6 Landing Page Optimizations You Need To Know

November 04, 2013
By Stephen Kapusta

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?