How to optimize your landing page

Sep 18, 2013

Optimizing your landing pages is critical to building readership, sales, and profits. Before you optimize your landing page, make sure you know the current conversion rate. You will be able to compare your changes to the current rate, and make adjustments to get more online leads. The conversion rate is the number of page visitors that take the desired action compared to the total visitors. The desired action is often to have visitors submit their email address to an opt-in form, possibly in return for an incentive such as a special report. Other desired actions include:

  • Click to a specific page on the site.
  • Purchase a product.
  • Call a telephone number.
  • Donate money or gifts.
  • Sign up for a trial purchase.

Once you know the current conversion rate and the outcome you want, you are ready to focus on optimizing your landing page for more traffic, increased conversions and high-quality online leads.

Increase Traffic

According to the 2012 Search Marketing Report from MarketingSherpa.com, just over 50 percent of online marketers use Search Engine Optimization on landing pages. At the same time, an overwhelming majority extensively study keywords for their site. That means they are spending most of their time trying to drive traffic to the homepage. Don’t make this mistake–here are several steps you can take to optimize your landing page to garner more organic traffic from Google and other search engines:

  • Plenty of copy. Often marketers are advised to keep landing pages short. The problem is they leave too much meat off the bone. Web visitors want to read copy that is interesting, informative and motivates them to commit to your desired action. A headline and two bland bullet points is not enough. Engaging copy written by a professional copywriter is the key.
  • Easy on the AJAX. Dynamic pages are cool, but may hinder search engines from “seeing  inside.” Simple is best when it comes to landing pages.
  • Reach out and touch someone. Many landing pages are lonely because the site owner neglected to promote the page on social media and bookmarking sites. Make sure your landing page is promoted on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn at a minimum.

Increase Conversions

Now that you have more traffic flowing in, concentrate on increasing conversions.

  • Ask for the order. Always, always, always ask the visitor to take the action you want. You must spell it out, and tell them what to do next with a crystal clear call-to-action. Do not assume they know where to click, or what they should do next after reading the copy.
  • Single focus. Each landing page should focus on a single topic and call-to-action. Don’t confuse visitors by discussing three separate topics and several different actions to take. The net result will be close to zero. Keep things simple and clean with one topic and call-to-action per landing page.
  • Powerful headline. The headline’s job is to pull readers into the copy. If the headline fails, the landing page does not have a chance to convert. Avoid clever puns and cute phrases–simply put the biggest benefit right in the headline.

When optimizing your landing pages, make the goal as clear as possible. Focus on one subject like a laser beam, explain how you can benefit web visitors, and provide one clear call-to-action. The trick is to launch as many landing pages as you need to cover the main topic areas of your site. Once the pages are built, get the word out on social media and other promotional channels. By concentrating every landing page on a single goal, your traffic and conversions will grow steadily.