In an ever-changing digital marketing landscape, there is no universally easy way to ensure success. Indeed, search engine algorithms change, which directly impacts Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices. Information becomes outdated, trends emerge and dissipate, and customer perceptions and expectations shift. In that regard, too, landing pages don’t exist in a vacuum; rather, they’re informed by all such changes. Therefore, adhering to landing page best practices aside, it is crucial to know when it’s time to update your landing page. While this subject is relatively simple at its core, it does warrant a more profound exploration than scheduling indiscriminate updates.

What are landing pages?

First and foremost, let us briefly touch on the fundamentals. Marketing beginners may not fully grasp landing pages, so a definition should be an appropriate starting point.

In essence, a landing page is where visitors “land” after clicking on promotional links or advertisements of any kind. Therefore, landing pages have a clear marketing function; to present visitors with a specific call to action (CTA). They’re thus not the entry point to the sales funnel but the intermediary point that leads to conversions.

However, this function aside, the precise definition of landing pages will differ. Some websites define landing pages as having only a single call-to-action and little to no navigation. However, others may defer from this definition, opting to include website navigation and conclude with a CTA. Conversely, others may include multiple CTAs on the same page. But in all cases, a landing page will primarily seek to drive conversions and, ultimately, sales. It is a page that will bring revenue, by definition, regardless of how it approaches this goal.

Finally, what follows this definition is that landing pages are a crucial instrument of digital marketing. What’s more, as they hinge on visibility, they directly overlap with SEO. As such, it’s imperative to know when it’s time to update your landing page. Especially in the case of informative landing pages, timely updates and optimizations can ensure they deliver value to visitors and enhance SEO signals.

How do SEO and landing pages overlap?

On that subject, let us briefly argue how SEO overlaps with landing pages.

SEO, as the name suggests, is a series of practices that optimizes content to rank higher in search engines. To do so, it adheres to Google’s ranking factors, which include, among over 200 others:

  • Loading speed
  • Security
  • Page Authority (PA)
  • Image optimization
  • Mobile-friendliness

To focus on specific elements with more accuracy, SEO is then divided into types. While some will identify multiple types, the primary 3 are arguably the following:

  • On-page SEO; the type that delves into on-page elements like content layout, image optimization, etc
  • Off-page SEO; the type that revolves around off-page signals and practices, like link building, referral signals, etc
  • Technical SEO; the type that focuses on website health and technical aspects, such as sitemaps and security

For deeper insights into this division, Mike Khorev offers an excellent visualization:


 A chart that explores Google ranking signals

In the context of this article, then, all 3 are crucial. Indeed, landing pages, like all pages, require a solid foundation to perform best. For example, an excellent link-building strategy will increase PA, while technical SEO will ensure security. In turn, both will increase visitors’ confidence and produce better engagement signals, increasing the likelihood of conversions in the process.

However, it is arguably on-page SEO that interests landing page optimization the most. It is the on-page elements that will inform engagement and conversions, from loading speeds that impact bounce rates to content layout that dictates CTA visibility. Thus, having ensured the fundamentals, on-page SEO offers clear indications that it may be time to update your landing page.

How to know when it’s time to update your landing page

Finally, having contextualized landing pages in this way, let us explore 3 common signs that an update may be due.

#1 Decreased conversion rates

Perhaps the plainest, most visible sign that a landing page may need an update is decreased conversion rates. Here, much like how we’ve noted in the beginning, Google Analytics identifies different conversion types. Namely:

  • Micro conversions; completed activities that lead to transactions, such as email signups
  • Macro conversions; typically completed transactions

Moreover, it divides them into 4 main groups:

  • Revenue; reservations, appointments, etc
  • Acquisition; account creation
  • Inquiry; product or service detail views, estimate requests, etc
  • Engagement; media plays, such as video or product demos


An image of Google Analytics detailing conversions

In all cases, Google Analytics and similar analytics tools can quickly identify drops in conversion rates. With precise insights in hand, you may thus consider updating your landing pages accordingly. For example, if you find you’re not getting enough “micro” engagement conversions, you may revisit your media. Conversely, if you find you’re not getting enough “macro” transaction conversions, you may need to examine your CTAs.

To do so, you may consider such tools as heatmaps to identify exact on-page issues. Heatmaps can offer accurate information on user on-page activity, from how far they scroll to where their mouse hovers. This information may inform your choices; move, click, and touch heatmaps may reveal that your CTAs don’t attract your visitors. This may be due to clutter, CTA button colors, fonts, and copy, content layout, or other factors. Conversely, scroll heatmaps may reveal that your content doesn’t allure visitors to keep reading. In that case, you may need to focus more above the fold or provide more content value – as on-page SEO dictates.

#2 Decreased engagement signals

On the subject of SEO, it is worth remembering that landing pages are still pages that intend to offer value. Therefore, you may identify decreased engagement signals such as the following:

  • Higher bounce rates
  • Less time on page
  • Less scrolling

These are clear-cut on-page SEO metrics that you may wish to remedy. Even in the case of outdated, campaign-specific landing pages, these signals matter in the context of your website. Thus, after identifying them through analytics tools or SEO audits, you may begin to address them accordingly.

Bounce rates

The most common reason for bounce rates is, famously, page loading times. Google itself has highlighted this in no uncertain terms:

A graph that explains how page load speeds correlate with bounce rates

Therefore, you may begin to apply standard optimization practices to reduce loading times, including:

  • Image and media optimization
  • HTTP request reduction
  • Web page caching
  • JavaScript and style sheet minification

Time on page

Page loading times aside, bounce rates and time on page overlap in one simple, core factor; immediate value. Internet users have become increasingly cautious with their time and will frequently leave a page that doesn’t immediately present value.

Should you find that users don’t spend enough time on page to reach your CTAs, you may try the following:

  • Focus above the fold; present enticing visuals, a clear proposition, CTAs, or other alluring, valuable content above the fold for enhanced visibility
  • Reduce clutter; de-clutter your landing page’s layout to allow users to take desirable actions without strain and effort
  • Match the header title to the SEO title; show visitors the title they clicked on, reassuring them that they’re receiving value relevant to their search intent
  • Refine your tone and add visuals; adopt a tone that better resonates with your audience, and present interesting visuals to incite engagement
  • Improve your copy; provide accurate, relevant, and up-to-date information to inspire confidence and provide value

Scrolling down

Similarly, many of the practices mentioned above may help ensure your visitors scroll further down and reach your CTAs. In addition to the above, however, you may also consider the following to specifically encourage visitors to continue scrolling;

  • Make your content scannable; use headers and subheaders, bullet lists, visuals, and other elements to facilitate content scanning
  • Remove undesirable links; remove links that heatmaps show drive visitors away, especially ones closer to the top of the page
  • Match image use to content length; ensure you use enough images to break down long blocks of text and make pages more digestible

Of course, exact interventions should always depend on your website, pages and your own

#3 Steep competition

Finally, SEO aside, competitor analysis may simply reveal that an update may be needed to edge ahead of your competitors. In this regard, there are two types of competition to consider; copycats and honest competitors. Both can siphon away your customers, so identifying them will signify it’s time to update your landing page.

Copycats are not uncommon, and typically it only takes a plagiarism detector to identify them. Still, besides having them remove your content from their website, they too can signify the need to update yours.

Honest competitors offer healthy competition by simply drawing from your strategies and adding value to them. In that case, the typical course of action is to do the same; analyze their strategies’ effectiveness and expand on them. To do so, you may consider such practices and factors as:

  • Adding value to the visitor; SEO rightfully holds that “quality is king”, so retroactively updating content to keep information valid and accurate may confidently increase your pages’ value
  • Revamping your design; improving your design with the user experience (UX) in mind may drive engagement and conversions
  • Enhancing your CTAs; making your CTAs more visible and more compelling remains a safe way to enhance conversion rates


To summarize, there are many signs, clear and subtle, that may indicate a landing page update is due. From conversion rates decreasing over time to diminishing engagement signals, such signs are data-driven and thus safe to act on. Similarly, stiff competition may necessitate landing page updates to maintain your position in an increasingly competitive digital market. Fortunately, many tools can inform such updates, from analytics tools and heatmaps to SEO audits and competitor analyses.

About the author

Michael Young is an NYC-based digital marketer and freelance web designer who works for Digital Dot New York. He frequently authors articles related to SEO, PPC marketing, SEM, and web design to various websites. In his free time he enjoys binge-watching classic series and sharing time with his two dogs.