The Best Tactics in Landing Page Optimization

At Pubcon 2009, the Best Tactics in Landing Page Optimization session covered some common sense, and some not-so-common sense tactics for building the best landing page for your search campaigns.

Moderator: Ken Jurina
Tim Ash, CEO,
Brad Geddes, Founder,
Kate Morris, Founding Demon, Marketing Demons
Joanna Lord, CMO,

Here’s what they had to say:

Kate Morris started off with some key elements that make up a good landing page:

An example of a great landing page from Bose:


  • Make sure there is a clear call to action above the fold
  • Keep forms short- remove any unnecessary fields
  • Also, keep forms above the fold

Relevant content:

  • When you are writing the content for your landing page, think about intent of searcher, as it relates to the specific keywords they are searching.
  • Ad copy needs to be keyword targeted in copy and headline
  • Don’t use the home page as a landing page unless you only have one product

Landing page length:

  • Test what works best for you – usually shorter pages are better.

Visual Interest:

  • Use white space
  • Embrace simplicity – focus on one product or service and keep cross selling to a minimum


  • There are two differing chain of thought on landing page navigation – give users a choice, or keep them prisoner (don’t give them the option to navigate to the website).
  • Test both options to see which one gives the best conversion rate.


  • Conversion rate is the most important metric. You can benchmark your landing page conversion rate vs other campaigns.
  • Also monitor your cost per conversion to gauge whether you can afford the cost of building the landing page.
  • Bounce Rate – about 30% bounce rate is really good, up to 50%  is good, over 70% bounce rate means that something is wrong with the page.

In conclusion, all what works for one company or one product may not work for another. What works & rates of success are all relative, so test multiple landing page variations and pay attention to analytics.

Brad Geddes
Brad’s first point is the importance of putting yourself in your visitors’ shoes. When users land on your landing page the first thing they think (whether consciously or subconsciously) is “Am I in the right place?”

Brad suggested that we should test conventional wisdom – just because it’s right for most products, doesn’t mean its right for yours.

  • 80% of searches are informational. When someone is searching for information, directing them to a purchase page is not a great strategy; rather they should be directed to a page that answers their question.
  • Local business queries – a good strategy for local business searches could be to use a page containing customer testimonials and other trust indicators.
  • When people are searching for very ambiguous or broad themes, the consumer may often not have enough information to enter the buying cycle yet.
  • For specific product queries – users should be sent to a sales or limited option page with very closely related products
  • For branded searches users could be sent to a “what’s new” page instead of directly to the home page.

Joanna Lord
Joanna started off with some great landing page statistics:

  • 50% of companies are still driving paid search traffic to the home page, but according to Joanna, you don’t need to drive paid traffic to pages you’re ranking for organically.
  • 75% of companies have fewer than 4 landing pages.
  • 25% are testing landing pages regularly

Some ways to make more money by spending less.

  • In-house strategies:
    • Streamline every process possible by creating landing page templates wherever possible.
    • Focus on data collection
    • Auto-remove bad performing landing pages

On-Site tactics

  • Beyond tracking just conversions, also focus on branding.
  • Use viral & social media add-ons to increase interaction.


  • Conduct not only a/b testing, but also multivariate testing. Continually check your data & use multiple tools.

Tim Ash
Tim Ash gave some great tips along with some tools for testing your landing pages.

Tools include:

  • Crazyegg for in-page web analytics
  • Clicktale – records user sessions & plays them back, also shows click heat maps, advanced link analytics, and advanced form analytics (shown below)
  • A few other great tools include:,, and

One common theme of the landing page sessions at PubCon 2009 is that landing pages are guaranteed to increase your conversions for paid search. Every company paying for keywords should test different landing pages for optimal conversion.

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