Landing page optimization is a process. Your marketing team boosts results 5% here, 12% there, and gains a little each time. Before you know it, the conversion rate is twice as high as when you started. Boom!
When you’ve worked the same page for a while, though, that steady pace can turn into a jungle death march. The quicksand grabs your boots. The HiPPOs get restless. Your results linger in single digits. Half your tests show a decline. You feel stuck.
At that point, forget the quicksand. It’s time to burn down the jungle! Start over with a completely different page.
Think big. Go crazy. Never Quit Testing!! Try something completely different. You just might learn something.
Optimize the other way
The goal of your new page should be to learn something about the audience. One way to do this is with a completely opposite approach. Here’s what we mean:
- Images – is your page image heavy? Chances are that some of those images aren’t carrying their weight or supporting the offer. Try cutting most of them – or all of them. Focus on the page’s copy and layout and give your designer a rest.
- Layout – Have you set a horizontal eye path, getting people to look from left to right? Then try vertical. Start by grabbing attention at the top of the page and guiding it down to the call-to-action. Another idea is to cut almost everything from the page. Place all the information in the center and give visitors nothing to look at except the most vital info.
- Value – what is the main selling point of the page? If it’s your price, then try emphasizing quality, reliability, or customer satisfaction. Change all the images and copy to emphasize the new value prop.
Remember: even if you get a flat result or a drop, you are learning about the audience. You should form another hypothesis and keep testing. For example:
Did the page show flat results?
Perhaps the problem is the source of the traffic and not the landing page. Whether it’s an ad, email, or another website, try testing a new approach at the source.
Did results decline slightly?
Obviously a huge drop gives you a great example of how not to optimize conversion rate. If the drop was only in the single digits, then you might want to try a few more tests. After all, this is a new baseline. A few tweaks might turn the page into your next winner.
Get outside the box
When you do something for years – like marketing – everything starts to blur. You get stuck in mental ruts, running through the same ideas. It’s like you have a box on your head and don’t realize it.
That’s when it’s a good idea to ask people for ideas. Experts are always good (especially the unparalleled geniuses at ConversionVoodoo, my unbiased opinion) .You can even get out-of-the-box ideas from people who have no experience in conversion optimization. This might be people from:
- Customer service
- Design and IT
- Junior marketers
- Interview Customers
- Review the Competition
Keep an open mind. You’re not looking to cure cancer. You’re just looking for ideas. Show your colleagues the page and ask them:
- What is this page?
- What does it offer?
- What’s the next step?
These questions will let you know if you have the basics covered. Other questions you can ask:
- What’s wrong with the page?
- Is anything difficult?
- Is anything confusing?
- Are there distractions?
- What would you change to get more people to click?
Most of the answers will make you want to roll your eyes and go back to law school – but keep an open mind. If an idea doesn’t fly in the face of optimization principles, why not test it? You just might learn something.
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