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Optimizing Your Landing Pages for Different Sources of Traffic

by Adam Kreitman

Tyson Quick is the CEO of Instapage, a tool that lets website owners and marketers quickly build and split-test landing pages.

So if you want to get better at optimizing your landing pages, you’re in the right place.

tyson quickTyson is a serial entrepreneur who started building online companies when he was just 15. His passion is for UX / UI design, but he also specializes in project management, business growth and all aspects of online marketing from PPC to CRO.

In this interview, Tyson discusses how different campaigns and different sources of traffic affect conversion rates — and he shares some tips on how to tweak your landing pages for different traffic sources.

1. One aspect of CRO that doesn’t get discussed as much as it should is how different campaigns (i.e., sources of traffic) affect the performance of a landing page. A landing page that performs extremely well for one campaign may not perform well at all for another.

Can you describe how and why the same landing page on a business’ website may perform very differently depending on the campaign that’s sending traffic to it?

Context is an extremely important factor for all marketers to consider when laying the groundwork for their CRO efforts. If you do not understand the context from which your visitors are coming to your landing pages, then you don’t understand your visitors.

People are in quite different mindsets and settings when coming from different traffic sources. A Google AdWords click is typically coming from a visitor who is directly looking for a solution to a specific problem they’re already aware of, while a visitor from a Facebook or Twitter advertisement is typically still in the problem / solution discovery phase. The post click experience should reflect this mindset.

It’s ok to get straight to the point and ask for the conversion when talking to a highly targeted source of traffic, such as you typically get with a higher CPC (cost per click). You might want to focus more on educational content when talking to people who come from a casual source of traffic, as you work to establish the problem that needs to be solved.

It’s always a good idea to segment causal landing page viewers into a retargeting campaign so that you can re-engage them “after” they’ve been exposed to your brand with a second landing page that is now “in the clear” for getting straight to the point.

Last but not least you’ll need to establish different conversion goals depending on the traffic source, or else your optimization efforts are at risk for improving the wrong metrics.

2. Let’s talk a little about the setting of different conversion goals for different traffic sources that you just mentioned.

Can you tell us about some of the more common sources of traffic and what conversions goals should be established for each (including the metrics that should drive optimization decisions for each)?

Today there are a few “primary” sources of paid traffic.  This includes search engine result pages, display networks primarily used for banner ad retargeting, and social networks for “in-stream” targeting.

Of course there are plenty of other methods / types of advertising, but these are the primary Pay-Per-Click focus areas for nearly all online advertisers and the best fit for landing pages.

To give you a better idea of how to approach each of these, I’m going to overview how we (Instapage) run the majority of our paid campaigns and how the goals we set for each vary.

We start by building out campaigns for our search engine ads.  We’ve chosen the top use cases for our software to create our campaigns and have then broken up the relevant keywords into ad groups of each campaign. This sets the stage for our landing pages.

Once this process has been completed we build out relevant landing pages for each ad group based on the keywords and message that we’re trying to get across. Relevancy (aka context) is always extremely important in this process. Because searchers are typically looking for solutions to solve a problem when searching, our goal is to get a sign up or lead.

On each of these landing pages, we place tracking pixels to generate a list of already engaged users to be used for our retargeting display ads.

For any user that came to these search result landing pages but did not convert, we start targeting them with banner ads across the internet to encourage them to finish what they started. The messaging in these banner ads builds upon the message they’ve already been exposed to but takes it one step further to educate them on additional benefits they’ll get by signing up.

The landing pages that are attached to these display ads are all about “continuing the message” rather than assuming they’ve just heard about us. The goal here is, again, to get the sign up or lead.

After we’ve closed the deal and generated the sign up, we start targeting the user across social networks to begin the activation or training phase. We build educational ads to be placed in our signed up users Facebook and Twitter feeds. The goal here is to educate the user on how to best take advantage of our product so that they can realize its value and subsequently upgrade.

The landing pages we use in this stage have videos, next-step procedures, and how-to-upgrade messaging.

Following this process will do wonders in bringing you new customers; however, you should always be testing and refining each part of the overall experience / customer journey.

3. You mentioned building different landing pages based on keywords related to specific use cases. How different are those landing pages? Do you find just swapping a few words out to match the keywords does the trick (assuming the product/service being offered is essentially the same) or does it take more than that to truly maximize conversion rates?

With landing page marketing, you always want to start with a Minimum Viable Page. Therefore, you should start with simple message matching, as it’s not only the most important but tends to have the biggest impact.

Additionally it’s more important to get more landing pages launched with message matching alone for all of your primary advertising campaigns then spending critical time and resources perfecting the entire experience of one page.

As your resources expand and your campaigns mature, then you can go back for round-two “further experience matching” on your most valuable pages. This round typically consists of making it relevant to geographic location, gender, or by improving the story flow based on the value add your campaign is built around.

4. Okay, you’ve laid out a pretty compelling case for why it’s important having customized landing pages for different sources of traffic makes a lot of sense. How does a tool like Instapage help advertisers do that?

It helps advertisers build and A/B split test the landing pages that they are sending their ad clicks to. This is the most important step of an advertising campaign.

Because this process only works if it’s fast and easy to get these pages online, our team has obsessively prioritized simplicity. From choosing a relevant template to testing one headline vs another, we make everything possible in only a few clicks.

Marketers no longer need IT to help them set up integrations, add marketing tags, and get their pages online — all they need is Instapage. We make optimizing your landing pages easy.

To get more from Tyson, check out Instapage.com.

Go here to read more Crazy Egg articles from Adam Kreitman.

6 Comments

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Adam Kreitman

Adam Kreitman coaches business owners on how to make their websites more compelling to their prospects.. and to Google. He owns Words That Click, a firm specializing in Conversion Optimization and managing Google AdWords campaigns for small businesses.Follow him on

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  1. Guillaume says:
    February 8, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Hey, I’ve just came across this article.
    Still up to date!

    Tyson, would you agree that “context” you’re talking about is composed of a persona + its buyer’s journey stage? A specific buyer profile (homogeneous) + his maturity stage with regards to his pain.
    Value proposition, offer, landing page content and marketing channels have to fit with each group.

    I like to segment/flag my landing pages with those 2 elements so that I can measure performance of my landing pages and marketing channels on homogeneous contexts.
    It has no sense considering one source of traffic as a whole as it can be used to perform different marketing objectives on heterogeneous personas.

    What do you think?
    I’d love to have your thoughts on this.

    Thanks!

  2. Digokgwe says:
    April 6, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Thank you

    • Kathryn Aragon says:
      April 6, 2015 at 10:10 am

      You’re welcome, Digokgwe.

  3. Tyson Quick says:
    March 9, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    It was a pleasure doing this interview with you Adam. Thank you Crazy Egg for reaching out.

    • Kathryn Aragon says:
      March 9, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      I’m so glad you did, Tyson! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

    • Adam says:
      March 10, 2015 at 9:27 am

      Likewise Tyson. I appreciate you taking the time to share your expertise with us!

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