Landing Pages: Test,Tune & Test Even More!

Once visitors arrive, the landing pages you display to them is a crucial component in converting them into buyers. “Landing Page Testing and Tuning” focused on ways to test and tweak your landing pages to get that conversion.

I’m looking forward to some very practical and relevant advice during this SES New York 2009 session presented by Tim Ash, President, SiteTuners.

Why should you care?:
•    Every landing page has problems can fix.  Don’t leave them neglected.  For every $80 spent,  only $1 is spent fixing landing pages.
Conversions, conversions, conversions.  Increase in conversion rate = increase in profits.  Figure out Cost Per Acquisition…CPA = CPC/CR.

Don’t just turn the knob on traffic.
Who do you think should design your site? Should it be your ad agency, your boss, webmaster, IT, marketing?  The answer is…  wait for it…NONE OF THE ABOVE!  Your website visitors should design your website! By this method, you have thousands of experts.   Also:
•    It should only be focused on conversion
•    Subtle differences make a big difference
•    Fix your existing good, high value pages.
•    200 versions/found one that wins
How do you test landing pages?
•    First consider the size of test variable interactions such as the header, navigation bar, call to action and photo.
•    Use tools for larger tests
•    Consider positive interaction between headline and picture versus negative interaction.  Keep in mind that it is not the picture or headline that matters, it’s the context in which it is used!  Context matter.
•    Utilize Google Website Optimizer to do multi-variant testing.

•    Variable interactions are important.  The best setting for each variable depends on its context
•    Methods of testing:
•    A-B split testing – head to head testing of one variable at time.
•    Parametric multivariate testing – tests several variables at the same time and ignores variable interactions.
•    Nonparametric tuning – allows much larger tests and takes variable interaction into account

The seven deadly sins of landing pages from the perspective of visitors:

1.    An unclear call to action. If it’s not obvious it’s costing you money.
2.    Visual distractions – Where is the visitor supposed to look.  Also, just say no to entry pop-ups.
3.    Too much text.  Visitors might ask, do you really expect me to read all of this? Cut down on test to increase conversion and increase retention.
4.    Lack of upstream continuity.  Does your landing page keep the promise that your traffic sources make? The #1 driver of conversion is intent.  Did visitor get what they expected?  If not, it doesn’t reflect well on your brand. Don’t lie – keep your promises.
5.    Long forms.  Is the information you are asking for absolutely necessary to complete the current transaction?  Don’t frustrate your visitors.  Use progressive disclosure form if you want more information.
6.    Invisible risk reducers.  Move them up to the top.
7.    Lack of trust indicators.  Visitors will wonder why should they should trust you?  Use the halo affect by putting famous client brand logo who you interact with on site.  Piggy back on them.  For example, use the “as seen on TV on site” if you ran an ad anywhere, anytime on TV.

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