7 Rules for Landing Page Optimization

User_focusThis is by no means a definitive look at what matters on landing pages. There are more than seven rules. For additional insight I would direct you to this three-part series on Landing Page Optimization. However, these seven basic elements are ones I’ve used consistently for many years now with great results.

1. Have a Clear and Direct Headline
Your landing pages should designed so the headline is first thing a user sees upon landing. First impressions on landing pages are as important as the offline world. Make sure the headline is a direct and simple statement of what the user is trying to accomplish. The goal of the headline is to bridge the moment of recognition so the user understands that the rest of the page content is aligned with completing their goal.

2. Place High Value on Whitespace
Users do not read all the text on a web page. Users scan the text and take away only certain elements that they use to make a decision if the page is relevant to their goal or not. Clean use of space allows users to scan and absorb key messages.

3. Deliver Your Value Proposition with Short Direct Messaging
Your value props should all be the answers to “why?” Keep them limited to three or four bullet points and don’t mince words. This is no time to get cute either. If users can’t quickly and easily understand the benefits of you product or service they will not hesitate to click the back button.

4. Have a Persuasive Message Directly Above the Call to Action
Every great salesman has a message they use to persuade prospects on the fence. Think of your landing page as your online salesman. Make sure you have one final strong persuasive message above the call to action. I find that bandwagon messages can increase user confidence and usually perform very well. An example: “Join the thousands of people that use…”

5. Large Red Buttons Rule
Tell your brand team to go to hell and throw your styleguide out the window. Red buttons can by themselves raise your conversion rate. Green can be good as well but most times in our testing if color matters it is red that wins. Also, don’t skimp on button size. Make users notice where the button is upon landing. Location matters as well but that’s something that needs to be tested on each page.

6. Call to Action Copy Matters
While direct messages can be very effective in the body of the copy direct messages in the call to action can be a turnoff. Words like “Buy,” “Add to Cart” or “Subscribe” that message commitment and a process can lower conversion rates. Softer calls to action like “Try it Now” that message immediacy (Now), but in a risk free way (Try it) can end up improving conversion by getting more users into the funnel.

7. Trust and Security are Still Incredibly Persuasive
Brand, trust and security icons as well as testimonials deliver confidence messages that can have a tremendous impact on conversion. Despite the fact that we are about 10 years into the commercial web, users on even the largest sites and brands in the world are influenced by these messages and images. You can see in this case study the impact that the Verisign and eTrust logo had on revenue per visitor for Audible.com.



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19 responses to “7 Rules for Landing Page Optimization”

  1. Joe Lane Avatar

    Great article. I posted your 7 rules in my blog and included the internal links as well. :o)


  2. John Eberhard Avatar

    I think you forgot one of the most important elements for a landing page, which is that the landing page should NOT have a navigational structure. In other words, it should not have links to the rest of your site, so that the reader goes off wandering all over the site.
    Also I have found it to be very valuable to offer some kind of soft offer (white paper, subscription, etc.) and then have a form on that same page.


  3. Jonathan Mendez Avatar

    Thanks for your comment but I have to disagree with you. I have seen numerous instances where landing pages that had navigation performed better than gated pages in an A/B test. The theory is that the navigation reinforced confidence in the site. In a way it served as a branding element.
    Of more importance however is Google’s landing page bot. The bot is looking for links and ranks that positively for your Quality Score. So now if you do not have links on your landing page you are likely to have higher minimum bid prices so not having these links can lower your ROI.
    The bottom line is that if your landing page is a good one users will not need to navigate to the links you present. They will click on where you want them to and where they want to….the call to action.


  4. Omar Cisneros Avatar

    Excellent article, congratz…
    Only one more tip:
    -location of the items in your page.. the reading way is also very important..
    keep doing good articles.. cya…


  5. WebMetricsGuru Avatar

    Landing Page Secrets

    Inspired by Jonathan Mendezs post the 7 Rules for Landing Page OptimizationI wrote a long post on The Seven+ Secrets of Super Landing Page Optimizationfor my friends over at Green Media- who really practice this stuff. Just…


  6. Michael Avatar

    Trust is very important. if the user trust you, getting them to buy you will be much easier.


  7. Conversion Rate Marketing Blog -->GrokDotCom by Future Now, Inc Avatar

    Large Red Buttons? Oh My!

    Over on Jonathan Mendezs blog he provides his 7 Rules for Landing Page Optimization. I would certainly agree with six of them. However, Rule 5 states, Red buttons can by themselves raise your conversion rate. The fact is, on your site…


  8. PriceBlaze Avatar

    Great info I would love to applicant and hopefully come up with the high success.


  9. Brian Keith Avatar

    How do you measure success? Through only sales, or do you also recommend tracking other variables?


  10. Confluence: ActiveMarketing Avatar

    Developing a Landing Page

    Overview Developing a Advertising/Landing page The following provides an overview of what a landing page should consitutes. Good Resource Links # Very Detailed Optimization of Landing Page \Jonathan Mentez Blog


  11. Quality Nonsense Avatar

    Conversion Rate Boot Camp

    Its an all too familiar scenario. Youve built the ultimate PPC campaign for a site, but the traffic simply isnt converting.
    Days spent labouring over keyword research. Hours spent crafting dozens of ads to test in the wild. Perhaps…


  12. paul Avatar

    Optimizaton 8) Conserve visitor’s energy requirements by toning down the black on white. It burns my eyes and requires my monitor to work harder.
    But I agree with the rest!


  13. SEO company: White Hat Media Avatar

    Landing pages are a key factor of PPC. Thoses rules are really important to follow and should never be forgotten.


  14. Guy Powell Avatar

    This is a great intro article. I used it when driving traffic to a webinar and to my blog at http://www.marketingtactegy.com.


  15. Edwin Avatar

    Excellent post. Very good read.


  16. Ranking Konzept - SEO News Avatar

    Die besten Landing Page Tipps

    Die Aufgaben einer Landing Page knnen vielfltig sein. Egal ob der Besucher etwas anklicken oder bestellen soll oder ob du mchtest dass er sich anmeldet oder eine Seite weiter empfiehlt. Er muss auf der Landingpage sofort sehen worum e…


  17. Ari Novick, Ph.D. Avatar

    Great tips for website optimisation. I have implemented many of these techniques and they do seem to make a difference.
    Ari Novick, Ph.D.


  18. waveshoppe Avatar

    “Words like “Buy,” “Add to Cart” or “Subscribe” that message commitment and a process can lower conversion rates.”
    I am a bit curious about that statement. If you are selling clothing, what else could the button say, “try one today”? That just doesn’t register with me.
    Wave Shoppe Hawaiian Shirts


  19. Jonathan Mendez Avatar

    You could test “add it” or “get it now” or “i want it” or any of a host of other messages that are more personal and/or immediate.


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