The chances are that if you use PPC to generate leads for your business then you know that your PPC marketing needs their own set of highly optimised landing pages to get the best results.
Perhaps you have tried running a few split tests by trying a few different headlines or by changing the colour of the submit button but haven’t really had much luck.
Heck you might not even know if the split test was successful because you didn’t have the correct software in place to track your split tests.
I hear this story regularly from clients who’s accounts I manage and readers from the blog, but it is something that can easily be fixed by following the 11 best practices in this article.
I’m going to teach you how to get your website visitors to tell you exactly what to split test so the next split test you make will significantly increase your conversion rate.
I’m also going to be teaching you landing page best practices that will help you fix the common mistakes that I see most advertisers making such as including more than one CTA and asking for way too much information.
Finally I’m going to show you how you can easily track your split tests using the Google Analytics tracking code that you probably already have implemented in your landing pages so you can stop guessing and let the data speak for itself.
1) Stop guessing what to split test!
When you stop guessing what to split test and let your customers show you, thats when you are going to start getting huge increases in conversion rate like the top conversion rate optimisation agencies.
The key is to use a range of different methods such as reviewing live chat scripts and user testing to determine who your audience are and why they are not converting.
An example of how this would work is by reviewing live chat scripts.
So by running through all of the live chat scripts you will be able to find out, what is missing from your website or landing page and what is hard to find as users will repeatedly ask for it.
So say for example I was selling hosting and users kept asking if WordPress (a common website platform) is compatible with the hosting service.
I could test adding “compatible WordPress” on the page and the likelihood is the conversion rate will increase.
There are several other ways to conduct research such as:
- User testing
- Live chat scripts
- Customer interviews
- Traffic surveys
For an incredibly detailed guide on how to conduct qualitative research I would suggest reading “The Advanced Guide To Qualitative Research” by Shanelle Mullin.
She runs through all 4 of these methods and explains how to implement them step by step.
2) Test everything.
Not testing is a big mistake that I’ve seen a lot of advertisers make and I’ve even heard of digital marketing mangers loosing their jobs over.
Some readers will not want to heard this but. Just because you think the website is now much better after implementing your new changes and must convert better doesn’t mean that it will.
If only I had a pound for the amount of times I’ve seen people “improve” their website and make it look much better, but in the process ruin the user experience and lower their conversion rate I would be a rich man.
The moral of this story is test everything, even if its trivial to ensure that it is actually improving your conversion rate not hurting it.
3) Only ask for the information that you need.
Marketo did a case study into the effect of reducing the number of form field on landing page conversion rate.
They found that short forms considerably out performed long form opt ins. Go through your landing pages and make sure that you remove any unnecessary fields as they will help boost your conversions.
The only exception is if you are using a content automation system where having more data might increase conversions down the line and result in more profit even through you are spending more on leads and generating fewer.
4) Consider your colours scheme to ensure your call to action button stands out
The key to making your call to action button stand out is by using contrasting colours to your landing page.
A case study by ContentVerve found that when changing the call to actions buttons from blue to green that contrasted with the website increased their sales by 35.81%.
Not to shabby for a quick change.
I would generally suggest keeping the colour of the page and the objects on it in the colours on the left hand side of the colour wheel (purple, blue, green) and then using the contracting colour on the left for the CTA button.
5) Make your landing page relevant to your ads
Relevancy makes a huge difference to your conversion rate and is also an important factor in the Quality Score algorithm.
Your aim to have the headline of your landing page match the headline of the Advert.
So for example if your advert is for “double glazing in London” then the headline of your landing page should have the words “double glazing in London” in the headline and have relevant content.
One way to quickly create thousands of landing pages so you can have a unique one to each of your ads is to use something called dynamic text insertion.
The tool is designed to help you create highly relevant landing pages for every one of your keywords. In an ideal world you would create separate landing pages however It is almost impossible to do so when you have thousands of keywords.
This is where this tool comes in as it allows you to create a single landing page and then customise it by dynamically inserting keywords from Adwords.
For example the headline of this landing page can be dynamically changed based on the type of boiler to make the landing page match the keyword and maximise landing page experience.
With this URL: http://compareboilers.net/?kw=Gas%20Boiler&kw2=Scotland the landing page will look like this to match the keyword “Gas Boilers”
However change the final URL of the advert to http://compareboilers.net/?kw=Combi%20Boiler&kw2=Scotland and the page will look like this to match the keyword “combi boilers”.
You can learn more about setting up this feature by reading this article here.
6) Put the call to action above the page fold
There is research to shown that users spend 80% of the time looking at information above the page fold.
The eye tracking survey of 57,453 users shown below shows the clear drop off of attention below the page fold (the areas that users have to scroll down to view your call to action.
If you want to make sure that your call to action button is clicked then ensure that it is above the page fold to give it the best chance.
7) Use real customer testimonials to increase trusts and generate more conversions
A study conducted by Forrester and Jupiter Research found that 77% of customers read reviews and testimonials before they purchased something online so it is no secret that they increase conversion rates.
When Wikijobs added testimonials to their website they found that they got a 34% increase in conversion rate.
So ensure that you include testimonials in a prominent position on your landing page like Buildium do below.
Make sure that you include faces of your customers alongside their reviews as case studies by Econsultancy found that by adding faces to their reviews increased conversion rates by 22% compared to testimonials without a face.
8) Explain clearly what your value proposition is.
If you look at the probability of somebody leaving the page you will find that the first 10 seconds are critical. This is when a user is going to make the decision whether or not to stay.
It is therefore fundamental that your value proposition is clear and easy to understand to give you the best possible chance of users staying on your page and converting.
You unique value proposition must quickly and clearly convey the value to the user and it must talk to the pain points of your audience in simple laymans terms.
Finally you need to make sure that you value proposition is quickly conveyed by the headline of your landing page and then have either a short supportive sub headline or bulleted list to clarify it.
Here is a great example by Zoho.
Notice how they quickly and clearly convert their value proposition in the prominent headline. Within 2 seconds you already know what they are about and what makes them different.
They also address the pain point that invoicing with most accounting software is time consuming and difficult as opposed to talking about random features and benefits.
9) Make sure that any person on your landing page is looking at your form not away from it.
Using images of people within your landing pages is a good idea, however you need to make sure that they are looking at the call to action button.
Here is an eye tracking survey of where people looked depending on which way the baby was facing.
Image source: Crazy Egg
Being social animals we are hard wired to look where other people are looking.
Look at the huge increase in number of people looking at the CTA in the second landing page with the baby facing the CTA button resulting in higher conversion rates.
10) Use social proof to increase conversion rates
Adding logos of brand that you have worked with can significantly increase conversion rate.
In fact when voice.com added the following logos to their landing page they saw a whopping 400% increase in conversion rates.
Although these results are not typical they show just how bigger increase simple things like this can make.
When Thomas Cook added the logos of partner brands such as Virgin and Air France they saw an increase in conversion rate of 48%.
11) Measure your split tests to ensure that you reach statistical significance.
So many advertisers still don’t track their split tests correctly to determine which landing page is the winner.
This can be done using a range of different software however the one most accessible is Google Analytics that you will probably already have implemented in your website.
Here is a simple step by step guide to testing a landing page with Google analytics.
Before you start make sure that you have conversion clearly defined and you have a conversion goal in analytics setup.
STEP 1. Go to behaviour > Experiments
STEP 2. Name the experiment and then choose the conversion goal that you want to improve the conversion rate of.
STEP 3. Now enter the URL of the original page and the new variation that you want to split test. You will want to duplicate your Adwords campaign and send half of the traffic to each landing page.
STEP 4. Finally you need to paste the add the code provided to the variant page just below the head tag.
Once you have done this you will be able to see your experiments that are running. In the experiments tab you should then see your experiment data.
Make sure that you have enough data so that you are making a statistical significant decision.
Visual Website Optimiser have a free tool that will calculate this for you. Just enter the number of page views on each page and the conversion rate and it will tell you the likelihood you are making the right decision.
If the confidence rating is 95% then 1 in 20 times you will make the wrong decision
If the confidence rating is 99% then 1 in 100 times you will make the wrong decision.
Usually a confidence rating of 95% is a good balance between having enough data and making the right call.
Without good landing pages you are never going to succeed with PPC no matter how good your landing pages are.
It is therefore fundamental that you create several high converting relevant landing pages for your PPC campings and optimise them on a continuing basis.
This article should give you all of the information that you need to turn an average landing page into a top performer by creating winning split tests and tracking their performance accurately.
If you have any questions please comment below and I will do my best to get back to you on them.