Landing Page Optimization (LPO): The Complete Guide

Landing pages can be a powerful lead generation tool. But you need to set them up for success—then routinely measure, test and optimize—if you want to see real results.

Landing Page Optimization

A Comprehensive Guide to Landing Page Optimization

So, you’ve done all this work to build and promote a shiny new landing page. Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and watch the leads roll in. New pipeline, sales off your back… finally!

There’s just one problem. None of your hard-won traffic is actually converting into leads. Or maybe the leads initially came in hot, but have since slowed to a halt. Whatever the reason, your landing page isn’t generating the results you want and need. The silence in your CRM is deafening.

Welcome to the cutthroat world of conversion rate optimization (CRO), where attention spans are short, competition is fierce and loyalty is fickle. To survive, you need a foolproof combination of CRO strategy, landing page best practices and meaningful insights into your target audience. This guide will show you how to pull all three together to effectively optimize your landing pages so you can:

  • Deliver better customer journeys than your competitors—from the second a new user arrives on your landing page

  • Identify and eliminate sources of friction standing in between users and conversions

  • Stop users from leaving your landing page altogether

But first, let’s quickly go over the basics (feel free to skip ahead if you already know your landing page 101).

What is a landing page?

A landing page is a standalone webpage designed to convert users into qualified leads. Folks may “land” on these pages via Google search, ads (PPC or social media), or a call to action (CTA) placed on your website, blog or in a promotional email. Although there are different types of landing pages (more on that in a minute), one thing they all have in common is their singular focus. That means:

  • Single offer: Homepages enable users to learn anything and everything about your company and products. All the benefits. All the features. All the things. Landing pages, on the other hand, are always focused on a single campaign to promote a specific product, service or offering.

  • Single goal: While homepages give users as many opportunities as possible to engage— subscribe to the newsletter, follow on social media, book a demo call, converse with a chatbot, check out the latest blog post—landing pages drive a single course of action. Common landing page CTAs including filling out a form or signing up for a free trial.

  • Single source of traffic: Because landing pages are campaign-focused, they zero in on a single source of traffic, often reaching users through highly targeted paid ads.

Types of landing pages

Landing page implementation (and future optimization) depends on why it was built. There are five main types of landing pages:

  1. Squeeze page: These are designed to capture contact information, typically in exchange for a gated content asset like an eBook, whitepaper or report. Email addresses are then flipped into a nurture sequence where the user officially becomes a lead and receives more relevant content and offers over time.

  2. Lead capture landing page: Lead capture landing pages follow the same approach as squeeze pages. The difference is they tend to require more information from users before granting access to gated content—like job title or company size.

  3. Splash page: These intermediary windows appear after a user clicks on a link, before they reach their final destination. It’s basically the landing page equivalent of “By the way, since you’re here…” Sometimes splash pages contain promos, paid ads or special announcements like sales or discounts. They can also be deployed to deliver a more personalized digital experience by asking users to provide their name or language preferences.

  4. Click-through landing page: Click-through landing pages are also intermediary. However, unlike splash pages—which function more as a temporary window en route to another destination—click-through landing pages are more permanent and self-contained. They are commonly used as a “friendly introduction” or warm up to a particular product, especially on e-commerce sites, where users are unlikely to purchase directly from the checkout page.

  5. Paid advertising landing page: Let’s say you’re running a batch of social media ads about a new product. If you catch a user’s attention, the last thing you want is to make them go digging through your entire homepage to learn more. Paid advertising landing pages provide a more seamless and consistent experience by ensuring users will only see relevant information to that specific product.

The anatomy of an effective landing page

The goal of any landing page is to drive more conversions—while simultaneously delighting users. When a landing page falls short, it can be tempting to dive straight into improvements. However, it’s important to make sure your foundation is secure first, before you determine where and how to optimize.

Effective landing pages are always built around a clear, concise value proposition which explains:

  • The tangible or intangible benefits your product offers

  • The problem it solves

  • Why it’s a better choice than competitors

  • Pricing information

The value proposition is communicated through several key landing page elements, any of which you may need to test, tweak or refine at some point.

These include:

  • Hero section: Visuals play a critical role on landing pages, and for good reason. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. The hero image is the first visual element users will see (besides your logo). It may alternatively be an animation or video, and typically shows the product in use.

  • Copy: Copy can make or break your landing page—studies have found that landing page copy is twice as important to conversation as its design. It’s also one of the most difficult aspects to get right. While 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of the page. It’s not just a matter of clever wordsmithing. Copy will only perform if it’s aligned with the right stage of awareness and informed by a deep understanding of user pain points—including why they should care about your offer in the first place.

  • Clear benefit statement: Rather than just listing off key features, an effective landing page takes it one step further by highlighting the impact of those features. This doesn’t need to be a rambling section. On the contrary, benefit statements are often snappy summaries organized with numbered lists, bullet points or icons, making it easier for users to skim.

  • Social proof: According to a recent survey, over 93% of people make buying decisions based on online reviews. Although landing pages commonly showcase positive reviews, social proof may also encompass text-only customer quotes, video testimonials or screenshots of positive social media mentions. Landing pages might also incorporate real metrics, like how many users have subscribed to a newsletter or reviewed a product (i.e. “Over 1,000 five star reviews”).

  • Trust signals: Social proof is a powerful trust signal, but that’s not the only kind. Other common examples include logos indicating well known customers or notable press mentions, membership or verification badges—i.e. Better Business Bureau, Norton Secured, Google Trusted Store—and third-party ratings, like G2 or TrustRadius. E-commerce brands may also include guarantees to address customer objections, like warranties or free returns.

  • Form: A landing page form sounds pretty self-explanatory, but it’s often more complex than it seems. Forms require a designated header and copy explaining what users will receive in exchange for their contact information. There may also be self-contained links to a privacy policy or GDPR compliance statement.

  • CTA: Landing pages do not contain a top navigation menu or internal links. Instead, there is a single CTA, prompting users to complete one specific action.

Adhering to these structural guidelines will help ensure your landing page is set up for success from the get-go, making it easier to optimize later on.

🔥Hot Tip: Landing pages can look and feel like their own entity, completely separate from the rest of your website. However, be careful not to lose the forest for the trees. Even though each landing page has a singular purpose, it should still be closely aligned with your broader CRO strategy behind the scenes.

What is landing page optimization (LPO)?

A subset of CRO, landing page optimization (LPO) is the process for testing and improving different landing page elements in order to boost the overall conversion rate. This typically involves some combination of the following:

  • Analyzing data to see how users interact with the page

  • Re-designing different landing page elements, then conducting A/B testing to compare with the previous version

  • Modifying copy or CTAs

  • SEO improvements

For many marketers, LPO is a massive undertaking. However, without a systemized approach, this can feel like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. The best way to optimize your landing page is to build a solid foundation, then consistently monitor, test and improve—instead of waiting for performance to tank.

How to optimize your landing page?

Your landing page has one purpose: to convert users into qualified leads. If that isn’t happening —for whatever reason—it’s time to make some changes.

So how do you get started? The first step is to determine if you actually need to optimize your landing page in the first place. If you’ve got LPO on the brain, you’re probably in one of the three camps:

  1. You haven’t created your landing page yet, but want to make sure it's set up for success. Take the time to ensure you’re choosing the right type of landing page for your goals. Then, define specific criteria to indicate success, so you can measure performance and progress against it as soon as the page goes live.

  2. Your landing page is out there collecting dust on the Internet. It’s live, but not driving any conversions. In this case, don't worry about optimization yet. You need to solidify the fundamentals first. That means making sure:

    1. You’re driving the right traffic to your landing page

    2. The desired action is aligned with user intent, based on your understanding of their behavior on your website

    3. Your landing page goals are in sync with the broader campaign and CRO strategy.

  3. Your landing page was previously performing, but you’ve noticed the leads have decreased. If this is you, great! That means you’re ready to get started with LPO. Read on.

🔥Hot Tip: Your landing page will never be finished. There will always be something new to tweak or refine. Rather than striving for perfection, put your effort into building new pages the right way, then implementing a process to easily monitor, test, improve and optimize as you go.

Getting started with landing page optimization

If you’ve already locked down the fundamentals, it’s time to start optimizing! You will need to:

  • Solidify your core KPIs

  • Look at user behavior

  • Improve and test individual page elements

Rinse and repeat!

Solidify your core KPIs

Data is critical to landing page optimization. However, if you’re overloaded with information and not even sure what you’re looking at, that won’t be helpful to anyone. Instead, focus on assessing your landing page through core KPIs. These will give you a holistic sense of how your landing page is performing, without overwhelming you:

  • Pageviews: This tracks how many users have visited your landing page in a specific timeframe. It’s a good way to kick off your LPO efforts and help you determine which landing pages to focus on. For instance, a low traffic landing page might indicate poor search optimization, but it could also be an issue with ad targeting that needs to be addressed before you start tinkering with different page elements. On the other hand, a landing page with a high number of pageviews but low conversion rate is the perfect candidate for optimization. Since you can filter pageviews by date, this is also a good way to see if seasonality is impacting your landing page.

  • Bounce rates: This tracks the percentage of users who view your landing page and then leave without taking another action. That could mean clicking the back button or an outbound link, remaining inactive for more than 30 minutes or closing the tab altogether. Although this can vary wildly by industry, a 41-55% bounce rate is considered “average.” If your bounce rate is poor, it may indicate an issue with speed, design (i.e. the landing page not being intuitive or optimized for mobile) or not accurately reflecting the ads your users are clicking on.

  • Traffic sources: This tells you where your traffic is actually coming from and which channels to prioritize. It can also help you understand pageviews and bounce rates—if both are low, you’re probably not targeting the right audience for your landing page.

  • Average time on page: This measures how much time users are spending on your landing page. A shorter time span isn’t necessarily a bad thing—on the contrary, it could be a sign that the landing page is actually doing its job and converting. It’s also important to consider the type of landing page. If the purpose is to educate users on a new software solution, you’ll likely need more content than if you just want them to download your latest report. If the former, look at improving the copy and ensuring your value proposition is clear.

  • Form abandonment rates: This measures the percentage of users who begin filling out a form but then peace out before finishing. High form abandonment rates may indicate the form has too many fields or is requesting sensitive information that users aren’t comfortable sharing.

  • Conversion rates: Conversion rates track how many users perform the desired action, i.e. filling out a form or subscribing to your newsletter. The calculation is simple: Conversion Rate = Number of conversions / Number of Visitors x 100. This is the most important landing page metric to track. The average conversion rate across all industries is nearly 10%.

A/B testing can be used at any point to optimize performance for elements on a website or mobile app. You can start with conducting A/B tests on elements you believe are underperforming. Or, A/B testing can be used to validate what you think is working by giving you the data to back up your assertion. As part of an ongoing marketing strategy, it’s wise to continually conduct A/B testing—even on elements that ARE performing well—to see if there are ways to improve.

Gather behavioral data (you’re gonna need it)

KPIs are important, but they’re only half the battle. You also need behavioral data to fill in the gaps and effectively analyze your landing page. At the end of the day, you’re not trying to boost conversation or fill your pipeline. You’re really trying to influence human behavior—and you can’t do that unless you have a deep understanding of the humans you’re trying to influence in the first place. How are you supposed to optimize your landing page if you don’t know what users are doing when they get there—and why?

Here’s a perfect example of data-driven influence. If you got caught up in the Game of Thrones hysteria in the 2010s, you may recall when Daenerys Targaryen persuaded legions of warriors to conduct a massive land invasion on her behalf—just like her ill-fated brother had attempted to do years prior.

The difference was her brother waltzed in with surface-level knowledge of said warriors and demanded a particular action. Dany, on the other hand, spent the better part of a decade learning and understanding their behavior, motivation and how they actually think. It may have been a fantasy world, but she still had tons of data—she knew what she had to do to get them to follow her.

Now, granted, your landing page is leading users into a nurture sequence, not into battle. But you still need to understand their behaviors, pain points and motivations if you want them to follow you there.

The issue is that most marketers don’t have the ability to quickly gather these types of insights at scale. Instead, they’re forced to rely on general personas, and then attempt to connect them with top-level KPIs. How are you supposed to influence behavior if this is all you know about your user?


It doesn’t help that the average digital session includes nearly 1,000 events—typical analytics tools only capture around 1-5% of these events on average. A/B testing can be similarly limited, since it only looks at the beginning or end result. Did the user convert, or didn’t they? This makes it almost impossible to identify real struggles, issues and sources of friction which could be impacting your landing page. To uncover them, you’ll need to dive in and examine actual user behavior with:

  • Heatmaps: Heatmaps visually represent user activity and movement on your landing page. This is a great way to add additional context to your KPIs and track where users are clicking, scrolling and reading.

  • Session replays: Heatmaps can be incredibly helpful, but also misleading. For instance, a heatmap may indicate users scrolling all the way down to the form section, where they spend a significant amount of time. Great! However, what if this lengthy duration is due to a frustrating CAPTCHA challenge that frustrates users until they give up and leave? Session replays add more nuance, since you can actually view every landing page session from the user’s perspective—not only where they clicked and scrolled, but what they actually did when they got there.

  • Journey mapping: Journey maps gather additional context by visualizing the sequence of events in which users interact with your landing page. For example, instead of viewing average time on page as an isolated statistic, you can view common dropoff points in relation to other events in the session.

Test individual page elements

Combining benchmark KPIs and insights into real user behavior will provide an invaluable trove of data for optimizing your landing page. This will also help you determine which individual landing page elements to test and optimize first. Rather than attempting to solve which color your CTA button should be, focus on answering more questions about your users and how they’re currently interacting with your landing page:

  • What are the biggest roadblocks and sources of friction? How are they impacting user experience? What is the cause?

  • Where can I make the most immediate impact? Are there any blockers I can resolve right away?

  • How are users behaving from different traffic sources? Is one traffic source encountering more friction than the others? Why? What percentage of overall traffic do these users represent?

🔥Hot Tip: Remember, you aren’t optimizing your landing page for the entire Internet, but for your users, specifically. When examining how they currently interact with your landing page, pay attention to their needs and what brought them there in the first place. What works for one organization or audience might not work for another. When in doubt, always go back to your original data.

Landing page optimization best practices

Although specific improvements will depend on creating the best possible experience for your particular audience, there are still some general landing page best practices to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your landing page reflects the original ads. Copy and imagery should be consistent.

  • Speed is critical. According to one study, when pages load in one second, the average conversion rate is almost 40%. With a two second load time, this drops by 15%.

  • Follow best practices for readability by using headers, subheads, numbered lists and bullet points whenever possible.

  • Make it easier for users to fill out your form with radio buttons, check boxes, or drop-down selections.

  • Be ruthless in cutting down links. Don’t include a navigation menu, links to other products or your social media accounts. Your landing page should have a single CTA and possibly a link to your privacy policy. That’s it.

  • Use a responsive design to ensure your landing page is optimized for mobile devices, not just desktop.

  • Don’t crowd your landing page. White space is your friend and can help draw the eye to your CTA.

Common mistakes

Just like there are standard best practices for landing page optimization, there are also some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Don’t have more than one goal. Your landing page should always be focused on a single offer and desired action.

  • Don’t focus on features instead of benefits. Your landing page will only be effective if it communicates your value proposition and answers “what’s in it for me?” for your users.

  • Don’t go overboard with form fields. Name, location, job title, company size, annual revenue, name of future child… too many marketers forget to apply their singular focus to the actual form. Avoid asking “while we’re at it” questions, and only request information you need.

For more tips, check out the eBook 10 Common UX Mistakes and How to Fix them.


Frequently asked questions about landing page optimization (LPO).

Should I Use Interactive Elements on My Landing Page, and If So, How?

Yes, interactive elements like quizzes or calculators can engage users and gather valuable data. However, ensure they align with your campaign's purpose and don't distract from your main call-to-action.

What Role Does Page Load Speed Play in Landing Page Optimization?

Page load speed is critical. Slow loading pages can lead to higher bounce rates and lower conversions. Optimize images, minimize code, and use content delivery networks (CDNs) to improve loading times.

How Can I Leverage User Behavior Data to Optimize My Landing Pages?

Use tools like heatmaps, click tracking, and session replay to gain insights into how users interact with your landing page. This data can help identify pain points and areas for improvement.

Are There Specific Strategies for Mobile Landing Page Optimization?

Yes, mobile optimization is crucial. Focus on responsive design, concise content, and thumb-friendly navigation. Test how your landing page performs on various mobile devices and screen sizes.