Landing page design and aesthetics have long been up for debate (flat design? Parallax? eternal scroll?), but we’ve been able to pinpoint a healthy list of mission-critical best practices that we don’t see changing in the near future.

If you’re struggling to optimize a landing page, start with the following tips and examples. (And if you have any favorites to add, let us know in the Comments section.)

1. Always base testing ideas off of data when possible. For example, don’t just add in another fill form question because you think it should be included. Use Google Analytics and client back-end data to identify problem areas/areas of opportunity.

2. If you’re looking to see big results, test big ideas/changes first.

3. When creating a new landing page, keep one clear goal/strategy in mind.

4. Make sure to highlight a clear value proposition.

5. Create landing pages specific to the traffic source.

6. Create a mobile-friendly landing page.

7. Simplicity is key – keep the page clean, simple, uncluttered, and focused on the goal (example: a form fill sign up).

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8. Always keep the call to action above the first-page fold.

8. Limit the number of links/navigation options on the page; make the only action available completing the call to action.

10. Simplify large sections of copy by using bullets.

11. Make sure your brand name/logo is prominent on the page.

12. If you are using a fill form, keep it short (3-4 questions) – only include what is absolutely necessary. Removing just one field can significantly boost conversion rate.

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13. Ensure that the form header explains why someone should fill it in and what they’ll get when they do.

14. Ensure that the form stands out from the rest of the page. Ways to do this include using a contrasting background or a directional cue.

15. Remember that it’s typically best to only have one CTA (make sure the message matches action).

16. Include a follow-up action, whether the user is directed to a thank-you page or sent a follow-up email.

17. Use testimonials and/or reviews to help promote trust. Adding credibility logos like Norton Secured help achieve trust as well.

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18. Use videos to help engage users.

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19. Ensure page content matches ad copy and vice versa.

20. Add social proof through icons linking to social pages.

21. Advertise offers currently running on your site.

22. Keep the look/theme of test landing page similar to the homepage so users will recognize your brand.

23. Show your product/service being used in context so users fully understand what you are selling.

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24. Wait for statistical significance before calling any test.

25. Do A/B tests continuously.

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Megan Gritzke
Megan Gritzke joined 3Q Digital in November 2012 after graduating from Loyola University Chicago with a Marketing degree (including a digital marketing class that piqued her interest in the field). Despite being a St. Louis native, Megan loves living in the city of Chicago. She loves exploring the city with her friends, watching lots of television, and using Twitter to stay up to date on the latest news.