6 Conversion Rate Optimization Tips for Testing Landing Pages

Post written by David Wells
On Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

landing-page-optimation

The landing page is one of the most important parts of your website. This page is where your search engine optimization efforts will lead, because the landing page is where your SERP (search engine results page) entries will lead.

This, in essence, is what the landing page is all about. It is an extension of your SERP results, meant to entice your visitor into engagement—whether to visit the rest of your site, read your articles, subscribe to your feed, or buy whatever it is you’re selling. Think of it as a more comprehensive TwitLonger for your relatively shorter Tweets.

Considering that the landing page is so critical to your website, it follows that conversion is a key part in this as well. Conversion is when you instigate engagement in the people that already go to your site—you must find a way to increase conversions (acts of reading, viewing, commenting, subscribing, purchasing, and the like)—without expending extra efforts in attracting new people.

The practice of conversion is represented by conversion rate optimization or CRO. It will enable you to secure additional revenue without expending considerably more investment. Hooking and retaining extant customers is five times less expensive than attracting new ones.

As a result, devising and implementing effective CRO is a fantastic way to trump your rivals. It doesn’t require much work, but the benefits that a few small adjustments to your site will reap will all go straight to your bottom line.

Here are a few quick, effective tips to promote good CRO, as well as the methods to track whether your efforts are actually working.

CRO Tips

1. Keep it simple, silly.

Okay, so the last ‘S’ doesn’t really stand for “silly”, but its original meaning is kind of derogatory. Anyway, the trend all over consumer electronics and mainstream technology has been all about minimalism. People tend to be overwhelmed with so many prompts to read here, click there, and watch this video that often, they’ll be turned off and simply quit the tab.

Gently show them the core tenets of your service (with options to easily find out more information if they so desire). Make good use of large swathes of negative space, to truly emphasize the points of engagement.

2. Use a logical structure for the page.

Think of your landing page as a funnel for your visitors—the top of the page attracts the most people, with the middle leading them towards engagement, and the bottom representing a call-to-action.

Near the top of your page should be describing your product, as well as its various benefits. Reviews and testimonials will ideally be in the middle of your page. These should be by reputable people—barring that, make them extremely believable and specific, and not a simple “Thanks” or “This product is great!”. Inject some verisimilitude. At the bottom of the page is the call-to-action, which should be context-specific. Want people to buy? Say “Buy now.” Want people to register? Say “Register.”

 3. Focus on what’s important.

What are you trying to sell? Represent it with a compelling video or infographic. Find the right balance of typography—limit yourself to one to three on a single page. Avoid clutter so that people will understand what’s going on in your landing page. Your forms should be singularly targeted to achieve one goal, and direct everything to that goal.

Perhaps the most critical step in your CRO operations is this: test, test, and test. In this next section, we’ll go over two common ways through which to track if your CRO efforts are eliciting results.

CRO Testing

4. External sources

A great way to see whether your site is easy to use is by asking someone who isn’t that familiar with the Internet to check it out. If you’re running a website, chances are you’re tech-savvy so you aren’t the best guinea pig for your changes. This isn’t meant to be patronizing, but your parents or elderly relatives would be great people to ask.

5. Analytics

If you want to use a more technical approach, employ an analytics tool. Google Analytics is free and easy to use, and provides detailed statistics on all the aspects of your site. You’ll be able to track whether people click on your links, set goals, and see various detailed reports.

6. Split Testing

If you want to obtain a larger sample, an A/B or split Testing is your method. Here, you take two prototypes of your redesigned landing page (or run a rest involving your old and your new landing page), and make them go live at the same time. After a predetermined amount of time, you examine the results, and see which one was more effective. This can be repeated as many times as necessary, with many iterations, to settle on that effective new approach.

The importance of the landing page cannot be emphasized enough. The methods we’ve outlined today will be great signs to follow in improving your page. Take the time to optimize it well, and soon you’ll be reaping the rewards.

About the Author:
David is Founder of Inbound Now and a Fanatical WordPress Designer & Developer. He believes that the internet is a magical place where wonderful things can happen. Say hi to him @DavidWells

Posted in: Landing Pages
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