• Anatomy of a highly converting landing page

    by  • April 9, 2007 • Pay Per Click, Search Engine Optimization, Usability • 3 Comments

    When you create the content on your landing page, it is important to consider not only the elements that go into your landing page design, but also consider the things that should be avoided. Yet time after time I come across landing pages – some which advertisers are paying premium prices per click to send traffic to – that seem to break many of the landing page rules and very likely result in a high loss of potential conversions.

    So what are the things that should and shouldn’t be included on a landing page? Here are some tips on creating and maintaining a high converting landing page for both organic and paid search results. And as an added bonus, some of these also help with your AdWords quality score if you are having issues with it.

    One of the main problems people have with landing pages is making them far too busy. Instead of focusing on the primary reason the person is on the page in the first place, instead they are focusing on the unnecessary and losing the potential conversion in the meantime.

    Have a critical look at your landing page. Is it clear why people are there or is your message lost because of a lot of extra “fluff” on the page. If a stranger looks at your site, they should be able to see the intent within the first few seconds. If it takes any longer than that, the likelihood of that visitor hitting the back button and going to your competitor instead increases dramatically. Yes, they might have come to the page from a search referral or ad copy, but you still need to make it clear for users when they arrive on your site.

    On the flip side, not enough information is just as bad. A landing page with little but a form to submit isn’t helpful, especially in today’s multi-tabbed browser world where people commonly flip between tabs while waiting for another site to load. If five minutes has passed between the time they clicked the link to your landing page and then actually viewed the landing page, would they remember what the site was for? Text like “Submit now for a quote” just won’t cut it.

    Too many exit points is another problem. Unless you are an arbitrage site or can make more money with the advertising on your site than if the person converts within your own site, you should remove any advertising from the page. While some people argue that it is better if they leave via an advertisement rather than the back button, the reality is that you could lose that sale for your own site because that person ended up clicking an ad instead.

    Are you giving your visitors the correct information? Sending visitors to a landing page that is too broad or too narrow can also cause low conversions. If they click an ad for green widgets, then send them to the landing page for green widgets, not the landing page for widgets or the homepage which has widgets, thingamajigs and whozats. And as a bonus, this will help your Google AdWords landing page quality score.

    While obviously much more also goes into landing page design, these are the issues that can not only cause problems with low conversion rates but that are also fairly easy to fix. Sometimes it takes stepping back to see through another’s eyes when it comes to the effectiveness of your landing page. Consider doing some usability testing or even having a friend who knows nothing about the business look at it and tell you what he or she thinks of your landing page. This will help guide you to what you should and shouldn’t change about your landing page.

    The conversion rate your have on a page, whether it is organic traffic or pay per click traffic, will determine your ROI, so it is definitely worth the time, and any associated expense, to know your landing page is converting at the best possible rate possible.


    Jennifer Slegg is a longtime member of the SEO community and is an expert on social media, content marketing, Google AdSense and search engines.

    3 Responses to Anatomy of a highly converting landing page

    1. April 13, 2007 at 8:18 am

      Great post…Leakage is enemy number one when you look at many landing pages, particularly in the nav and footers, off-site links etc…

    2. perpelx
      August 2, 2007 at 4:12 am


      Great post.

      Have you got any examples of some really great landing pages?

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