Landing Page Testing — Timeless Themes

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(The following is a special guest post by Tim Ash, the landing page “guru” and well-known speaker at numerous industry events.)

I have spoken many times on the topic of “Landing Page Testing and Tuning,” and a common audience question is “Can you give me some tips that always increase conversions?” Unfortunately, there are no such “silver bullets” that work in all circumstances, but the following three broad themes have been very useful for many of our client engagements. These are not specific prescriptions, but rather, promising areas and directions for your own testing explorations.

1.  Less Is More

Although the general idea of uncluttering is powerful throughout the decision process, this testing theme has an especially powerful impact on improving visitor awareness. If visitors do not recognize quickly that you have something in which they might be interested, they will leave your site immediately. These short-timers are the ones who have “bounced” and not clicked on any other links from their original landing page. They represent a significant problem.

Within this problem lies the opportunity for clearing away the clutter and significantly increasing the number of people who have meaningful interactions with your site.

“Less is more” applies to a whole range of test elements:

  • Fewer and smaller graphics
  • Shorter bulleted text
  • Reduced number of choices and links

Cut until you can’t stand it any more, and then cut some more. You will be surprised at how little content is needed on a well-designed landing page. Don’t be afraid to try radically stripped-down alternative test elements.

2.  Personalize It

Personalization builds desire and affinity for your particular solution. Customization can be a powerful conversion tool. Personalization can be tested using a wide array of available tactics.

Some examples include:

  • Echo the keywords that visitors used to find your landing page as the page title
  • Pre-populate your search box with the text of the keywords that visitors used to find your landing page
  • Present localized content by using geo-targeting information
  • Do not require people to log in if they have been there before
  • Fill in checkout information for returning e-commerce buyers
  • Customize content by visitor role once someone has self-selected
  • Allow visitors to configure your product or service offering
  • Display deeper or richer content to those who have shown enough commitment (based on page views or time on your site)
  • Show last-minute special offers via exit pop-ups to visitors who are about to leave your site without converting
  • Follow up by phone or e-mail if someone abandons your registration process partway
  • Proactively initiate a live chat session if your visitor is clearly struggling with something on your site

Of course, you have to be careful to use personalization properly. It can be very effective, but if your tactics are unexpected, they can backfire and become off-putting in a “big brother” sort of way.

3.  Test the Offer

Ultimately, it is your offer that gets a visitor to act. However, when considering specific testing elements, there are a lot of ways that you can influence someone:

  • The primary offer
  • The total solution surrounding the offer
  • Headline
  • Sales copy
  • Images chosen
  • Call-to-action text and graphical format
  • Repetition of the call-to-action in multiple screen locations and formats
  • Offer context (e.g., by bracketing the desired action in a bronze/silver/gold set of options)
  • Limited availability or other scarceness indicators (e.g., deadlines, remaining inventory)
  • Pricing

About the Author

Tim Ash is the CEO of SiteTuners, a leading conversion rate optimization agency that has helped over 850 clients worldwide. He is chairperson of Conversion Conference, the first conference focused on improving online conversions, and is a highly-regarded presenter at SES, eMetrics, PPC Summit, Affiliate Summit, PubCon, Affiliate Conference, and LeadsCon. Tim is author of the bestselling book Landing Page Optimization and is a contributing columnist to many publications. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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One Comment

  1. A very interesting article. The fewer choices you leave your customer the more he'll do what you want him to do ;)