Landing Page Optimization and the ‘Middle Child Syndrome’

This article was written by Leigh Hanney of


In any structured system the introduction of a new variable will have a lasting influence on that structure. In short, nothing will remain the same.


Take a typical family unit of two parents and one child… When a second child is born the dynamic shifts and sibling relationships become one of older versus younger. Parental influences and guidance may also differ and thus the potential for psychological differences between the siblings also emerges. Then however we have the appearance of a third child, and as a result, the ensuing ‘middle child syndrome’ emerges. Now I‘m no psychologist, so that’s as deep as I’ll go, but I find it interesting to view the ‘landing page’ as the often ignored and overlooked, ‘middle child’ in many online marketing campaigns.  


Too many marketers devote all their attention to the ‘first child’, the Campaign itself (PPC, SEO, CMP, Facebook Ads), and the remainder of their focus goes to a third child, ‘the sale’. But   the third child is often looked at questioningly, asked ‘Why can’t you do more?’ And the question that should be asked, ‘How can you do more?’ is never asked of the middle child – the landing page – at all. Instead, this key part of the structure and campaign is entirely ignored.  


As online marketers, we cannot afford not to focus on the entire conversion funnel, and we must never underestimate the gains to be found in optimizing the landing pages used in our campaigns.

At no time is this more pertinent than now faced with the current economic crisis.  

What would the marketer who ignores the landing page do if her budget was cut in two? Panic certainly, knowing that her effectiveness will surely drop by 50% too. ‘I’ll lose my job!’  

Yet the marketer who understands the importance of the landing page and conversion optimization should see this as yet another challenge. For now, he can focus even more on how to squeeze additional conversions out of every 100 clicks.

In short, the marketer who understands the whole picture and the complete conversion funnel has many more levers to pull when the dynamic shifts.

Ignore your landing pages at your own peril.

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