Landing Page Keys to Success

Probably the most common question I get through emails and IMs all regard landing pages. People ask if they should direct link, use a landing page, what their landing page should look like, things they should use, how to get a good landing page quality score, etc. Hopefully I’ll get some good information across about building landing pages here and just make a good conversation about it. So let’s start off with the question:

Do I direct link an offer, or use a landing page?

Couple points about this question :

1) I DO know people making decent money from just direct linking. This saves you a lot of time as it’s easy as hell to get an offer running.

2) I personally have never had that much luck with it. I’ve had a couple offers that did well here and there for a couple weeks, and then tanked out. My recommendation is to use a landing page. That’s not the only way to do it, but it’s the way I do it.

Now that we have that aside, we know that we’re going to be building a landing page of some sort. The next big big point I want to make about landing pages is :

Landing pages are all DIFFERENT for unique offers/industries.

I know you’re bored to death from people (like me) saying, “Well it really all depends on a bunch of factors.” Well in this case it’s true. Different offers target different audiences, and you have to be aware of your biggest audience and try to target them. For example chances are somebody searching for ringtones is a 17 year old punk kid looking for a ringtone of his favorite band. Somebody searching for dental insurance is going to be a COMPLETELY different person. Flashing glitter and retarded looking crap will work great for your ringtone seeker, but you never really see pink flashing glitter text saying “Get Your Dental Insurance Now!”, now do you? So while it’s going to be tough to write an “end all” landing page article, I’ll try to give as much advice as I can.

Communicate with your user.

These are people clicking on your ads you know, and they clicked them to search for something. You’re supposed to be the solution to that something. By just pasting a button in the center of the page flashing “Click here to continue!”, you’re not really giving them any valuable solution. In certain industries this may work, but not all my friends. In some cases, by adding more content to your page you can actually increase both CTR and conversion rates, as you’ll have convinced the person that the offer you’re going to send them to will be the solution to their “something”.

The entire universe isn’t on Web 2.0 yet.

A lot of people tend to believe that more flashy “Web 2.0” graphics with gradients and shadows and reflections will lead to a much better looking page, therefore higher CTR and conversion. I have made some of the UGLIEST looking pages alive, and they’ve had really good CTR. I tested dental insurance like two or three months ago and I remember I made this terrible looking page. The graphics weren’t smooth, all the images weren’t aligned properly – but the CTR was around 80%. Why? Because I communicated with my user. I told them a little about saving on dental insurance, and then told them how easy it was to search and sign up for a new dental plan. My graphics weren’t amazing and web 2.0 style, but they got what they were looking for. Again this somewhat depends on the industry. Someone looking for dental insurance is probably a middle aged person who looks at their computer once a day to check their emails on AOL and maybe Google about how to get rid of cold sores. They’re not web developers or the next generation of internet whiz kids. So when they search for dental insurance, all they want is a reliable, affordable plan.

Mix the offer’s brand into your page.

I’ve noticed higher conversion rates when I do this. Instead of saying “Welcome to, here you will find a bunch of insurance offers”, and then sending them to, say “Welcome to, we’ll show you the top insurance plans from, and you can pick out the best matching plan.” I’ll say it again – it may depend on the offer. But I’ve noticed on my own pages, if I mention the offer I’m going to be sending them too, they’ll be more prepared for the page change after they click through.

Landing page quality score.

Now this area of my post will be more of a contradicting one – in the way that I’m going to be contradicting myself a little. A very long time ago around the birth of this blog, I posted How I Do Quality Score. Those tips are true and will help Google see your page as a more relevant one. But do you really need to have all that? Good question.

I think in the future, you will need to have all of those things in line – so it’s certainly not a bad decision to implement all those steps. But in my experience with more recent tests, as long as you demonstrate that you ad is in excellent standing (good relevancy, good CTR), your pages won’t really get slapped. My last two offers that I’ve run have had pretty basic pages. I’ve had some articles written on them and linked to other articles deeper in the page, but for the most part I haven’t changed them at all in a couple months. They haven’t been slapped at all yet, my minimum bids are still around $0.02 and they’re running great. Why is this? I couldn’t tell you, but I’m just sharing my experience in hopes that maybe you’ll benefit from it.

Your visitors want trust.

Linking to another old post of mine, about a month back I posted Landing Page Tips for Increased Visitor Trust. I won’t write much more about it here, because I cover most of it in that article. The more your users trust your page/offer, the more likely they are to take action in completing whatever form you want them to complete.

Review pages are good.

Here’s a tip…why do you think there’s so many review-style landing pages out there? Umm…because they work! Coupled with the right offer, review style landing pages can work great. They come off to the user as pretty much being a bridge page to help them find the solution to their “something”. It cuts out all confusion when the page changes, as you’ll be sending them right to the offer that they want. Here’s a couple tips for making review style landing pages :

1) Test out how many reviews/offers you have up. I had a review page I tested 5 offers on and it was profiting pretty well. I switched it down to just two offers and my CTR SHOT up and I was making around 25% more profit. But I’ve had other offers where 4 reviews work better.

2) Don’t rate them all 5 stars. Put your best converting offers at the top and make them 5 stars, but the bottom of the review list should only be 3 stars at most. This will make the user feel like these are all more honest reviews and also make them more likely to pick the highest rated offer (which you can put as your best offer with highest payout, etc).

3) Highlight the main points of the offer, and then write a personal review under it. So you’re going to want to point out that it takes 2 minutes, is free, and only requires payment for shipping – something like that. Then you’ll have “our review” or something and write a little bit about why users rated this site being the best for “something”.

Iframing the offer can work.

Now I’m not talking about just iframing the offer on the main page – that’s ALWAYS worked terrible for me. I don’t know why, but that’s just the way it’s been with me. But you can iframe after the person clicks through. Once again this will work for some offers and will suck for others. I’ll use ringtones as an example, because it works for it. You’d have your carrier page, and then if the person clicks on Verizon, you send them to or something like that. By doing this, you have a bit more control. When it comes to ringtones, it doesn’t really matter if the user thinks they’re getting them from your site. You control the page title now so you can have “Download Verizon Ringtones – Step 1”, and then maybe a header that says the same. Now on a review style page, this wouldn’t really work.

Install heatmaps.

If you see where your users are looking/clicking most, you can make changes that will improve CTR quite a bit. If there’s a hot-spot and all that’s there is blank text, work the page so you have your “continue” button there and watch more clicks come in. I recommend CrazyEgg.

Test, test, test, test, test.

When it comes to landing pages, test everything. Over and over again. Colors, number of reviews, header text, content, images, placement, offers, everything. You can inch by inch keep increasing your CTR more and more, which in the long run will make you a lot more money. Unless you’re completely happy and want to just move to the Bahamas, keep testing that sucker.

Well that’s all I can really think of for now. Perhaps in the future I’ll reveal some of my old landing pages, and reveal that dental insurance once since I don’t use it anymore. Hopefully this is what you guys were looking for, it’s hard to write an article about something extremely dynamic.


  1. December 4, 2007

    Thats a top quality information. I am just starting my affiliate marketing and I found your blog the most informative. Keep it up…

  2. December 4, 2007

    Great post! Yeah, I’ve had a few successful landing pages, but I have to say direct linking works a lot better. I’ve gotten many better offers…

  3. Alex
    December 4, 2007

    Excellent post. Filled with really good data.But, my favorite line is:

    ….”is a 17 year old punk kid looking”….

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. December 4, 2007

    Thanks for the information! How long did it take before you could create decent landing pages consistently?


  5. December 4, 2007

    I could never get pass writing up bogus reviews… sigh..

  6. December 4, 2007

    This is fascinating. I’m tweaking and testing my landing pages right now. This gleaned a lot of information for me. Thanks

    Also, I find your comments interesting on the review page info. I read about that technique when The Rich Jerk was the new kid on the blog (2-3 years ago+). I tried one, but stupid me, I tried to promote the rich jerk!!! HAHAHA. So stupid.

    In fact there is a review site in my niche, that has implemented it phenomenally. I hope to implement things as well as I can envision them someday. It’s just sometimes hard to find enough time to get it “Just right” (I know I know… excuses excuses.)…

    Thanks again Paul! Great info!

  7. December 4, 2007

    Then honestly review them? I bet that might work…

  8. December 4, 2007

    Or find some folks who have already reviewed it and rewrite the ads – not as good as the honest review, but every academic paper has sources, so why not a review?

  9. December 4, 2007

    There are lots of options… If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all. “The end justifies the means” ;)

  10. December 4, 2007

    I will have to try this as well when I get time… Great sound advice as ussual. Keep it up!

  11. December 4, 2007

    Great advice for a newer affiliate marketer like myself. I will have to try and implement this into any landing pages I make in the future.

  12. December 4, 2007

    Great information. Two things:

    1) I know you mentioned you weren’t obviously going to show your landing pages…but what about an example of one from back in the day or something on an offer that either no longer exists or you’re not making money on anymore?

    2) More of an off topic question, but why would offers stop working? Once you optimize, etc, shouldn’t it continue to do good throughout time if you’re paying for the traffic to the site?

  13. December 4, 2007

    Finally! Some valuable information about landing pages!! (Not just from you, Paul, but from all affiliate blogs). This topic seems to be Taboo.

    I can’t wait to try some of these tips

  14. December 4, 2007

    Can you possibly explain how you did well with direct linking? Im just starting out in this game, and im trying both landing pages and direct linking side by side to see what works.

    I have had very limited success with landing pages, and 100% negative returns on direct linking. Google wants anywhere from $1 to $10 for minimum bids when i direct link!!

    any tips?

  15. December 4, 2007

    Hahahaha yea. That made me smile. :)

  16. December 4, 2007

    Great post. I think I agree with almost everything – if not everything. :)

    Keep the good stuff coming.

  17. December 4, 2007

    I think it’s best to research what people are liking best anyways. Find whats the most popular, research the FAQs, pricing, etc.

  18. Billyjo
    December 4, 2007

    I think it is very rude that you mentioned cold sores, not all old people get them.

  19. December 4, 2007

    Great stuff, man. 610 readers now.. outstanding.

  20. OmegaSupreme
    December 4, 2007

    Quality post, really good advice.

  21. December 4, 2007

    I’m still a total and complete idiot when it comes to this stuff. I haven’t used landing pages as of yet. Right now, I’m using a direct link. But, eventually get there.

    I just started my first campaign yesterday and as of this morning I’ve had 8 clicks. 20% CTR for search and .02% CTR for contact network. My budget is $50 for the month. I already hit my budget for the day. I’m thinking of raising my budget. Any thoughts guys?

  22. December 4, 2007

    This is good advice. I have had similar experiences testing pages. I like to do direct-to-merchant first, then if things convert well, make my own site to promote that particular offer. Another thing I find is that adding a right pointing arrow of some sort almost always increases CTR on a landing page. I’ve never had them decrease CTR.

  23. December 4, 2007

    As an answer to you, I think at the end of post he mentioned he may show some old landing pages in the future.

  24. December 4, 2007

    Would you mind if I asked what kind of minimum bids you are getting with direct linking?

  25. December 4, 2007

    You know you learn more online at sites like this than you could ever learn in a classroom. I signed up for CrazyEgg and I am excited to see how clickable my site is. Thanks.

  26. December 4, 2007

    the 20% CTR had a min bid of .03. And I really have no idea if that’s any good. I haven’t had any conversions as of yet.

  27. December 4, 2007

    Good stuff there Paul, at least you addressed the main points of a good landing page. There is really no formula or specific way to do a landing page. It is really all about presenting your offer as a solution to their problem. Once you can get it across to them, you pretty much have secured that lead.

    I have had quite good success with Direct Linking, but mainly through Content Network, where Google isn’t as anal about QS. Let’s just hope they stay that way.


  28. December 5, 2007

    Wow 612 readers!!! The other day I remember it was like at 500 something. Great job! Keep up the good work!

  29. December 5, 2007

    My girlfriend had one about a week ago actually. I was just using a medical problem as an example.

  30. December 5, 2007

    I have to hand it to you Paul. You are rapidly becoming my favorite blogger and a *must read*. You are totally honest, you share your experiences and you are a true asset to the community and all from a man young enough to be my son :-)

    I’ve left some positive comments here before using my affiliate blog link

    I’m Dave btw, I’m commenting here with the Code4Gold identity because with that site/forums I’m doing the same as you, sharing *real* information and not holding back or trying to sell it. I also thoroughly appreciate you using this blog to enlighten people instead of using it to pimp “paid reviews” like too many of the other established bloggers do.

    Keep up the “Good Karma” work paul, it will come back to you on hundred fold.

    And, this article was fantastic as usual !!! Please do visit my Code4Gold forum and send me a PM. I’m interested in swapping some ideas with you, also I’d like to discuss advertising in one of the 125×125 spaces and/or trading advertising.


  31. December 5, 2007

    Thats for the great info Paul! You have been a great inspiration to me, and I hope be as successful as you are!

  32. December 6, 2007

    We can only wish, buddy. I might be making thousands but you’re still light years ahead. Good job man.

  33. December 16, 2007

    Definitely one of the most detailed articles I’ve read about landing pages. Very nice work.
    ~ Dave

  34. Thank you for this great post. At first I didn’t use any landing page, but that didn’t work for me so I started creating landing pages, and the money started coming. :)

  35. Miguel
    January 5, 2008

    Great post! btw I found a pretty nice free alternative to crazyegg:

    Not that crazy egg is expensive but if your really doing this and testing multiple offers daily then this is a nice option.

    Keep up the great work with the blog man.

  36. February 27, 2008

    Yes, and landingpages doesn’t have always to be beautiful and perfect. Often ugly pages convert better. It’s a misconception that ugly will not do well!

  37. May 2, 2008

    I should have read this before, front to back. My first landing page was ugly, my first campaign was a total loss. You learn the most, when you lose money, because you don’t want to do it again. Most people will completely fail at their first few campaigns. You will only succeed when you realize what you where doing wrong.

    Shudogg Dot Com – Make Money Online Blogging

  38. May 4, 2008

    This info is pretty sweet

  39. June 1, 2008

    Great tips, for some reason I’d never heard of Crazy Egg… I think Google Analyrics has a heatmap function though…

  40. September 15, 2008

    Killer stuff. I actually am using Crazy Egg to track clicks on a campaign currently, never looked at the Heatmap though. After reading this I checked it and realized that people were clicking on the name of the offer, the title of the review and it was not a link…

    I changed it to link to the offer now, thanks.

  41. November 4, 2008

    Thanks, This is really nice piece of info. :D

  42. November 23, 2008

    I had try direct link but didn’t get any success. Will try landing page soon.

  43. November 30, 2008

    thanks for the important information

  44. November 30, 2008

    great infomation but u r really man

  45. November 30, 2008

    Thanks For The Information Will Surely Try These Tatics.

  46. December 1, 2008

    thanks for the great information, will definitely put it to good use

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