A Beginners Guide To Landing Page Optimization

According to a study conducted by Econsultancy in 2016,

“Only about 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.”

That’s a lot of unhappy business owners!

Two of the most important elements of conversion optimization are your landing page and the accompanying form.

Landing pages allow you to funnel your visitors through the process and lead them on the path that you want them to be on to transition from a visitor to a lead. One of the ways this is accomplished is by removing distractions and focusing your visitor’s attention on a specific offer, regardless of where they are in the buyer’s journey.

So what makes a good landing page? How can you increase your conversion rate?

Landing Page Design

Design is where all good landing pages get their start. Landing page design doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. There are some simple practices you can follow to nail a landing page the first time, every time.

Remove Top Level Navigation and Reduce Exit Points

Your primary job in conversion rate optimization is to keep the user on the landing page until they complete your desired action, whether this is to download an ebook or purchase a product.  By removing the top level navigation and limiting the links on the page you are reducing the ability for users to abandon the landing page before converting.

Keep it Above the Fold

You may have heard this so many times it’s etched into your brain. B2b marketer’s throwing around industry terms like ‘Above the fold’. So what is it and why do we keep talking about it? Above the fold refers to the section of a website you immediately see when entering, prior to having to scroll down.

Experts estimate that a user spends 80% of a visit on a page viewing above the fold content. Utilize this knowledge by using this space to showcase the most valuable and prudent information.

Minimize Distractions

Your immediate thought may be that your landing page seems a little bear with limited images and some content. Remember that the intent of your landing page is to have your user complete an action. Items like lengthy videos, GIFs, photo galleries and bouncing puppies don’t help you achieve this goal.

Ensure you are limiting the amount of images and graphics to ones that provide immediate value to your audience.

Remember that the core agenda of visual content is to support the completion of the end goal. Ask yourself, does this provide value to the requested transaction? If the answer is no then it’s not a good fit for your page.

Build Trust and Authority

People are growing more and more cautious when providing their personal information online. While understandable, this can present issues for collecting the necessary information to convert the user into a lead.

Help gain your audiences trust by including:

  • Accreditations
  • (Valid) Security Seals
  • Testimonials, reviews and client logos
  • A link to your privacy page

These will showcase that you are a company that cares about people’s privacy and will instill trust in your readers.

All the Colours of the Rainbow

Using contrasting colours will make your call-to-action jump out on the page and entice users to follow through.

Understanding the psychology behind colours can have a great impact on your conversion rate.

Colours can elicit emotional responses from people and having a clear understanding of this can have a positive impact on your marketing efforts. In contrast to this, not having a clear understanding can cause a negative reaction from your users.

Example: If you are selling mortgage insurance, you are better off choosing a blue colour that displays dependability and trust over choosing purple which leans more to the imaginative side.

The Content

The meat and potatoes of your landing page. Arguably one of the most important aspects of the page is making people care enough to complete the desired transaction.

During the first 30 seconds a visitor interacts with your page, they make split second decisions about the quality and the context of the subject matter offered. With only 30 seconds to spare, are you delivering enough information for your audience to make a snap decision? Consider crafting your landing page content similar to an elevator pitch as their attention spans will be fleeting. Focus on making a big impact as first impressions are everything.

So how is this done?

Engaging, Consistent Headline (and optional sub-headline)

The importance of your consistency between your call-to-action and your headline is huge. Not only does this increase performance in search engine rankings and PPC but it’s also a major trust factor.

If the headline reads different from the call-to-action that landed them on the page, or there is a catch to the offer, you are likely to lose their trust and experience a high bounce rate on the page.

Instead, ensure that your headline is not only consistent to your call-to-action but also shows the user WHY they need the offer.

Entice the User

Emphasize the benefits of your offer using short, concise sentences or bullet points (or both) providing what your audience can expect to achieve from getting your offer.

If your offer is an ebook, what can they expect to learn from this? What will they be able to achieve after digesting the information?

Don’t focus on what the offer is, focus on what value will be achieved. Answer to your personas specific challenge or pain point.

Keep it Simple, Keep it Concise

Not many people like lectures or long drawn out explanations or long winded sentences or too many examples or…. You get the point.

Keeping your content short, concise and to the point will help your visitors stay on task.

Limit your content to what really matters. The same is true for images and video as well, ask yourself if what you’re writing serves your agenda.

Most people these days are too busy to read your page word for word, make your content easily ‘scannable’ by utilizing bullet points and concise messaging.

Ask yourself: Is there a clear action for the user to follow? If not, your landing page might need work.


Give them a reason to get your offer NOW.  If your offer is only valid for a limited time, stress that urgency to your audience.

Alternatively, you can hint at the impacts of NOT getting your offer right away.

The Form

Finally! The entire purpose to your landing page is to complete a transaction, whether that is to sell something, offer something, or simply schedule a consultation; they all require the same thing.

A form!

So what is so special about a form? Don’t you just put a bunch of fields and people will fill it in?

As a generalization, the shorter the form the higher the conversion rate. The longer the form is the longer your visitor has to ‘work’ for what they came there for. A really long form has a higher chance of being ignored than a form asking for your name and email address.

For B2B marketers, the ideal number of fields on web registration and download forms is between three and five for 79% of respondents, while only 16% said it was six or more. (BrightTALK, 2015)

(Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

Ask yourself, what is the crucial information I need to know in order to generate a lead? What is the minimum amount of information that you need in order to interact with your clientele?  

Asking more information can be helpful, but it should not come at the cost of deterring leads. If the information can be acquired in a streamlined way during the sales engagement, then you may want to consider leaving it off the form to maximize your success.

Only add fields if it helps pre-qualify candidates that would otherwise be a huge undertaking for you to do manually.

For example: Adding a “Sales” & “Support” inquiry option on the contact menu to direct the contact to the appropriate department automatically instead of manually sorting.

Sometimes this will include 10+ fields, sometimes 2 will suffice. Limit yourself to only what you require to capture high quality leads.

Make the submit button actionable and personable, this should tie in with your call to action, as outlined above

Consider this; if the user reads absolutely nothing on your landing page, is the agenda of the form clear based on the call to action of the text found in the button.

Example: Instead of “Submit” your button should read “Get Your Ebook Now” or “Schedule Your Consultation”

Understanding the foundation of a quality landing page is your crucial first step in increasing your conversion rate. Now get out there and start building.

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Todd Mumford