What is LPO?
Landing pages are dedicated standalone pages that allow you to generate conversions for your campaigns. Where creating landing pages ensures you present your visitors with relevant information they need, landing page optimization makes sure that your landing page has the right balance of design, relevance and functionality to persuade visitors to convert.
An optimized landing page makes it easy for visitors to understand the offer presented on the page and click the call to action button.
Landing-page-optimization is the process of improving a landing page to increase the number of visitors who take the desired action. Optimizing landing pages includes but is not limited to writing better copy, adding compelling images, speeding up page load time, modifying the lead capture form etc.
Simply put, any action taken on a landing page to better its user experience and user interface comes under the umbrella of landing page optimization.
An un-optimized landing page makes getting conversions a challenge because it doesn’t take the user into account when it comes to explaining your offer.
See, case in point:
The page is quite cluttered, so much so that it is hard to recognize what the headline is, making it difficult for visitors to fully understand the offer.
The page also has:
- Company centric copy – discussing the offer from the company’s perspective with the pronouns ‘we’ and ‘us’ doesn’t help you get conversions.
- The chunks of copy that appears in paragraphs isn’t easy for visitors to read, and so they aren’t able to gauge what the offer is about.
- The form has too many fields for a first encounter, and seems too invasive.
- The arrow as a visual cue is a good idea on its own, however, because of the sheer size of the arrow it looks odd on the page.
- The navigation header has multiple links on it which means that visitors have multiple opportunities to exit the landing page without fulfilling the conversion goal.
- The two videos on the landing page add visual appeal, but, one of the videos focuses too much on the company.
As a contrast, let’s look at Smartsheet’s landing page, which is optimized for visitors:
- The page is neatly organized, with the headline standing out describing for visitors exactly what the service is going to help them accomplish.
- The CTA button is designed in a contrasting color which makes it stand out and easier for visitors to notice.
- The copy on the page is arranged in easy to read small paragraphs, with all the images on the page complementing the page copy.
- The video gives an overview of what Smartsheet can do for visitors, discussing the features of the product from the user’s perspective.
- The customer badges on the page add credibility and make the page more trustworthy.
- The customer testimonial has a photo alongside it which helps drive in the concept of social proof.
- The numerical count of users ‘Over 5 million users. 90,000 Organizations. 160+ Countries.’ lets the visitors know how successful the service has been for its customers, which encourages them to click the CTA button and ‘Try SmartSheet Free’.
- The image of the Smartsheet staff allows visitors to attach human appeal with the product, persuading them to click the call to action button.
Notice the difference between the two pages?
The former page focused on the company instead of the visitor, the latter page did the opposite, it made sure that the visitor had all of the right information presented in the right way before they were expected to click the call to action button.
Landing page optimization involves creating landing page elements and design that makes it extremely easy for the visitor to understand the purpose of the page and ideally click the call to action button.
The Difference between Landing Page Optimization and Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) deals with optimizing the entire marketing funnel starting from the first encounter the visitor has with the brand down to the thank you email, while landing page optimization only deals with optimizing landing pages.
Conversion rate optimization focuses on overall business outcomes whereas landing page optimization focuses on meeting landing page goals.
Both, conversion rate optimization and landing page optimization basically deal with optimization practices, data collection and interpretation methodologies, the key difference here is the scope of these two practices.
The scope of conversion optimization is quite vast as it takes into account the entire marketing funnel, while landing page optimization just caters to landing pages – in fact, landing page optimization comes under the umbrella of conversion rate optimization.
Why are Landing Pages Important?
A landing page is a dedicated page that caters to an individual offer, whereas your website homepage is a page which hosts almost all of your company’s offers. A visitor coming to a landing page from an ad, or a link in an email gets to see the exact information that they were looking for or hoping to see. This is not the case when you use your homepage where you should have used a landing page.
Let’s elaborate with an example. Imagine your visitor is in the market for a social media app, a quick search on Google for ‘best social media apps for agencies’ generates the following results:
They click on the first ad, which takes them to this Hootsuite landing page:
(Note: Please click the landing page link to see the entire landing page)
- The page headline reassures the visitor that they’ve landed at the right place. The Sub-headline ‘Manage multiple social networks, connect with customers, and grow your brand on social media’ is relevant to the keyword that they searched for when they were looking for a tool to manage their agency work.
- The features of the app are mentioned in short, easy to read paragraphs, giving the visitor the right information quickly.
- The page has customer testimonials on it as well as customer badges and a customer count of over 10 million customers.
- The visitor can see the pricing structure and choose the plan that’s right for them.
- The sticky navigation menu follows the visitor around, making sure they don’t have trouble navigating to different section of the page.
- There are CTA buttons on every section of the page which means the visitor doesn’t have to scroll to find one.
This is the experience your visitor should get on an optimized landing page. Now let’s see how different the visitor experience would be if they landed on the Hootsuite homepage instead of this dedicated landing page:
(Note: Please click the link to see the full homepage)
- The page headline is relevant to someone searching for a social media tool.
- The images next to the product features helps visitors visualize the product.
- The sticky navigation bar serves as a distraction, giving visitors a chance to navigate away from clicking the
- CTA button, and going to the ‘Plans’, ‘Products’ or ‘Pricing page’.
- The massive navigation footer can easily distract a visitor from signing up for the service.
Which page do you suppose the visitor will convert on?
Your homepage is not dedicated to a single offer, it’s a place where you need to showcase everything that your company does, just look at the Hootsuite footer:
Multiple navigation links are a norm for homepages because they aren’t dedicated pages. Your landing page is the only page that’s dedicated to one offer at one time and this is precisely why they are so important.
Landing pages are important for your campaigns because they have the two characteristics the pages need to advertise one offer to particular audiences without any distractions:
1. Message Match: Message Match refers to the of matching the content of an ad to the content of a landing page so that the message is reinforced in the mind of the prospect, and they know it’s relevant. Hootsuite’s PPC ad and landing page had message match.
2. Conversion Ratio: Conversion Ratio refers to the number of places to click compared to the number of conversion goals. Ideally, the ratio is 1:1, meaning there’s only one place to click on your landing page: the link that accomplishes your conversion goal. On the majority of landing pages, that link is a call-to-action button. Adding navigation links on landing pages changes the value of your conversion ratio.
When you market a particular offer on your homepage rather than a landing page, you’re basically setting up your offer to fail, because it has to compete with all of the other offers on your homepage, and you can’t really make sure what offer is going to catch your visitor’s’ eye.
The navigation links present on homepages are enough to distract visitors from fulfilling the conversion goal you want them to fulfill. As opposed to this, when you advertise your offers on landing pages you make the offer the hero of that page, everything on the page from the headline to the customer badges is complementing that offer.
For example, visitors coming to the monday free trial page, could get distracted by the navigation links in the page header before they click the call to action button to create their free account:
There are no navigation links on landing pages which essentially means that your offer isn’t competing for visitor attention. As soon as a visitor lands on a dedicated optimized landing page, they have at their disposal everything they might need to know about the page, the benefits the product will give them, how to get it – the whole shebang.
This makes their transition from landing page headline to landing page call to action button easy and seamless.
When you’re creating dedicated offers for your customers, why not create dedicated optimized pages to promote those offers to them.