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A Simple Marketing Guide To Landing Page Optimization

Unbounce Landing Page DesignLanding page optimization is the art of improving conversions on a specific page that is usually linked to from search or advertising. Every site has at least one landing page, the home page. The misunderstanding around landing page optimization is that you can significantly improve opt-ins or conversions by simply focusing on the page layout and copy. The truth is a landing page is part of a visitor flow that begins long before the potential customer arrives at your website.

When building a landing page split the effort between on page and off page marketing activities. On a prior landing page project, we optimized a landing page for months yielding a conversion rate change from 3.45% to 3.85%. We changed everything from button text to page design, the page was not profitable. Then we changed the traffic source from search engine to a partner site, the conversion rate jumped to 8.57%. The lesson, a landing page can be good enough but traffic source warrante time and energy. So instead of tweaking button colors, focus on forming partnerships and referrals.

How Do I Tailor A Landing Page To My Customer SegmentFor landing page optimization the term customer segment means source of traffic. Your home page for example gets a mix of referral, search traffic, and direct traffic. Thats why its hard to optimize your home page as a general landing page. If your landing page is serving an ad however, you have control over what the visitor already knows about your product before arriving at the landing page. So theoretically the page does not have to repeat the same information and can focus on the next level of convincing the visitor to opt in.

In practice optimizing a landing page to a specific source is very difficult and costly. Its hard to test, quickly spirals out of control for smaller operations, and often drains resources from other more fruitful marketing activities. If your landing page is serving a specific source, like a partner website, allocate a single header near the top referencing the site. A good partner will have already set your product up and referred a hot lead so your landing page just needs to not scare them away. Otherwise don't worry about optimizing your page for a specific segment, just focus on presenting your product and its value proposition.

What Is A Good Landing Page?When creating a page, don't start from nothing, copy an existing one instead. By copy we mean format and flow, not graphics and text. For example, the home page of Unbounce , the leaders in creating landing pages, is a good place to start. Odds are they've figured out what works, so reverse engineer the page. Ask questions like why is this text here, is it a call to action or an information piece? Note the use of white space, flow and clarity, its not about fancy graphics or flashy video. Keep in mind that a visitor is on a mission, to solve their problem, make your landing page simple and to the point and you'll get more conversions.
Unbounce Landing Page DesignThere are many different landing page designs and purposes. Some ask for emails while others sell products. Regardless of purpose all landing pages follow a similar format:

- Clear our product does this header.
- This is why its important sentence.
- Here are some endorsement from important people using it.
- Clear call to action as a button or form.
- Here is a list of fancy publications we've been in.
- These are our core value propositions.
- Here are the steps that happen when you sign up.

Identify these elements on the landing page you copy then modify them to your product. Then launch it, don't over analyze with A/B tests right away. If its your first landing page, you don't even know what to split test so don't waste time on it. Watch your page in Google Analytics and see how it converts, you can even click segments in Google Analytics to see specific conversions. Once your landing page gets some traffic through it, you have a baseline, optimize from there.

How Do I Know My Landing Page Working?When the landing page and any traffic source costs you less than the page brings in, its working. Don't keep optimizing, this is where A / B tests become important. If you need to build another page and compare results, just make sure they are statistically significant. If your landing page is not profitable, focus on the traffic source. If its an advertising, change the ads or keywords. If its a partner, maybe they can do a better job on their end promoting your landing page link. If its general search, write some better blog posts to get your site to rank for a better set of keywords.

How Much Effort Should I Put Into A Landing Page?Generally everything thats good for your website is good for your landing page so focus on an overall marketing strategy for your site. If you market your site properly you will get better conversions because you get better visitors. General site marketing also improves your odds of landing a good partnership. A landing page can rarely convince someone to buy but can quite often scare a prospect away. Keep your landing pages simple and optimize by building visitor awareness and confidence before they visit your landing page.

For a complete website marketing guide that helps build partnerships and referrals to optimize landing page performance, try the AwareLabs Online Marketing Guide.

Written By: Paul Kenjora

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Paul Kenjora is the Product Manager and founder at AwareLabs, a company that provides the next generation website builder for small businesses. He has 10+ years product development experience, has launched sites netting millions of visits a day, and has consulted for fortune 500 companies.
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