Today we come to the end of the 7 Days to a Better Landing Page series, and I’m going to leave you with a series of exercises you can use to keep the momentum going after you launch a landing page.
If you are in the business of creating marketing campaigns, I’m hoping you are using landing pages focus your paid traffic. And hopefully, you’ve also employed some of the tactics and strategies we’ve discussed on the Unbounce blog to enhance it’s performance.
Using a landing page puts you ahead of the game
Simply by having a landing page as part of your marketing funnel puts you in the upper percentile of online marketers. Only 21% of paid advertising is currently taking advantage of the improved conversion offered by a standalone landing page.
If you are one of these cool kids, you are in a position where you can start iterating towards a more optimized landing page experience and higher conversion rates.
And so I present my last mention of the number 7 for what I hope will be a long time :)
The 7-Step Landing Page Exercise Workflow
If you have a team of internet marketers, I’d recommend splitting up these exercises amongst the group and reconvening to share the results of each exercise with the group.
Exercise 1 – Establish a statistical baseline for your conversion rate
Before you try to improve your landing page, you need to find out how it’s performing. Ideally you’ll know a few basic metrics:
- Visitors – how many unique people visit your landing page
- Clickthroughs – how many people act upon your primary CTA
- Conversions – how many people ultimately complete the conversion path (it may end here, but could also end on your website after a successful registration etc.)
These will be your baseline stats for comparison as you try to improve your landing page.
Exercise 2 – Competitive Analysis
Before you jump into refining your landing page, take a step back and do some competitive analysis. Search for keywords relevant to your product and click on every relevant AdWords result to see what others are doing. Copy & paste the ad before you click it, so you can look at how effective their message match is. Also try refreshing the search to get a new set of paid search results.
By watching what others are doing, you’ll learn a few new tricks and also get to laugh once in a while as your biggest rival makes a complete hash of their marketing.
Exercise 3 – Do some 5 second tests
This is a quick way to witness the reaction, effectiveness and immediacy of your marketing message when experienced by someone else. You can get the basic concept of The 5 Second Rule in an earlier post.
Just to recap: you sit someone down in front of a monitor, show them your landing page for 5 seconds (you can extend to 8 or 10 if you like), then hide the page again and ask the participant what the page was about. The science part is that an effectively designed page will be able to communicate it’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition) within 5 seconds. If no one can adequately describe what your page is offering, then you are missing out on valuable customers.
Test with 4-6 people for more reliable results.
Refine messaging and try testing again. What you’re looking at primarily is the main headline that describes your product or offer.
Exercise 4 – Let an independent party critique your landing page
If you can afford it, hand it over to an optimization company and see what they can do to improve your conversion rate. If you don’t have the budget to spare, let an internal company usability or interaction expert tear into it and see what they come back with (or if there is no one like that in your company – see if you have a friend who’ll do a quick audit as a $100 favor). Remember though that landing pages are different to regular web pages in some respects, so only take what you need from their recommendations.
If you do either of these things, the most critical part is the information transfer meeting. Insist on being walked through the recommendations so that you can understand, question and inspect their rationale. And hopefully learn something in the process for next time.
Exercise 5 – Rate your landing page with the Conversion Marketing Scorecard
Spend 30 minutes to rank your landing page using our Conversion Marketing Scorecard. It’s 40 simple yes/no questions that will give you a quick idea of how optimized your landing page is.
Once you have completed the scorecard, create a TO-Do list from the items you failed on (the unchecked items). This will give you a nice ordered task list.
Exercise 6 – Hold a group brainstorm to address remaining issues
Take any outstanding issues from exercises 2-6 and open them up to the collective intelligence of your team. Make it clear that “stupid” answers are totally welcomed. The simplest idea can often evolve into the most brilliant solution, so do your best to encourage participation from even the most quiet and shy of team members.
IDEO have used wonderful brainstorming techniques as part of their product development processes. If you don’t have an expert facilitator, do some research on methods for increasing the effectiveness of a brainstorm session.
I’ve facilitated my fair share of sessions, and can testify to the amazing impact that the right approach can have on results. I’ll be sharing my brainstorming process in a future post.
Here are a few links to get you going:
- The best brainstorm warm-up exercises I’ve ever found
- The 7 Rules of Brainstorming
- IDEO Brainstorming Techniques
- The Deep Dive
Exercise 7 – Set up an A/B test
This should be your ultimate goal. To establish a process and infrastructure where you can test the changes you want to make to your landing pages. It’s not all that simple to set up, and you may have to speak to someone in IT or software to help you out, but once you have the mechanism in place you’re ready to rock!
Putting the logistics aside, you need to decide what you want to test. There are 2 rudimentary ways you can get started with A/B testing. One would be to lump all of the changes you want to make (from the exercises above) into a single new version of your landing page, then test it against the old one to see how it performs.
Chances are after all that “improving”, you’ll get a better page. The only problem is you won’t know why it’s better because you released all of your new ideas at once. This is fine for short term fixes in a crisis, but if you are in this business for the long haul you should start trying to understand things on a more micro level.
The best way is to change one thing at a time and see how it fares. You’ll be surprised at what works. It all comes down to demographics and your target market. No matter how much you wish they’d appreciate the design intricacies of the new MacBook Pro’s solid aluminum casing and backlit keyboard, sometimes all it takes to make the sale is a testimonial from Doris in Connecticut or shifting the Call To Action button 180px north.
In short, never assume.
Think, test, readjust-your-thinking, re-test then make more money.