3 Best Practices for Landing Page Effectiveness + Optimization

It should go without saying that a campaign’s performance is about more than just your targeting methods; it also includes the effectiveness of your landing page. And when assessing certain KPIs, such as bounce rate, time on site, CVR and CPA, consider landing page optimizations and A/B tests to find out what appeals and speaks to your customer.

But before considering which landing page optimizations to make, ask yourself an important question: “What is my goal?” While making an effective optimization may bring improvements for multiple data points, it’s best to focus your attention on one or two particular KPIs, as your test may not be a ‘one and done’ update that checks all your boxes. 

Furthermore, evaluate what resources you have to work with:

  • What modules and functions do you have in your CMS platform (i.e. Hubspot, Wordpress)? 
  • Do you have the ability to use a heatmap software (i.e. HotJar, CrazyEgg) to see engagement measurements such as scroll depth and click tracking? 
  • Do you have access to Google Optimize or another A/B testing platform 
  • And, before you begin, ensure you’ve established your benchmark data figure with your media platform or Google Analytics. 

What makes a landing page effective?

There are many aspects of your landing page to consider when it acts as the destination of your campaign. That being said, users may also be arriving at your page from a variety of channels, beyond just paid media, and this should be considered in your thought process. Your landing page could be your prospect’s first impression of your brand and its product/service. And they have the power to leave as quickly as they’d like!

Consider three key areas when evaluating the effectiveness of your landing page:

1. Customer Journey
2. Content Development + Messaging
3. Format + Function

1. Map Your Customer Journey

The first step of your content and landing page planning should consider the customer journey and the persona/target audience that is engaging with this content. 

Who is the reader? What stage of the purchase decision are they likely in? And what are they looking for? Consider the areas of Awareness, Consideration and Evaluation, while also identifying what gaps your content has so that you can cover each stage and guide the user down the funnel.

  • Awareness
    • Are they in the early research stage of a topic and problem? 
    • Are they unfamiliar with what it takes to resolve these issues? 
    • Do you have solution content that speaks to these pain points that your product/software addresses and the benefits provided? 
    • That being said, your product/service is not the primary focus here; the problem is, and this is your opportunity to build trust. Content must focus on THEIR outcome, not YOUR sale.
  • Consideration
    • Is the user educated enough about their problem and the solution needed? 
    • Are there any subtopics that you should dive deeper into to keep their attention while showing your breadth of knowledge? 
    • Do you have educational content that answers common questions? 
    • Does your content begin to further outline your features/benefits and set yourself apart from the competition?
  • Evaluation
    • Are they almost ready to commit? 
    • What information helps to seal the deal? 
      • Do you have reviews, testimonials or case studies that exemplify success of your application in their market?
      • Do you have buyer’s guides or product comparison charts for their selection?
      • Can you offer virtual demos of applications that cater to their needs?

Overall, if you aren’t sure where they are, then you won’t know where to go.

2. Content Development and Messaging

When considering messaging, keep the same guidelines in mind: Who is the reader and what are they looking for? 

Personalization is key and this is an opportunity to grab user attention as tightly as you can.

  • Does your product/service apply to a few core industries/verticals? Speak to them! 
    • This is especially important if your  B2B marketing efforts are with a TAL in mind. 
  • Is it likely that your reader personas may be divided by users and decision makers? 
    • If so, what matters most to each of them? (i.e. functionality, efficiency, cost, longevity, etc)

You may already have a few notions on what the user is looking for, but here are 4 sources of information and inspiration to ideate content:

Keyword Research: By finding what users are searching for and writing and optimizing accordingly, you aid your organic and paid search efforts. If you have a Google Ads account setup, you can use their Keyword Planner or you can find other paid and free keyword tools such as keywordtool.io or thehoth.com.

In addition to this, when you find keywords of interest, do a manual Google search. 

    1. What content is ranking on page 1? To target this keyword, you’ll want to see what type of content Google is highly ranking as results. And if you’re looking to compete in this space, you’ll need to consider comparable information in your content strategy for higher organic rankings.
    2. Are there ‘People Also Ask’ questions? Keep schema markup in mind if you create FAQ content or other applicable content types!
    3. What shows up in the ‘Searches Related To’ section in the search field or at the bottom of the search engine results page (SERP)?

      google related searches example

Talk to your team! Another source of guidance can be your sales or customer service team. What frequently asked questions do they get from prospects and customers that you can use to improve your content by addressing their common needs, pain points, or concerns? By doing so, you’re further engaging the user and improving your team’s efficiency by having time to focus on more qualified contacts. 

A call tracking and analytics platform that is a multi-faceted resource is DialogTech. With DialogTech, you are able to establish caller source tracking with automated unique phone numbers placed on your site determined by how the user got to your site. This allows you to analyze how many calls you receive from organic search, paid search, direct traffic, etc. You can also use conversation analytics to monitor/report on the topics/keywords of discussion to measure caller intent, lead quality, conversion outcome and more.

Consider Seasonality. Does your business (figuratively or literally) change with the weather? Develop a content calendar that prepares for the search and interest trends of your user. But make sure to be ahead of the game! If there is information that will likely be of benefit in the summer, make sure it’s drafted and live by the end of spring.

Assess your competition. What story are they telling? What are they missing? How can you set yourself apart? It’s very likely that the user has been (or will be) to competitor sites. Build trust and reliance with your content by making your brand the knowledgeable thought leader.

3. Improve Website Usability, Format and Functionality

When creating a page, think mobile first. It goes without surprise that 62% of users access the internet using their mobile phone. A 2-second loading time is the default standard for a Web page on a mobile device. If you aren’t matching that, then you’re likely losing multiple users with each second that passes. And with the May 2021 Google Algorithm update, you may have less people even seeing your name. Along with load time, consider formatting. If your site is not mobile-responsive and easily digestible from a smartphone, then the user will find one that is. 

To improve your time on site and bounce rate, presuming you’re creating substantial content, then you should be ensuring that you are interlinking to your other correlated content that either supports the topic or guides the user down the funnel closer to a purchase decision. 

Tip: If you’re linking to any content on another site/domain, set it to ‘Open in a New Window’ so that you don’t send the user away from your own site!

In our constantly evolving digital world, the distance between a website and sales call is increasing t. Your site’s informational offering needs to be a full menu restaurant, not a fast food stop. Information at our fingertips is aplenty, and the ease of opportunity to connect on our own volition and with more personalized capabilities is impressive. 

  • In 2002, I called a computer manufacturer’s customer service line to see if they could resolve my issue as they walked me step-by-step through troubleshooting. 
  • In 2021, I called Apple and then gave them access to my computer to do the troubleshooting and resolve the issue themselves.

  • In 2009, my internet issues lasted days at a time depending on the availability of the local provider’s technicians.
  • In 2021, I did a mobile video call with the provider to show my connections and setup process in order to troubleshoot the issue before sending a technician the next day. By doing these tests in advance, the business is able to ensure technician visits are for qualified needs, making their resources more effective and timely. 

What can you bring to the table?

One of the simplest, most available communication abilities nowadays are chatbots, either live or automated, that help connect with your user, answer questions or gather information about their intent. To come full circle, gathering this information can help your content planning and landing page optimization. 

In the end, do what you can to bridge the gap between user entry and sale by offering valuable information and ability. Show that you are a resource to trust and keep connected with. Speaking of, if newsletter/blog subscriptions are a part of your goal, look into your CMS to see if there are opt-in form features that can display based on engagement such as time on page, scroll depth or exit intent.

As mentioned, you’ll want to establish benchmark performance so that you can assess how it changes with the updates you make. We hope that this information guides you to improved planning and performance of your landing pages. Below is a checklist of items that may be low-hanging fruit for your optimization and testing efforts. 

Landing Page Optimization Quick Tips Checklist

Time on Site / Bounce Rate Optimization

  • Optimize your meta description to properly summarize the page (keep SEO in mind!)
  • Improve your content interlinking
  • Set external links to Open in a New Window
  • Include relevant imagery in a well balanced copy/image format
    • If many images are planned, consider formatting (lightbox, carousel, standard)
  • Call to action: Be descriptive - Use ‘Get the Guide’ or ‘Request a Demo’ instead of ‘Learn More’
  • Use accordions to organize page real estate
  • Newsletter opt-ins
    • Though this may not particularly affect time on site, the completion of this is a win and should trigger an event where Google Analytics does not log the session as a bounce, even if they don’t go to other pages 

Lead Generation Optimization 

  • Test Forms: 
    • Test CTA above the fold
    • Test placing form directly on the landing page
    • Test reducing amount of form fields
  • Test Gated vs. Non-gated assets 
    • If gating, ensure you’re ‘selling’ it well and it is of value to the user and worth the information the user is submitting
    • Consider a nurture stream for gated content or retargeting campaign for non-gated
  • Test a unique media-specific LP (little-to-no links/navigation, contains form on page) vs. a typical site landing page