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Landing Page Optimisation by Michael Aagard Summary

This review is only for 1 course in CXL's growth marketing minidegree. For all the others please head over to the index here

Who is teaching you?

Michael has been practicing CRO full time since 2008 and has worked with companies all over the world ranging from charities to E-commerce and SaaS.

He currently works as a freelancer, but has worked with and for several agencies and was Senior Conversion Optimizer for Unbounce in Vancouver from 2015 to 2017. He has held keynotes in 12 different countries and loves getting on stage to share what he has learned in his CRO career.

My review

Much to my surprise, I learnt and chuckled in equal amounts during the course. It was super fun but at the same time, Michael was dropping insights that would have taken me years to gather by myself. Brilliantly done.

1. Understanding the landing page experience

​The flow for users

Flow for ecommerce landing page users


Landing page is NOT just any other 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


  • Shortens journey from click to conversion

  • Follow 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

What can go wrong?


  • Show and not tell - No sync between the ad and the landing page.

  • Too many call to actions.

  • Live chat isn’t live chat.

  • Mailto link doesn’t work.


Research process looks something like this


More on this down below :-


Elements of a landing page


Types of research

2. Slow and Fast Thinking

Daniel Kahneman groundbreaking research shows that people use 2 modes of thinking. Marketing communications must adhere to these 2 modes. If their system 2 is activated, then don't force users to switch to system 1.

3. Wireframing and Information Hierarchy​​

Two questions to answer:

1. How much content do you need?

2. What content do you need?


A skeleton of your landing page. Do it using balsamiq, whiteboards, on a piece of paper or on keynote/ppt.

Helps to:

1. Align copy and design. ⚔️

2. Prioritise content


Don't design first and then put in the copy.

Having a lot of info on your LP is fine as long as it is relevant and served in a concise way.

  • Too much info = Bad because information overload

  • Too less info = equally Bad because it creates irritation

Design by screenfuls not by entire page: screenful is what people can look at on their screen at a given time


First screenful:

1. Don't overwhelm user. (system 2)

2. Do a 5 second test. Can they tell what the page offers and what the goal of the page is? (goal=cta)


Information Hierarchy

Helps you find the right balance between too much information and too little information


1. ​Who are you communicating with? AKA Target Audience

Measure their awareness level:

Problem aware - Aware they have a problem but don’t know that there is a solution

Solution aware - Aware that there is a solution, but they aren’t familiar with yours

Product aware - Aware of your product/offer, but don’t know if it is right for them

Most aware - Aware of your product/offer/brand and they know they want it

Generally, your first screenful should be problem aware and eventually move on to that.

​2. What do you want them to do? AKA Goal

General Rule: More effort+risk needed to complete the goal = More amount of relevant copy.

Offering a free product? --> Less copy

Offering a $5000 product --> More copy

3. ​Where is the traffic coming from? AKA Source

Newsletter or banner ad?

Does your audience has:

  1. Knowledge of your brand

  2. Previously shown interest & said yes to more information

  3. Background knowledge about your offer

​Repeat this process for your conversion goal, offer and brand.

4. Quantitative LPO research using Google Analytics

  • Checklist​ for reporting

  • Landing Page/Device/Source

  • Second Page/Exit Page

  • Gender/Age

  • Device/Browser

  • User/Page

Don't forget to click on the results (dimensions) to go deeper.

Check out site content>LP>Entrances and Acquisition > Google Ads > Campaigns for some more info.

Optimse steps closest to the funnel and where the drop off is the max.

An A/B test calculator by CXL

5. Qualitative LPO research

  • Heuristic Analysis Checklist

  • Talk to your users

  • Questions to ask during customer support interviews

  • Questions for sales team Interviews

  • Try voice calls rather than video calls: People can generally be more honest when they aren't looking you in the eye.

  • Goal - To conduct a full funnel walkthrough using heuristic analysis, talking to boundary spanners and your users.

  • Tools:, for session recordings, click and movement test

  • Feedback surveys: should be super short and not divert their attention. (tool-qualtroo) Read more

  • Tests:, 5-second test, preference test

6. Landing page copywriting

  • Ad copy should match the landing page. 2 ways to do this - ad copy is made to match the LP. OR. LP is made to match the ad copy.

  • Design and Copy should go hand in hand. A lot of times copy is put on the back burner.

  • Understand how aware your user is and tailor messages accordingly. Are they product aware or solution aware.

  • Resources:

  • How to write great headlines:

  • What should your benefits/features contain: Important to know that both features and benefits are equally powerful.

  • Credibility: By stating facts (#active users/total downloads), social proof, relevant FAQ. Expectation Managers: help users know what to expect. This is super important. EM answers the "Who, what, where, when, how much?"

  • Call to action

8. Landing Page Design

  • Same elements as above + Images/Videos = 6 elements for each screenful

  • Headline - for each screenful.

  • Images/Videos: Images must be product relevant and not some stock image. They should reinforce the value proposition or the motivation. Videos must be short and added with subtitles.

  • Benefits/Features: should be clear. Information hierarchy + logical flow

  • Expectations Manager: Made sure this comes at the end of the page.

  • CTA - primary CTA and maybe have a ghost button for a secondary CTA

Visual hierarchy

You know where to look.

5 elements of visual hierarchy:
  • Size: takes precedence in the visual: Primary elements > Secondary elements > Tertiary Elements

  • Space: Less space - Overwhelmed user. Space=whitespace. You can have a lot of information but make it look less crowded by using space

  • Font: Drop shadows can make it harder to read. Make sure that the copy can be readable. Bold to jump up in the visual hierarchy. Use fonts that have no feet ie sans serif (Arial better than Times). What font size should I use?

  • Colour: Colour contrast; Colour hierarchy for your brand includes a colour palette with primary, secondary, complementary, accent and font colours.

  • Direction: Arrows should be pointing towards a logical non-ambiguous direction. People (in the pics) should look at the CTA preferably and not away from it.


  • Should make sense on its own - LP within a LP.

  • Has the same elements - Headline, Expectations Manager

  • Address Barrier: When asking for sensitive information like email address or phone number, explain to the user why you need it and what will you do with it. Eg: Phone number - Our consultant will call you on this number shortly. Email - We will send an email to confirm our meeting.

  • Call to action: "Call me within 24 hours"

  • Expectation Manager: We'll call you within 24 hours, we guarantee 100% privacy etc. Don't use stop words like "spam"

  • Don't make them click too far away to enter information. Drop down arrows should be closer to where their cursor already is.

  • Align the form fields and outline the fill in field with blue colour.

8. Putting it together


  1. Hotjar implemented on page

  2. Heuristic walkthrough

  3. Google Analytics 5 second test of original

  4. Interviews w/ sales and CS

  5. Read reviews

  6. Interview with audience

  7. Implement feedback polls

  8. Do the who, what, where exercise


  1. Funnel and LP experience

  2. Information hierarchy

  3. Visual hierarchy

  4. Copy Design


  1. Start building wireframe

  2. Write rough copy outline

  3. Start building visual hierarchy

  4. Work on rough design elements

Copy Design

  1. Creative brief

  2. Go into depth with the copy

  3. Go deeper into the design

  4. Put it all together

  5. Show it to customer success and/or Sales

  6. Get approval from stakeholders

  7. Start building wireframe


  1. Test on various devices

  2. Test in various browsers

  3. Test functionality/bugs

  4. Test page speed

Test & Optimise

  1. A/b test or compare periods

  2. Keep analyzing your LP

  3. Answer new questions that occur

  4. Come up with new ideas

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