Landing Page Optimisation: The 22 Steps to a High Performing Landing Page - Prue Madden

In this post we will explore the top 22 steps to nailing your landing page optimisation, or sales page optimisation.

If a visitor makes it to a landing page (aka sales page) on your website, they are there with intent. Usually their intent will fall into one of two categories:

  1. Find more information on their query
  2. Purchase a solution

Let’s take a look at the steps to successful landing page optimisation, than make sure your visitors can find the information they need, and move from visitor to buyer as quickly and easily as possible.

1.  Clear and Concise  

When optimising your landing page, the first step is to make sure your landing page isn’t confusing.  Your landing should have one single offer and should communicate this offer with one single message.  Don’t try to cover all angles and all bases.  Keep it simple.

You want to be clear that there is only one thing you want—their action. That may be to join your email list for a freebie or to purchase your product. You don’t want to direct them anywhere else for any purpose other than the one that your landing page lays out.

2.  Easy to Understand  

You’ve got 5 seconds to explain your offering and grab attention. Whether it be text or video, that rule stands. Your heading, your first sentence, your first slide is the be all end end all. So the second step to successful landing page optimisation is to look at the first element your viewer will interact with on your landing page and ask “is this easy to understand”. A good way to test this is to ask a few people you know to visit your page and see if it’s easy for them to understand. Preferrably they will be in your target market, but if they are not, they may still give you a good idea of whether it’s confusing or not.

3.  Punchy Headline with Benefits

Your headline needs to reassure users that they have some to the right page.  You must nail your headline.  Test, test, and test again. Testing is your best friend when it comes to landing page optimisation.

4.  CTA Above the Fold  

A Call to Action, otherwise known as your CTA, refers to a piece of content that is intended to get your visitor to do something that you wan them to do. It may be a click a button to visit another page, enter an email address to receive a free product, or click a button to start the purchase process. Where should you place your ‘call to action’?

On any webpage there is an “above the fold” and a “below the fold”. Above the fold means all the content a visitor will see without scrolling at all. Below the fold means content they have to scroll down to view.

When doing your landing page optimisation,  general rule of thumb is that you never want visitors to have to do too much or think too much to understand the purpose of your landing page. Because of this, your call to action needs to be above the fold to work.

If your product or service has a lot of text/copy to explain something quite complex, then in general the call to action is best when positioned below the fold.

Remember you’re always following AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) so be sure that your landing page follows that  structure. When optimising your landing page, there should be a clear chronological step process that guides the visitor to the intended action.

4.  Be Effective   

The landing page you create should be structured such that your visitor stays on the page and consumes as much of your content as possible. You want to engage them and captivate them through copy, headlines, images, videos, etc. Remember the goal – conversion!  Whether you want a new email to add to your list, or you want them to buy, the layout of your landing page must spur this action.

4.  No Distractions  

When you are creating your landing page, be sure that anything that distracts from the goal—the action you want visitors to complete—is eliminated. This is a really important step in landing page optimisation, so don’t be tempted to skip it!

Page navigation isn’t needed; in this instance it is a distraction away from the desired action. Make sure your header is clear and doesn’t distract either. Use images that support your product or service and don’t include social media sharing buttons either.

You want your visitor to focus on the content that you have so carefully crafted to lead to the desired action, whether it be purchasing a product, joining your community, or something else.

4.  Create Good Content Flow  

Landing pages need to follow the structure of beginning, middle and end. Each of the three must be a part of the whole narrative you create. The visitor starts out as a viewer on a journey, then they become your visitor, then they evolve into the potential audience that is interested, then they become the buyer. This journey must be the solution to their pain point/s.

5. Include a Good Narative  

Consider your narrative the “hook”. This is what is going to grab the viewer’s attention and keep them reading. Ideally, your sook should be in the the first sentence, directly after your initial headline. If you have a video at the top of your page, it is essential that you hook the viewer within the first 7 seconds, or you have probably lost the opportunity for good.

If you don’t hook the reader, or viewer, within the first sentence, you can almost always say goodbye to the sale.

Following this wham bam first sentence, your copy needs to be succinct and engaging through the whole page.  No “slap dash, that’ll” do!  Writing good copy is essential in your landing page optimisation process.

6.  Create an Experience 

If a customer visits an actual brick-and-mortar store, the experience is created for them. Every store has an ambiance, a “vibe” that is created by the mannequins, the shelves, the products, the layout, etc. With the virtual store, it’s different. You don’t have this advantage.  If you are selling physical products online, you can still show images, but the absence of visitor’s ability to feel and smell your product can also be an obstacle.

To get around this, when working on your landing page optimisation, you have to consider the visual aspects of your landing page . Have you used video or photos of people using your product? Videos that are clear demonstrations and show the positive interaction with the product are highly effective.

7.  Button Colour and Contrast

Button colors is a hot topic of debate however one consistent understanding is that the button color should contrast with the other elements on your page.  Some people make the mistake of blending it in…it must stand out! This seems like such a small adjustment, but it can have a big impact on the success of your landing page optimisation.

8.  The Right Button Text 

Using the simple word “submit” is no longer good enough. You want to use a specific command on your button’s text. For example “Free Instant Access” is a good one. It tells the user exactly what they will get IF they click here.

8.  Social Sharing

Use social-share icons. Not only do they convey openness and transparency, but they also let your viewers know that opting in is a good idea!  Landing pages rarely go viral, but you still need to make it easy for your visitors to maneuver and share your story. Remember that even if a visitor doesn’t actually buy, they still may share your service/product to people who will buy!

9.  Visual Triggers

When completing landing page optimisation, make sure your landing page uses a lot of visual cues to help get your message across. Remember that people are highly visual these days. They want everything quickly and do a lot of scanning, rather than reading. Visual cues built right can play perfectly to this. Use boxes and arrows, along with other visual icons to draw your visitors’ attention to your call to action. Even a strategically-placed arrow pointing to the right call to action can increase your conversion rate substantially.

10.  Hero Image

In general the right graphic or image can push your lead to purchase. This isn’t always the case though. You can use it though to test your market and see if it works.

11.  Minimum Friction

Never ask for information that isn’t valuable to you when you want a visitor to hand over their email address in return for something form you. You don’t want to burden your visitors with requests unless they are necessary to bring value to them, and to you! Usually name and email is the most you will ever need to effectively build your list. If you need more information during up-selling, then you can ask for it later. Taking out unnecessary fields in your email forms can have a considerable impact on your landing page optimisation results.

12.  Congruency

Make sure that your landing page makes sense. That includes all of your graphics and text. Congruency is critical because it lets your audience know that you are the reliable source that they need. Make sure that all of your text and pictures match other tools used for outreach also. Purina is a great example. The company has a website that is obviously tied to their product that is obviously tied to their commercials, etc.

13.  Brand Consistency

You don’t have to post your logo on every page of your website, but you do want to be consistent. Remember that you’re not just selling, you’re also building your brand. This is where you want it to all fit together.

13.  The Legal Info

Be sure that you write and post your TOS, terms of service, and Privacy Policy. Take a look at some that are posted at the websites you visit. They are clear ways of telling customers exactly what your purpose is and what you plan on doing with their information.

14.  Use Keywords with Purchase Intent

Looking carefully at the typos of keywords you have used on your landing page can be a big help in the landing page optimisation process. As this is a landing page, you are seeking to either sell a product, or onboard a potential customer into your sales funnel. If you were writing a blog post, on the other hand, you are often looking to attract people which are interested in a topic, but are earlier on in their customer journey – they often don’t even realise they have a need yet.

The purpose of this copy is to attract the buyers by honing in on their pain points and their emotions. This is how you can then position your product or service online to appear as the perfect answer to their need.

If you focus your keyword optimization on search volume, ignoring commercial intent then almost 100% of your traffic will come from informational keywords. Converting informational searches into paying customers is tough.

Commercial Intent Keywords can include:

Buy Now Keywords

Searches which include keywords are often performed when the searcher is ready to purchase.  They’ve often completed their informational research, and are looking for the best deal, a trustworthy supplier, or just someone who sells the product!

Examples of these words include:

  • Deal
  • Discount
  • Buy
  • Coupon
  • Shipping
  • For Sale
  • Purchase

Product Keywords

Consumers who search using Product Keywords often search for the category name, a brand name, or the name of the product or service.

People searching for Product Keywords tend to be more informed than just leads, but are not yet ready to make a purchase decision.  They are often comparing alternatives – weighing up their options. As such, these keywords, although indicating buyer intent, do generally not convert as well Buy Now Keywords.

Examples include:

  • “Brand name” searches
  • “Product name” searches
  • “Product category” searches
  • Cheap
  • Comparison
  • Review
  • Top
  • Top 10 / Top 5
  • Best

Informational Keywords

Informational Keywords don’t convert as well as the previous two Keyword categories, however they do have high search volume.

Examples include:

  • How to
  • How do I
  • Best way to
  • How can I
  • Ways to

People searching with these keyword phrases are generally very early in the buying cycle.

They have often just become of aware of a need and may be aware of some possible solutions. They are seeking information to learn more about the possible solution to their problems.  If you get these leads (they are not yet customers) onto your blog or your email list, you will need to do a lot of educating and nurturing.  When they are ready to buy, you want to be the one that they buy from.

In summary, when doing your landing page optimisation, be sure that the copy you use on your landing page/s are focused on gathering the right customers via the right types of searches. You want to attract the customers who want to buy your product or service.

15.  Use Emotive Messaging, Copy and Images

When people make purchases, they do so as a result of their emotions. An ad that effectively impacts them and their interest to purchase, is spurred by an emotional response, rather than the ad’s content. Because of this, when completing your landing page optimisation, make sure that everything that is shown on your landing page addresses some core need your customers have. That means every item they see—from the headline to the video to the PDF to the actual copy—must motivate them to act.

Physiological needs

This Landing Page copy will offer a solution to the buyer’s pain point; demonstrating that they will have basic physiological needs met.  Such needs include the basics for survival: Air, water, and food, clothing and shelter.

Safety needs

Landing Page content that focuses on meeting the basic human need of feeling safe include personal security, financial security, and health and well-being.

Love and belonging

Landing page messaging that focuses on evoking feelings of love and belonging can include themes of friendship, intimacy and family. Tapping into these feelings can be achieved by copy or content demonstrating feelings of closeness with someone or something.

Esteem

Most people have a basic desire to be accepted and valued by others. Landing page copy geared towards this need will focus on evoking feelings that your product or service will makes the user more desirable, beautiful, powerful, or some similar state that is pereceived as desirable in their culture.

Self-actualization

Emotionally tapping into this need using marketing materials person’s means you’ll need to demonstrate the desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be.[ Purchase of your product will offer adventure, challenge, or something the person hasn’t tried before.

Self-transcendence

Triggering the emotional response to this need involves focusing on altruism and spirituality.  Many people want to contribute to society– the marketing content when tapping into this need would be on the feelings triggered through being of service and helping, and supporting other people or things.

The key takeaway? When completing your landing page optimisation, if you can create copy, images and video that successfully taps into your customer’s basic needs, you can effectively create a true desire for your product or service.

16.  Hurt & Rescue

Once you are able to create the customer’s psychological need for your solution, it’s time to accentuate their pain points. This is the “hurt and rescue” part of the copy. It is a time-tested tool for effective sales.

“Love pizza but love fitting into your bikini more?”

Keying into your customer’s true pain points and then communicating in their voice what they need, can be instrumental in leading them to conversion from visitors to your landing page to purchasing  your solution.  They key to nailing this, and correcting any errors during the landing page optimisation process, is researching your buyers thoroughly.  Understand their pain points, then understand how they express these pain points. That’s where your market research comes in handy. Using a Buyer Research Template and Buyer Persona Template will help walk you through the research process.

17.  Use Highlighted Text

Using highlighted text can help a section stand out. This is where you can include point-by-point benefits of your product’s virtues. You can use a different font, a different color font or a different color background to accentuate the text.

18.  Include Testimonials

Be sure that you use testimonials from your buyers who have had an excellent experience with your product or service. You want to showcase how valuable your product or service has been to others. This is proof that it will be valuable to new visitors. This also is a primary way of building long-term trust.

When you ask your customers for referrals, make sure guide the customer in giving a testimonial that will give you maximum value.  You need to be strategic about this.  You want each testimonial to cover a different pain point that is in line with the pain points that you potential customers experience. Just make sure that your product or service does a good job solving the pain point!

You want your customer to see that others have been in the same situation as they currently are, on your product or service provided the much needed solution, and now that they have used it, their pain point is gone. FInding social proof that your product or service works is a key part of the landing page optimisation process that should not be skipped.

19.  Address the Objections

The best way to manage objections is to address them head-on. You are always going to have visitors who think you are trying to “pull something” or “scamming them.” This is an expected result of promoting something. Never shirk away from this. The best thing to do is note them on your landing page somewhere. Break down the potential objections and explain them. Tell your visitors why their fear is unconfirmed or without merit. Reassure them that the product or service you are providing CAN and WILL solve their problems. Always close with the call to action button clearly positioned.

20.  Move Them from Viewers to Active Participants

As you move a customer through all of the above steps, you still will have some who won’t buy. They went through all of your poignant and relevant statements, but still aren’t “there” yet.

Here is where you can bring more value to move them along from viewer to buyer. You can create a sense of urgency with a time limit like “Order within the next hour and you’ll get 10% off” or “Order within the next hour and you’ll get a free PRODUCT”. You also can use the reverse psychology angle and say something like “This product (or service) isn’t right for you if you are ___”. You also can try enticing them with emotions like “Imagine your little girl’s face when she sees her new PRODUCT!”

21.  The Guarantee

Guarantees are offered to make people feel comfortable, and make them feel like they are not getting scammed. People like to feel that there is an out if they are not happy with the product or service once it’s delivered. We humans are skeptical beings. If you don’t have a guarantee in place already, then a guarantee is another important part of landing page optimisation that you will want to consider.

As a side not about guarantees… with social media, customers can get very vocal, and this can amplify quickly with everyone else jumping in, liking and sharing a negative post.  I find it best to honor guarantees as quickly as possible rather than deal with backlash on social media. It’s a lot cheaper long term. If you give a refund quickly, you have lost one client.  If you take too long or reject it, you may well lose 10 potential customers who see negative commentary on your Social Media page.

22.  The Final Call to Action Button

Depending on the length of you landing page, and what is included, you will possibly have more than one Call To Action button.  It’s a good idea to give your customers to opportunity to commit at several points throughout the page, particularly where your page includes a Long Form Sales Letter.

The final Call To Action button reminds the reader of the benefits they’re going to receive, as well as pain points and inconveniences already covered previously.  Include a clear and concise call to action of what to do next, such as “click here to start your business now”, “get it now and start saving”, or something similar.

Conclusion

A potential customer usually goes through a series of steps, when they are viewing your information, prior to purchase. Therefore, of you follow the 22 steps of landing page optimisation that I have outlines in this post, your landing page should be set up to  :

  1.  always attract your potential buyer
  2. captivate their interest and keep their interest
  3. influence your potential buyer into wanting your specific product or service as a solution to their problem
  4. guide them clearly towards either signing up for your mailing list or purchasing your product or service

I’d love to hear your thoughts on any additional elements that you optimize an your landing pages. Leave your comment below!