A Beginner’s Guide to Landing Page Optimization

Landing Page Optimization
For many small business owners, the launch of their company’s website is enough. They’ve checked it off their to-do list and now they’re ready to shift their attention elsewhere. But that’s a costly mistake, especially if they haven’t taken the time to create a landing page. This limits distractions and subtly guides visitors toward taking immediate action, such as opting-in to an email list, scheduling an appointment, or accessing content you’ve posted for them to download.

Exerting such level of control over your site visitors benefits your business. In the same way, providing faster access of information will boost your search engine rankings—and that is profitable.

What Exactly Is a Landing Page?

Used for marketing, a landing page is a standalone web page that is distinct from your website and serves a specific purpose. Visitors who arrive on your landing page, for example, cannot navigate to other pages on your primary website. The whole idea with a landing page is to limit visitors’ options in a way that will help you achieve your conversion goal (email opt-in, download, purchase, etc.)

There are two main types of landing pages: click-through and lead generation. Odds are, you’re familiar with both.

With a click-through landing page, your goal is to persuade the visitor to “click-through” to another page. These are commonly used in sales funnels as a kind of buffer to encourage visitors into ordering a product. When visitors arrive on the click-through page, they get compelling product or service information before leading them to placing an order and payment. Missing out on click-through pages can make visitors feel rushed or unprepared to order, resulting in an increase in bounce rates.

The goal with a lead generation page, meanwhile, is simply to capture the visitor’s data—usually a name and email address. If you’ve ever downloaded a special report, registered for a webinar, or signed up for a free trial, you’re familiar with a lead gen page.

How Landing Pages Influence Rankings

Landing pages boost conversions effectively because they make it easy for visitors to take action the way you want them to. Another benefit is that search engines will reward your site for relevance once they note that your visitors are getting the information they’re looking for.

In this case, Google, Bing and others will rank your site higher in search results than those of your competitors, who may not be using landing pages effectively (or who simply drive traffic to their home page, hoping for the best.)

Search engines, however, are constantly changing. Whereas small business owners used to be able to bank on keyword research to target landing page traffic, they’re less able to do so now that Google encrypts almost all keyword searches.

The result has required a kind of marketing mindset shift. Instead of obsessing over optimization just for the sake of it, you need to focus on your visitors’ intent. In other words, why did they visit your page in the first place?

Your mission is to close the chasm between their reason for visiting and your landing page’s purpose for attracting them—which you’ll do by learning everything you can about your visitors, then reaching out to them through spot-on copywriting and landing page designs that align with their expectations.

Optimizing Traffic for Stronger Conversions

Optimization of your landing page traffic will vary according to your business goals and how much you’re willing to spend. Although some free traffic options exist, they tend to be laborious and, sometimes, not really free.

For the most part, small business landing pages receive their traffic through pay per click (PPC) advertising. The most popular PPC ads are placed on Google and Facebook, as well as on other platforms. Optimizing your landing page is a smart way to ensure that your PPC marketing campaign doesn’t get lost in the ocean of ads out there.

However, if your PPC campaigns are not delivering the sales you had hoped for, go back to your landing page and try these 5 optimization tips:

1. Give the people what they want.

If your business is paying money to drive traffic to your landing page, make sure that it’s delivering the information (or offer) specifically promised in your ad. People—especially consumers—want what they want, when they want it. To boost conversions, all you have to do is give it to them as advertised.

2. Show you’re uniquely qualified to help.

There are only two reasons why people click on ads: 1) They think you may have a solution to a problem they’re experiencing, or 2) They’re just curious. Either way, when they arrive on your landing page, you have a golden opportunity to share your unique selling proposition (USP)—this simply means, what you offer is the best solution available. If the USP extends seamlessly from your ad through your landing page, visitors will proceed deeper into your sales funnel.

3. Experiment with your call to action.

Your PPC ad did its job by driving traffic to your landing page. Now it’s up to your Call-to-Action (CTA) to get the all-important click. But there’s more to CTA buttons than simply saying “Subscribe,” “Submit,” or “Order.” In fact, there’s a whole science behind these buttons—so don’t be afraid to get creative. An adventure travel site, for example, might have a CTA that says “Begin Your Adventure.” Similarly, an auto parts supplier catering to sports car enthusiasts might have a CTA button that says, “Vroom, vroom.” What’s a good one for your business?

4. Show you’re trustworthy.

Making money online is usually done through selling directly or “getting in a relationship” with customers so you can sell to them later. Nothing’s wrong with that, but they don’t know you. Give them a reason to trust you by adding testimonials, flattering media clips and/or favorable social media mentions to your landing page. These additions make customers feel at ease and help grow your conversions.

5. Avoid conflicting (or busy) visuals.

Everyone loves a beautiful (or cool) visual element, but an aesthetically pleasing landing page is useless if it doesn’t convert well. Always remember that your design exists to serve your message. So, unload any visual clutter and stay focused on the clarity of your message.

Many get frustrated about keeping an online presence, however, maintaining an optimized landing page is a smart way to engage your customers and prospects, which in turn, boosts your conversions.

Ultimately, leveraging optimized landing pages in your business will empower you to better direct visitors to find what they’re looking for, improve your search rankings and grow sales.