LPO — Landing Page Optimization — often done via A/B testing methods, is an underused tactic that can benefit your Marketing Communication strategies in huge ways. Imagine if you could increase leads, 20% – 60% in less than a month? Let’s take a look at five landing page optimization tips from the trenches to help you understand ways to improve your own results.
Employ the Power of PPC Testing first: PPC testing stands for Pay Per Click — like the ads you see at top and right in Google. Smart PPC ads are often key in a landing page campaign in order to get enough visitors for an accurate test result. But in addition to gathering qualified prospects to your landing page, there are two other major things you need to do, so this is a two for one tip. First, always take advantage of the ability to write more than one ad version and use it to test different value propositions (ie. Free eBook, versus Free Solution Consultation). This not only will yield PPC ads with more affordable click through costs, but will also give you key information you can use to modify your landing page — and that’s the second tip — always keep your landing page consistent with your ad copy. Why? Because all studies show that you get more leads (B2B) and sales (B2C) when visitors find a close correlation between ad headlines and landing page messages.
Focus first on Value Propositions, then incremental gains: So… what should you test first? Often the C-Level execs. are so sure of the value of a product or service that they insist on only one slogan. Great. Now test a second idea. Years ago, I learned this lesson when instructed to sell the “range of fabric colors” in office chairs that would “match any office decor” to boost sales for a line of special chair coverage options. Great value proposition? No. But sales did go through the roof when the pitch changed from fabric color options, to simply saying, “for only $20 extra, you can order a fabric that will last 5-10 times longer.” Durability trumped color options. So you start there — testing value propositions. Then after you have your first winner, you seek incremental gains from colors of page elements (ie. green button versus orange button), position of elements, and other factors like calls to action, and images. As we go deeper into testing we also take a look at “friction” elements, and ways to deal with anxiety.
Beware the Rise of Mobile browsing: How people interact with your UI — user interface, which most people are still calling a plain old website, is very different on tablets and smart phones compared with PCs and laptops. Navigation with fat little fingers versus mice. Less width, and less space “above the fold.” Now Google Analytics has an excellent new addition to their in-page analytics feature, called “browser size”. Not only can you see roughly what shows on different device screens, but analytics also records what percentage of site visitors see each area.
You’re Optimizing for Behavior, not Optimizing a Website: Visitor Behavior Optimization. This often overlooked step is key to your success because you are not really optimizing a web SITE, but rather, optimizing for what you want people to do AT a web site. Heat-map tests, showing where people are placing their attention are one way to do this, and it can tell you exactly what people are drawn to. How can that improve lead acquisition or sales results? Two main ways — you may need to add a button or link in a certain location to get visitors to take a specific action (see example below), but sometimes you should remove a certain element like a sidebar if it is seen to be a distraction with too many visitors clicking links that take them away from the landing page goal.
Go Beyond the Simple A/B Test: We already talked about “heat-map” tests in the last example, but one thing heat-maps and analytics can NOT tell you is the “why” of visitor behavior at your site. They can tell you “what” they did or did not do, and even “where” they clicked, but not exactly why. To answer these questions, we do the only thing you can do — ask the visitors. Surveys, polls, and even a “recall test” where testers look at your site and then state what they think it is about after looking at it for around five seconds can tell you what they remember, what they could not find, and why they bounced away, among other things.
The Business Case for Testing: Smart testing takes a bit of time. You start with strategy for what to test, and create at least two versions of a landing page. You install the test and tracking software. Then you review, modify your page, and keep testing for improvements. So, what’s the ROI? In general figure that average improvements for leads, case study downloads, and ecommerce sales are between 35% and 65%. Isn’t that worth the time you’ll spend? We have a slideshow about Landing Page campaigns that gives you a good overview of Landing Page Campaigns. Contact us for a prompt estimate.