Landing page conversion optimization is pretty hot right now. Speak to any marketer or online business owner and, chances are, you’ll hear them talking about tactics for lifting conversion rates.
With so much money going into driving traffic to our sites, it’s little wonder that more people are focusing on converting more visitors into customers.
Thankfully testing and analyzing the effectiveness of your landing pages does not require a big budget or IT help. Nowadays there are a slew of testing tools that make the conversion optimization of landing pages cheap and easy.
The trick is to keep things simple, use the right tools and, most important of all, systematically analyze your landing pages instead of doing twenty different things at the same time.
Start with your landing pages
Kick-starting your CRO efforts with landing pages—as opposed to any other type of page—has a couple of benefits:
- Landing pages are focused on one specific thing and therefore get a lot of relevant traffic through existing campaigns, etc.
- Landing pages are mini testing environments, making them a good place to start—and if you get good results you can replicate the changes you made throughout your website.
Fortunately, the whole process starts with 3 simple steps that give you all the data you need to know what needs changing and how. Let’s take a look…
Step 1: Master the basics!
When you first start analyzing your landing pages you want to focus on three core elements first:
- Call-to-action buttons
- And, messaging
It’s a no brainer, but optimizing calls to action is crucial for lifting conversion rates. If your calls to action are weak don’t expect many conversions.
Specifically you want to be testing things like the position of your button on the page, your call-to-action text and colors to see what works best.
When it comes to testing the text on your call-to-action buttons, be sure to test your generic text (“sign up,” “download now”) against more descriptive variations (“grow my business now,” “enjoy beating your competition now”).
The key is to mix up benefits and emotions and see what works.
If you don’t have technical skills to quickly make changes, I highly recommend SiteApps’ Button Optimizer. Set up the SiteApps tag on your page (works just like a Google Analytics tag) and install the free app on your website.
Every landing page has a form. In fact, every website has them. Whether you run a blog or an ecommerce store, somewhere on your site a visitor needs to fill in a form to convert.
The first thing you should always do is test the conversion effects of minimizing the number of fields in your form. Usually shorter forms convert much better.
In some cases, though, you need a longer form to collect more customer information. In these scenarios, you should be setting up custom events in Google Analytics to report on things like someone clicking on the text box or hovering their mouse over one of the fields. Seer Interactive has a great post on how to setup these events to measure form engagement.
Keep in mind, the more streamlined your forms the greater your conversion efforts.
Analyze your copy
The quality of your landing page copy plays a big part in conversion optimization.
The problem most people run into when testing messaging? How to measure the results of certain words on conversion. (For example, does it convert better to say “we deliver” or “we give you”?)
One way of analyzing how well your landing page copy is doing is by setting up events in Google Analytics and then tracking each event. So here is how I would set it up:
- Event triggers when the page is loaded up
- Second event fires when the user scrolls
- The third event fires when the user reaches the bottom of the page
The good news is that there is a free SiteApps app that does all that for you.
Using this free app will give you neat reports in Google Analytics (such as the one below) on how your copy is performing.
Step 2: Analyze Traffic
Now that we’ve covered the basic elements of a landing page, it’s time to focus in assessing the quality of the traffic your landing page is getting.
Next, take those valuable keywords and compare them with keywords in your search queries report from Google Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics.
What you’re looking for is whether the high-value keywords you want to target are showing up in your search queries report.
If none of the high-value keywords are showing up in the impressions column, you’ve got a problem with the quality of your traffic. Your page isn’t showing up for relevant searches, so the traffic you’re getting is probably not likely to convert anyway.
Solution: You now need to invest some time into optimizing your landing pages to rank for these keywords.
On the other hand, if your keywords are showing up in the search queries report but you have a low CTR, you’ve got a different problem. Your search engine results aren’t doing their job of sending qualified traffic to your landing page.
Solution: You need to start testing different landing page titles and meta descriptions to boost CTRs. Finding a short checklist for optimizing titles here.
Step 3: Analyze Behavior
The final step in assessing your landing page’s conversion efficiency is looking at visitor behavior once they hit your page.
The first thing to look at is bounce rates. Go into Google Analytics and pull out a report of your landing pages. Look for pages that have reasonably high traffic but also high bounce rates. These are prime targets for optimization!
What you need to do now is start diving deep into why people are not engaging with those pages.
Use CrazyEgg heat maps to see what people are focusing on or completely overlooking. Also leverage tools like usabilityhub.com or usertesting.com to get real life feedback from people to improve your page.
Step 4: Rinse and Repeat
Once you’ve gotten your insights into how you can improve it’s time to implement the changes.
If you use a platform like Unbounce.com to build your landing pages, making changes should be easy. If you need to make changes but don’t have the technical skills to implement them on your site, consider a service like Elto.com, which specializes in custom website services that improve conversion.
Remember, succeeding at conversion optimization is about consistent analysis and improvement of your pages. Keep an eye on your landing pages, your traffic and your visitor behavior, and you’ll have the data you need to know what works and what doesn’t.
Repeat the process regularly, and you’ll see incremental improvements that improve profits over time.