It doesn’t matter if you are targeting organic search traffic or running pay-per-click ads — your landing page needs to be optimized to convert that traffic. A poorly designed landing page can make all traffic, regardless of how qualified it is, utterly useless.

Think of all the time, effort, and money spent on SEO and PPC. Every visitor, no matter where it comes from, has a cost associated with it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a set cost-per-click via an ad on Google or Facebook or organic traffic that results from link building and content marketing — there is no such thing as ‘free’ traffic.

I’ve personally seen some of the biggest campaign improvements occur after the landing page has been properly optimized. When you can convert a higher percentage of traffic and keep your SEO and PPC costs the same, the results can be massive.

Taking a page that converts at 1% and improving it to 3.5 to 4% is a game changer for most businesses. While the focus will typically be on increasing the traffic volume, that alone will not solve a problem related to the landing page that traffic is being sent to.

I see a lot of very elaborate landing pages, but they try too hard, and in doing so they get in their way. Wonder why ClickFunnels sites work so well or why those cheesy ClickBank products sell? It’s because they are so simple and they include the fundamentals of a converting page.

There are eight sections — and eight sections only — that a successful landing page needs to include.

Use this framework when building your landing pages and watch your high conversion rates soar…


1. Headline

The headline serves multiple purposes, so let me address these first.

SEO: The headline will typically be related to the main keyword the landing page is being optimized to rank for. This is part of on-page optimization, as the headline will typically be in the H2 tag. Having the main keyword in that heading towards the beginning is just smart search engine optimization.

PPC: Every pay-per-click ad set is given a quality score, and the higher your score, the more impressions you receive and the lower your cost-per-click become. Page relevance — how the copy on the landing page relates to the ad copy — is very important to achieve a high QS.

Commanding Attention: Aside from helping the SEO and PPC, the headline needs to stop the visitor in his or her tracks — command their attention — and then push them towards the desired conversion, whether it’s a direct purchase or a form submission.

I am a fan of keeping the fonts on landing pages very basic. You want everyone to be able to easily read your headline on all devices and screen sizes. Fancy fonts might look cool to you, but the average consumer will respond better to standard and easy to read fonts much better. Trust me, I have split-tests to back this up.

The headline should also set the stage for the section below, the sub-headline.


2. Sub-Headline

While the headline on your landing page should be a single line of text and direct to the point, the sub-headline under it can be a small paragraph, which expands on the main headline.

Let me give you an example. Pretend we were building a landing page for a weight loss pill and the target keyword we were optimizing the page for (both for organic SEO and the PPC quality score) was “fastest fat burning pill.” The headline would look something like this:

  • Fastest Fat Burning Pill

And then the sub-headline would be along the lines of:

  • [Brand] is the fastest fat burning pill on the market, available for over the counter purchase. Buy the quickest acting fat burner available without a prescription today and take advantage of the special price while supplies last.

While it goes into a little more detail, it still has the main keyword along with a long-tail variation of a similar search term. It’s a small paragraph that can be quickly read and when combined with the other elements it helps to push the visitor towards that conversion goal quickly, which in this example is a purchase.

I have seen the most effective sub-headings be two to three sentences in length. Any more and you are giving the visitor too much information. If you overwhelm them or give them too much to think about you will push them off your website.



3. Visual Image

While the headline and sub-headline help Google (both organically and when running paid ads), the first thing your visitor is going to notice on your landing page is the visual image used. This needs to be something that shows them why your product or service is what they need to solve their need. They need to look at the image once and think, “OK, this is the perfect solution.”

This is where running several A/B tests will help you figure out the best visuals to use, and even when you do experience strong conversion rates you should continue to split-test. Often the slightest adjustments will make the biggest difference.

Want a prime example? On one campaign we found out that simply having the person in the main image exaggerating their smile boosted the conversion rate by 0.8%. While this might not seem like a big number, it was huge.

For such a slight tweak, the ROI from that landing page meant thousands of dollars more each day in revenue. If you are selling a consumer product, include it, but also include someone using it or someone that appears to have used the product.

A weight loss pill, for example, would want someone fit and in shape holding the bottle. When someone lands on the page they see that and think to themselves, “Well, this product works.” It’s standard psychological marketing — and it works.


4. Single CTA Above-the-Fold

A perfect landing page has the visitor see the headline and sub-headline and understand the message, look at the image and be inclined to take you up on the offer, and then convert right there on the spot, all without having to scroll down the page.

This is why you want your call-to-action to be above the fold — in plain sight upon landing on the page. There is no need to scroll or move — the CTA should be staring the visitor directly in the face, impossible to miss.

It’s also important to have only one call-to-action. If you give the visitor too many choices they won’t convert. This is also why I recommend removing your navigation menus — both top and bottom — from all of your landing pages.

Now, you aren’t going to convert every visitor without them scrolling down to consumer more information, but this ensures that you quickly capture those conversions that have full intention of taking you up on your offer immediately after being presented with the offer. There is no need to give them a reason to delay the inevitable.

Make sure your CTA is above the fold on desktops, mobile devices, and tablets. I’ve seen some CTAs in the past that worked very well on desktop but on mobile, it was a long-drawn-out process to come in contact with the offer.


5. Feature List & USP

You want everyone to land on your website and convert while remaining above the fold, but in reality, many consumers are going to require more information and a little more “selling” before they bite.

This is where this next section comes into play, and it should include the key features of your product or service. These are the “whys” and “hows” — these need to convey that your offer is what they need to solve their problem.

You also want to include your unique selling point. You aren’t going to be the only option they have, so let them know why yours is the better choice. For the best results, make this a bullet-style list and keep each feature direct to the point.

This section would look something like this for a weight loss pill:

  • Start seeing results in as little as 48 hours
  • All-natural vegan formula
  • 2 Month supply included
  • Less than a dollar a day
  • Backed by a 100% money-back guarantee

When the visitor scans this they see it’s fast-acting, affordable, and risk-free. I see many people write huge paragraphs of text here and this just creates a disconnect. You want someone to be excited about the offer and if they scroll down to this section you want to have them read your features and USP right away, without losing that sense of excitement.


6. Social Proof

Social proof is also something every landing page must include, and there are several types of examples that work well. It depends on the product or service you are selling and who your ideal customer is.

Some of the more common examples include:

  • Customer Reviews: These can be pulled from Facebook, Google, Trust Pilot, Yelp, BBB, etc. These are going to be the unsolicited reviews that are placed on third-party sites.
  • Testimonials: For high ticket items you might want to ask for testimonials from past customers. This applies to businesses like car dealerships, real estate companies, etc.
  • Social Media UGC: People love to share their experiences with brands on social media. If you repurpose user-generated content on your social channels you can easily find high-quality UGC to include in this section if it makes sense for your offer.
  • Press and Media: If your business has been featured in the media or on notable websites, simply including an “as seen on” section that includes those logos does a great job at creating instant social proof that makes your offer more trustworthy.
  • Impressive Statistics: If your product or service has impressive numbers or data, this can also be included here. Something like “More than 500,000 units sold” can really help push visitors to convert.

You can use a mix of the above of focus on one particularly if you feel it’s the strongest and gives you a competitive advantage.



7. CTA (Repeat)

If a visitor has scrolled this far down your landing page you want them to be able to quickly convert without having to go back up. This is why it’s always a good idea to repeat your call-to-action in this section.

It’s very important to make it identical to the CTA at the very top of your landing page. If you make it entirely different or change the offer, even slightly, there will be confusion and disconnect, and you will lose the opportunity to convert that visitor.

This is all data-backed, as I have monitored multiple campaigns where the bottom “repeat” CTA was altered slightly, and it always performed less than duplicating the original. Even changing the button text or the button color resulted in a lower conversion rate.

There is no reason to reinvent the wheel here. You are simply placing the same CTA at the bottom so the flow isn’t disrupted, even if the visitor scrolls down past the initial offer. After they engage with your features, USP, and social proof they have the opportunity to act on the offer.

This is especially helpful on mobile devices, as there is less work required — you wouldn’t believe how lazy some people are. If you don’t have your CTA repeated at the bottom some people will abandon your website simply because they are too lazy to scroll back up with their fingers on a mobile device.


. Long-Form Content for SEO

Now, if you are only running paid traffic from Google Ads or Facebook ads, this section can be ignored. But, if you want to also rank your landing pages in the organic search results you need to have content on your page.

A thin page will not rank in the SERPs. The problem, though, is you don’t want long-form content to interfere with your landing page’s goal — and that is to convert the visitor. Placing long-form content up top will greatly reduce your conversion rates.

So, you need to place it at the very bottom — the very last part of the page. Most visitors won’t read it, so it can be very optimization-heavy, helping you to rank for that main keyword it’s targeting.

You don’t want to write spammy content of course, but you can be a bit more aggressive with things like H2 and H3 headings that include the keyword at the very beginning, etc. You can also use a smaller font to make the content area attract less attention from your visitors. Google will still read it the same, regardless of the text size.



If you are thinking to yourself, “Wow, simple is key,” then you understand it. If you give the person too many options or overwhelm them with too much information they will leave. And while they might have intentions of returning to complete the conversion goal most won’t.

To improve the chances of that first-visit conversion optimize your landing pages to follow this eight-section framework. It’s simple, yet proven, and very effective. You have to give it your twist and make sure each section speaks directly to your target audience, but the foundation is fairly universal.

Do you have any questions related to landing page optimization? Do you use a landing page builder like ClickFunnels or LeadPages? I’d love to hear about your experiences and feedback. Feel free to drop those questions and input them below in the comments section.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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