Search is becoming ever so popular, as we have seen a great migration from tradition media to internet search. The numbers are in and people have shifted their buying habits and research to the online medium in droves. There are an abundance of websites to choose from when conducting a search. Yes, we’ve said it many times, it is very important to have your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy and your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy in place to make sure you show up, but, if that’s all you do, you’ve only gotten your customer to your doorstep. What are you doing in order to get a prospect to then come in, take a look around, and feel excited and comfortable enough to actually buy something, or want more information about your product or service?
If you haven’t given thought to what prospects do once they get to your website, or if you are using analytics and aren’t sure why your bounce rate is so high, I would look at the obvious question… what pages are you sending your prospects to? I would then most certainly conduct testing of the landing pages your prospects arrive at on your site (or your doorstep). You want to make sure that your landing pages are attractive and give your prospects a clear call to action so that you aren’t missing your chance to show them what you have to offer!
Google AdWords has a very nice feature, called Website Optimizer and through this tool, you can very conveniently conduct a controlled test of your landing page’s effectiveness. Google Analytics has a great reporting functionality that works in conjunction with the Optimizer tool in order to run reporting and analyze which pages are performing better. What good is a test without analysis? You may be pleasantly surprised what you perceive is effective and what your prospects are actually reacting to! Since they are the ones that buy your product, let them help you determine what they want from you when they visit your site.
There are various approaches to testing landing pages, whether you decide to conduct an A/B comparison, or if you want to conduct a multivariate test in which you test various layouts of the same page. Whatever type of test you decide, do your research first. There are a multitude of articles that you can find that give advice. Make sure you plan ahead, test out pages that are popular enough to be visited (or your test will take an unreasonably long time to conduct), run the test long enough to capture adequate data, and of course, make necessary changes to the website.
Like anything else in marketing, conduct tests often, because buying habits and trends come and go. Conducting a test once satisfactorily doesn’t mean it will continue to be effective in the future.