4 Landing Page Templates and a Simple Test Plan to Improve Your Conversions

Let’s face it. Conversion optimization is like sex in high school. Everybody’s talking about it… You think they’re busy at it while you just sit there doing it the old-fashioned way.

The reality is that actually getting busy with conversion optimization isn’t that common. This article will help you build 4 different landing pages and organize a fun little Landing Page Tournament. Use these templates and you’ve done more to boost your PPC conversion rates than all the button color tests since Caesar crossed the Rubicon.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • 4 different landing page templates: One Punch, War & Peace, False Comparison & KSPS FTW
  • Mockups and examples done with the landing page builder Instapage*
  • Two-tier tournament model to put these landing pages to the test
  • Some helpful ways of thinking about maximizing results

I’ve used Instapage* before both in my personal and company projects. It’s a tool I can recommend for building landing pages, both for businesses looking to optimize their PPC campaigns as well as agencies doing it for someone else.

*marked links are affiliate links to Instapage.

Template A: One Punch

This is the simplest landing page you’ll ever need:

  • title
  • paragraph
  • image
  • CTA button

If you’re having trouble fitting it all in with these 4 elements, the problem is not this template, it’s your offer. It’s too complicated.

Make it simpler until this template starts to make sense. Something like a free trial is perfect for the One Punch template. Or a whitepaper. Or a free ebook that no-one really wants and has time to read.

This template reminds me of the story of Ulysses and the Sirens. At some point you’ll hear the siren call “Hey gorgeous… add some bullet points… hey, sailor… why don’t we ask for their email address AND put a buy now button at the end…”.

Stay strong. Don’t add anything. Keep it simple. If your boss asks you to add something, look them straight in the eye and say: “Definitely, sounds like a great idea.”

An AB test is not worth losing your job.

Template B: War & Peace

Landing pages need not be… well, like landing pages. They can look like articles too without sacrificing any of their power.

In fact, I’ve seen many articles outperform hard-hitting landing pages on all key metrics, whether it’s conversions, soft conversions, signups and scroll depth.

For this template, repurpose one of your old articles. Remember that even if it’s an article you’ll still need a clear CTA that you’ll need to repeat it somewhere in the middle and at the end.

You might think that you won’t need a landing page builder like Instapage* for an article layout. However, you might still want to use one. Here’s why:

  • Fast setup
  • Easy variation
  • No developers needed
  • Doesn’t mess up your SEO
  • Won’t be visible to regular site visitors
  • Easy to take offline once campaign has ended

I’ve also found that building PPC campaign landing pages with Instapage* frees you up to be more creative. You’re not publishing An Official Company Article(tm), you’re finding out what converts and what doesn’t.

Template C: False Comparison

Everybody loves feeling like they’re in control. Ask a child to put on their shoes and see how that turns out. Ask them whether they’d like to put on their jacket or shoes on first, and BOOM you’re a conversion rate optimizer!

This template lets you choose which option you’d want the page visitor to choose. All you need is your offer and then a comparison point: one of your own products or services or someone else’s.

The False Comparison template is an especially good candidate for Instapage* because you may not want to add a competitor comparison page to your long-term website. Rather, you might want to hit searches like “Instapage vs XYZ” or “your product vs competitor product”. The idea being that you want to make it easier to choose your product but not give anyone any new ideas.

The False Comparison template includes a comparison table at the top. When you choose which points to include, remember to make it look reasonably objective but be ruthless on the weaknesses of your competitors.

Template D: KSPs FTW

“What’s in it for me?”

“Sell the hole in the wall, not the drill. No, sell the painting on the wall instead of the hole. NO, sell the romantic dinner and the deep philosophical discussions about the painting, not the painting itself…”

Sometimes… people just want the drill. And with this template you’ll give them the most beautiful, useful and AWARD-WINNING drill ever made. Meet the standard landing page template: KSPs FTW. For you non-kids out there, it means Key Selling Points For The Win.

Title, paragraph, then 3 paragraphs with 3 icons and a CTA. That’s it. You should be able to build this page in about 5.5 minutes with Instapage*. Slap on some brand images, copy the headline from your latest print ad and massage those bullet points into paragraphs.

  • Instapage* is the easiest way to build landing pages you, not your CMS, want to build
  • Instapage* costs only $150/month and will pay itself back the moment you run this tournament
  • Instapage* is used by high-achieving, smart-thinking, conversion-optimizing genii — just like you

If the template looks familiar, it’s because it’s what you see when you look up “landing page”.

Let the Tournament Begin!

These templates alone won’t do much for you if you don’t put them to the test. Don’t choose one and think this is the one... this is what will work on my audience. There’s a chance you’ll be wrong at least 75% of the times.

Organize a tournament. Build pages using each of these 4 templates and then run 3 A/B tests:

  • Fight 1: A vs B
  • Fight 2: C vs D
  • Fight 3: winners from previous rounds

This tournament model will give you a winner but it will also give an understanding of the range of expected results. If one page performs extremely poorly, that is, in fact, a marvellous thing.

You’ll now know what the bottom-range is more likely to be. You’ll also know that your landing page actually makes a difference. And that’s what you want: knowledge. You need to rid of yourself of the idea that your job is to build the best-converting PPC campaign.

It’s not.

It is to find ways to build highly converting PPC campaigns. The process is more valuable than any individual result.

Now go! Go wild, build these 4 landing pages for you business. Sign up for Instapage’s free trial* and get started now.

Okay, I promised you some philosophy. I’m going to offer you some tough love philosophy. The Fight Club type of philosophy. If you’re not ready to join the club, stop here.

The problem is you.

If you’re not getting results with PPC campaigns, it’s your fault. Everybody’s the same here, so it’s not only you, of course. I’m the same.

You have to let go of your ego. You have to let go of the idea that there are good and bad results. There are only results that either meet or don’t meet your goals.

If your goal is to build a high-converting landing page, you’re doomed to fail. In the end, you’ll have the same result as everyone else: maybe, could be, perhaps. How will you know if it’s a high-converting landing page if you don’t have anything to compare it with?

If your goal is to find out which types of landing pages perform best for your product or service, the results will always be positive. You will find the winner. Smile, and do it again.

You’re stuck looking for a local maximum.

We human beings are exceptionally good at taking cues from our environment. Just like Oglaf stopped bashing people’s skulls in with reindeer thigh bones when his friend gave him that look, you have stopped thinking outside the box when your boss or your client gave you that look.

You’re fixated on finding something that kinda works and then fiddling with it: changing button colors, changing hero images, changing button CTAs… You’re stuck looking for a local maximum. It’s safe. It feels like you’re doing something.

Stop. Go look for the global maximum. Experiment. Make the goal of your experiment to find the the biggest difference between landing pages. Don’t cheat, of course. Include CTAs. Include working links.

That’s what these 4 templates are designed to help you with. Try an article, try a really short one-punch landing page, try comparisons and try the tested and true key selling point approach, too. Try a fifth option!

This last point is the most important one.

You have it in you.

Jukka Aalho is a Finnish full-stack marketer, writer and TEDx speaker.

Writer | Copywriter | Storyteller | Oulu, Finland