Landing Pages: 50 Best Practice Tips
Welcome to our landing pages guide. We’ve pulled together no fewer than 50 tips on all aspects of creating and optimising your landing pages. In this article, you will find:
Landing Pages 101: a quick definition of what we mean by “landing pages” and the role that different types of landing pages play on your site.
Landing Pages Key Benefits: how visually-engaging, well-written landing pages support your digital marketing strategy.
Landing Pages Best Practice: our advice, recommendations and ideas for creating truly effective landing pages.
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Landing Pages 101
Landing pages are the entry points to your website. These are the pages you want users to find in search, discover on social media, see when they click on a link in your email or paid search campaigns.
Creating dedicated landing pages for your different business units, the products you sell or the services you provide should be a top priority when building or updating your website.
Your landing pages usually sit high up in your website’s hierarchy (www.domain.com.au/services/landing-page) but you might also create sub-landing pages to dig deeper into a particular topic.
Landing pages can be created primarily for organic search or to support an email, social media or Google AdWords campaign, but they should always be focussed on converting visitors into leads or customers.
Your organic search landing pages should be your top result for their given topics and keyword groups, ahead of your website’s homepage.
Landing Pages Key Benefits
In-depth, well-written landing page copy will play a big role in your efforts to educate, inform and add value for your website visitors. This is important as you seek to build the long-term relationships that can lead to future sales.
Your landing pages will drive your organic search strategy, representing your best to chance to rank for your priority keywords.
Quality landing pages can boost your quality score, reducing the cost-per-click you pay in Google Ads.
Your landing pages will make a huge difference to how you convert visitors, regardless of how they arrived on your website. These are the pages that turn visitors into leads and customers.
Landing Pages Best Practice
Here are our 50 tips, recommendations and ideas for creating best practice landing pages. These are all actionable and apply to both new and existing landing pages.
1. User Personas
Create user personas as a first step. Your user personas will help you ensure you offer relevant, useful and valuable information on your landing pages.
2. Editorial Brief
Write an editorial brief. Your editorial brief will keep the language, tone and style of your landing pages consistent across your website.
3. Brand Guidelines
Create some brand guidelines. This will help you maintain a consistent look and feel across the different landing pages on your site and enable you to create landing page templates, which will speed up the process for getting new pages created and published.
Take a look at your sitemap or if you’re creating a new sitemap review your products, services, business units, blog categories and target keywords to find good topics for landing pages.
5. Competitor Landing Pages
Check out the competition. Looking at what your competitors are doing – especially the more successful ones – can give you ideas for landing page topics and help you identify ways to offer additional value.
6. Other Verticals
Look at the top-performing landing pages in other verticals. A good way to get an advantage in your industry is to examine what’s working elsewhere and figure out what you can learn from it.
7. Campaign Pages
Landing pages optimised for organic search are not necessarily the best pages to use in your email, social media or Google AdWords campaigns. You should consider creating dedicated landing pages for each campaign, not just each topic or conversion goal.
8. Main Nav
Links to landing pages for email, social media and Google AdWords campaigns don’t need to appear in your main nav. These pages are just for users clicking on links in your emails, on social media or on your Google Ads.
9. Blog Ideas
You might dismiss some blog ideas because the search results are dominated by highly relevant landing pages. Feed this into your own landing page strategy as blog articles will usually struggle to compete with a properly-written landing page on the same topic.
Look at your analytics to learn more about what your users are interested in. Insights from your analytics can generate ideas for new landing pages and also help you improve your existing landing pages.
11. Word Count
If you want your landing pages to rank in search or you want to educate, inform and add value for your target audience then don’t be stingy with your editorial content. Search landing pages chasing competitive keywords might need to be 2,000 words+.
12. On-page SEO
For your search landing pages, make sure you follow best practice on-page SEO. That means unique, descriptive, keyword-rich meta tags (title tag, H1 and H2 tags, alt tags etc), original, useful and informative copy and rich media, such as photos, graphics and videos.
Keywords still matter, but Google is becoming less reliant on them when deciding what to return in search results. You should be analysing not just the search terms you plan to include in your landing page, but the current first page results for the actual title you plan to use.
14. Customer Terminology
Use the words and phrases your target audience uses. This will not only make your landing pages appear more familiar, it will also help them rank for the terms users are actually searching for.
15. Short Paragraphs
If your landing pages contain a lot of copy make sure you break it up into short paragraphs. You should also use pull-quotes, bullet points and graphics to highlight key information and make your page easier to read.
16. No Clutter
Avoid too much clutter. Intelligent use of white space and a strong focus on your primary conversion objective will avoid overwhelming your users with too much information and too many different options.
17. Font Size
Be careful when selecting the font size and style for your landing pages. If the copy is difficult to read it will be a turn-off for users, even if all you want them to do is click on your call-to-action.
18. Image Quality
Check that any images you use on your landing pages are properly licensed and correctly formatted. Blurry, warped images will create a poor first impression and reduce your chances of converting your users.
19. Single Focus
Don’t try to cover lots of different topics or keywords on a single landing page. Keep the focus narrow and create more pages as you need them. A narrow focus reduces the chances of you attracting irrelevant, high-bounce-rate visitors.
20. User Focus
If your landing page is about a product or service keep it user-focussed. Concentrate on the benefits to the user rather than the features you’re most proud of.
21. You Form
Use the “you” form in your landing page copy (“you will”, “your business can”, “your goals” etc). This will help to humanise your business and build a stronger connection with your users.
22. Highlight USPs
Highlight your USPs. Your landing pages are part of your sales pitch. Use them to communicate what it is that makes you different from the competition.
23. Social Buttons
Add social sharing buttons to your landing pages. This will encourage users to promote them on their own social networks and, as the share counts tick up, they will boost confidence in whatever your landing page is promoting.
24. Social Shares
Take a look at landing pages that have already earned a lot of social shares. There are various third party tools that can help you do this. Lessons from landing pages that are popular on social media can help you improve the quality, relevance and effectiveness of your own landing pages.
25. Mobile Friendly
Check that your landing pages are mobile friendly. An increasingly large share of your users will be on smartphones and tablets. If your landing pages fail Google’s mobile compatibility test they will under-perform in search and could damage your whole site.
26. H1 Tags
Use header (H1) tags to highlight the title of your landing page. The H1 tag will change the appearance of the text for users (usually bold, larger font) and highlight it as particularly important to Google. Only use one H1 tag per page or the impact will be diluted.
27. H2 Tags
Use H2 tags for sub-heads on your landing pages. This will help to break up the text on pages with a lot of copy, but more importantly it will highlight the content of your sub-heads as important to users and to Google.
Include clear, prominent and visible calls-to-action. Whatever type of campaign you’re running your landing pages are there to win conversions. Build your landing pages around your calls-to-action.
29. CTA Hierarchy
Use both primary and secondary calls-to-action. Your priority might be to convince users to book a demo or download a whitepaper but your landing pages can also feature smaller wins, such as a newsletter sign-up or a follow on social media. These secondary calls-to-action can be a crucial part of building long-term relationships with your website visitors.
30. Above The Fold
Put your call-to-action and key information above the fold. The area of the page users see without scrolling down will get the majority of their attention so make the best possible use of it.
31. Standard Conversion
Keep the steps for completing your calls-to-action the same across all of your landing pages. A familiar process will be less confusing for users and more likely to drive conversions.
32. Action Buttons
Use the same colour and design for “action” buttons across all of your landing pages. This will help to make the priority calls-to-action on each page more visible and recognisable.
33. No Distractions
Landing pages that don’t need to compete in search ought to avoid any unnecessary distractions. Strip away everything you don’t need, such as the main nav and sidebar, so the user’s attention is focussed on your call-to-action.
Add videos to your landing pages. Research has shown that pages with videos perform better in search and achieve higher conversion rates.
If you’re creating a landing page to describe a complex process or compare your service to the competition, include an infographic. This will help users visualise the story you’re telling and improve the aesthetic and search appeal of your landing page.
36. Industry Jargon
Keep an eye out for industry jargon, especially in your banners, graphics and calls-to-action. If users are confused they will not convert.
37. Meet Expectations
Make sure your headings match the content of your landing pages. If users are disappointed when they click on one of your links it will kill your conversion rate, undermine your future search performance and harm your reputation.
38. Load Speed
Check the load speed on your landing pages. Users have little tolerance for pages that take more than a few seconds to load. Google also uses speed as a ranking signal.
39. Compress Images
Compress the images and other files on your landing pages and check your HTML page size to help reduce load times. This will improve their search performance and conversion rates.
40. Simple CTAs
Keep your calls-to-action as simple to complete as possible. Interrogate every step and every field and take out anything that’s not absolutely necessary. The easier it is to complete your call-to-action the more often it will happen.
41. Scaring Leads
Don’t scare off potential leads by asking for too much information. If users are surprised or unnerved by what they’re being asked to provide it will undermine trust and confidence in your business and harm your conversion rates.
42. Constant Attention
Your landing pages need constant attention. Review them regularly to update information, add new content or look for opportunities to create new pages.
43. Keyword Footprint
Adding new search landing pages will increase your website’s keyword footprint and help to introduce your business to new audiences. The number of landing pages on your website should be growing all the time.
44. A/B Testing
A/B test the landing pages you use in your email or paid campaigns. Subtle changes to the sign-up form such as the colour and wording on the button or the ordering of the fields can have a significant impact on the conversion rate.
45. User Testing
Invest in user testing to optimise your landing pages for UX and conversion, even if you just do this around your business. A user should be able to find what they’re looking for within 5 seconds of arriving on your landing page.
46. Recognisable Badges
Add badges to your landing pages. If users see recognisable brands underpinning your payment process or the security of your site it will help them feel more confident about submitting their information or making a purchase.
47. SSL Certificates
Make sure all landing pages have an SSL certificate. This especially important if you are collecting sensitive personal information, such as credit card details. SSL is an important trust builder for users and Google has said it is now a search signal.
48. Case Studies
If you have relevant case studies or client testimonials, add them to your landing pages. They will build your credibility and help convince users to convert.
49. Contact Information
Include general contact information on your landing pages. Phone numbers and physical addresses help show users that you’re a real business.
50. Thank You Pages
If completing your call-to-action involves multiple pages (landing page, form page, thank you page) make sure users have somewhere to go at the end. Thank you pages should have follow-up calls-to-action, links to other relevant pages and an easy route back to the main site.