5 Tips for Getting Started With Landing Page Optimization

5 Tips for Getting Started With Landing Page Optimization

By John McTigueSep 7 /2011

Starting a landing page optimization project can be somewhat daunting. The whole idea of testing different layouts, content, images and forms to find the best possible combination, i.e. highest conversion rates, makes sense to most inbound marketers. How to conduct these tests effectively may not be so obvious. Here are some simple tips for getting started.

landing page optimization a b test

1. Put Yourself in Your Customer's Shoes

The most important thing on any landing page is the offer. If you're writing a white paper or e-book for download, make it unique and valuable to your potential customers. Consider that there are millions of downloads available - what makes yours really special? Insider tips that only you can provide or a complete how-to on a task or project that people find difficult come to mind. Now, think about the advantages of your offer over anything else available - that's what you need to communicate in your landing page.

2. Take Your Best Shot First

Just because you will be doing some A/B or multivariate testing doesn't mean that any version of your landing page should be weak. Quite the contrary. Every version should be designed to capture as many qualified sales leads as possible. Do some research by Googling on "landing page optimization". Try to mimic some of the best landing pages you can find (backed by published data). Why not benefit from other peoples' research and get a leg up on the competition? Focus on the best possible:

  • Landing page title - the essence of your offer and main benefit
  • Benefits - a bulleted list of the benefits of your offer (not a table of contents)
  • Image - a great looking graphic that also conveys the benefit(s) of the offer
  • Call to action - tell them what you want them to do right now - go fill out the form if you want this great piece of free content
  • On-page SEO - don't forget to include strategic keywords in your content so that you have the best chance of finding leads online

3. Now Think Outside the Box

Consider the possibilities. What might prevent someone from converting on your landing page? Too much to read? Form too long? Title too "salesy"? Landing page too long or complicated? Fonts too big or too small? Ugly color scheme? Graphic or form on the wrong side of the page? There are loads of possibilities that you really should consider in your first landing page version, but these are things that can be tweaked in several versions to find out which elements work and which ones don't.

4. Keep It Simple With A/B Tests

If you go with multivariate testing (changing multiple elements in multiple versions) it may become difficult to analyze which items are having the most profound effects. For starters, just change one thing between versions in an A/B test, for example a long vs. short form, a short title vs. a long title, or one layout vs. another. Run your test for a couple of weeks, or at least until you have 40-50 conversions, enough to make a clear distinction from the results. Trying different tests on different landing pages (different offers) is one way to accelerate the learning process by testing your theories in parallel.

5. Analyze Test Results and Optimize for Conversion Rates

Let's say you have run 5 different A/B tests and have a clear winner in each test. Now create super landing pages utilizing what you have learned and run those vs. your original versions. Don't be satisfied with the results you get. There's always room for improvement. Test your ideas in your blogs and social media and solicit comments. Why not crowdsource the experts to get their opinions? Go back and modify whatever needs tweaking and watch the conversion rates climb.

You will need good software to get this done. You can Google on "a b testing software" to see many candidates. We use the HubSpot-Performable suite because of the coming-soon integration of the entire sales funnel, from attracting visitors to qualified sales leads and follow-ups. Landing page optimization is a key process in your middle-of-the-funnel strategy.

Now here's a live A/B test...

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The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn and Twitter.