Create and Optimize a Good Landing Page

With a landing page you can provide visitors with targeted information about a subject. Which components do you use, and what are good examples?

What is a landing page?

Actually, a landing page is not much more than a page on a website where visitors can 'land'. Usually such pages are optimized for certain keywords. Due to the good focus of landing pages, they can often achieve better positions and quality scores on Google than 'normal' pages (which are generally set up with less focus). Because a lot of money is often paid directly or indirectly to get visitors to a landing page, these are a good candidate for conversion optimization (CRO).

Difference with a microsite

Where a landing page usually deals with one topic, a microsite often deals with a (related) group of topics. A microsite will also by definition consist of more than one page, and is often disconnected from the regular website. For example, a microsite could be a suitable strategy linked to an offline campaign for a new service. Because a microsite is often disconnected from the regular website, it is sometimes possible to display it in a customized design.

Create a good landing page

Landing pages come in all shapes and sizes. From a page with only a large headline and an input field for an e-mail address, to meters long long form sales copy pages. It is important to realize that there is no 'one size fits all' for these types of pages. There is no such thing as a perfect landing page. What works perfectly for one target group, or a certain type of product, may completely miss the mark in another situation. It is therefore important to conduct research with your target group, learn from your competitors' pages, and then apply optimization to the landing page. Only in this way will you create the best landing page that effectively converts visitors from your target group. A website review can help you quickly identify many new possible areas for improvement.

Important elements

Although every landing page is unique, there are a number of components that are commonly used on most landing pages.

  • Brand name: Especially when it concerns a well-known brand, it is important to clearly display the name (and logo). Visitors will then see (and recognize) the brand name, which can help to increase confidence in the page.
  • Unique value proposition: What do the products or services offered on this page offer to the visitor? How will these make his or her life better, or help them achieve their intended goals? Make sure that the unique value proposition is shown on the page in an easy-to-read font.
  • Unique points of sale: These are the top reasons why a visitor should buy from you instead of a competitor. Do your products or services offer certain unique benefits? For example, are these cheaper, faster, stronger, more sustainable or more efficient than those of other parties? Try to limit the number of unique points of sale to the most important ones initially to avoid overwhelming visitors.
  • Action buttons: The so-called call-to-action buttons indicate the most important macro conversion that you want visitors to undertake. This may involve registering for the beta version of your new product or donating to the charity for which this landing page was created. Make sure this button is a bold color from the rest of the page, looks clearly like a clickable element, and has text that clearly describes what will happen once a visitor clicks on it.
  • Form: This can be a single input field for an e-mail address or a form with dozens of fields. In any case, it is important to make it clear to visitors why they need to fill in this information to achieve their goal. For example, it may help to state that their data will be processed with the utmost care and will not be shared with third parties.
  • Image: In many cases, the top image shows the service or product 'in action'. It can also help to visually display the unique value proposition or one or more unique points of sale.
  • References: These components (also called testimonials) can help give visitors more confidence in the page. Adding things like a photo, name, and job title can help make the references more powerful. If there is sufficient volume, things such as reviews or ratings could also be added to the page.
  • Customer Logos: Such logos can help increase visitor trust. Please note that the logos must match the type of product or service offered on the landing page. If it is aimed at large companies and the only customers you currently serve are SMBs, the logos will be much less powerful (or perhaps even lower the conversion rate).

Best practices

While landing pages may not be part of the primary website, that doesn't mean all the best practices of a good site can be ignored. It is also important for a landing page that it meets the following characteristics: 100% uptime, fast loading time, good accessibility, mobile friendly, intuitive design, clear information, meaningful images, helpful error messages, etc.

Take the fold into account

The fold refers to the part of the page that is visible without a visitor having to scroll. This available space is of course highly dependent on the size of the screen a visitor is looking at. Because a landing page is often the first contact you will have with a visitor, it is all the more important to ensure that the correct information is shown above the fold. To see what information is shown above the fold per device, you can, for example, use the Mobile Emulator in Google Chrome.


Landing page example

  • Brand name: Shopify's brand name and logo is shown as the top element on the page and repeated again in the header below.
  • Unique value proposition: The value proposition 'Sell online with Shopify' is clearly visible above the fold.
  • Unique Points of Sale: Shopify has chosen to only show their important unique point of sale 'Trusted by over 1,000,000 businesses worldwide' above the fold. Additional selling points such as available themes and price only become visible after a visitor has scrolled the page. It is interesting to note that an extra layer has been added here because the bold headings of the points of sale actually already show the most important information.
  • Action buttons: Shopify shows a 'Start free trial' button both above the fold and at the bottom of the page. Because the design is relatively calm, there is no need to use a hugely contrasting color to make the button stand out. Furthermore, the text clearly describes what will happen when a visitor clicks on the button.
  • Form: In this case the form consists of only one entry field. Shopify has chosen a standard white field here that clearly states as a placeholder what information is expected from the visitor.
  • Image: Shopify shows a fairly generic image of a website and dashboard. They may personalize this image based on the search term that brings visitors to the landing page.
  • References: In this case, only one reference is shown, namely the two lines of text at the bottom of the page.
  • Customer logos: The logos shown at the bottom of the page don't mean much to me personally. Shopify may also apply personalization based on the search term, so that the logos become more relevant to visitors.

Free and non-binding 1 hour session?

Gain insight into your challenges surrounding CRO

Contact me

Potential improvements

Although my suspicion is that Shopify has already performed a large number of AB tests and other forms of validation on this page, there are always potential improvements. Some examples:

  • Make one of the three benefits stand out visually with a different color.
  • The message 'no credit card required' below the input field could be printed in bold.
  • Show unique benefits as a bar at the top of the page.
  • Add a photo to the reference shown at the bottom of the page.
  • A video could be added with positive customer experiences.

Different examples

Although Shopify is a good example of a landing page, as stated earlier, every situation is unique. To get inspiration, you can view a website such as LandingFolio.

Optimize a landing page

Landing page optimization requires a different approach than optimizing a 'normal' website. The main difference is that a landing page is usually specifically designed to drive a certain action or conversion. This ensures that you can optimize a landing page in a more targeted manner. Consider using certain persuasive texts, buttons, layout, and photos. A normal website, on the other hand, often has multiple goals, such as providing information and promoting brand awareness, which sometimes makes it more difficult to optimize it in a targeted manner. Another difference is that landing pages often have a much narrower focus and are aimed at a specific audience. This means that the content and design must be tailored to the specific needs and interests of that audience. Also consider a clear value proposition and unique benefits. Here too, a normal website is often less targeted and tries to appeal to a broader target group, for example. Finally, measuring the success of a landing page is often easier than measuring the success of a normal website. Since the purpose of a landing page is to drive a specific action, such as attracting leads or encouraging a purchase, it is easier to measure and analyze the conversion rate.


Landing pages are an important part of a successful online marketing approach. Make sure that all best practices for websites are also applied to these pages and try to learn from good examples from other parties. Just like with regular websites or web shops, the next step is to continue to optimize the visitor experience, with the aim of satisfied visitors and more conversions.

About the author

Theo van der Zee (MSc, Psychology) has been building and optimizing websites and web shops for more than 20 years. As a freelance conversion specialist, he helps companies to improve their websites based on research and experiments.

Read more about Theo

Free and non-binding consultation
Curious about the possibilities? Then schedule a free 1-hour consultation.