Every landing page should be designed with the explicit purpose of moving the visitor towards conversion. Some elements on the landing page will present not-so-obvious cues to the visitor that work to reassure them that they are in the right place for their needs. These cues include message match, brand consistency and identification.  While these cues don’t loudly call out to the visitor, they still work to assure visitors that the particular landing page they are on is trustworthy and relevant.

Conversely, there should be elements on the landing page that do call directly out to the visitor. These elements make the visitor sit up, take notice, and hopefully take action. We’ll call these directional cues; signs that move visitors forward towards conversion.

Earlier this year, ion’s president and CTO, Scott Brinker, created the READY framework for conversion optimization.


The “D” in READY stands for “Directional,” the type of cues we’re discussing now. He lists out these five points for ensuring your landing page take these cues into account:

  • Clear call to action: a reasonable and obvious next step
  • Frictionless choices: give people easy, not hard choices
  • Minimal distractions: keep focused but don’t be controlling
  • Motivation & incentives: extra nudge to take action now
  • Progressive conversion: build commitment one step at a time

Clear call to action

Your call to action should be eye-catching and above the fold. It should immediately draw the attention of the visitor and clearly tell them how they can convert.

Frictionless choices

Give people a good set of limited choices that entice them to convert. Make sure the choices are relevant to the needs of the visitor and match up with what expectations you’ve already set with the ad.

Minimal distractions

To keep the visitor focused on your call to action, be sure to remove any distractions that would take them off course. This includes removing any navigation or ads that you may be enticed to include on-page.

Motivation & incentives

Many times an optimized landing page provides enough motivation on its own to convince the visitor to convert. However, there will be times where you may want to increase the sense of urgency by including additional motivating factors with time limited incentives and the like. Scott says, “Triggering feelings of competition, ambition or desire can be powerful – just don’t over do it.”

Progressive conversion

Depending on what your conversion is, how much it costs, and where your visitor is in the sales cycle, you may not convert the visitor with one landing page, no matter how ‘optimized’ it is. The good news is that a landing page doesn’t necessarily have to be one single page; you can work with romance pages, microsites and conversion paths to move the visitor along. These all contribute to a “logical, step-by-step fashion to establishing trust, building commitment and earning the end-goal (conversion). Strive to give all visitors a good experience as today’s non-converter may be tomorrow’s conversion win,” says Scott.

Whatever you’re selling and to whomever you’re selling, it’s so important to make sure your landing pages are designed in such a way that you keep the visitor heading in the right direction. And when it comes to keeping vistors heading in that direction, it’s often best to just be clear and obvious.

Combining obvious, directional cues with more subtle reassuring cues like message match, brand consistency and identification will help raise the bar on your conversion rates.

Check out this PowerPoint deck on the READY framework for conversion optimization for even more landing page optimization tips.