with GDPR.
Don’t include a note underneath your form saying ‘your email will not be used for spam’. This has been proven to reduce conversions by up to 18%.
9 – Segment and target by vertical or sector
If your campaign is targeting multiple different audiences, segment your traffic and target your landing pages to specific verticals. The more relevant you can make your landing page seem, the more likely they are to convert.
10 – Make your buttons stand out
Don’t be shy with buttons and call-to-actions. Make sure they leap off the page and make them large and bright enough to catch the eye. Also, avoid using the word ‘Submit’ on your button. Use the button to remind the user what they stand to gain. For instance, for this campaign, my button said: ‘Optimise my campaigns now’.
11 – Use visual cues to guide the eye towards the form
Design elements such as arrows or pathways that lead the eye toward the form or the core CTA are a good way of keeping the user focussed on the task at hand.
12 – Optimise for mobile
It should go without saying but make sure your landing page looks good on mobile. This is beneficial for UX but also for SEO, as Google punishes site’s which aren’t optimised for mobile.
13 – Optimise for search
If your landing page is ‘evergreen’ – meaning it won’t be taken down anytime soon – then make sure you search-optimise for relevant keywords. If the topic of your lead magnet is closely related to your core business (as it should be) you should already have a list of relevant keywords to draw upon for this.
Don’t make the mistake of search optimising your page for the title of your lead magnet. You need to search optimise it for the user’s goal. For instance, the keyword for this campaign is ‘landing page optimisation’, ’22 proven tactics to increase conversion rates’.
14 – Pre-test your designs
Before you take the landing page live test it on some will guinea pigs. This can be done on-screen or printed off. Put it in front of them for five seconds then take it away. Ask them to tell you what the landing page was about and any key messages they can remember. If they can’t remember the headline and CTA, revisit your messaging, banner and layout.
15 – A/B test core features
Once your campaign is live, A/B test key features such as form position, banners and headlines. But remember, you can only A/B test one feature at a time, otherwise it’s impossible to tell which element was responsible for the change.
16 – Have a testimonial from a satisfied reader
If you’ve received positive feedback from a previous reader, ask if you can feature it on the landing page as a testimonial. This will help to reassure the user that the lead magnet is worth downloading and enhance their trust in you.
17 – Show a (smiling) face
Smiling faces have been proven to increase engagement rates across pretty much all types of CTAs. For some reason, women have been proven to have a greater impact than men.
18 – Address the user directly
Address the reader directly by using the words ‘you’, ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ in the copy. For example, instead of saying ‘guaranteed to triple conversion rates’, say ‘guaranteed to triple your conversion rates’.
It’s a small change, but it helps the user feel like you’re speaking directly to them, which makes the copy more engaging.
19 – Include social share buttons
Social share buttons make it as easy as possible for visitors to share the landing page on their own social channels if they think their followers will benefit. This is good for usability but also good for SEO, as Google prioritises pages which are highly-shared on social.
20 – Use statistics
In the previous section chapter I mentioned how it can be helpful to quantify the lead magnet’s value in the title. You can do the same on the landing page.
The statistic can refer to the number of downloads or the impact of the document, or both. For instance, to roll both into one line: “Over 2,000 people have increased their conversion rates by as much as 15% using this document.”
21 – Create different pages for different segments
If you are creating a campaign to target different segments, sectors or verticals, create separate targeted landing pages for your key audiences.
They don’t need to be totally different from one another, but small changes in language used – specifically calling out the sector when possible – and imagery can have a massive impact.
22 – Optimise load time
A slow landing page load time will annoy Google and your users. Pages that load slowly fare worse in Google’s rankings and a user in two minds about the offer may bounce as soon as they have time to think about it. Reduce page loading times by reducing the file size of the imagery on the page.
Looking for more landing page optimisation advice?
If your conversion rates could do with a boost, drop me a line using the button below.