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May 31, 2010

De-mystifying Landing Page Optimization

When a website is finally getting respectable traffic, enjoying a decent page rank (PR), and already at the first pages of search engine results, is it time to break out the champagne in celebration?

The shrewd website owner knows this is just halfway through the journey to a successful income-generating website. The end-goal is still how to turn visitors into buying customers. The bottom line is sales conversion, and this is an even harder hurdle to overcome.

It all boils down to what the users do when they get into the site. Do they click on links and advertisements? Do they spend a lot of time reading or browsing products? And most importantly, do they buy?

To convert audience from just-curious exploring visitors into actively purchasing ones, website owners should venture into the realms of landing page optimization.

Shedding Light on Landing Page Optimization

Experts rely on certain information to optimize the landing page. Some data may come from search criteria used by users to get to the site, or user demographics and buying habits. With this data the page is re-designed to appeal to users.

Another way to optimize is based on the results of an experimentation, wherein users are led to several versions of the landing page to see which version is more appealing to them. The most common experimentation is through A/B split testing involving two versions of the page. Although this method is inexpensive and makes for easier analysis and decision-making, the decision maybe flawed by inadequate data that takes no account of many external elements – banner, layout, color theme, text copy, etc. — not contained in only two versions.

Another landing page optimization that is more complex in execution, tools used, and statistical analysis is multi-variate LPO. Multi-variate LPO incorporates more elements that can be combined to come up with better landing page versions. When testing versions of landing pages that accounts for multiple variables instead of just two, the site gets the most accurate analysis of visitor preferences, the factors that can make them buy, and which page version is the best combination that gets the best reaction from users.

Tips to Better Landing Page Optimization

When website owners decide to launch their landing page optimization, they should do so with careful consideration. The undertaking involves resources and a certain degree of risk. If not done correctly, LPO can end up costing money but little results. Here are some tips to make the effort effective and easier:

  1. The look and feel of the landing page, is critical to encouraging or discouraging visitors to make a purchase in the site. This should be kept in mind as the rationale behind any LPO effort.
  2. Be careful in choosing the elements for optimization, such as layout, color theme, promotional campaigns, banners, etc. Make sure they can materialize or can be delivered when they turn out to be critical to optimization.
  3. Choose the best element mix from the many permutations, to lessen the complexity of having to test all landing page combinations.
  4. To find the optimum mix of elements from gathered data, use the most efficient tool such as Google’s Website Optimizer for analysis.
  5. Be careful in directing users to experimental landing page versions in a production website, many users tend to dislike changes and may cause them to leave.

Debbie A. Everson is the CEO of SearchMar.com, experienced SEO Consultants and Search Engine Optimization Agency to over 2,000 small businesses. Read my SEO Blog for hints and tips. Follow me on Twitter @searchmar. Call 1.866.885.6263 to speak to one of our SEO Consultants and receive your free consultation.

5 Responses to “De-mystifying Landing Page Optimization

    avatar SEO News says:

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    avatar Aleksys Technologies says:

    This is an excellent post. Testing landing pages is very important since you never know what works until you see the stats.

    […] SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources » Blog Archive » De-mystifying Landing Page Optimizati…. […]

    this was the great website with very useful information and i love this website

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