Landing Pages: Optimizing for 5 Different Traffic Sources

landing page traffic source

Do you take into account the source of the landing page traffic when working on landing page optimization?

Have you even thought about that?

Don’t be concerned if you haven’t. You’re not alone.

Your landing page is affected by the source of traffic coming to it. Unless you keep in mind the values, wants and needs of your landing page’s audience, you’ll struggle to find long-term success.

This article will dive into landing page optimization for five different traffic sources:

  • Facebook

  • Google Adwords

  • Facebook Ads

  • Search

  • Email

Let’s get rolling!

Why Do you Need to Optimize for Traffic Source?

Honestly, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to any business. Many business decisions you make are based on where your business is coming. For instance:

  • E-commerce companies know that they’ll find more success promoting swimsuits in late spring than they will in January. This is nothing more than knowing your audience, recognizing what they’re thinking about, and acting accordingly.

  • B2B companies know that exclusively posting product and service-related content on social media will lose you fans (and fast). This, again, is all about knowing your audience, recognizing their mindset depending on platform, and responding intelligently.

Landing pages are the same. Here are five examples of how traffic source can affect your landing page design and conversion:

Facebook Posts

Designing your page for traffic from Facebook is significantly different than from other sources, and can be actually more difficult, as social media users aren’t normally comfortable being sent off-platform (which can increase bounce-rates).

This is why you need to be incorporating Facebook landing page tabs in to your online marketing sales funnel. Many landing page template providers have this integration built in, and it should be a simple matter to publish an existing landing page template to the Facebook platform.

Making a landing page tab within the Facebook platform means that people can engage with your business in a concrete way without being sent to your website. This has a huge influence on bounce rates, because as soon as you move someone off-platform they lose trust immediately.

It’s absolutely essential that your Google Ads and your landing pages are part of the same campaign. Keep it tight.

Creating a cohesive ad and landing page campaign increase conversions on both.

This is because the performance of your Google Ad depends (in part) on the optimization of your landing page.

Here’s what I’m talking about (and how to optimize your landing page for Google Ads):

  • Make sure the copy on your landing page is owned by you and matches the object of your adword (for instance, let’s say you have an adword that has been performing well and has a high quality score. It would be the height of bad practice to start using that ad to send traffic to an under-performing landing page). It would ruin the landing page’s SEO (if it’s a ‘dofollow’ page) and also the quality score of your ad.

  • Ensure your adword headline matches your landing page title/USP/headline (and remember your landing page header should be in h1)

  • Make sure your ad’s keywords are closely related to your landing page’s subheaders

  • Don’t jam keywords into your landing page copy at random to “increase SEO”. Google will notice and drop both your ad’s quality score and your page’s SEO instead of increasing it.

[Facebook Ads](

Facebook Ads are a great way to drive people to a landing page, especially companies looking for lead generation.

The reason Facebook Ads are so great for lead gen is because the platform allows you to show your ads only to people who are likely to be interested in your content. Very few people will be searching for ebooks or email-gated content on Google.

Facebook Ads allow you to show your content to people who have expressed interest in your subject but may not be searching for it (for instance, showing your ad exclusively to small business owners interested in customer relationship management brings you a perfectly-sized audience for your ad with a 70 cent/click cost).

I recommend driving traffic (like with a Facebook post) to a Facebook landing page tab. This keeps traffic on the platform and will increase conversion rates on the page.

The most well-known traffic source for landing pages, designing for Google Search is actually the most complicated process, as it’s a bit more technical than others.

Here’s what I recommend:

  • 1 out of every 10 – 25 words of your landing page copy should be keywords. Space them naturally throughout (don’t keyword mash!)

  • Ensure your page’s headline matches well with a likely Google Search (if a search is “buy handmade leather boots in New York”, choose a headline like “leather boots handmade in New York”)

  • Ensure your landing page’s URL path has the keywords of your offer (like “”)

  • Use your offer’s keywords in the meta-tags of your landing page’s images and videos

  • Optimize for SEO by increasing the load speed of your page: don’t use long videos, complicated, extensive code, or large, unnecessarily high-res images

  • Prioritize keywords by placing them higher on your page and with different header tags.

Email Blast

Despite the explosion of online marketing strategy in the past five years, marketing emails still have one of the best ROIs available to us. When you use both an optimized landing page and an optimized email blast strategy, you’re talking a seriously effective campaign.

Here’s what I recommend:

Use segment-specific landing pages in conjunction with audience-specific emails.

Here’s an example:

  • Let’s say that you run a fancy sandwich place. You have a couple locations (one downtown and one close to your city’s university).

  • You’ve recently run an online social sweepstakes, directed at university students in your area . You’re promoting a 20% discount to students who show a valid student ID.

  • You’re also running Facebook and Google Ads at professionals in your area, promoting an email-gated coupon code.

  • Both these online campaigns have generated a list of very distinct and segmented leads (students and professionals)

Here’s how you use email and landing pages in tandem:

To your lead list of students , send a series of emails promoting “student Sunday” in which you give a further 25% discount coupon on your sandwich platter (5 or more sandwiches)

Use this email in conjunction with an audience-specific landing page which includes the headline “Fight the hangover with our Student Sunday sandwich platter!” and the copy “Get 25% off with a valid student ID. This month only!”

To your lead list of professionals , send a series of emails promoting “We’ve got lunch covered”, where you offer the same discount on the same sandwich platter.

Use this email in conjunction with another audience-specific landing page which includes the headline “Office hungry and work slowing down?” and the copy “We’ve got you covered with 25% off our sandwich platter. This month only”


In order to ensure that your audience-specific landing page isn’t found through search (as you don’t want people taking advantage of your deal without first giving you their lead information), you need to be making these landing page’s “no-follow”. If you’re curious how that works, read Wishpond’s Guide to No-Follow Landing Pages.

Advanced Strategy (Beware, Coding may be Included!)

Hidden Fields:

Hidden fields allow you to track, exactly, how many people are coming to your landing pages from an individual source (or several individual sources).

Here’s how it works:

  • Code in a “hidden field” within your landing page (or several, depending on how many traffic sources you want to track) or your landing page’s “thank you” page (the one that opens from a conversion)

  • Set, within your ads’ or link’s URL string, a particular coded value

  • When internet traffic engages with those links and your landing page opens, that page will be able to, essentially, “see” the URL string as different from others. It then sends that information to your analytics tool

  • You can then see exactly how many people are being driven to your landing pages by each individual traffic source

And why is that cool?

Basically hidden fields show you, in concrete terms, the ROI you’re getting from each of your traffic sources:

  • If you’re using both Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to drive traffic to a lead generating landing page, you can see which of those platforms is giving you the best return on your investment

  • If you’re using both Facebook and Google Ads, you can see which source of traffic is converting better than another (by putting a hidden field on your “thank you” page)

Pretty awesome, huh?


Hopefully you now have a better idea of what landing page optimization for different traffic sources means. Doing this increases conversion rates and, even more than that, increases relatability and personability of your business’ online presence.

Any personal touch you can add to your online campaign is a touch worth doing.

Related reading:

Have you found success with designing for traffic source? Let me know in the comment section below.

By James Scherer

June 19th, 2014

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