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Are your landing pages performing?

Are your landing pages performing?

Your landing page can be the hero of your marketing campaign. Regardless of the channel or content you are working with, a solid, high performing landing page will get your campaign goals nailed down perfectly.

As they play such an important role in the marketing mix, having effective landing pages becomes vitally important to your campaigns. Minor landing page improvements which increase conversions by just a fraction of a percent can positively affect your bottom line, so it’s worth investing your time and effort into making them as good as possible.

Despite reams of proof that landing pages work, less than half of marketers don’t build a new landing page for each campaign they run. Of those who have functioning landing pages for campaigns, two thirds run five or less tests each month to check performance of these pages.

Does your landing page convert?

We’ve seen many issues with landing pages, some of which are simple to fix and others more complex. The very best landing pages can convert up to 27 per cent of visitors, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Most industries achieve somewhere in the region of a two to six percent conversion rate.

If your conversion rate is a way off of this, chances are there’s room for improvement. IF your conversion rate stays the same from month to month, you’re not taking the data available about your page and using it to make improvements. As with anything, the true measure of success is in improvement, not absolute numbers.

Whether your conversions are at one per cent or ten, an effective landing page will always be improving, always striving to get that number higher. Here’s what you need to know about measuring the effectiveness of your landing pages, and how to make them better.

How to analyse the performance of your landing pages

Whatever platform you’ve used to create your website, you should have a number of analytics tools in place to help you discover how things are going. Google Analytics are almost certainly the most popular method, but there are other apps and services out there which can do this too. For the purposes of analysing your landing pages, you’ll need to find out:

  • Views: How many times was your page loaded on a browser?
  • Time on page: How long did each person spend looking at this page?
  • Pages per visit: How many other pages on your website did the visitor view?
  • Bounce rate: How many people started on this page and then left the website?
  • Goal completions: How many visitors went on to become a customer / sign up to your mailing list / do whatever you wanted them to do on that page?
  • Traffic source: Where did your visitors come from?

If you haven’t got your landing pages set up to track at least these things, get it done as soon as possible. Without effective tracking, you’re not going to know how effective your landing pages are, or where they are going wrong. Gathering this sort of data on a regular basis can help you build up a long-term picture of your performance, so that you can continue driving forward and improving your campaigns.

Best practice for landing pages

Whether you’re creating brand new landing pages for your campaigns or working on improving existing ones, following industry best practice can help you achieve high performance landing pages every time. Here are some top tips to help you on the way.

Focus, focus, focus

A landing page should have one over arching goal in mind. It’s not a place to discuss your products, or to explain in great detail the history of your company. It’s a focussed space to push one key message, so make sure it’s that message alone that is at the forefront of the page.

Research has shown that landing pages with just one link convert much higher than those with multiple links, so keep things focussed when putting together your content. Remove distractions too; landing pages without navigation bars can improve conversions as much as 100 per cent, and fewer form fields in a sign-up box can improve this number further.

Include social proof, where appropriate

Social proof signals make your offer more believable, more trustworthy and more convincing. Images of customers, social media posts or testimonials can help boost conversions when people arrive on your page. Despite this, 77 per cent of marketers don’t have any social proof on their landing pages, which means they are missing out.

You can get ahead of these companies by adding social proof, if it’s possible to do so. The presence of social proof has been shown to increase conversions by around 1.1 per cent. That might not sound like a lot, but even a tiny improvement like this can translate to more successes with the campaign.

Know your sources

Understanding where your traffic is coming from will help you focus your efforts on the most lucrative streams. You can drive traffic a variety of channels, but according to research email converts the best, bringing in 13 per cent of the goal completing traffic. Direct, organic and social were next best, offering conversion rates of 11.2 to 11.8 per cent.

Of course, these stats are averages from a number of campaigns investigated, so the results for you might be very different. If your target audience are young, tech savvy millennials, perhaps they will respond better to social marketing. If they’re of the older generation, perhaps direct will be the best performing traffic source. The important thing is that you track what’s happening and use your knowledge to target your efforts for the best return.

Consider the length

Landing pages which exist to encourage a sign up tend to work better as shorter, snappier pages of 500 or so words. Educational pages will run longer, usually from 1,000 words upwards. However, what works for some may not work for you, so do some tinkering to see what your audience responds to the best.

While you don’t want the reader to become bored and disengaged on the page, you do need to provide enough information to make goal completion appealing. There’s no reason you can’t split test pages of different lengths to see what results you get.

Speed matters

You could have spent hours perfecting your CTA’s, your headlines, your messaging, but none of that will matter if your page doesn’t load fast enough. According to research, 74 per cent of your customers will give up if a page takes more than five seconds to load, which is why you’ll notice many major brands website’s load up within a second or less.

Use Google’s PageSpeed tool to check out your loading time. This tool will give you some ideas to fix your page so that it loads a bit faster, such as compressing images, using browser caching or cleaning up your code. Poor page loading speed can negatively affect your SEO too, so it’s worth testing out the rest of your website while you’re at it.

For more advice on landing pages or any other aspect of digital marketing, simply get in touch and we’ll be pleased to help.

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Vanessa Simms
Vanessa writes on a range of subjects for the Search South blog, but has a strong focus on her core interest area of Google AdWords management best practices.