Quick Tips for Successful Landing Page Testing
Besides the fact that have plumbing, humans differ from the rest of the animal kingdom in one fundamental way – our ability to experiment. Well yes, now that you mention it, I suppose it’s also true that we have the unique ability to juggle, but that’s not really as relevant at the moment. Our ability to experiment, and therefore systematically improve, has been a part of each of our lives since the first time we realized that crying louder directly influences the speed of nappy changing/food delivery. (I actually still find crying louder to be my chief tactic in increasing the haste of restaurant meal delivery.) The same revolutionary concept applies to your landing pages – by methodically changing certain aspects around you’ll be able to see some drastic improvements in your leads (and you probably won’t even have to increase your crying volume!) Try the following tips when starting to experiment with your own landing pages:
Only test one aspect of your landing pages at a time. Whoa there, hotshot. I know it might seem like all the “cool kids” are trying new page layouts, new email campaigns, and new web ads all at the same time, but it’s shenanigans like that that can leave you with a ruined marriage and twenty-plus years of debt. Ahem, perhaps I’m overreacting a bit, but I guess my point is that if you’re testing multiple variables at the same time it’s going to be pretty hard to judge where your improvements are coming from. Take the pace down a notch and only make one change at a time – there’s no rush! (Unless you’re being chased, of course.)
Start wide, then focus. Not only is this the advice given by my Tai Chi instructor, but this concept also applies well to improving your landing page results. In the beginning, you may want to test two pages against one another, letting them duel until one falls bleeding into the dust. This isn’t for the faint of heart, you know. Next, once a certain landing page layout has emerged as the clear victor (and after you’ve thrown a sufficiently extravagant party for it), try tweaking little things on the page such as the colors, fonts, and arrangement of your graphics. This “outside-in” process can ensures that you’re not getting too caught up in the nitty-gritty details while bigger gains could come from an entirely different setup.
Measure your results in sales, not in clicks. Unless you shop primarily at stores that accept clicks as an approved form of credit, your primarily goal from improving your landing page results will be generating more income for your company. Far too often people make the mistake of believing that more traffic and more clicks directly correlate with more money, which isn’t always the case. My old grizzled eyes have seen it all: less clicks generating more income, more clicks generating less income, less clicks generating drops in atmospheric pressure, more clicks – well, you get the idea. Trust just the bottom line and you’ll do just fine.
Use sound experimental principles. Just because your 6th form chemistry teacher, Mr. Skoog, was barely human doesn’t mean that the scientific method won’t be of help to us here. For starters, make sure that your sample groups are randomly divided. If you’re sending all your traffic from your email campaign to one landing page and all web ad traffic to another you won’t be able to tell if your results are due to effective landing page edits or just a different audience. On the same note, make sure you’re doing these tests at the same time! The results you get in August may very well be way different from the results in December (probably from cold typing fingers and such.)
Crafting the perfect landing page is more art than science, but with a little bit of luck and some smart changes your sales results will keep pointing you in the right direction. So don’t be afraid to use what your mama gave you – your ability to experiment, that is.