Sally has just set up a landing page for her upcoming webinar. It looks great.
But no one is signing up.
Disillusioned. She is nonetheless desperate to change her fate, and turns to google.
It’s clear: One small tweak can have a big impact on performance.
A quickstart guide to landing page optimization
But how do you know which element to change on your landing page to boost conversions?
Conversion rate optimization is certainly a fail-safe method to boost conversions. But it sounds a bit complicated, right?
In this article, I’ll walk you through a step-by-step process you can use to boost the conversion rate of your landing pages.
Step 1: Understand existing user behavior and its contribution towards your goal
To get started with conversion rate optimization, you need to understand where you are now and where you want to be. For that, you need to get to grips with existing user behavior and the degree to which it is contributing towards your goal.
Know the main purpose of your landing page. Identify one objective for your page. Many competing goals will confuse your audience, resulting in poor performance. So, know the one thing you want to get out of this page, whether it be to boost sales, subscribers, or something else. Then identify the metrics you will use to measure performance towards this goal.
To what extent is your landing page currently meeting this goal?
Appreciate basic stats. Set up goals in Google Analytics, so you can track the percentage of visitors who achieve a specified goal on your landing page. You could set up an event goal to track every time someone clicks on a specific button, or a destination goal when people reach a thank you page (Shopify).
Understand user behavior on the landing page. You need to do some kind of on-page analysis to understand what is working and what isn’t. Assessing how people interact with your page helps sort the effective from the ineffective elements. For example, you could conduct user testing to help you uncover what may be stopping prospects moving forward, which you can later confirm in testing.
Step 2: Identify areas for optimization
You know that aspects of your landing page are letting you down. But how can you identify them? And how can you sift the effective from the ineffective elements?
That’s the focus of step 2.
Know essential elements of an effective landing page. An attention-grabbing headline, relevant images, and clear call to actions are vital components of an effective landing page. You need to know the crucial elements of an effective landing page to be able to identify what may be lacking on your page.
The crucial aspects you need to consider can be divided into page layout, messaging and design. Let’s have a look at an example from each area.
- e.g. Is the content organized in a logical order? You need to tell people why they should be interested before you explain the intricacies of how your product works
- e.g. Does your headline address your ideal customer’s needs head on? Tell people how your offer will help them meet a specific goal or tackle a difficult problem
- e.g. Are your images optimized? Small image files can look pixelated, which looks unprofessional. Large image files cause slow loading time, which means fewer conversions
Want to discover more crucial components? Check out my free guide, The 8 Essential Ingredients of a High Converting Landing Page.
Creating a landing page is complex because it depends upon so many factors, including the offer, the audience and the brand. But going through this process will help you pinpoint problem areas that could be contributing to poor performance. This leads me to the next point.
Identify potential areas for optimization based on existing behavior and areas that don’t align with best practice. At this stage, you need to combine what you discovered in stage 1 (user behavior on the page) with stage 2 (landing page best practices). For example, you may think that poor placement of the call to action button may be stopping users from moving forward with your offer.
Design experiments. Use the information you gathered to form hypotheses. For example, you may observe your current headline is vague and could be improved by tying it to a specific benefit. In this case you could hypothesize: “if I change the headline text to include a specific benefit, I will get more leads.”
So how can you design your experiment? Impact outlines that you need to identify:
- What am I testing? Identify the element you want to optimize e.g. headline, button color
- Who am I testing? Identify the metric you will use to measure progress towards your goal e.g. number of leads
- Where am I testing? Identify the specific URL of the landing page you are optimizing
Use these guidelines to design your experiment, then you’ll be ready to move onto testing.
Step 3: Test and analyze your page for best results
You’ve gathered the necessary insights and designed your experiment. Now, all that’s left to do is carry out your experiment.
Implement your test in line with your hypothesis. You can easily set up content experiments in Google Analytics. Navigate to the experiments section in the behavior tab. You can then enter all the details to set up your experiment. Brian Dean provides straightforward guidance to setting up your experiment in this video.
Analyze results. Analyze the results of your test and identify which version delivered higher conversions in line with your goal. Pay special attention to the effect on the key metrics you identified in stage 1. You can then implement the winning version.
What if your test did not indicate a clear winner? You could try more testing. If you get no clarity after more testing, you may need to rework your hypothesis.
What if the results are not what you expected, or do not make sense? You need to dig deeper and ask ‘why’ questions. Gather qualitative feedback from real people to help you figure out what might be happening.
Improving the performance of your landing page can lead to significant improvements in business results. But even a small change can have a big impact. Conversion rate optimization can help you to acquire more customers, reduce customer acquisitions costs, and maximize the value of your ad spend.
But landing page optimization is not about getting to a destination. It is a continual process. After publishing your landing page, you need to continue to test, learn and optimize.
Moreover, once you have optimized one element, you can experiment with other elements. This could include messaging, design, images, page layout and more.
So, get started with step 1 and make your landing pages work hard for you.
What techniques do you use to optimize your landing pages? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.