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What Is Landing Page Optimization?

When it comes to designing online advertising, hours of creative brainstorming, offer development, copy rewrites, layout revisions and placement analysis are done to create a memorable and effective campaign. Even the simple three line Google text ad gets tested multiple times to improve click throughs and conversions. What happens after the prospect clicks on the brilliant ad banner, email link, search ad, or micro site is often overlooked. Where the prospects “lands” after the click is really the most important part of the campaign. The landing page is where the selling happens and where marketing insight and creativity is most needed. Yet, this critical page content and design is often an after thought or passed off to a novice designer or web master.

Improve Your Website Performance
There are a number of very poor landing pages and no perfect ones. Landing page optimization is an Internet marketing process that increases the performance of landing pages. Landing pages look simple but they take a lot of thought. A landing page by its very nature is always in transition. Elements that might be modified as part of the optimization process include:

  • Headline wording and relevance to the visitor
  • Graphics that support key benefit of the page
  • Placement of call to action buttons
  • Layout
  • Hero shot
  • Copy style and length
  • Information about the offer
  • Registration form length
  • Registration experience
  • Privacy notice placement
  • Testimonials
  • Connection to ad creative

Fortunately for the marketers who have had nagging doubts that their landing pages could perform better, there is a growing set of tools and services to scientifically optimize landing pages to improve conversions. While you can spend a lot to test, or a little, the most important thing is that you test.

You have a number of testing options, such as A/B tests on a landing page, multivariate tests involving multiple A/B test cells at the same time, and Taguchi-style multivariate tests. You can spend a lot to test or a little. The important thing is that you test. A properly-run, ongoing testing program will help you improve results.

Key Benefits for Your Company
For many marketers, focusing on landing page optimization can have a big impact on their advertising return on investment. While a poor performing landing page will undermine the best advertising creative, a good landing page will turn a mediocre campaign into a top performer. Here is a simplified example of the benefits of landing page optimization:

Betty’s Baskets sells bountiful custom gift baskets for $100 a basket. Betty has a 20% profit margin, which means that she makes $20 for every basket that she sells. Betty targets the corporate gift buyer and receives 1,000 visitors to the Betty’s Baskets website each day. With a 2.5% conversion rate, Betty sells 25 baskets a day for a profit of $500. Not bad, but with a few tweaks to her landing page Betty increases her conversion rate to 3.5% so that she earns $700 a day. The bottom line? The outlook for Betty’s basket business looks bright.

Not only can improving your landing page increase your profits, you can gain market share at the expense of your competitors who are not optimized.

Does my Company Need Landing Page Optimization?
Every landing page can be improved. Even if you were happy with your page once, visitor expectations change and your page may not be working as well as it can. While you may not have enough traffic to your site for formalized testing you can still make changes that will improve your conversion rates.

In a study by MarketingSherpa, it was found that the average conversion rate of a landing page was 3.84%. Conversion rates for paid search are 4.42%. How do your landing pages measure up? Increasing conversions on your landing pages is one of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your marketing ROI. Landing page optimization is especially practical as marketing budgets tighten up. If your company has decreased online advertising, it is likely that traffic to your site has also decreased, which makes increasing conversions more crucial than usual.

Key Features of Landing Page Optimization Services
Landing page optimization features vary depending on the type of testing your site requires and the services offered by the company you select to work with. Types of testing range from sophisticated multivariate tests to simply observing users as they interact with your website. Testing methods include:

  • A/B Testing – split traffic to two pages
    A/B testing splits traffic to two different pages to measure the impact of different pages and page elements.
  • Multiple A/B tests (multivariate)
    Multivariate testing splits traffic to multiple pages, each with a single element altered.
  • Multivariate (Taguchi-style)
    Taguchi-style multivariate testing splits traffic to multiple pages, each one with multiple creative differences. This testing method requires statistical expertise to use properly.
  • Eye Tracking
    Visual effectiveness testing looks at the way the eyes of people scan and consume the content of a web page. Eye tracking requires specialized software and live test subjects.
  • Live Usability Testing
    Live usability testing is exactly as it sounds. You watch users as they interact with your website to spot areas that are confusing. To do this test, you need a usability lab, participants, and an observer who takes notes.
  • Online Surveys
    Simple to administer and affordable online surveying tools ask users what they think of a website.

What to Look for When Choosing Landing Page Optimization Software
Some – but not all – lead management software providers have formed partnerships with lead brokers and aggregators. By choosing a vendor who has developed these kinds of strategic alliances, companies can leverage a consistent flow of updated, accurate, fresh leads.

What to Look for When Choosing Landing Page Optimization Software
Before you hire an agency, or invest in a tool to help you with your landing page optimization outline your requirements. Doing this will increase the success of your optimization project.

  • Who is your audience?
  • How many audiences do you have?
  • What data do you want to capture?
  • What type of campaign will the page support?
  • What do you expect the landing page to do? Engage? Sign up?
  • What type of help do you need – design, content, production, testing?
  • How many conversions do your pages get each day?
  • How many landing pages will you need?
  • Do you need support for multiple languages?
  • Is this a one-time project or ongoing?
  • How difficult is it to implement website changes within your organization?
  • What is your budget? A single project can cost between $5,000 and $10,000 depending upon the scope.

There are a number of landing page optimization companies and tools. You can spend nothing to optimize your website, or thousands of dollars each year. You can do the work yourself or hire outside help. If you decide to go with a professional company here are seven questions to ask during the interview.

  • Do you offer an improvement guarantee?
  • What other companies have you helped that have similar needs to our? Can I speak to them?
  • Is landing page optimization your core competency?
  • How are your compensated?
  • What is the optimization process?
  • What resources will my company need to provide?
  • How quickly will I see results?
  • What methodology will be used?

Whether you optimize your landing pages yourself starting with things that are obviously broken, or go with a professional, the most important thing is to test and test again. Landing page optimization is an ongoing process. For many companies, optimizing their landing pages is the fastest and easiest way to boost their business performance.