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Landing Page Optimization Basics



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Landing Page Optimization Basics



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Whether you’re advertising online or reaching out to clients via email, landing pages can be your greatest online marketing asset. Learn how landing pages fit into your marketing arsenal, best practices for increasing conversions from any campaign, and proven techniques for implementing A/B tests that yield results.

Presented by Jenny DeGraff, Director of Design Optimization at the Central Virginia AMA event on June 16, 2015.

Whether you’re advertising online or reaching out to clients via email, landing pages can be your greatest online marketing asset. Learn how landing pages fit into your marketing arsenal, best practices for increasing conversions from any campaign, and proven techniques for implementing A/B tests that yield results.

Presented by Jenny DeGraff, Director of Design Optimization at the Central Virginia AMA event on June 16, 2015.

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Landing Page Optimization Basics

  1. 1. @marketingmojo | LANDING PAGE OPTIMIZATION BASICS Jenny DeGraff Marketing Mojo Central Virginia AMA June 16, 2015
  2. 2. @marketingmojo | ABOUT MARKETING MOJO • Originally founded as Search Mojo • Demand generation marketing firm founded in 2005 › Search engine optimization (SEO) › Online advertising management » Pay-per-click advertising management (PPC) » Social media advertising › Content marketing › Marketing automation › Analytics consulting • Headquartered in Charlottesville, VA › Office in Charleston, SC • Featured in the Washington Post, B2B Magazine, MarketingSherpa, Visibility Magazine and many blogs • Speakers at SMX Advanced, MarketingProfs, PubCon and more
  3. 3. @marketingmojo | OUR CLIENTS
  4. 4. @marketingmojo | WHAT IS A LANDING PAGE?
  5. 5. @marketingmojo |
  6. 6. @marketingmojo | LEAD GENERATION LANDING PAGES
  7. 7. @marketingmojo | CLICK-THROUGH LANDING PAGES
  8. 8. @marketingmojo | 44% of clicks for B2B companies are directed to the business' homepage, not a special landing page. -MARKETINGSHERPA'S LANDING PAGE HANDBOOK
  10. 10. @marketingmojo | HOMEPAGE
  11. 11. @marketingmojo | LANDING PAGE
  12. 12. @marketingmojo | WHAT ARE LANDING PAGES USED FOR? • Never start a campaign without a landing page • Landing pages can, and should, be used for all of your campaign needs • The potential uses for landing pages are almost limitless
  13. 13. @marketingmojo | WHY USE LANDING PAGES?
  14. 14. @marketingmojo | “One Page. One Purpose. Period.” -OLI GARDNER, UNBOUNCE
  15. 15. @marketingmojo | THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CHOICE • 24 flavors = 3% conversion rate • 6 flavor options = 30% conversion rate
  16. 16. @marketingmojo | SOUTHERN STATES CASE STUDY
  17. 17. @marketingmojo | PREQUALIFY LEADS FOR SALES
  18. 18. @marketingmojo | WHY OPTIMIZE YOUR LANDING PAGES?
  19. 19. @marketingmojo | “The easiest way to convince a stakeholder that optimization is a good idea is to talk to them in their language. And speak to their motivations. Revenue.” -OLI GARDNER, UNBOUNCE
  20. 20. @marketingmojo | ACQUIRING A NEW CUSTOMER • Option 1. Pay for more traffic • Option 2. Optimize your existing traffic
  21. 21. @marketingmojo | PAYING FOR MORE TRAFFIC (INCREASING YOUR PPC BUDGET) Month 1 Month 2 Campaign budget $5,000 $10,000 Traffic budget $5,000 $10,000 Conversion investment $0 $0 Cost-per-click $1 $1 # of visitors to your page 5,000 10,000 Conversion rate 2% 2% # of new customers 100 200 Cost per acquisition $50 $50 Note: these numbers are based on some average Google Adwords PPC stats.
  22. 22. @marketingmojo | OPTIMIZING YOUR EXISTING PPC TRAFFIC Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Campaign budget $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 Traffic budget $4,000 $4,000 $4,000 Conversion investment $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 Cost-per-click $1 $1 $1 # of visitors to your page 4,000 4,000 4,000 Conversion rate 2.5% 2.75% 3.00% # of new customers 100 110 120 Cost per acquisition $50 $45.50 $41.67
  23. 23. @marketingmojo | CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZATION • Investing in conversion rate optimization: › Drop the cost of acquiring a new customer › A lower acquisition cost means your marketing campaigns are more efficient › ensuring that more sales are made from the same marketing spend
  25. 25. @marketingmojo | BEST PRACTICES • Test EVERYTHING › No HPPOs › No Black Turtlenecks › Don’t take best practices as gospel
  26. 26. @marketingmojo | MESSAGE MATCH
  27. 27. @marketingmojo | INCLUDE A NEXT STEP ON EVERY PAGE
  28. 28. @marketingmojo | REMOVE DISTRACTIONS AND LEAK POINTS (LEAKY FUNNEL) • To focus on conversion, remove › Site navigation › Links outside the page › Social sharing links › Other offers
  29. 29. @marketingmojo | SEGMENT YOUR VISITORS
  30. 30. @marketingmojo | REDUCE FORM FIELDS AND BE VERY STRATEGIC WITH THE ONES YOU USE • Your business model? Quality vs Quantity • Balance the offer with the ask › Is this offer really worth all of this information? › How much information you really need from this lead? › If the lead isn’t ready to buy, can I nurture with content instead of forcing the sale?
  31. 31. @marketingmojo | COPYWRITING FOR CONVERSION • Clear value-based action oriented headline and copy • Features and benefits • Format for skimming • Demonstrate simplicity if applicable: › 3 easy steps for using our product, a ten minute read for this white paper • Button copy: NEVER use ‘Submit’
  32. 32. @marketingmojo | INCLUDE TRUST INDICATORS • Real testimonials, reviews and ratings • Celebrity endorsements from high profile names in your industry • Certification logos • Include privacy policies • Social Confirmation • Impressive user numbers • Client logos
  33. 33. @marketingmojo | USE IMAGERY STRATEGICALLY
  34. 34. @marketingmojo | DESIGN AND LAYOUT • Consistent with other branding • Encapsulate the form, drawing attention to the conversion action • Keep key messaging “above the fold” • CTA button: use complimentary color color to the overall page color scheme
  35. 35. @marketingmojo | USABILITY AND PERFORMANCE • Readability • Form submissions work and auto responders are in place • Links aren’t broken • Mobile friendly • Page speed › Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool:
  36. 36. @marketingmojo |
  37. 37. @marketingmojo | USE THE THANK YOU PAGE
  38. 38. @marketingmojo | DEVELOPING YOUR TESTING STRATEGY
  39. 39. @marketingmojo | OPTIMIZATION 4 STEP PROCESS 1. Align website objectives to business goals 2. Identify test opportunities 3. Generate a great hypotheses By changing ______ into, ______ I can get more prospects to ______ and thus increase ______ . 4. Execute based on a cycle of continuous improvement
  40. 40. @marketingmojo | TOOLS FOR TESTING • Free tool for A/B testing: Google Content Experiments • Unbounce for building landing pages • Visual Website Optimizer, Convert Experiments or Optimizely for testing across your website
  41. 41. @marketingmojo | CONTACT Jenny Knizner Director of Marketing and Creative Services Marketing Mojo 434.975.6656 x118 @JennyKnizner


  • …any page that someone lands on after clicking on an online marketing call-to-action.
    …live separately from your website, designed to only receive campaign traffic…single objective…analytics, reporting & testing a simpler task.
    …no ties your website, like global navigation…exists alone, only accessible from the link you’re providing in your marketing content (the call-to-action in an email for example)…technical side-note on landing pages: be sure to noindex so they aren’t seen as doorway pages by Google.

    The purpose of a landing page falls into two categories: lead generation pages and a click-through pages.
  • Lead generation landing pages

    The most valuable piece of information you can get from a lead gen page is someone’s email address – which gives you permission to continue talking/marketing to them.
    Once you have a lead’s permission, you then try to convert them into a customer by combining the two most powerful 1-to-1 communication tools a marketer has – email and landing pages.

    Here’s an example lead gen form, that’s designed to capture user and/or company data in exchange for something – in this case an ebook or as they call it a manifest.
  • Click-through landing pages

    Click-through pages (sometimes called jump pages) are designed as a conduit between a marketing ad and it’s final destination. The goal of a click-through page is to “warm-up” the visitor to the product/service you are trying to sell.

    Commonly used for ecommerce, click-through pages provide enough information to inform the buyer, making them ready to purchase, before pushing them further down the funnel – probably to a shopping cart or checkout.
  • So many marketers are guilty of sending these marketing campaigns to their home page, in fact…
  • But if you compare a homepage vs. a landing page you can see why landing pages are so important to your marketing’s success.
    Your homepage is designed with a more general purpose in mind. It speaks to your overall brand and corporate values and is typically loaded with links and navigation to other areas of your site. It’s designed to encourage exploration.

    Think of the links on your page as leaks. Each link on your page that doesn’t represent your conversion goal is a distraction that will dilute your message and reduce your conversion rate.

    Your landing pages are designed for one purpose only.
  • Homepage - What would you do here?

    Consider this example of the Hubspot homepage which contains more than 75 links. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great homepage, just not a good landing page.
  • Landing Page -
    If we look at an example of a HubSpot landing page, which is focused entirely on a single campaign objective, you’ll notice that it has only one call-to-action. It’s immediately clear what you are supposed to do on this page, complete the form to download the report.
  • The potential uses for landing pages are almost limitless but here are the more common examples of how landing pages are used:

    To collect personal information (generate leads) in exchange for:
    Reports/Whitepapers with important industry facts and statistics.
    Ebooks for comprehensive guides about different aspects of your business vertical.
    Newsletters with tips related to your area of subject matter expertise.
    Podcasts for people who like to listen & learn during a commute or workout.
    Checklists/Scorecards for people that like to see how well they are doing and/or benefit from a to-do list.
    Blog subscription to receive ongoing content via email or RSS.
    Webinar registration for live online sessions, often with Q&A with experts and special guest presenters.
    Presentations or recorded sessions including video or slides.
    Consultation services or booking meetings for someone to request your time or services.
    An ecourse delivered over a period of time – just like the one you’re reading now!

    “Warming” prospects up to your offering before you push them deeper into your sales funnel to:
    Purchase your product or service online.
    Become a customer or subscriber of your online business.
    Or any of the lead capture uses listed above, if you want to use an introductory page before sending them on to the landing page with your lead gen form.
  • Why is it so important that you use landing pages?
  • When it comes to conversion rate optimization and landing pages, the casual cliché “less is more” really rings true. Less distractions, less links, less “leaks” and ultimately less choice equals higher conversion rates, more leads and more money in the bank. But what does “less” actually mean?

    When it comes to landing page optimization, “less” really means one.
  • The famous jam study, conducted by Columbia Professor Sheena Iyengar and referenced in her book The Art of Choosing is often cited when the topic of choice comes up.

    During multiple Saturday afternoons in a high-end grocery store, researchers presented shoppers with two alternating sampling stations – one showcasing 24 flavors of jam and one featuring six options.
    It turned out that when 24 flavors of jam were available, only 3% of those who tasted the samples went on to purchase the jam. However, when there were only six options available, 30% purchased at least one jar of jam.

    While the larger selection attracted more onlookers, the smaller selection actually generated more sales. The study suggests that people are often overwhelmed by too many choices, which leads to what has been called action paralysis or overchoice.
  • A great example of reducing choice..

    We tested a branded paid media campaign that had been sending traffic directly to our client’s home page against a “pared down” version that focused solely on their most important KPIs. By removing all other calls-to-action and drawing attention to the top 4 KPIs (that were already present on the current homepage, but buried), we were able to see a 41% lift in overall conversions, achieving a whopping 412% lift in current ad downloads!
  • Pre-Qualify Leads for Sales
    Every time a lead completes a form on a lead generation landing page, your marketing team is collecting valuable information about your leads. Your marketing team can then use this information to understand what types of visitors or marketing personas are converting, and provide your sales team with a baseline of information about a lead before they reach out.

    In addition, landing pages not only enable you to generate new leads; they also allow you to track re-conversions of existing leads, which you can then use to identify which prospects are more engaged with your business (or are hotter marketing or sales-ready leads).

    This opens the opportunity for marketing to nurture leads before sending them to sales, ensuring sales only receives the most qualified leads. Sales then can utilize all the data collected on your leads’ behaviors in their sales process – allowing Sales and Marketing to become the strongest of BFFs.
  • If you are currently using landing pages why is it so important to never settle for good enough?
  • All us marketers and sales folks are measured in new leads or sales generated, money coming in the door. So if you have any trouble convincing your colleagues or boss to start using landing pages, remember to speak their language.

    There are generally 2 ways to approach generating more online leads or revenue.
  • The first is paying for more traffic

    Your second option is to optimize your existing traffic
  • Month 1 – Traffic Budget. No optimization investment

    Month 2 – Increased budget, no investment in optimization

    You’ve doubled the budget, received twice as many customers and the cost of acquiring a customer remains the same.
  • Month 1 – Investing in optimization Here you can see that by using a portion of the budget on optimization results in less traffic, but the improved conversion rate of 2.5% makes up for this, resulting in the same cost of acquiring a customer.

    Month 2 – Continued investment in optimization In month 2, the continued investment in optimization has resulted in a further increase in the conversion rate to 2.75%. Now you can see that the cost of acquiring a customer has dropped to $45.50.

    Month 3 and onward As you can see, continuing to invest in landing page optimization further reduces your cost of acquiring a customer, without having to increase your campaign budgets. It’s hard for a stakeholder (be it a client or your boss) to argue with that.

    It’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than to find a new one. Similarly, it makes sense to get the most from your existing flow of inbound traffic by improving the conversion rate.
  • By investing in conversion rate optimization, the cost of acquiring a new customer drops.

    A lower acquisition cost means your marketing campaigns are more efficient, ensuring that more sales are made from the same marketing spend.

    By proving you can increase sales, you will be able to convince stakeholders that optimization is a worthwhile investment.
  • So how do you build a high converting landing page or improve the ones you use?
  • Test everything!
    Don’t rely on hippos
    Or designer opinions

    “Best Practices” only have limited value and should always be tested in your particular situation. We’ve often tested elements lift conversion rates wonderfully in one situation, only to find that they don’t work at all in another. These tips should not be taken as recommendations, but rather as ideas that you could test.

    …and now for some best practices
  • Message match is an essential part of why landing pages can be so successful. Message match is the ability of your landing page to reinforce the messaging presented on the link that was clicked to reach the page.

    Most visitors are impatient and will leave your page within a few seconds of arrival if you don’t reinforce their intent with a matching headline and purpose (quickly and clearly).
    This example shows a a great example of message match from ad to landing page used for a pay-per-click campaign.

    Dynamically insert keyword searched.

    By ensuring a strong message match, you are letting the visitor know that they made a “good click”.
    A weak message match will result in a higher bounce rate and thus a drop in conversion rate.
  • The user doesn’t want to think, have a clear path to conversion
    Make it obvious
  • Landing pages should have all navigation and extra links removed so there is only a single action for your visitors to take: Click your call-to-action.

    Privacy policies and large blocks of important information can be included in a popup or accordion to keep visitor on page
  • Segmentation

    To find user intent
    To provide more targeted, personalized information for the user
    Think about your buyer personas, different users will have different needs and questions: CEO will ask different questions than an intern (cost vs. usability)
  • The golden rule: The shorter the form, the more likely the visitor will fill it out.

    Ex: Phone number – do you call them?
    Consider the value of the exchange
    Can you use marketing automation for progressive profiling?
  • Switch up copy layout between short paragraphs and bullet points, bolding/highlighting important information
  • Unfortunately, you have to do that without ever getting the chance to meet them face-to-face, look them eye or shake their hand. In fact, very few traditional trust-building activities involved in building a relationship are available to marketers in an online transaction.

    Fortunately, the human brain loves shortcuts, giving marketers the opportunity to build trust without completing these typical activities. So we’ll focus on these shortcuts (or online handshakes, if you will) that we can use to build trust online.

    For example, when a visitor sees that you have 15,000 subscribers, they assume that if that many subscribers see value in your content, they shouldn’t hesitate to subscribe.
  • Don’t use any images that don’t directly support the call-to-action or offer
    Choose imagery strategically
    Draw attention or break up text
    Should elicit an emotional response
    support or describe the offer or provide context

    Include a preview or demo of your product (a little try-before-you-buy technique), for a white paper: first few pages or chapter (like Amazon does) — demonstrates value
    Directional Cues
  • Don’t expect visitors to scroll
    Color theory and impacts on emotion
  • Thank you pages are one of the most under-utilized opportunities

    To better qualify leads
    When we added a form to our webinar sign up thank you page we had almost a 45% conversion rate.

    Keep them converting and consuming your content, build their brand loyalty by continuing to add value
    THIS IS WHERE YOU Include social sharing buttons, on the thank you page only
  • To keep you from running tests willy nilly, OR testing 41 shades of blue like Google has been known to do, you’ll want to develop a strategy for optimization.
  • Adam will talk more about setting up goals in a few. What are your business or marketing goals and how does this page support them? As I mentioned previously, 1 page, 1 purpose: including multiple objectives within each page leads to confusion. So choose just one. This holds true for optimizing your website as well as your landing pages.
    Carefully review your analytics data and see where you might have high traffic, but low conversion rate. OR a high exit rate or high visitor acquisition costs. These are great places to start your optimization efforts.
    Carefully review all your page elements to find where you could reduce anxiety and distraction while increasing the relevance, clarity and urgency of your value proposition.
    Lastly you’ll want to test your hypothesis by running an A/B or Multivariate test. And then keep doing this…test and iterate, test and iterate.
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