Landing pages are a great tool for getting prospective customers to act upon unique marketing campaigns via a clear call to action—whether that means filling out an online form, signing up for a free-trial, or actually making a purchase. In addition, landing pages enable marketers to easily track the effectiveness of individual marketing campaigns through the measurement of click-through-rates and numbers of acquired leads or customers.

Landing pages have two goals:

  • Drive prospects to the page, and
  • Get prospects to take action once there.

Here are 9 ways to optimizing the conversion performance of your landing pages:

1. Have a clear and emphasized call to action.

The offer is a critical component of getting the sale. Set the offer copy and corresponding call to action apart from the rest of the page to make it special. Use white space, a box around it, lines above a below and/or some sort of contrast to point out where the visitor needs to focus to get the item.

Finally, make sure that you spell out exactly what will happen if someone fills out the form or clicks on the desired link.

2. Align landing page message, headlines, and call to action with off-page promise

Your visitors arrived from somewhere, and an expectation was set before they even landed on your page. This could have been in your pay-per-click ad, a third-party blog posting, or a comparison-shopping engine. Make sure you understand and follow up on the context from which they arrived. The headline, subhead, and call to action should be relevant to and support the enticements that got visitors there.

3. Eliminate choices

Eliminate extraneous links on the page that don’t lead to the conversion action. Distractions hurt conversion. If you must have links that don’t lead directly to a primary action, put them in the footer.

4. Simplify design and reduce text

Don’t use a variety of font styles, colors, and sizes. Remove images and interactive rich-media content unless it directly supports your conversion goal and is clearly the best way to convey important information. Bland landing pages are often the best converting ones. Again, the goal is to minimize distractions.

Studies show that less content on a landing page leads to higher the conversion rates. Ruthlessly edit your text down to simple headlines and short bullet lists. Cut out the self-promoting marketing speak. Detailed information can be linked to (in the footer) and made available on supporting pages.

5. Use images judiciously

Images are good to use on landing pages to give a visual representation of the product or service as long as you don’t overdo. Keep graphics to a reasonable size to add visual appeal and help orient the visitor to the product and headline. An overly large image can overshadow the headline and push other content below the fold. In addition, use clean, simple images rather than complex ones.

Use a caption. After headlines, captions are the next most read pieces of text.

6. Show brand validation

Transfer recognition or good will from other sources by liberally using logos of well-recognized client brands. Add the badges of media sources that have covered or mentioned your company. Prominently display glowing testimonials from existing customers.

Reduce visitor anxiety by using safe shopping seals, logos of trade associations, acceptable payment methods, money-back guarantee seals and other indicators of your trustworthiness.

7. Enable sharing and highlight social validation

Social media has a huge multiplier effect and has also become a validation criterion to how good an offer is. Make sharing easy by including popular social media share buttons above the fold and in the sign-up process. Consider using Optify’s Facebook login to make it easier to accept your offer and follow through on your call to action.

8. Employ key tactics to seal the deal

Follow tried-and-true strategies to elicit the desired response:

  • Keep conversion barriers to a minimum by removing unneeded fields from your forms.
  • Create a sense of urgency by including a countdown of number of items left, number of days left to get the deal, limited time offer copy or other time sensitive imperative.
  • Use high contrast Buttons that say “Click Here.” It’s obvious, but tests show it works.
  • Think about adding a money back guarantee, no obligation, free trial or other positive value copy around the button.

9. Test, test, test

Testing and tweaking is key to ongoing improvement. Create matching landing pages with key differences and compare their conversion rates. You can test the use of a demo, multiple pages linked by tabs, number and length of bullet points, approaches to copy (salesy, helpful, long, short, etc.), dynamic content, etc. Measuring ROI will help you become more efficient and effective at driving down costs per acquired customer.