6 Landing Page Optimizations You Need to Know

By /

November 4, 2013

Landing Page Optimization Best Practices
All too often landing pages are overlooked as important variables in the search engine marketing equation.  Many marketers and advertisers alike assume that their job is finished after searchers begin to click their links and/or ads.  WRONG!  If you learn one thing from reading this blog today it is going to be this:

YOUR LANDING PAGES ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECES OF THE SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING PUZZLE.

Think about it…

You’ve spent weeks researching the most comprehensive list of keywords imaginable.  You’ve written title tags, meta descriptions, or text ads worthy of a Pulitzer Prize nomination.  You’ve devoted countless hours, a significant portion of your marketing budget, and numerous other resources all to attract valuable visitors to your website.  Valiant effort but you’re not finished yet.

What good is all the hard work you’re putting into SEO or PPC if the landing pages you’re driving traffic to are lackluster at best?  Your landing page – your website – is the face of your brand and is typically the first interaction you have with potential clients. You had better make a good first impression if you want to get the most out of your SEM.

Think about what a landing page is and its purpose when optimizing

There are any number of reasons that marketers funnel searchers to a website. It’s vital that you think about why you’re bringing someone to your website in the first place when your start to optimize your pages. Keep these best practices in mind while you’re designing your landing pages.

A landing page represents a company’s unique value proposition

Every company seeks to deliver a unique solution to a potential problem. Think about what sets your product or service apart from the competition and list these benefits so visitors can see exactly how you can help.

A landing page delivers on a promise

Marketers and advertisers spend a lot of time developing copy that, at its roots, makes a promise to searchers. That promise is what entices a click on a link or an ad, and the advertiser needs to make good on that promise. Make certain that your landing page delivers on the promise made in the marketing copy.

A landing page easily facilitates a desired response

The entire reason that we are marketing in the first place is because we’re trying to sell a product or service, or maybe we’re just trying to initiate the conversation. These goals, or conversions, absolutely need to be accounted for when designing your landing page. Make certain that a conversion of some kind can be completed on the landing page. Make the desired response very, very clear. Use a call-to-action and large, actionable buttons that immediately grab visitors’ attention.

A landing page is optimized for targeted keywords

All textual elements of the page should focus on your list of targeted keywords. The concept of keyword-rich page content applies to both SEO and PPC efforts and helps create a relevant landing page that ranks highly in the SERPs. This means title tags, HTML headings, URLs, image alt attributes, and all remaining on-page content.

A landing page places all important messaging above the page fold

The page fold is the bottom of a users computer screen. Why keep all important information above this point? Because you want a visitor to take as few actions as possible, including scrolling, on their way to completing a conversion on your landing page. This means that you place you call-to-action buttons, relevant imagery, product or service benefits, and anything else that is absolutely vital to enticing a goal completion above the fold.

A landing page is never “finished”

Track actions on your landing page, analyze conversions, test what happens when you add, move, or remove elements from the page. Just like anything else with search engine marketing, you should always test your landing pages and try to improve their performance.

View a Few Landing Page Example Templates

Keep in mind that there isn’t just one correct version of a SEM landing page.  Your landing pages will constantly evolve as you test and measure your performance.  The suggestions offered here will point you in the right direction, but the final layout and design is ultimately up to you.  Check out these landing templates for reference as you build your pages.  Just click on a landing page template to open it in a new window.

Simple Template

Landing Page Template 1 - Simple

Form-Fill Template

Landing Page Template 2 - Form-Fill

Multi-Product Template

Landing Page Template 3 - Multi-Product

Successful landing pages design isn’t rocket science. Follow these simple landing page best practices and watch your conversion rate take off. Happy testing!

Landing pages not performing well? Which of these tips will you try next?

Stephen Kapusta is a Search Project Manager and trainer specializing in search and display advertising. He is best at finding creative opportunities to reach the audience throughout the conversion funnel by matching content to intent and focusing on providing the right user experiences at the right time. His education experience in media and rhetoric helped mold this marketing approach.

  • Leke

    I like what you put up in your landing page. I want an online advertising. Give me some more information. Thx.

  • http://www.organiksoft.com Mark

    Should we use images or videos on landing pages? or both?

    • http://www.lunametrics.com Stephen Kapusta

      Hi Mark,

      Great question! The most important thing is to at least have visual imagery of some kind – whether static or animated – appear on the page to create an engaging experience for your visitors. I would recommend testing each one of your ideas to see how the page performs. Whether you go for just an image, just a video, or both you should ensure that your image or video is optimized for the keywords you’re going after. Also, if you include both a static image and a video, ensure that you do so elegantly so the page doesn’t appear too busy.

      Regarding the video, you should consider setting up event tracking to record plays of the video. This will provide you with another conversion point on the page and allows you to determine the effectiveness of the video and the landing page. If no one is watching the video, you might want to consider a switch back to static imagery or an update to the video content.

  • http://www.metrixa.com Marian

    Nice tips to optimize a landing page. In optimizing landing page you can think of this important things ,identify visitor type, identify problem, present a solution, have a call to action.

  • http://www.proshop.no Morten

    What do you recommend the page to look like if it is more text rich and information instead of call to action and “Buy-my-product”?

  • http://www.lunametrics.com Stephen Kapusta

    Hi Morten,

    Good question. Even if a page is intended to be more informational, you should still focus on elements that make the landing page more engaging for users and attract valuable interaction for you.

    Most visitors will be intimidated (and eventually disinterested) if you simply present them with a block of text. Make sure that you use an image or video that supports the information being presented. If you’re talking about data, present visitors with a chart or infographic. If you’re talking about baseball, add a video of the latest game. This alone will make your content more engaging.

    Also make sure that you effectively utilize whitespace to make the content easily digestible. Most internet users simply skim through content rather than reading the complete story exactly as it’s written. If you break a block of text down into short, easy-to-read sections users will find it more attractive, will stay on the page longer, and, hopefully, learn something!

    Finally, never forget about your owns goals. Even if the purpose of the landing page is intended to be informational, you can still focus on a particular goal that provides value back to you. Ask users to download a whitepaper, sign up for your newsletter, contact you for more information, etc. Yes, you want to provide information to your visitors (which is quite generous) but think about how you can spin that engagement to benefit you as well.

  • http://www.conversionstudio.net @conversionhacks

    Agreed its gotta match intent, so many people build lp pages without considering the keywords being used in the search terms. Find it gets more complex the deeper you go :S. Keep testing!

  • http://www.georgescifo.com George

    Conversion, branding and message projection are the three important outputs of landing pages that we need to expect of. I am not devaluing other factors, but still these holds their own place.

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