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Landing page optimization: full guide to increase conversions

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

You have a landing page, but it doesn’t get enough conversions?


In this full guide, I’ll explain what elements make a landing page great for conversions and how to increase conversions by making key improvements based on actual users’ data.

I’ll teach you the most important metrics to monitor for understanding the performance of your landing page and what freemium tools you can use to improve the conversion rate (CRO: Conversion Rate Optimization).

Let’s start from the beginning.

Table of contents:

  1. Attention: the real goal of a landing page;

  2. Digital marketing strategy for landing pages;

  3. Workshop: optimize your landing page funnel with a Service Level Agreement;

  4. Landing page copywriting for a killer conversion rate;

  5. Design elements for a successful landing page;

  6. Landing page builders;

  7. Metrics to audit a landing page performance;

  8. On-page optimization strategies;

  9. Off-page optimization strategies;

  10. A/B testing: dos and don’ts.


You build a website to achieve three main goals:

  1. Inform;

  2. Generate leads;

  3. Sell.

If you don’t include one of these three key objectives, you actually don’t need a website.

But if you include all of these three goals, you need landing pages to focus users’ attention on each specific objective.

What is a landing page?

Expecting a high conversion rate from a web page designed to achieve multiple goals is foolish.

While your website should give a general overview of your business and guide users through different sections, a landing page should focus on them completing an action.

In fact, a landing page is a web page that prompts users to take one specific action.

Everything on this page should be built and optimized to increase the conversion rate, whatever it means (sale, event registration, subscription and so on).

The origin of landing pages

The term landing page was first used by Microsoft’s IT department in 2003 when they started developing a strategy to remedy poor online sales of their core product: Office.

At that time, landing pages were very different from what you see today.

The images below represent two examples of old landing pages that Greg Edwards, CTO at EyeTools, inserted in his presentation: Landing page eyetracking study published by MarketingSherpa Store in 2005.

And these are examples of old call to action buttons used in the same year, can you believe it?

Old landing page CTAs
Examples of old landing page CTAs (Call To Actions).

In 2005, Dave Chaffey’s, co-founder of Smart Insights, shared an article (now updated) with the immutable laws of a successful landing page.

Chaffey defines a landing page as a:

Specific page(s) on a web site created for visitors referred from marketing campaigns, which are designed to achieve a marketing outcome.

Two main global factors have affected the way we build landing pages today:

  1. Technological development;

  2. Short attention span.

Landing pages were stand-alone. It means they were hard coded by a developer within the main website and weren’t usually connected with third party apps or tools.

Only in 2009, startups like Unbounce allowed people to create landing pages with external integrations and easy to use editors.

Ah, by the way, I hate Unbounce and I don’t recommend it. Keep reading to see what I recommend in its place.

The second reason why we felt the irresistible desire to jump out of the window after seeing the previous landing page examples is because we have a short attention span.

In the past, there wasn’t a lot of competition for online content. Now, online content is overwhelming, because everyone can easily publish it.

So, we need fewer words, more space, better design, proper colors and other elements to help us digest content and keep focused.