Keep reading this blog to find out:
- Why it’s important to design an optimized landing page
- What landing pages should feature
- How to craft your own high-performing landing page
- How to stick to landing page optimization best practices
“If I throw money at a problem, I can make it all better.” It’s tempting for business owners to have that mentality because it’s so easy. Unfortunately, it rarely works out that way.
Consider how to optimize a landing page for paid ads, for example. You’re putting a lot of money into those advertisements, so why are you getting such dismal results?
The problem is paying to run ads is only half the battle. Sure, people see your ads now, but where are the ads taking them when they click on them? Have you given much thought to your landing page strategy?
Here’s the uncomfortable truth: If you haven’t given your landing pages much attention, then the people clicking on your ads won’t either. Instead, they will bounce away almost immediately.
Google sees when people quickly abandon your landing pages. They also check landing pages for Google Ads regularly to make sure the pages live up to their high standards. And if they don’t like what they find, they penalize you by lowering your ad rank. As a result, your ads won’t show up as much for people or rank as highly in search results. And, most devastatingly, your average cost per click will rise.
In other words, you will be throwing more money at a problem that won’t be getting better anytime soon.
That is, it won’t be getting better if you keep using the same old landing pages.
The good news is, there are steps you can follow to learn how to optimize a landing page for lead generation. Follow the best practices below, and your ads should start getting better results in no time!
Make Your Landing Page Specific
Many landing pages fail to perform because they lack specificity. Think about it. Your ad promotes a specific product or service. Shouldn’t your landing page be the same way?
This is why it’s a bad idea to send people to your home page. What’s the focus of your home page? It doesn’t have one! Instead, it’s a broad overview of your company that presents the visitor with a bunch of options for pages to view and things to do on your site.
This is great for someone looking to explore and learn more about your business. But people who click ads aren’t looking to explore. They’re looking to get what they want.
And what they want is the product or service you promised them in your ad copy. If they don’t see that right away on your landing page, they won’t stick around long. Ad clickers can be very impatient that way!
Start with a Headline or Subheading
The headline and subheading are the most important parts of a landing page. People will spend their first second on the page reading them, and in that second, they will decide whether to stay or go.
They will base their decision on one central question: Is this what I want?
The best way to answer this question is by closely mirroring the text you used in your ad copy. After all, if they clicked on your ad, they clearly wanted what you described there. So, give it to them with your landing page!
Your headline should clearly state exactly what your product is. Don’t get too clever with it. Remember, people will only spend a second reading it. They won’t waste time trying to decipher a clever pun or understand a fancy word. Make it extremely easy for people to understand what you’re talking about.
Your subheading should complement the headline by elaborating on the unique value your product or service provides. Be careful not to make this too wordy. It should be a short sentence explaining why people should buy what you’re offering.
Done right, the headline and subheading will keep people from bouncing away prematurely. That’s great, but now you need to get them to convert.
The rest of the best practices described below will help get people to take the desired action on your page.
Captivate with Enticing Visuals
People visiting ads want instant gratification. What’s more gratifying than high-quality visuals? After all, a picture’s worth a thousand words.
Therefore, your page needs to feature pictures and videos that show people what your product or service looks like in action.
If your page is for a specific product, show it off! Have photos of the product from a variety of different angles and feature videos of the product in use. People want to feel comfortable before they make a purchase. And the best way to make them feel comfortable is to show them exactly what they’ll be getting.
While it’s good to have quality visuals, make sure you don’t overdo it. At the very least, you should have one high-quality image at the top of the page. But make sure you don’t have so many images that the page begins to look cluttered. That’s a sure way to drive visitors away.
Instead, include plenty of empty space along with your text, images and videos. An uncluttered layout will put your visitors at ease and make them more likely to convert.
Recognize How to Optimize a Landing Page for SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) governs how often search engines show your business to potential leads at all stages of the buyer’s journey. Among other SEO tools, Keyword Finder can help you find the right keywords to increase your landing page’s visibility.
It’s important to address one keyword per landing page as close to the beginning as possible. There should also be an instance of the primary keyword as close to the beginning of the meta description and title, as well.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
As important as keywords are, don’t go overboard with them. “Stuffing” too many keywords into a single article will draw ranking penalization from search engines. Flooding an article with keywords isn’t valuable to the end user, so algorithms dismiss it as a manipulation tactic to artificially heighten the ranking of cheap, shoddy content.
The bottom line is that search engines don’t like baiting. Certainly, you can sell your product, but you need to outline why your product fixes users’ problems. You can’t just try to drag as many people to your site as possible.
Write for Users
The purpose of SEO is to deliver the most possible value to potential customers. Accordingly, if you write with customers’ perspectives in mind, SEO goals can also fall into place.
Still, we strongly recommend that you enlist professional marketing experts to handle SEO goals as effectively as possible.
Include Longtail Keywords
As you gather primary keywords for your site’s landing pages, you may also benefit from longtail keywords, more specific keywords under the umbrella of a page’s primary keyword. “Where to buy firewood near me,” is a potential longtail keyword of, “Firewood delivery.”
While you shouldn’t use the primary keyword more than, say, 3-5 times for every 1,000 words, you can sprinkle longtail keywords a little more generously throughout your articles, though the very length of longtail keywords may make them difficult to insert.
Make It Clear What They’re Getting
One of the keys to a good landing page is transparency. You can build trust by being crystal clear about what’s included with your product or service.
In other words, you’re going to want to have a “features section” on your landing page.
If you’re selling a product, this section should include all the relevant details about the product. For example, a landing page for a smartphone should highlight things like battery power and video capabilities.
On the other hand, a landing page for a service should give a brief overview of what the service includes. You could do this with a numbered or bulleted list detailing each step of the service. This will help put visitors at ease as they will have a better idea of what to expect if they purchase from you.
The key is to not get too detailed or wordy with this section. People don’t want to read a book about how your product or service works. Instead, they want a quick snapshot that gives them the most important info they need to know. So, make sure you’re highlighting the most enticing features and keeping the section light on text.
One way to cut down on the text in this section is by turning it into a video. After all, ad clickers hate reading, but they don’t hate it as much when it’s in video form. So, consider making a brief video explaining how the product or service your offering works. Just be sure it features exciting visuals!
Lay Out the Most Relevant Benefits
While highlighting features is important, you don’t want to stop there. You also want to spell out how those features solve your customers’ problems.
So, ask yourself, what unique benefits does my product or service offer? How does it one-up my competition? What makes it an essential purchase for my target audience?
Do some brainstorming and write out your answers to these questions on a piece of paper. Then sift through your answers and try to boil them down to the three or four best benefits you offer. These are what you should highlight in bold letters on your landing page.
Give each benefit a brief one or two-word headline and then a one or two-sentence explanation. When you design your page, make sure you display these prominently as they are what sets you apart and may be what ultimately prompts visitors to act.
Build Trust through Testimonials
As we mentioned above, you need to build trust with your landing page. If people don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you. It’s really that simple.
One of the best ways to show people you’re trustworthy is by including customer reviews on your page.
But don’t just include any reviews your business has received. Rather, these should be reviews that specifically highlight the product or service your landing page is promoting. If you can’t find any such reviews, then consider asking a couple of your recent satisfied customers to give one.
You don’t need to feature a ton of reviews on your page. Two or three is plenty to keep the page from becoming too text-heavy. You could also consider featuring the reviews in a carousel on your page, which will show them to the visitor one review at a time.
Invite Visitors to Act
No landing page would be complete without a robust call to action (CTA). After all, visitors need to know exactly what they should do to get your product. If it’s not clear or there’s any uncertainty about what they should do next, they won’t do it.
So, make your call to action unmistakable on the page. If you want them to click here to buy, then make that button stand out! The best way to do this is by making the button a striking color that contrasts with the rest of the page. The same goes for if your desired call to action is a phone call, email or contact form.
There is some debate over the best spot to place your CTA on your landing page. Conventional wisdom says to place it above the fold, meaning high enough on the page so that people don’t have to scroll to find it. However, this placement only makes sense if people can understand what your product or service is at a glance.
If what you’re offering is a little more unconventional, then you may want to consider saving the CTA until after the features and benefits sections. That way, you will have a chance to win visitors over before asking them to buy.
There’s also no rule that says you can’t place your CTA both above the fold and below it. In fact, it’s often a good idea to do so since some people may be satisfied and act right away, and others may need to do a little more scrolling.
Keep It Simple to Avoid Distractions
We know you’re probably chomping at the bit to add even more to your landing page to get even better results. But here’s the thing: You only need the elements we listed above. Anything beyond this will overcomplicate your landing page and drive people away. So, keep it simple!
This best practice especially applies to the links and navigation you include on your page. In short, the only link you need is your CTA. Everything else must go.
That means no website navigation tabs, no internal links to other pages on your site, and especially no links to other websites! All of these are potential distractions that would keep people from performing your desired action. And we can’t have that, can we?
Instead, keep your landing page lean so that it will be a mean lead converting machine!
Look at Competitors for Inspiration
We hope you’re not feeling overwhelmed by everything we’ve discussed so far. If you are, we apologize because designing a landing page isn’t meant to feel like a monumental task.
The good news is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel by crafting your landing page on your own. In fact, it’s better if you don’t!
Instead, we recommend looking at what your competitors are doing and using their landing pages as inspiration!
To do this, search for the keywords you’ll be targeting with your ads and click on the top ads that come up. Explore those landing pages and take note of the types of text, images and videos they’re using. What language are they using in their headlines and benefits sections? What features are they prominently featuring? Where are they putting their CTAs on the page? Don’t copy exactly what they’re doing but use it to inform the content you craft.
Doing this research upfront will make crafting the landing page that much easier!
Design a High Performing Page
You may be thinking to yourself, all of this is great, but I don’t know the first thing about web design. How in the world do you expect me to create a page?
That’s a fair question and a common one among business owners.
Fortunately, there are many tools available that make designing a landing page easy. Paid services like Mailchimp, Leadpages and Instapage all offer simple landing page builders. We would also be remiss if we didn’t mention that digital marketing companies like our own can also craft brilliant landing pages for you.
Whatever service you choose to go with, here are some best practices to keep in mind when designing a high performing landing page:
- Optimize the page for viewing on mobile and other devices.
- Compress your image files to keep them from slowing down the page.
To ensure the best results, make sure you’re checking to see how the page looks on different devices and testing the page’s speed regularly.
Always Be Testing
If you follow all the best practices we’ve listed above, you should have an awesome landing page. Great job!
However, we would caution you against growing complacent. The best landing pages are the ones that have been put to the test and refined through fire.
In other words, test everything.
Create multiple versions of your landing page and A/B test them to see which performs better. That’s the best way to find the page that will get you the most bang for your buck!
Ready to Take Your Landing Pages to the Next Frontier?
We can all agree that an optimized landing page is a beautiful thing. How can you not love the simple design and amazing results?
However, we also understand that few small business owners have the time or resources to devote to designing their own landing pages.
We hope you enjoyed our list of landing page optimization tips. At Frontier Marketing, we’re all about saving businesses time while connecting them with their customers.
We would be happy to help you by crafting optimized content and creating the perfect design for your landing page. We’re also experts at best practices for ads and would be happy to help you manage those as well.
Give us a call today at 847-254-0837 or message us on Facebook. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about ads and landing pages and discuss how we can help you.
Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in January 2021 and updated in April 2023.