Landing pages are frequently pushed to the back burner when creating digital marketing campaigns even though they can often have the single greatest impact on the campaign’s success. This is particularly surprising considering landing pages have been a frequent topic that’s been written about and discussed for years.
Your Landing Page Test is Ugly!
Whether due to a lack of understanding about how to measure landing page performance, a lack of knowledge about how to create and test landing pages, or a general lack of awareness of the benefits of good landing pages, the fact remains that many marketers are running campaigns that are performing significantly below their potential.
Even when marketers are fully aware of the importance of landing page testing, the testing plans that get implemented are often lacking. A main reason for this is the narrow scope of testing that occurs.
When a digital marketing campaign launches, it often includes search advertising, display advertising, and social advertising – yet each medium tends to use the same landing page. Unfortunately, this leads the landing page testing down a path that will optimize for the largest segment instead of optimizing each segment individually.
The result is a campaign that doesn't maximize the return on investment.
Account For Each Segment Being Targeted
In order to have a robust landing page testing strategy, each segment that is targeted in the campaign needs to be accounted for and a testing plan needs to be implemented for each. The reason is that the behavior and needs of each segment are not the same, so focusing on one segment essentially ignores the needs of the others.
In the campaign example given, the three mediums used as part of the campaign are search, display, and social. Given the different types of activities being performed by users when they are exposed to each type of ad, you’d expect the behavior and response rates to differ.
For example, when a user conducts a query on a search engine, they are actively looking for information that your ad and subsequent landing page should be able to provide. With display advertising, you only know that the users may be interested in your offering based on how you’ve targeted the ads. They are not likely, however, to be actively looking to make a purchase at the time of their exposure to the ad. The same is true for social ads that drive users to your site with the hope that they will convert. They tend to be engaged in other activities and so a purchase decision may not be an immediate step that these types of users would take.
The calls-to-action tested for each segment should vary.
Even within a particular target segment you will likely see significantly different user behaviors. Search, for example, will likely have early shopper keyword groups as well as keyword groups that tend to close the purchase. Having a single landing page for both groups will not allow you to realize the maximum return on investment.
A Robust Landing Page Testing Plan That Varies
The solution is a robust landing page testing plan that varies depending on the mediums and the audience segments targeted with the campaign.
Hard conversions should be prominent for segments who have expressed some interest in your offering. These would be keyword groups that tend to close the sale or remarketing campaigns.
Soft conversions should be more visible for segments where the audience is not actively looking or has not directly expressed an interest in your offering. This would include most display and social segments. You can even experiment with different deals or discounts for each segment. Granted the examples given are broad generalizations, but the idea that all users are not created equal is the main point.
Don’t Know the Behavior Patterns of Any of Your Target Segments?
What if you don’t know the behavior patterns of any of your target segments? In this case you will likely want to start off the testing of the landing page by testing a hard conversion versus a soft conversion for each segment.
Once you know which type of conversion works best for the segment, you can begin testing elements within the page using multivariate or A/B testing. The end result will be campaigns that can dramatically outperform campaigns that have no landing page testing plan.
Having a well thought out landing page testing strategy should be at the core of all digital marketing campaigns. While it can be quite a bit of work, the opportunity to deliver significantly better results more than makes up for the effort required with landing page testing. And who wouldn’t want to impress their boss by delivering results that outperform all previous campaigns?
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!