High converting landing pages don’t come from a designer, business owner or marketing team’s preferences. They come from taking the time to use the A/B split testing and adopting a systematic and scientific approach to optimization. After all, your business doesn’t own your website and neither does the designer – your customers do.
Most enterprises don’t take the time to optimize their landing pages by testing different layouts. They may do an upgrade every now and then, but they don’t understand what’s required to make those pages better.
A/B split testing isn’t that difficult to understand and it’s nothing to be intimidated about. It simply involves defining the performance of one controlled landing page versus a series of separate changes and then measuring the impact of those changes on your conversion rates. So, how do you get started?
1. Define Your Landing Page’s Current Performance
Start by defining your current click-through-rate or conversion rates on your landing page. You need a baseline to measure whether future changes improve or hinder your page’s performance. Don’t rely on your memory of how that page is laid out. Take a screen shot if needed. If your landing page received 2000 visits over a week and you had 20 conversions, then your conversion rate is 1%.
2. Compare Apples to Apples
Stick to a standard unit of measure. This means comparing the same traffic week-to-week or month-to-month. In our case, we want to compare approximately 2000 visitors, or 1 week of traffic. Pay close attention to any variations in traffic sources and traffic volumes. A variation of plus or minus 500 visitors can easily be explained away. However, a sudden and unforeseen spike in traffic needs to be accounted for when calculating conversion rates.
3. Focus on One Measurable Change at a Time
High converting landing pages don’t appear overnight. A/B split testing is a calculated process. You make one change at a time and measure the impact on your conversion rates. So, if that means making one change each week, then so be it. Making more than a single change at a time makes it nearly impossible to define what change or adjustment led to any improved results.
4. Don’t be Afraid of Change
Don’t assume to know what you should change or why. Don’t allow personal preferences or choice to override what your website’s analytics are telling you. Stick to the data at your fingertips. You know what your prospects click on, how they scroll up and down and how they navigate the page.
You might start with changing simple things like the size and color of your fonts, image placements, the images themselves, the placement of videos and special links. Sometimes the smallest changes produce the best results so don’t limit your changes to only the most obvious variables.
5. Take a Long-Term View
This is not a one-time fix. You must commit to making high converting landing pages a reality. The process is ongoing – it should be continued even after you receive positive results. Let’s say your first week the conversion rate was 1%. And after making a change with a traffic volume of 2000 visits your conversion rates increase to 2% with 40 conversions. A change the following week results in an increase in conversions to 50, or 2.5%. As more changes are made you may experience even more conversions. And even if your conversion rate stabilizes after multiple changes, revisiting this process later may lead to increased conversions. Again, it’s never a one-time event.
A/B split testing is a proven method for producing high converting landing pages. It requires a commitment to the process and a willingness to investigate changing the smallest of details. Track your changes, take diligent notes and always calculate your conversion rates.
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