Building The Perfect Landing Page… Gradually (with CRO)

Posted 24.12.2021

By Steven Titchener

There is no set way to make the perfect landing page, they differ by industry and product, but there is a whole world of landing page alchemists that are striving to get that landing page philosopher’s stone. Instead of studying chemistry, they study CRO or conversion rate optimisation.

What is it conversion rate optimisation?

Conversion rate optimisation is all about studying data and users to increase the percentage of them performing your desired action on a landing page or advert or even content. These actions could be anything from buying a product to clicking through to a certain page or filling in a contact form.

The key to it is all around using data to your advantage. Gathering it and analysing it to help make decisions on how to change your landing page to increase that conversion rate.

Or that’s what most people think, but there is an even better way to think about CRO.

Putting the user first (UX)

Ultimately the end goal of creating a landing page and looking at CRO is to get the user to perform an action you want. While data does help with this and it can help inform your decision making process, you can start to see the PEOPLE looking at your website as 0s and 1s instead of actual people.

This can become a problem when you are trying to work out what actions to take because sometimes rational thinking isn’t always the best path forward.

This is where the glories of UX or user experience come into play.

UX and CRO are inherently married together, the former looks at people and how to make things work better for them as people, the latter looks at data and how to make things more attractive to your business goals.

Contrary to popular belief you don’t even need to be a designer to look at UX. It does help, but it doesn’t make your thoughts and theories less valid if you aren’t a designer. The role of a designer in UX is really more around refining theories into the interface or design of the site. But anyone can be a UX strategist.

So how do you go about thinking ‘user first’ in your CRO efforts?

For me there are two ways I prefer:

  • Using tools like Hotjar
  • User research by calling people up


Hotjar is one of my favourite tools ever. In essence is does a few things:

  • Website heatmaps
  • User questions
  • User recordings

While all of these three things are important and very useful to use. The one that I spend most of my time looking at is the user recordings.

It records an amount of people interacting with your site, shows you where they click, what pages they visit and where their mouse is even. This is perfect for user research and learning how you can improve your website.

Let’s take an example of a section on this landing page:

landing page icons

As you can see this section of the landing page has icons detailing the features of this product. It looks nice and gives a good outline of those features.

When running this page through hotjar, we found that people kept clicking on these icons, like they should be buttons. When designing this page we didn’t think people would use it in that way, but they did.

So we made those icons clickable and now they open up a pop-up box to explain that feature in more detail. It’s a small change but can increase the conversion rate on the site massively.

This kind of change also fits in with looking at the intent of the users. You will find that some users are there to buy, they know what they want, they know your product and are ready to sign up. Some however need more information, maybe they don’t know your brand specifically so are trying to work out if it’s right for them. These people will want more information than the latter to help them make a good decision.

This is where you need to understand your sales funnel and the different levels of content to produce based on where a user is in that funnel. If they are in the consideration stage they are going to want a lot more information than those in awareness, but that doesn’t mean that EVERYONE has to read all of that extra information. So you set up little sections like the pop-up icons to help people in each stage of their sales cycle.

How to work out conversion rate: formula

Okay it’s all well and good talking about conversion rate optimisation, but how do you even know what your conversion rate is to start with?

Luckily, it’s very easy and takes only 2 pieces of data and a little bit of basic maths to work out. Here’s the formula:

Number of conversion / total number of visitors x100 = conversion rate percentage

Now research has been undertaken and between 2 – 4% is an average conversion rate. That might sound low, but it takes a lot of different websites into account. The best thing to do is completely disregard what is average and create your own baseline to improve on.

The one trick with this is making sure you are first, setting a conversion, or multiple conversion goals that you can track.

Setting conversion goals

Conversion goals can come in many forms but are super important because without them you won’t know what you are tracking and how you should be tracking that.

First off let’s talk about the different goals that are typically used:

  • Media – pageviews, ad views, newsletter subscriptions, recommended content engagement
  • Ecommerce – product sales, add-to-carts, shopping cart completion rate, email newsletter sign-ups
  • Travel – booking conversions, ancillary purchases, social shares
  • B2B – leads generated, deals closed

These are great starts to what kind of goals you might set in place. Really it is down to you, your business and the point of that marketing campaign. Maybe one is to just get as many people on a mailing list as possible and the other is around actual sales. Your goal needs to match the goal of the campaign, and that’s what you really need to track.

But here’s where it gets objectively fun.

You don’t have to set one goal for each landing page. You need a main target of course, but you can set up multiple goals and track what performs best on each page. Maybe that will be useful information to have right away, but maybe it will be useful for another campaign.

How this might look is on a landing page funnel, you want people to buy a certain product. You have the funnel setup so you have the main product to purchase right away, then a basket with some complimentary items, then checkout, finally a thank you for ordering page.

Your main goal for this campaign is to sell that main product. But you can track so much more and add these are secondary and tertiary goals and conversion rates.

Goal 1: Sales of the product

Goal 2: Upsell from complimentary products

Goal 3: Reach checkout

Goal 4: Press of ‘more info’ button

As you can see you can start to get more and more granular with these goals, each having a purpose to tracking it. After all, it’s great to see how many people reach the checkout and drop off there, maybe there is an issue on the checkout page.

You can also get some great data and information from button click events. How many people want to know more information about the product or it’s delivery times and costs? This kind of information can help you diagnose a page and the issues you can solve for your users.

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