SES: Essential Landing Page Testing
Your website is like any retail store. You want it to look clean and nice from the outside so customers will come inside. Once inside, you want to be able to grab their attention with products to buy. Your website must work the same way. It must gain the customer’s interest and attention to entice them to buy what you are selling.
Landing pages are vital to converting visitors to buyers. Amanda Watlington, Owner, Searching for Profit introduced Tim Ash, President, Site Tuners who gave advice and insight on how to fine tune your website to convert customers to cash.
Your goal is to get people to your site, have them take action, and to build retention and value with your company or brand. Retailers spend a lot of money on acquiring the customer and on retaining customers, but not enough on converting the customer to take action and buy the product.
Design your site around what your customers want and need your site to do for them. It should focus on converting customers to cash.
Focus on mission critical parts of your landing pages. Test: will your business stop if you remove this information from your site? To do this you need to know something about who your visitors are? New visitors? Returning customers? Why did they come to your site? Focus on what they need from you and your site. Define what they can do on your site. Do they want to buy something? Make a reservation? Submit a form?
Beware of Pitfalls
Be aware of banner ads, entry pop-ups, and cluttered home pages. All of these will turn a potential customer away from your site. These are interruptions. Would you interrupt a customer walking into your store? Don’t do it on your website either. Focus your site on the customer needs and how best you can assist them.
A few things to know about people searching online. If you can’t find something online, then it doesn’t exist. If your site has too many things, they all loose importance. Any delays in finding products or purchasing increase frustrations to customers. Bounce rates will help you to identify problem pages.
Customers research, compare, get details, and customize their purchases. Do you offer what customers want? They may not be sure of what they want when they visit but they will be looking for all of this information to help them to decide.
Why should they buy from you? Customers trust brand names. They may buy from your because they simply get tired of looking but trust is better to guarantee a purchase. Any guarantees or trust symbols should be easily visible, preferably in the upper left corner which is where most people look first. Your company logo should also be prominent on the front page. All of these will create trust for the customer who has found your site. Don’t forget to make the checkout process as simple and easy as possible.
Always ask yourself if this piece of information or form field is necessary at this point in the interaction with the customer. If not, then take it off.
Tuning Up Your Site
A-B Testing is changing one element and compare to original. If better, then you leave it alone and work on changing something else if necessary. It is up to you as to how far you take it – depending on how many customers do you want to get and keep.
Multivariable testing will check data collection crossing it with data analysis. It is recommended by Tim Ash to use Google’s Website Optimizer. This will test multivariable versions of your website. SiteTuners is another option to test sites.
Don’t ignore your baseline measurements after you have redone your site. Your customers may have preferred the way your site worked before any changes. You must have enough data to make this decision. Variable such as holidays or other events in a week or month can influence activity on your site.
Pictures should enhance titles or messages of your company. They should reinforce what your content says about your product. Testing models mentioned above do not take into account the interaction between your titles or content in relationship to the pictures.
Make the visit to your website as enjoyable for your customers. Clean up your site and invite them in to buy.