Getting customers to your landing page is only half the battle. Once they click, guests need to be delivered to a landing page optimized to convert these new visitors, and then cultivate a lasting and positive relationship with your brand.

The good news is that most top performing landing pages are strategically simple with a savvy design and messaging that speaks to the right audience. While it’s true that there’s no “plug-and-play” formula to cultivate conversions, the following five tips to optimize your landing page are a good place to start!

1. Communicate a clear call to action.

As marketers, we want to make our communications with customers as straightforward as possible. This isn’t the time to be obscure. When visitors read your landing page headline, it’s important that they know what to do next. Don’t be afraid to spell it out for your users – they’ll appreciate your clarity and they will pay you back with dividends. When Mozilla Firefox changed its call to action from “Try Firefox 3” to “Download Now – Free,” the new headline outperformed the original by 3.6 percent and had a confidence level of over 99 percent, which resulted in 500 more downloads during Mozilla’s testing period.

2. Put opt-in links and conversion buttons front and center.

To borrow a turn of phrase from our journalist friends – don’t bury the lead! Many landing pages position links in footers for the sake of design. Yes, it looks clean, but this strategy equates to many missed opt-in opportunities. Make it easy for people to make a connection: put your signup form at the top of your landing page alongside some other engaging content. This strategy will deliver maximum views to your form without requiring page visitors to scroll all the way down to the bottom.

The same treatment should be given to conversion buttons. For best performance, buttons should be visually dynamic and paired with a clear call to action — either positioned directly below the button, or on the button itself. Make your button big and bright, and don’t make visitors scroll to see it.

3. Choose your words wisely.

Don’t forget: your landing page headline and digital ad messaging should complement each other. Your AdWords score allows a site to discover the cost per click. This score can be improved by having consistent content between the ad message and landing page text.

Your landing page headline is your first chance to communicate with your audience. It shouldn’t be confusing or vague; it should compel visitors to take a closer look. Addressing a specific point that is related to the content of the website will catch a reader’s attention more than a generic headline.

And remember: your website is the voice of your brand. Spelling and grammar must be double and triple checked to ensure that it is flawless before it’s posted for public view. Poor grammar does not communicate professionalism. It can damage consumer trust in your brand, and cast doubt on the quality of your product or service.

4. Spotlight your seals of approval.

As consumers (and as humans), we look to others to support our decisions. It’s an important part of social behavior. It’s also an important tool to help marketers cultivate customer trust in their brand.

While consumers might be inclined to be skeptical of your marketing claims, they’re more likely to be convinced if others offer support. Prominently display testimonials, reviews, press mentions, guarantee seals and third-party trust and security certifications (Better Business Bureau, VeriSign, etc.) in your landing page design. It cultivates trust in your brand and it has a measurable impact on your business. When eyeglass and lens company ACLens began to promote support from VeriSign, the company saw a 41 percent increase in conversions and a 58 percent increase in revenue per transaction.

5. Add dimension and connect to your audience – with video.

Another way to add depth to your home page and capture attention is with video. A recent report from Outbrain revealed headlines promising video content have a click-through rate 27 percent higher than average. Add product videos, testimonials, tutorials or behind-the-scenes vignettes to your landing page, and then promote this video content in the subject lines of emails to your subscribers.

For more information about optimizing your landing pages, check out the latest Formstack infographic: Is Your Website Losing You Money?


Is Your Website Losing Money?Is Your Website Losing Money?

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Chris_Lucas3About Chris Lucas

Chris is the vice president of business development for Formstack. He is passionate about setting the vision for Formstack’s marketing and sales departments, as well as discovering new ways to drive web traffic and leads. He focuses his time interweaving smart web marketing with overall product vision to build an ever-growing base. Follow Chris on Twitter at @chris_c_lucas.