The Anatomy of a Successful Landing Page – How to Boost Conversion Rates and Get More From Your Advertising Budget

Illustration of a landing page
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Online advertising has the potential to drive masses of lucrative traffic to a website – but it can also burn through a marketing budget in hours with little to show for it.

Whether you’re using Google, Facebook, or another platform, you’ll have access to excellent tools to target visitors with precision.

However, attracting volumes of quality traffic on demand is only half the equation.

If your landing pages don’t convert, you won’t see the results you’re hoping for.

So how can you boost landing page conversion rates and make the most of your ad spend?


Closely Matched Targeting

Generic landing pages will bleed your ad budget dry in no time, as visitors won’t feel they’ve found their target and will click away.

For maximum conversion, make sure your landing page content directly reflects the search term the visitor used, or the term you’re targeting.

Photo of a man poiting a dart to the center of a dartboard

That doesn’t mean merely repeating the words themselves, but addressing the phrase engagingly to begin the selling process.


Use a Strong, Relevant Headline

Not only does your landing page need to be relevant, but it also needs to be quickly recognized as being so.

The headline is essential for this; make it a strong and clear affirmation that the visitor has found the content they’re looking for.

Catchy, clever headlines may be suitable for a copywriter’s professional pride, but don’t let sophistication distract from your headline’s focus.

It’s far better to stay direct and relevant, relegating any wordplay or sloganeering to a tagline.


Compelling Call to Action

Once the visitor feels reassured that they’ve landed on the right page, you need to give them a clear path forward to your intended result.

Whether this is to click through to a sales page or sign up for a newsletter, you must use a strong call to action (CTA) to guide them.

Illustration of a CTA

Don’t beat around the bush; tell the visitor what to do, how to do it, and crucially, how they’ll benefit from their action.


Keep it Simple

A landing page isn’t usually the place for in-depth information or intensive sales tactics; always err on the side of simplicity.

If the page requires lengthier content, such as in a classic “squeeze page,” you should place it below the main headline and CTA combination so that it doesn’t distract visitors from your desired action.


Make Conversion Obvious and Easy

Whatever the conversion aim of the landing page, make the action as straightforward as possible.

Don’t require reams of information or make the visitor jump through unnecessary hoops.

Aim to seal the deal as quickly as you can, and leave asking for qualification details until later.


Remove Navigation

Don’t give your visitors an easy option to go elsewhere without filling in your lead form.

Remove all site navigation from above the fold, keeping it in the footer as a last-chance way to direct non-converting traffic elsewhere on your site.


Add a Short Video

However, an exception to the minimalist approach is to include a short video to support the text content.

Studies have shown that video can increase landing page conversion by a considerable amount – up to 80% in some outlier cases.

It’s not clear why this works so well, but the moving image seems to tap directly into the emotional centers of the brain far more efficiently than text.

Although video is helpful, don’t go over the top.

You don’t want a long piece of cinematic art; a short, to-the-point video can work wonders in grabbing and holding attention.


Use Images

To a lesser extent, striking images can also boost conversion.

Make sure each picture is attractive but not dominating, unless it is part of the CTA, where it should be a focus of attention.


Social Proof

Another way to add persuasive content is to include one or two social proof elements.

Illustration of people giving review with star rating

Short testimonials accompanied by believable photos are compelling, as are sales counters or social media “like” tallies.

But as before, don’t go over the top. You don’t want your content to distract or overwhelm, just to push for that conversion.


Mobile Friendly

It shouldn’t need saying in 2018, but today’s internet users access the web through a vast variety of devices.

While they may not as often complete a purchase via mobile (but this is no longer as sure as it once was), they’ll research using one.

If your landing page falls apart on mobile devices, you’ve lost the customer but have still paid for the click.


Use Multiple CTAs

If the primary call to action doesn’t convert, you can use harder selling tactics further down the page, followed by a second and even more compelling CTA.

After all, if a visitor makes it this far, your first CTA didn’t convert, and so there’s nothing lost by using more aggressive persuasion techniques without risking alienation.

Test and Test Again

Lastly, although these techniques have all been shown to boost conversion rates, marketing isn’t an exact science.

Different combinations of ad copy, content, and CTAs can have unpredictable results.

Always test several versions of a landing page to see which works best, and use your findings to refine your next batch.


In any competitive sector, an online business needs to optimize every detail if it wants to succeed.

Landing pages which don’t perform waste your ad spend, while also giving your competitors a chance to convert customers you’ve turned away.