10 Commandments of Optimizing Landing Pages for Conversions

10 Commandments

If you could do only one thing today to dramatically improve your marketing ROI, adding  landing pages to your website would be a good bet.

All too often we see less Web-experienced companies pushing advertising, email and even social media traffic to their homepage – obviously this leads to many missed opportunities. Using a targeted landing page is a sure way to increase the odds of converting that hard-earned traffic into leads.


Conversations rates are the same today as they were in the 1990’s – about 2.5 percent.(*ION Interactive)

We’ve discussed landing pages in this space at length in the past, but after attending ION Interactive’s webinar titled, “Landing Pages 3.0: What’s new, What’s hot, What’s not”, I decided a refresher course was in order.

Below are 10 takeaways from the event presented by ION Interactive’s co-founder and Executive Vice President Anna Talerico.

1. Interactive
Using interactive content for landing pages is becoming more common. An interactive landing page – such as enhanced content, sliders, dynamic images and user controls – provides greater access to content on a single page.  These pages appear more website-like than non-interactive landing pages and have been shown to enhance landing page conversion rates.

Interactive pages allow you to keep a simple and clear landing page that can bring in supportive content with more information to the user.

For example, tabbed content allows users to select information they want but doesn’t distract from the landing page’s focus. It’s important to allow user’s discretion to interact with whatever content the chose.

Some ways to make pages interactive:

  •  Accordions, rotators, swipes, pop ups, light boxes.
  • “One page” content exploration.
  • Uses page real estate efficiently.
  • Conversion focused.
  • High production resources.
  • Dynamic  templates make it fast and easy to produce.

Keep page conversion focused. Interactive pages are a creative way to enhance content but make sure to keep focus on conversion.

2. Dynamic
Creating a landing page experience that is more relevant to users is a great way to increase conversions. Start by providing a data value on the first landing page: Ask how many employees their company has or ask what zip code they are in and then reiterate that information on the next page adding some additional information based on their answer.

For example, ask how many employees a company has. Use that information on the second landing page: “Here are insurance plans for companies with five employees.”

By serving up different images and content to different targeted audiences, you’re going to increase the likelihood of conversion.

Bonus tip: Dynamic keyword insertion
Let’s use insurance as our model. Have a page that says, “Really cheap health insurance” echoing back on landing page in specific way. Another landing page should be tailored to people who may have searched for “Affordable health insurance.”

Continually test these pages with different copy and change out imagery with different calls to action based to that. Test!

  • Swap content on pages based on keywords, behaviors, etc.
  • Increase relevancy and specificity.
  • Increase odds of conversions.

And remember to always be testing.

3. Progressive
A multi-touch approach provide users coming to a lead generating landing page first with a very simple form to submit for some type of information. The next “touch” should be a progressive step that confirms basic contact information.

The First “Touch”

Asking additional questions helps to build a user profile over time.

The Second “Touch”


A multi-step approach can really be a big boost for conversions. Numbers suggest the multi form approach increases conversions at a higher rate than single forms. The users are going to walk through a couple screens (above) to complete sign up and by using that dynamic information forms for each step, your odds increase that a visitor progressing to the next page.

Multi-step/Progressive profiling

  • Reduces perceived barriers to conversion
  • Allows each progressive step to be more relative
  • Progressive conversion techniques can be particularly effective for complex conversions requiring  user to fill out multiple form fields.

4. Mobile Ready
According to research firm Gartner, there will be approximately 8 billion mobile devices on the planet by 2015. This is is causing a surge in demand for mobile landing pages as more traffic than ever moves across mobile devices.

There are two ways to best tactically execute landing pages for mobile for traffic.

a. The mobile template.  This page for is built for a standard browser with code to sense if visitors are arriving on mobile devices and serves up a mobile page.

b.  Another option is to make a second version only for mobile traffic. These hand crafted pages are best suited for mobile targeted campaigns– high traffic mobile campaigns like QR codes.

The more automated system serves landing pages for standard browsers and automatically makes mobile versions. It’s not hand crafted. This takes the most important content and displays it from top to bottom on a mobile device. This is good for when you might have some mobile but not a lot.

Mobile optimized pages

  • Monitor mobile traffic to determine volume.
  • Hand craft pages for mobile specific campaigns.
  • Decide which content to place on page and how to position it.
  • Automatic optimization to “catch” mobile traffic.
  • Reduces effort to produce mobile.

5. Social
What does social mean for conversion focused landing pages? More than you might think. But if you’re planning on using social media on a landing page, make sure to ask visitors to share only after they convert.

Too much too soon?

While social beacons (buttons) provide assurances that you are a company alive and well, these buttons sometimes act as conversion inhibitors. Studies suggest that landing pages with social buttons experience slightly depressed conversion rates. I.e. people leave via those buttons. The Facebook page (above) is too enticing. Many visitors will prematurely bounce via this page before converting.

However, each company needs to make their own determination. Set up an A/B test and see which works best.

Advantage of using social on landing pages: fans, comments and videos can provide ‘social proof’ there are people that like a product and engage with it.

Social engagement itself is a form of conversion- – test, test, test.

To go further with social engagement after conversion, try pulling in a  blog feed on “Thank You” page.

 6. Relevant
Make localized versions for your landing pages. If you’re in Montreal and have local markets that use different languages, make one page in French and one in English. Global campaigns also should think about how to incorporate localizing for different audiences: If you have a campuses in Manhattan and Orlando create a template that can be easily interchanged for conversions wherever they are served.

Try keyword substitution. Make many different targeted versions of these pages. Use different pages for email traffic, social traffic, and search traffic ext.  Make it contextually relevant.

Optimized landing pages for keyword groups- product, brand need keywords….think conversions!

  • Browser language detection.
  • Geo-location.
  • Hyper-local versions of pages (images, content, location).
  • Make it relevant to them – increases specificity.

7. Integrated
The concept of integrated landing pages means taking advantage of multiple platforms used by sales and marketing such as CRM (customer relationship management) systems, marketing automation, lead scoring, demand generation systems and website analytics.

Integrate these efforts with all your marketing tools like Sales Force, Google, DoubleClick. Make sure all these things are talking to each other including mobile, social display, QR codes for all the different places you have traffic is key.

8. Disposable
Overinvesting time and energy and budget is a mistake. Your landing pages need to be disposable. Too often marketers approach landing pages like little mini Web projects. If you’ve got too much invested, the less likely you are to toss away a page that isn’t working.

These pages need to be disposable. Continually test and optimize.

Each page can’t be precious. Make them quickly, efficiently.

  • Don’t over invest in creative that may not be effective.
  • Use templates.
  • Reusable images and content.
  • Reduce reliance on tech and design resources.
  • Allows you to scale efficiently – multi-versions and more dynamic.
  • Enables agility – quick speed to market with your ideas.

 9. Data-mined
Have a system in place that pushes key conversion influences.

Here are the type of metrics to measure:

  •  Bounce rate.
  • Conversion rate.
  • Conversion quality.
  1. -lead engagement (pre-post convert).
  2. -Lead quality.
  3. -order value.
  •  Visitor behavior on page.
  • which action leads to conversions don’t.
  • Results by traffic sources.

10. QR
By adding a QR code linked to a landing page, branding opportunities become a trackable lead generation opportunity.

Make sure the landing page is relevant and mobile

  • It can be used everywhere.
  • Engages visitors quickly.
  • Make pages actionable.
  • Easy to track and optimize.