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Landing Page Optimization Methodology & Testing

Christine Teng on 03October2010

So you've negotiated a media buy or successfully set-up your ppc campaign and now are ready to receive traffic and convert users into sales! Voila! But wait, that's just the start of any marketer's program. Landing pages are vital to the success of any online marketing campaigns. Getting a system in place to conduct and to optimize landing pages efficiently can make or break success of your campaign. Here are a few tips in no particular order that are essential to creating landing pages and developing an optimization methodology to use for any online marketing campaign:

Forget Perfection.

Get out of the mindset of a having to design and launch the perfect landing page. If it is perfect, then 100% of your traffic should be converting. Landing pages should be designed to be tested and optimized to improve conversion rate continuously. You will not know what elements work nor doesn't work until you have put the page up. Read some of the basic tenants to follow for landing page development.

Think MISS.

Design landing pages with the acronym MISS (Make it Simple Stupid) because what's obvious to you may not to the user, especially if he/she isn't familiar with your company, product or service. It's good practice to repeat your offer and primary call to action in few places.

No Space for Clutter.

Your offer and call to action should be crystal clear. Don't clutter the page with items that may confuse a user such as messaging that strays away from intent of offer, having too many images (unless it clarifies or add values to the offer) or providing multiple calls to actions. The theme here is "Less is More". The less you have on the page is more you'd be able to sell your business.

The Goal is Above The Fold.

Use the area above the fold, which is what the user will first see, to answer 2 questions:

1) What are you selling?

2) Why should I sign-up/buy from you? (What's in it for me?)

The headline, sub-headline, introductory paragraph, hero shot, sign-up form, call to action, and sign-up/submit button are few must have elements that should appear above the fold. All these elements should aide to present a clear, succinct and compelling offer and benefit to the user.

Modularize You Page.

Can you tell me what factors on your landing page leading to the success or failure of your campaign? The only true way to determine how factors impact conversion is to test them as variables. Design your landing pages in mind to be able to test various variables by modularizing your page so that's easy to swap out different versions of the same element.

Use Templates to Scale Optimization.

At the onset of landing page development work with your designer to build a landing page that can serve as a template to replicate for easier and faster deployment of new landing pages. The template should be coded in a way for designer to easily modify or replace elements of the page and to efficiently and quickly create iterative versions.

Keep Running Experiments.

Be proactive in optimizing your landing page conversion by continuing to experiment with different elements and variables. Your competitors are probably trying to optimize their online marketing campaigns and landing pages as well. Here is a short list of few different elements you should test for:

- Title

- Image

- Layout

- Selling proposition

- Colors

- Incentives

Be creative in what you can test.

Accountability is Key.

Tracking and monitoring is key in keeping tab on what works and what doesn't work. Here are a few simple and easy ways to keep tab and measure your landing page optimization efforts:

- Make use of third party conversion tracking by adding conversion tag/code to appropriate web page(s)

- Track conversion(s) internally so that you can validate and gauge quality of conversions from your marketing campaign(s) by having your programmer create internal tracking

- Understand the entire conversion funnel through tools such as web analytics and eye tracking

- Create and share A/B testing reports by discussing results and follow-up on next test iterations with your team

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