Stretch Your Marketing Dollar with a Killer Landing Page
If you have been trying to run a marketing campaign for your business, chances are you are experiencing one of online marketing’s biggest struggles – getting people to buy your product or service. At first, this can seem like a real mystery. You have an awesome product. You are targeting your advertising towards people who should want to be your customers. You have got a website that explains your product or service. With all that in place, why are more site visitors not becoming customers?
The answer almost always lies in your landing page – the page your viewers ‘land’ on immediately after they click on your ad. Understanding the “how’s and why’s” of what makes an effective landing page can drive you crazy – due to the simple fact that what looks good to you might not look good to everyone else. So how do you appeal to the masses? How do you know what everyone will react to best? Anyone who has been around the marketing block will tell you to test, test again, and then test a little more after that.
Split Testing: the Ultimate Equalizer of Landing Pages
For starters, if you have got just one landing page, you are woefully unprepared. If you really want to optimize your campaign and start increasing your conversion ratios you need several landing pages to test with. Why is this important? Numbers do not lie. Send equal amounts of traffic to two different landing pages and you will undoubtedly notice that one of them gets more love than the other. By sending traffic to only one landing page without testing you are almost certainly flushing money (or at least potential customers) down the drain. You need to split test.
Then take that concept of splitting traffic between two landing pages and put it on steroids. Test your traffic between four or five landing pages. Once you have a winner there, start making changes on the winning page. You can change headlines, images, sales copy, even background colors, and you will notice that with every single change, your traffic will lean one way or the other. Now we are optimizing! After you have done enough testing, you should have a pretty good idea of what your visitors react to best.
So how do you get there? How do you generate multiple landing pages to test with our precious traffic? There is more than one way to get the job done. Everyone seems to have their own threshold for web development pain. With that said there are multiple options available for you to start testing your traffic and optimizing your campaigns. It all depends on your resources, experience level, and willingness to get your hands dirty.
From Expert to Noob – There is a Solution for You
It does not matter if this is your first foray into web marketing or if you have been building landing pages, there is a solution out there for you. As long as you are honest with yourself when it comes to your web design skills, or lack thereof, and have a good idea of what kind of budget and traffic flow you are working with you should be able to identify a solution that will get you on the right track.
First we take a look at three of the most effective solutions out there – platforms that have helped launch hundreds of companies from struggling to success. Then a solution to help create landing pages, if you need one.
Optimizely – an Attractive Option for Low-Traffic Sites
If you already have a few landing pages but have not yet started sending them traffic, Optimizely is a good place to start. The platform offers some amazing analytic and split testing tools. I know from experience that Optimizely has an excellent tool for allowing you to make changes on pre-existing pages. You simply add the code to the page you want to test and through their tool you can create page variations by changing images, text, any element of the page. Great for those that do not want to code but do want to make changes and test quickly.
They have various pricing plans and you need to contact them to learn more however they do publish their pay-as-you-go model. This model is $49 per 1,000 visitors. While $49 may not sound bad, you need to take into consideration that in order to properly test your pages you may need to send them a lot more traffic. The amount of traffic depends on how much you need to achieve statistical significance which is also depending on the number of variables. Discussed more below.
VWO – A Great Middle Ground
If you have some landing pages and are ready to send a significant amount of traffic to them to begin testing then VWO may be a perfect solution for you. Packed with many of the same features as the competitors, VWO shines when it comes to the budget. Starting at $155 per month per 30,000 visitors, the price is reasonable for the amount of traffic the platform can handle. This is a great solution for a webmaster with a medium level of experience. You may not be as familiar with their name but they have quite a bit of experience are not new to the game of testing with over 4,000 customers.
Convert – The Rolls-Royce of Split Testing
For the experienced webmaster (or noobie with big ambitions and deep pockets) Convert is an incredible solution. The platform offers all the important analytics tools that you will need to fine-tune your landing pages, and also boasts an easy-to-use editor which makes making small changes to your landing pages a snap. Priced starting at $599 per month and covering up to 400,000 visitors, Convert is both the most expensive and robust solution of the bunch. It also integrates well with multiple platforms such as WordPress, Shopify and more.
Pick Your Flavor and Go For It!
Ultimately you must choose the solution that best fits your budget and tolerance for tech, as each of the platforms mentioned has its ups and downs. You must, however, choose something and start testing. Do not get stuck in indecision, because if you aren’t split testing, you’re pretty much blowing it. Get started with whatever solution suits you best, and watch your campaigns yield more as you learn more about your visitors.
Create Landing Pages
If you do not yet have a landing page and need help creating one. Or like the idea of not reinventing the wheel and would like to start with a solution that has experience in the filed. Then Unbounce is a great starting point, they have over 14,000 customers.
Unbounce – A Solid Starting Point
If you do not currently have a landing page or if what you do have does not seem to be working at all, Unbounce might just what you need. Their platform is unique in that they have over 125 landing page templates for you to use (browse them here). You customize and make design changes yourself with their dummy-proof drag-and-drop builder. Build a few landing pages and you are off to the races. Priced for easy entrance starting at $99 per month ($79 a month with annual billing) which covers up to half a million visitors. Unbounce is undoubtedly one of the best paths for someone new to the game. There are other landing page creation tools, this is however a popular starting point.
Layman’s Definitions to be Aware Of When Testing
A/B Testing : This term refers to testing just one element. Usually used in one of two scenarios. First you might test one complete landing page against another. That would be Page A vs. Page B. A second scenario is when you test one element on a landing page. For example you page may have Image A vs. Image B. These are useful for entirely new pages or simply to test one element.
You may have already guessed, however this is the testing of more than one element at a time. While A/B is simply testing one element, Multivariate is testing multiple variations or having multiple variables. For example you may run a test where one image changes and also the title on the page changes. You would be testing two variables at the same time. Do realize that the more variables you test, the more visitors you will need to reach statistical significance and know which elements are better than the others.
Statistically significant is the likelihood that a relationship between two or more variables is caused by something other than random chance. Luckily for you each one of the above landing page testing tools perform utilize a statistics formula to determine when your test has reached statistical significance. The results will let you know when the test is done.
You may find that you cannot adequately test with just a few hundred clicks, but what do you need for your test? How do you know which page wins, how many visitors do you need to go through your pages? Is it 100 or thousands, or tens of thousands? It depends on multiple factors, the most important of which is the number of items you are testing. If you are just testing one element on the page then you will need less visitors than if you are testing multiple elements at the same time, which requires more traffic. It will also depend on how fast and how much one page is outperforming another. So what is the answer? You need to reach statistical significance.