Making a great landing page is super important to drive sales and new leads. So in this post, I’m giving you my 12-point landing page audit checklist, so you can rest assured that you’re fully optimized and ready to crush it.
Landing pages serve a very specific purpose and will have a clear message and objective. Contrary to traditional websites, landing pages will frequently leave out unnecessary pages or content unrelated to the core offer. Landing pages relate directly to a specific offer.
It’s therefore likely that you’ll have multiple landing pages with a variety of different offers, messaging and objectives to suit the variety of different prospects and customers you’re targeting.
By following the recommendations in this post, you’ll be ensuring that all of your landing pages are optimized and capable of converting with a high ROI. So let’s dive in and review this 12 point checklist for success!
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1. Be Specific & Show the Customer Transformation
Since landing pages are not websites, it’s important that we stay on point with once objective for each landing page and campaign.
Be sure to not wander off topic, add additional offers or products and services to your main landing page.
Although you can increase your average cart value by adding one-click up-sells and order bumps (for relevant products or services) during the checkout process, it’s important to stay on message with the landing page.
To do this, it’s good practice to talk about the transformation that your prospect will experience if they take your offer.
Customers don’t make purchases based off of logic nearly as often as they buy on emotion.
So we can appeal to that emotion by staying on message and talking about the customer transformation, or after effect, from taking your offer.
2. Have Clear Call to Actions (CTAs)
Simplicity is behind every great landing page. This means excluding additional buttons and unnecessary or distracting elements. The idea here follows the less is more principle.
By keeping your messaging specific (see above) and simple while focusing on the customer’s transformation, you’ll be optimizing your headlines and copy for increased conversions.
Simplicity and clarity is especially important for your CTA, which is nothing more than a button or link that clearly tells the site visitor exactly what you want them to do next.
For example, if you were offering a free webinar, using CTA such as “Click Here to Secure Your Spot Now!” is simple and straightforward – and also creates a sense of urgency (i.e., securing a spot).
There’s no confusion and the prospect knows exactly what to expect by clicking on the button.
At the very least, make sure you add CTAs at both the top and the bottom of your landing page. If you’re using a longer form sales page, add them throughout the copy.
3. Stay On Message
This echoes my previous point on having a clear CTA as to avoid confusion, but it’s critical that your messaging is congruent throughout your sales funnel.
For example, if you’re driving traffic from a Facebook ad, make sure your ad copy matches your landing page headlines.
Nothing will leave your prospects more confused than changing your messaging and tone between stages.
Although it may be tempting to “layer” your benefits by adding different headlines, this will likely just bewilder your prospects. So keep it simple and don’t go to far off topic.
But it’s also important to include these pages (via links within the footer) on your landing pages.
So if you have an existing website, simply create some links to the relevant pages and add them to your landing page’s footer.
5. If It's Simple Or Cheap - Keep It Short & Sweet
OK so I couldn’t help myself with the title rhyming, but this goes back to my earlier point on simplicity and it’s worth expanding more on.
I suppose that old adage less is more is a useful idea to keep in mind. There’s a strong tendency to pack our pages with as much information as possible. But this can actually be to our detriment.
Although long-form sales pages can be useful for particular products (i.e., high ticket items, coaching services or higher priced course and educational offers), keeping your copy short ad to-the-point is often better.
People don’t want to read through thick paragraphs, long copy and boring text – especially if your offer is something free, simple, cheap or uncomplicated.
So make your copy simple and to the point. Quickly and clearly present your offer just match your landing page length with your offer’s complexity.
6. Mind Your Mobile Layout
So maybe you’ve heard, but if you’re not optimizing your mobile pages, you’re losing conversions.
As reported by Broadbandsearch (2019), mobile site use has been on a consistent upward trend for at least the past 6 years and has been surpassing desktop usage since 2017.
So, landing page optimization really means caring for and optimizing your mobile site’s page design. Luckily, most landing page platforms and editors will provide free mobile responsive templates.
Either way, it should be relatively simple to fine-tune or adjust any mobile elements within your dashboard.
Your landing page software should have a function to edit and optimize your mobile pages separately, so definitely take the time to review and adjust your mobile designs as a strategic way to optimize your landing page experience.
7. Split-Test Different Landing Pages
I think we can all remember back to science class, where we learned the true value of testing and establishing controls. Well this truth absolutely carries over into business, marketing and landing page optimization.
Ask any marketer – the importance of testing cannot be understated; testing different ad variables and elements within a campaign is a well-established best practice.
But also testing your landing pages for performance variations is another great way to optimize your campaigns and sales funnels.
Most landing page builders will have an A/B split testing function for you to optimize your landing page performance. So don’t stress too much about all the different testing that’s happening throughout your funnel; a majority of these strategies can be implemented or fully automated.
Testing even slight variations between templates can yield valuable information about how your prospects are engaging with your landing pages.
And those small changes can have a big influence on your conversion rates and overall campaign performance.
8. Take Advantage of Templates & Done-for-You Designs
Most landing page software will come with done-for-you design templates. In fact, some platforms (such as ClickFunnelsand Builderall) have a share funnel feature that lets users easily share their designs with anyone else!
And taking advantage of this will not only save you time and energy, but you can rest assured that you’ll be getting a fully optimized landing page.
This is actually something I wish I would have don’t differently when I first started building landing pages for my campaigns.
I spent countless hours tweaking, adjusting and designing the “perfect” page for my offers.
But in the end, the templates (with my own little customization) ended up performing best.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t explore making your own templates, this is something that can actually be fun (if you have the time and interest in design).
But when you’re just starting out and you’re looking for a proven solution, using a template will be your best friend.
9. Keep it Visually Interesting - Use Professional Images & Video
Using well-placed images and relevant videos can increase engagement, user experience and conversions.
When it comes to ad campaigns, video simply converts at a much higher rate (Whitney, WordStream, 2018) and this statistic can absolutely carry over to your landing pages.
If given the choice to read through a long script or to watch an interactive video, which do you think most people would prefer?
Of course, there are many that’d prefer reading, but using video can be a fantastic way to cover your bases, increase user time spend on your site and develop a more interactive and memorable relationship with your prospects.
Two extremely useful free tools for using professional video for your campaign are:
10. Use Social Proof
Social proof is a highly effective strategy that establishes trust and credibility – while also creating urgency and a sort of “FOMO phenomenon”.
Social proof comes in many forms, from user testimonials to case studies and software integrations that show on-site visitors and real-time engagement from other users.
It’s a simple concept, but we naturally trust a business or brand more if we see other people also trust and use that brand.
Luckily, employing this type of software into your landing page optimization strategy is rather simple!
Here’s a great tool to check out that will let you start using social proof in your landing pages:
- ClickProof by MarketerMagic
- Extremely effective and simple to set up
- Newer software platform with a suite of other useful marketing tools, including email customization and verification, lead generation and pixeled link data tracking.
11. Use Different Landing Pages for Different Customers
It goes without saying, but you should be sending your traffic to a relevant page based on the level they’re on within the customer journey.
We should have a different set of landing pages for each of our customers segments.
The messaging and offers between new, cold traffic prospects and existing customers (for example) will naturally be different. So be sure to segment your customers and don’t simply send all of your traffic to the same landing page.
Our customers at any point in time will be on different stages within the buying process.
So we must clearly identify our sales funnel structure and create customized followup sequences, messaging, offers and landing pages for each stage in that structure.
12. Use Scarcity & Timelines
You’ve probably come across the “Act Now Before This Offer is Gone Forever” campaign.
Sure, there may be some undue drama with the more extreme example, but utilizing scarcity and deadlines can be an extremely effective strategy to boost your conversions.
Optimization is all about conversions and by putting a little “act now” pressure to your prospects, you can effectively nudge many of the apprehensive prospects who are teetering on the fence.
Many software platforms will have a design feature that allows your to drag and drop a countdown timer directly onto your page.
Although the deadline may not be as strict as your visitors believe, it’s a surefire way to optimize your page for increased conversions.
This post has presented 12 key strategies for landing page optimization. There are other methods that could be worth exploring (such as using pop-ups when visitors try to exit), but this list should be a suitable starting point to start boosting your results and conversions.
Just remember to keep it simple, on message and use clear and well-placed CTAs.
If you can clearly present your offer as irresistible while easily describing the transformation your prospect will experience, then all the better!
Let me know in the comments if you have any other strategies or landing page optimization recommendations!