Tag Archives: landing pages


Landing Page Optimization: Best Practices, Tips and Tools (2018)


Landing page optimization doesn’t happen overnight. That’s why marketers get frustrated — and often give up. If you want better landing pages, focus on collecting data. You should design your landing pages based on what you already know about your audience, but don’t stop there — make sure you collect even more information as more people visit your website. Converting that data into informed decisions about your marketing funnel can produce more leads and sales. Today, I’m going to teach you my best landing page optimization tips and tricks so you can attract more prospects and convert more customers. If…

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Landing Page Optimization: Best Practices, Tips and Tools (2018)


[VIDEO] The Landing Page Sessions: Marketing Campaigns Deconstructed

There are so many things to keep track of when designing a landing page. Is the goal clear? Is the page mobile responsive? Have you optimized the copywriting, testimonials, UX and design? How’s your attention ratio?

With all that responsibility comes a lot on uncertainty. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a sounding board? How about the guy who’s seen more landing pages than anyone else on the planet?

With our new series The Landing Pages Sessions, we made that happen for 12 lucky marketers; we deconstructed their marketing campaigns so you can learn from their mistakes.


The Landing Page Sessions are 15-20 minute videos analyzing real-world marketing campaigns from start to finish. In each episode, Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner dissects a campaign landing page along with the ad or email that drove traffic to it.

He gives his feedback on what he thinks could improve conversions, offers A/B testing inspiration, then actually implements those changes in the Unbounce builder so you can get the full picture of the optimized page.

And because we like you so much, we’re dropping the first three episodes today. (After this week, we’ll be releasing an episode every Friday.)

Episode 1: Five Hot Seconds

Powder White, a booking service for ski holidays, wants to collect leads by sending email traffic to a landing page. Unfortunately, this goal is lost in a mix of competing CTAs, unclear copy and disappearing form fields. Oli tries to right the ship with a five-second test in UsabilityHub and some quick copy edits in Unbounce.

Episode 2: A Moment of Clarity

NRG Edge is a social network for oil and gas professionals…or is it? Oli isn’t sure at first. “Tabloidy” headlines, bloated copy and generic business speak get in the way of clearly communicating the value. Can an “Unbounce style” makeover bring a needed dose of clarity?

Episode 3: Message Match… Where Art Thou?

Photosocial is driving Facebook traffic to a landing page for its 12-month mentorship program. In this episode, Oli discusses message match vs. design match, how “conversion context” varies between inbound channels, and how to make your testimonials believable. Oh yeah, and how soon is too soon to say “welcome”?

Happy learning!


[VIDEO] The Landing Page Sessions: Marketing Campaigns Deconstructed

5 Quick Tips to Eliminating Landing Page Distractions

More options means a higher chance of converting, right? Stick an extra button here, make another offer there and your prospects are certain to find something they want on your landing page. Judging from the huge number of ‘busy’ landing pages I come across, I’d say it’s a belief that’s shared by a huge number […]

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How to Reduce Landing Page Distractions and Increase Conversions

More options means a higher chance of converting, right? Stick an extra button here, make another offer there and your prospects are certain to find something they want on your landing page. Judging from the huge number of ‘busy’ landing pages I come across, I’d say it’s a belief that’s shared by a huge number […]

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How to Reduce Landing Page Distractions and Increase Conversions


How To Build A Landing Page From Scratch

A while back, we discussed ready-made landing pages in some detail. We evaluated how to customize lading pages “out of the box” and even reviewed the top landing page providers. For many businesses, ready-made landing pages are the way to go. You don’t have the time, expertise, or team to tackle landing pages without help, […]

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How To Build A Landing Page From Scratch

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Landing Page Optimization

Your product or service is great. But for all the effort you’ve put in to get traffic to your landing page, they just aren’t signing up. Or at least not as many as you think should. It’s this one major hurdle that prevents many businesses from reaching comfortable profitability, and growing consistently as they should. […]

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The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Landing Page Optimization

3 Secrets for a High-Converting Webinar Landing Page

Webinars, one of the tried and true methods for increasing authority, capturing leads and maybe even generating a little extra revenue. Well… that is… if you can convince your visitors to sign up. There are an abundance of articles out there on how to create a kick-ass landing page for a product or service, but do the […]

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3 Secrets for a High-Converting Webinar Landing Page

How to Reverse Engineer a High-Converting Landing Page

Designing a landing page is hard. And sometimes, the more you know, the more difficult it is. You know all the elements that should be on a page, and you know what kind of results you ought to be getting. But where do you start? How do you go from a blank screen to a […]

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How to Reverse Engineer a High-Converting Landing Page


Direct Your Landing Pages Like a Hollywood Legend

Billy Wilder's landing page advice
Image source: mxdwn.com

On the wall next to my desk I’ve pasted some tips on how to write well from three of my heroes: Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell – and Hollywood legend Billy Wilder. I write every single day, whether I feel like it or not. That’s how I get better.

Sometimes it can be a real grind to get the words out — it’s part of the gig. But I always have these simple rules to follow to help me get back on track.

Billy Wilder wrote 79 screenplays for movies like Casino Royale, Ocean’s 11 (the original versions), The Apartment and Some Like It Hot. In that time, he learned a thing or two about writing and how to hold an audience’s attention.

What is amazing to me about Billy Wilder’s rules for writing is how well they translate to marketing.

At the end of the day, whether you’re writing a screenplay or copy for a landing page, you’re writing for an audience. And if that audience isn’t interested, you’ll either end up with no one at your movie, or no prospects converting into customers.

Turns out Billy’s 10 writing rules also make for a great guide to landing page optimization. Let’s take a look at them and see what we can learn about landing pages from one of Hollywood’s most prolific writer/directors.

1. “The audience is fickle”

Audiences today are as fickle as they were in Billy’s time – whether they’re at the movies or on the internet. Nearly half of internet users will abandon a page that doesn’t load within three seconds.

One article in the New York Times suggests that the average American attention span in 2013 clocked in at about eight seconds. Compare this to that of the average goldfish with an attention span of nine seconds.

Landing page attention span

But it’s not just about being fickle – audiences are so bombarded with choices that they can hardly manage to concentrate on one thing for the same amount of time as a goldfish.

As marketers, we need to remember this. If your landing page isn’t delivering the goods immediately, you might as well print out a copy, cut it up into tiny pieces, and feed it to your goldfish.

At least the fish will be interested for a little while longer.

Some of us have the attention span of a goldfish. Present your landing page offer clearly &…
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2. “Grab ‘em by the throat and never let ‘em go”

For one audience, Some Like It Hot may be the most engaging, edge-of-your-seat thriller ever filmed. Others may find it to be the most boring, slow, meandering mess of a movie they’ve ever seen.

All audiences are different and it’s up to marketers to discover how to hold their specific audience’s attention. The great part of working in our field is that we have the ability to analyze data that can give us clues as to what resonates with our prospects.

Have a look at how this landing page by Golden Sands Resorts uses evocative imagery to grab their visitor’s attention:


They grab your attention by placing you in an amazing room with an ocean view, and give you all the information you need to convince you to stay there. And you don’t get to just book the room — you have to apply, which creates a sense of exclusivity.

By using attention-driven design techniques, (using whitespace to allow certain aspects of your landing page to stand out, using directional cues to point at a CTA, using encapsulation to surround a landing page element, etc)  you can grab your visitors’ attention, get them to see your unique value proposition, and follow through to the call to action.

3. “Develop a clear line of action for your leading character”

Wilder was a master of the mystery genre. The film Double Indemnity is filled with more tension than a high-wire line. There are choices made in this movie that may make you want to scream at the screen, but all of those choices lead to the conclusion, where all loose ends are tied up and all questions are answered.

No one likes to be filled with anxiety in the real world, but that feeling of anxiousness is a big part of what keeps people going back to movies. The choices the characters make on screen sometimes make us want to yell at the screen, and that’s how the writers make it fun for us.

This scene sums up this idea perfectly:

It seems obvious that Stanwyck is going to finish Fred MacMurray’s character off, but the result ends up being much different.

It’s a great movie scene, but we want to avoid this kind of tension on our landing pages at all costs by giving prospects a clear line of action to follow. Only one possible action. Only one goal.

Giving landing page visitors too many choices on a landing page creates decision fatigue. With too much choice, visitors will often choose nothing at all.

As the screenwriter of the landing page, your job is to give the visitor just one choice to make. Anxiety is what makes movies interesting – it’s also what makes landing pages fail.

4. “Know where you’re going”

If Bud Baxter in The Apartment had not been trying to climb up the corporate ladder he would have nothing to pursue and the movie would be as unmemorable as Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Memorable landing page
You tryin’ to tell me you don’t remember this movie?

A landing page supports a campaign. But if you’re not clear on your campaign goals, your landing page will reflect that and leave prospects confused – just like watching a movie with no plot.

Landing pages support campaigns. Don’t build one until you’ve established your campaign goals.
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Start with a clearly laid-out campaign plan.

From there, you’ll have all the information you need to guide prospects toward the next step: the conversion.

5. “The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer”

In one of the great murder mysteries of all time, Witness for the Prosecution, Wilder takes the audience through more twists and turns than a coastal road in a James Bond movie.

This movie poster would actually make for a pretty decent landing page template. Image credit: cinemafantic.wordpress.com

The genius of this film is that the audience never quite knows what’s about to happen. The screenplay leads people to believe one thing, and then reveals another to be true. It’s done in an elegantly sophisticated way – not with brute force.

The less aggressive you are on a landing page, the better you’ll be at converting your readers.

This isn’t to say that you should pull the ole bait ‘n switch like Wilder does — it simply means that subtlety goes a long way toward making your visitors comfortable enough to convert.

Here’s a great example of how not to be subtle:


“Shut up and take my money” is a fun thing to say in an article’s comment section or on a Reddit thread, but in terms of subtlety, this is the landing page equivalent of an Adam Sandler movie.

Don’t make people think about the fact that they’re about to part with their money – make them think about how great their lives are going to be once they purchase your product or service.

Don’t remind landing page visitors that they’re about to pay. Explain how you’ll improve their life.
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6. “If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act”

What Wilder means in this rule is that if the ending is not achieving the results you’re after, then you need to look at the problem from the beginning.

Are the characters not lining up together the way they were intended to? Is the protagonist not becoming the hero he was meant to be? Is the story just not interesting at this point?

If so, you must go back to the beginning to help them get there by offering them a different launching point.

The third act of any landing page is the action taken by the visitor to that page – the conversion. If you’re not getting conversions, take a step back and look at your proverbial first act: your headline.

Test your headlines to ensure you’re getting the attention of your audience right from the very beginning. Make sure you give them a reason to stay and to find out what’s going to happen in the end.

7. “Let the audience add up two plus two. They’ll love you forever”

With any film, the goal is to give the audience the information they need to put the story together for themselves – to give them enough to understand where the journey may take them.

On a landing page, this is done by using a hero shot to help the audience picture your product and imagine themselves using it.


Shots of happy, satisfied customers using the product convey a sense of gratification that an audience can relate to. Or, like the image of the dapper fellow above, it gets the audience thinking about how amazing they’re going to look when they have their very own tailored three-piece suit.

Using these aspirational elements together gives your landing page audience a kind of sense of completion – you’ve given them just enough information to start imagining their future with your solution, and they’re beginning to fall just a little bit in love.

8. “In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’re seeing”

Billy Wilder made very little use of voice-overs in his movies. Brian Cox’s character in Adaptation (written by Charlie Kaufman) is dead-set against them.

The closest thing to a voice-over that we could use on a landing page is video. If done right, videos can work really well to help nudge visitors toward conversion.

Like voice-overs, your videos should never repeat the information that you’ve already presented on your page. They should complement the rest of your page and offer extra information that certain types of buyers may need in order to convert.

And whatever you do, remember that your landing page should still be able to stand on its own without the video. A significant percentage of your landing page visitors will never watch your video at all.

9. “The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie”

The second act of a movie is often one of the most difficult to write. It has to set the stage for the grand finale and can easily feel like it drags on.

On your landing pages, the second act is like the seemingly mundane (but very necessary) elements that propel readers through to your call to action.

These elements are things like your trust seals and testimonials:

  • Trust seals are those logos that you see on sites that give your visitors a reason to feel that their information is safe when they submit it to your site.


  • Testimonials are highly condensed success stories in which your customers talk about their experience with your brand.

These fall under the category of social proof, which also includes things like a ribbon of company logos on your landing page:

The proof is in the putting it on your page.

They may not seem like much (and you may be sick of reading about them), but altogether, they help get you to the third act where you can get those well-earned clicks.

10. “The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then – that’s it. Don’t hang around”

There’s a story that Elijah Wood has told about when Jack Nicholson asked him “What happened?” with regards to The Lord of the Rings. “You know, that movie,” Jack said, “It just had so many endings… it just wouldn’t end!”

With most Billy Wilder movies, a rather exacting formula is used and his movies generally hover around the 90-minute mark – depending on how long it takes to tell the story that needs to be told.

Marketers often ask about the perfect length of a landing page, and Sherice Jacobs sums up the answer succinctly in this article:

The ideal length of your landing page will depend largely on the goal of the page.

How long does it take you to tell your brand’s story?

It takes exactly as long as it takes to get your audience to convert, and no longer. The way to find out is to test your pages and see what your audience prefers.

Just like focus groups at film screenings can advise producers about audience reaction, every landing page needs to undergo rigorous testing to ensure you are reaching your audience in the most efficient means possible.

This is either the best, or the worst reaction you could ask for.

Give them just enough, hit them with the call to action, and wait for the virtual ovation to begin.

Not all stories have a Hollywood ending… but they could

As it turns out, Billy Wilder has tons of landing page opitmization advice to offer. He once said:

Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s.

This is something that all marketers need to remember. Much of what we do depends on failure, and knowing that it gets us closer to the happy ending we’re looking for.

It’s by testing different elements of a landing page and learning what does and does not work that we become closer to writing our own Hollywood endings.

Where have you found inspiration that has helped you to build better landing pages? Tell us your story in the comments below!

– Mark John Hiemstra

Conversion Optimization Beyond The Landing Page

Billy Wilder's landing page advice

Excerpt from:

Direct Your Landing Pages Like a Hollywood Legend


Optimizing Your Landing Pages for Different Sources of Traffic

Tyson Quick is the CEO of Instapage, a tool that lets website owners and marketers quickly build and split-test landing pages.

So if you want to get better at optimizing your landing pages, you’re in the right place.

tyson quickTyson is a serial entrepreneur who started building online companies when he was just 15. His passion is for UX / UI design, but he also specializes in project management, business growth and all aspects of online marketing from PPC to CRO.

In this interview, Tyson discusses how different campaigns and different sources of traffic affect conversion rates — and he shares some tips on how to tweak your landing pages for different traffic sources.

.@TysonQuick explains how different traffic sources impact conversion.
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1. One aspect of CRO that doesn’t get discussed as much as it should is how different campaigns (i.e., sources of traffic) affect the performance of a landing page. A landing page that performs extremely well for one campaign may not perform well at all for another.

Can you describe how and why the same landing page on a business’ website may perform very differently depending on the campaign that’s sending traffic to it?

Context is an extremely important factor for all marketers to consider when laying the groundwork for their CRO efforts. If you do not understand the context from which your visitors are coming to your landing pages, then you don’t understand your visitors.

People are in quite different mindsets and settings when coming from different traffic sources. A Google AdWords click is typically coming from a visitor who is directly looking for a solution to a specific problem they’re already aware of, while a visitor from a Facebook or Twitter advertisement is typically still in the problem / solution discovery phase. The post click experience should reflect this mindset.

It’s ok to get straight to the point and ask for the conversion when talking to a highly targeted source of traffic, such as you typically get with a higher CPC (cost per click). You might want to focus more on educational content when talking to people who come from a casual source of traffic, as you work to establish the problem that needs to be solved.

It’s always a good idea to segment causal landing page viewers into a retargeting campaign so that you can re-engage them “after” they’ve been exposed to your brand with a second landing page that is now “in the clear” for getting straight to the point.

Last but not least you’ll need to establish different conversion goals depending on the traffic source, or else your optimization efforts are at risk for improving the wrong metrics.

You need different conversion goals for each traffic source to your landing page ~Tyson Quick.
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2. Let’s talk a little about the setting of different conversion goals for different traffic sources that you just mentioned.

Can you tell us about some of the more common sources of traffic and what conversions goals should be established for each (including the metrics that should drive optimization decisions for each)?

Today there are a few “primary” sources of paid traffic.  This includes search engine result pages, display networks primarily used for banner ad retargeting, and social networks for “in-stream” targeting.

Of course there are plenty of other methods / types of advertising, but these are the primary Pay-Per-Click focus areas for nearly all online advertisers and the best fit for landing pages.

To give you a better idea of how to approach each of these, I’m going to overview how we (Instapage) run the majority of our paid campaigns and how the goals we set for each vary.

We start by building out campaigns for our search engine ads.  We’ve chosen the top use cases for our software to create our campaigns and have then broken up the relevant keywords into ad groups of each campaign. This sets the stage for our landing pages.

Once this process has been completed we build out relevant landing pages for each ad group based on the keywords and message that we’re trying to get across. Relevancy (aka context) is always extremely important in this process. Because searchers are typically looking for solutions to solve a problem when searching, our goal is to get a sign up or lead.

On each of these landing pages, we place tracking pixels to generate a list of already engaged users to be used for our retargeting display ads.

For any user that came to these search result landing pages but did not convert, we start targeting them with banner ads across the internet to encourage them to finish what they started. The messaging in these banner ads builds upon the message they’ve already been exposed to but takes it one step further to educate them on additional benefits they’ll get by signing up.

The landing pages that are attached to these display ads are all about “continuing the message” rather than assuming they’ve just heard about us. The goal here is, again, to get the sign up or lead.

After we’ve closed the deal and generated the sign up, we start targeting the user across social networks to begin the activation or training phase. We build educational ads to be placed in our signed up users Facebook and Twitter feeds. The goal here is to educate the user on how to best take advantage of our product so that they can realize its value and subsequently upgrade.

The landing pages we use in this stage have videos, next-step procedures, and how-to-upgrade messaging.

Following this process will do wonders in bringing you new customers; however, you should always be testing and refining each part of the overall experience / customer journey.

After conversion, retarget customers with ‘next-step’ procedures. ~Tyson Quick
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3. You mentioned building different landing pages based on keywords related to specific use cases. How different are those landing pages? Do you find just swapping a few words out to match the keywords does the trick (assuming the product/service being offered is essentially the same) or does it take more than that to truly maximize conversion rates?

With landing page marketing, you always want to start with a Minimum Viable Page. Therefore, you should start with simple message matching, as it’s not only the most important but tends to have the biggest impact.

Additionally it’s more important to get more landing pages launched with message matching alone for all of your primary advertising campaigns then spending critical time and resources perfecting the entire experience of one page.

As your resources expand and your campaigns mature, then you can go back for round-two “further experience matching” on your most valuable pages. This round typically consists of making it relevant to geographic location, gender, or by improving the story flow based on the value add your campaign is built around.

With landing pages, you always want to start with a Minimum Viable Page. ~Tyson Quick
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4. Okay, you’ve laid out a pretty compelling case for why it’s important having customized landing pages for different sources of traffic makes a lot of sense. How does a tool like Instapage help advertisers do that?

It helps advertisers build and A/B split test the landing pages that they are sending their ad clicks to. This is the most important step of an advertising campaign.

Because this process only works if it’s fast and easy to get these pages online, our team has obsessively prioritized simplicity. From choosing a relevant template to testing one headline vs another, we make everything possible in only a few clicks.

Marketers no longer need IT to help them set up integrations, add marketing tags, and get their pages online — all they need is Instapage. We make optimizing your landing pages easy.

To get more from Tyson, check out Instapage.com.

Go here to read more Crazy Egg articles from Adam Kreitman.

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Optimizing Your Landing Pages for Different Sources of Traffic