Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on September 22nd, 2010

10 Tips for Landing Page Optimization

More websites than care to admit have lackluster landing pages. Some even surpass lackluster and border on horrendous. But more times than not, its your own fault. By sticking to the basics of landing page optimization (LPO), you can take your landing pages from ‘hideous’ to ‘heeeeeeello!’ in no time.

Apply these 10 tips to your landing pages passionately and your website will be converting visitors into customers before you know it.

#1: Send Visitors to Relevant, Unique Pages

Whether it be for organic search, banner ads, or mobile advertising text ads, online visitors who click-through to your website should land on web pages that are relevant to what they just engaged with. That being said, your homepage might not be the best place to land visitors - as it is usually a complicated mixture of goal-oriented communications. Resist sending your visitors who are coming from specific links to your homepage. Instead, create a unique landing page that is consistent with the goal, message, and action you prompted to from their original departure point.

#2: Consistency is Key

From the ad to the landing page and onto the website, design, messaging, tone, and copy should be completely consistent with the expectations set by the link/banner. This includes the headline, ad copy, branding, color scheme, font, logos, and offering.

#3: Get to the Point

No likes a rambler, and when you are dealing with online prospects, you need to get right to the point with your landing page. Don’t bury the juicy copy and strong call to actions five paragraphs deep, they need to significantly stand out and draw immediate attention of the reader. Otherwise, your visitors will bounce off the page faster than a anvil on a trampoline.

#4: Strong Headline

When was the last time you read a newspaper despite a below-average headline? Or what about going to see a movie that had an uninteresting title? The chances are you didn’t read the newspaper or go see the movie. You need to immediately capture the visitors attention with a clear, concise, and catchy headline that is in a relevant position on the page.

#5: Sharing is Caring

Everyone is trying to ‘go viral’ these days. If one of your main goals is to create a viral landing page–game, video, or content piece–ensure that it can be easily shared via all the popular social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc).

Sharing content via social media can help you establish authority within your community both online and offline. Networks like Twitter and Facebook allow you to express your online persona by sharing information that represents your personality and beliefs–much like a vinyl collection or hobby would in the non-digital world.

#6: Audience Segmentation

If you have multiple audience segmentations, consider creating a landing page for each segment and drive traffic via separate sources and/or keywords. This will help you measure your most effective segmentation. If your landing page has advanced capabilities, you may be able to create just one page with rotating content based on the visitor-type. If this is the case, make sure your analytics can handle it as well.

#7: Spring Clean While You Create

As you create a landing page, take a moment to reflect on your progress. How many items or elements on the page are competing for the readers’ attention? If there are too many attention-grabbing elements, your conversion rate may never get off the ground. Spring clean your landing page as you create it until there is only one element vying for the readers’ attention.

#8: Remove Excessive Navigation

Basically, don’t give your visitors a variety of options to navigate away from the landing page. Most likely you paid to get them there, why let them loose? Each navigation option just provides a distraction. Keep them focused and on the conversion path with a simplistic page.

#9: KISS It. (Keep It Short, Stupid)

You want to ensure that readers who land on your page get a chance to read your most important copy. If it’s halfway down the page, they may never get to it. On the other end, landing pages are designed to provide a high level of detail, such as a product description. But this should be utilized on a deeper-linked “detail” page, instead on the landing page. Keep your landing page short so that you don’t lose your audience’s attention before you call them to action.

#10: Keep It Above the Fold

The bottom of your computer screen for the average browser resolution of your target market is called “the fold”. Your primary messaging and call to action should be kept above the fold for each and every landing page you have. This goes hand in hand with tip #3 and #9–if you tackled those tips, this one should just come naturally.

Thank You For Reading!