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Deep dive into CRO (Conversion Research Optimization) Best Practices – Landing Page

In this third part of the CRO, series let us see the best practices of landing page optimization.
Thanks a lot, CXL for giving me this awesome opportunity.
This Growth Marketing mini degree is a real game-changer in my life.

Landing Page Optimization

I will provide you the do’s and don’t relate to landing page optimization. I base the explanations of this article on the learnings from the Growth Marketing Mini Degree offered by the CXL Institute.
Once the qualitative and quantitative research is done, it’s time to build the actual journey, a big touchpoint in that journey is the landing page.
What is landing page?
– Page users ‘’land on’’/ entrance page – First page users see after clicking an ad source – Page that works independently of the site/app – Focused on a clear conversion goal
Characteristics of an effective landing page: – Shortens journey from click to conversion – Follows up on promises made in ad source – Speaks to user motivation & addresses barriers – Answers important questions & creates clarity – Creates a clear path to the conversion goal
Check the whole funnel before to optimize the landing page (ad copy, checkout)
Most important in landing page optimization is doing research.
  1. Heuristic walkthrough: empathy & understanding
  2. Quantitative: big data (what and where)
  3. Qualitative: interviews or user testing (why)
Fast vs. slow thinking
  1. Fast, system 1: intuitive thinking = something that happens to you — automatic, emotional, subconscious, at the moment
  2. Slow, system 2: analytical thinking = something you do — effortful, logical, conscious, planning ahead
The law of least effort — we want system 1, we want to avoid the pain of thinking

Cognitive biases

Exposure to one stimulus influences response to subsequent stimulus.
Example 1:
Ad says “Free 30 day free trial” – but you need to add your credit card. 
We’re priming our audience it’s free, but then it’s not. This will backfire. 
Example 2:
One ad experience, a completely different landing page experience. 
The way you deliver a message has a direct impact on how it is perceived.
Example 1: 
“Tonight we’re having cold, dead fish with old seaweed” vs “Tonight we’re having delicious sushi with wakame salad”
Example 2: 
Which is healthier? 80% lean meat vs 20% fat
Example 3:
“Order information and prices” vs “Get information and prices”
Very powerful. The word “get” insinuates that there is something in it for me
What you see is all there is. Our reality is what we have in front of us.
If there are gaps in the story, you’re going to fill the gaps out automatically for yourself. 

Intro to brain chemicals — dopamine and cortisol

Dopamine: driving towards the reward = does not equal happiness. Plays a central role in motivation and habit formation. Dips lead to disappointment sometimes anger.
Cortisol: driving the fear = human stress hormone. The built-in alarm system, the pain will come if you don’t act fast. Helps us avoid pain — things that are bad for survival. Cortisol helped our ancestors avoid truly life-threatening situations. That’s why cortisol has such a dramatic effect on our behavior. You feel threatened in situations that aren’t truly life-threatening. Even a relatively small setback can make you feel this way.
Cortisol triggers to watch out for:
  • Violating expectations (perceived bait and switch)
  • Ambiguity (lack of clarity)
  • Disempowerment (not in control)
  • Multi-tasking
  • Too much pressure
  • Stop words (e.g. spam)
Be clear, transparent, and honest!


Wireframing and information hierarchy

  1. Helps to visualize the landing page early on
  2. Helps prioritize content and build the structure
  3. Makes it easier to align copy and design
Wireframing = a visual guide that represents the skeletal framework of a page or website
Information hierarchy = what information is most important and how much information is necessary?
  1. Target audience: who are you communicating with? = problem, solution, product or most aware
  2. Goal: what do you want them to do? More expensive? = more content on page
  3. Source: where is the traffic coming from? = newsletter audience knows you and has background knowledge
Having a lot of information on your page is fine as long as it is relevant and served in a logical and concise way.
People experience a landing page one screenful at a time. Break your page into these blocks.
  • Answer your audience’s questions
  • Reinforce the motivation
  • Address the barriers

Qualitative LPO research

  1. Heuristic walkthrough template
  2. Customer review sites
  3. Interviews with customers
  4. Customer support interviews
  5. Sales team interviews
  6. Session recordings
  7. Feedback polls
  8. Heatmaps
  9. User testing: usability hub: 5-second test & preference test & Click test

Landing page copywriting

Fundamentals of landing page copywriting — copyhackers.com
5 most important copy elements:
Write headline formulas:
  • (do something difficult) in (short amount of time) without (problem)
  • (do something difficult) in (a short amount of time) and get (something valuable)
  • Avoid (something frustrating) by (doing something difficult) in (a short amount of time) with (product x)
CTA formula: when I click the button, I’d like to: (get a free quote)
Landing page design
6 most important design elements:
  1. Headline
  2. Images/video
  3. Features/benefits
  4. Credibility
  5. Expectation manager
  6. Call-to-action
Get started:
1. Go through your information hierarchy and flesh it out with the 6 design elements
2. Add your copy, and turn it into a wireframe (mockup) and start tweaking
3. You can use the wireframes I gave you in lesson 4 as a starting point

Visual hierarchy

  • What elements are most important?
  • Where should I look first?
5 most important principles:
  1. Size
  2. Space
  3. Font (without feet — e.g. not times new roman)
  4. Color and contrast
  5. Direction — people in the picture looking towards cta
Form design: your form has to make sense on its own , independent of the rest of the landing page. Top-align content instead of left-align or in the form field (=better for usability).
Thanks for reading, if you liked my article give a thumbs up and you can also write to me in comments about your opinion on my article.
As always suggestions are always welcome please drop me a comment below.
With , Naveen

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