There are many good landing page builder options available and just as many sleek landing page templates so marketers can create professional-looking landing pages. But building the landing page is only the beginning of a marketer’s work. The next step is to continuously improve the page so that it performs as well as possible. This article will cover five landing page optimization tools that provide the necessary data to increase conversion rates.
Landing page optimization covers a body of procedures that identify weaknesses in a landing page and then test different adjustments to increase the page’s conversion rate.
Marketers have been optimizing marketing campaigns for at least 100 years, as evidenced by Claude Hopkins’ 1923 book Scientific Advertising. In it, Hopkins explains how marketers can use tactics like unique coupon codes to test the effectiveness of direct mail and print ads.
We have more data and better tools for analyzing and acting on that data in the digital age. There are technological solutions for each step of the optimization process to improve landing page conversion rates much easier than in the 1920s.
Landing page optimization is essential because these pages are responsible for driving leads and sales. Many variables affect a page’s performance, and it’s unlikely that any landing page will be as effective as it could be from the start.
Furthermore, even if a landing page is perfect initially, this performance is likely to decrease as time goes on due to changes in buying behavior, product popularity, and a host of other factors. For those reasons, effective marketing requires continuous optimization to increase landing page conversion rates.
Four steps comprise the landing page optimization process: assessment, adjustment, testing, and analysis.
- Assessment. In the assessment stage, the marketer analyzes the current performance of the landing page. Based on the data, the marketer will form a hypothesis or multiple hypotheses about changes that might improve the landing page conversion rate.
- Adjustment. The next step is to implement the adjustments to determine whether the hypothesis is true. These could be adjustments to any element of the landing page, but they generally address perceived weaknesses in the landing page copy, design, or form.
- Testing. After making the changes, the testing stage begins.
- Analysis. After the test has run for a predetermined time, the marketer will analyze the results to determine whether the change in question positively affected performance.
Testing is the most crucial part of the landing page optimization process. It’s also where most marketers go wrong. A mistake at this stage will mean the difference between an actual increase in the landing page conversion rate and an illusory bump that regresses to the mean.
The three most important considerations for a test are that:
- Enough people see each landing page variant to draw a meaningful conclusion from the results.
- Each person only sees one variant of the landing page.
- Variables (i.e., the tested changes to the landing page) are minimized, preferably to a single variable, so that it’s clear that the difference tested caused the results.
What follows are four best practices for developing tests that provide more accurate results and five landing page optimization tools to put these guidelines into practice.
A test needs to have an adequate sample size to produce meaningful insights. For example, when testing different headlines, if 100 people see headline A and 100 people see headline B, the sample size is too small.
Let’s say there’s a landing page conversion rate of 3% for headline A while headline B converts at a rate of 2% isn’t helpful. That’s three conversions versus two conversions. The probability that headline B might draw even with headline A or even pull ahead is too great.
Each additional change makes it harder to determine what caused the results of the test. A test might show an increase in the landing page conversion rate. But if three page elements were changed, it’s difficult to know whether one element caused the increase or if it was a combination of multiple elements.
Multivariate tests can be informative, but they require more traffic and more time. For most marketers, an A/B test with a single variable is best.
For every test, there’s only one chance to collect data. Once the experiment is complete, any untracked data is lost forever. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure that all analytics tools and events tracking is set up correctly before running a test.
The more data, the better, so implement as many of the landing page optimization tools listed later in this article as possible.
In addition to minimizing on-page variables, it’s necessary to avoid sample pollution. Traffic source, time of day, the user’s device, and many other factors can impact test results.
For example, a button of a certain size might perform well on a desktop but not on mobile. So it’s essential to reduce the number of variables in play as much as possible.
CXL’s comprehensive breakdown of sample pollution highlights three frequent sources of sample pollution:
- Test duration. If the test duration is too long or too short, length pollution can impact test validity. To avoid this, CXL recommends determining the necessary sample size (there are online calculators to help with this) and only running the test long enough to reach that many people. Also, avoid testing during holidays and other times when the data will be affected by seasonality (unless that’s what you’re testing).
- Different devices or browsers. If someone sees one variant of a landing page on their smartphone, they’re likely to see a different variant if they see it again on their mobile device. The same goes for a visitor who uses different browsers. CXL recommends separating your tests by device and browser to avoid this form of sample pollution.
- Expired cookies. Most platforms separate test groups using cookies. If someone sees a variant, the testing software will track them using a cookie so that they only see that variant. But the longer a test runs, the more likely it is that the person will delete their cookies. Determining the sample size needed for a test beforehand and ensuring that the landing page receives enough traffic to reach that sample size in less than 30 days will reduce the risk of cookie pollution.
There are five key categories of landing page optimization tools that to implement to improve conversion rates.
- Behavior Analytics
- Qualitative Analytics
- Quantitative Analytics
- Website Visitor Identification
We’ll explain each category and how these tools can work together to provide the data and testing capabilities necessary to optimize a landing page effectively.
Behavior analytics tools enable marketers to assess a landing page’s performance by showing how visitors interact with the page. These tools provide data on visitor behavior like:
- Where are visitors clicking?
- How far are visitors scrolling?
- Where are visitors moving their mouse pointers?
- What are visitors looking at the most?
- How are visitors navigating through the site?
Microsoft Clarity is a free heatmapping and session recording tool that provides in-depth information about what visitors are doing on a landing page. This landing page optimization tool helps to see where visitors are losing interest, what sections of the landing page copy are most compelling, and what changes to make to increase conversions.
Testing is the most essential part of the landing page optimization process, but it is also the hardest to get right. Luckily, there are many A/B and multivariate testing software solutions available to handle the heavy lifting.
Most marketers have used email testing tools, and landing page optimization tools offer similar capabilities.
These tools separate landing page traffic into different test groups and then report the results. Google Optimize is a free option that makes it easy to implement changes through a visual editor or a code editor. The tool reports the results in Google Analytics.
Qualitative analytics tools enable marketers to measure subjective, non-numerical data. This type of research focuses on factors like a visitor’s perceptions of the landing page experience. These types of experiential data differ from quantitative data in that, due to their subjective nature, results may vary from one visitor to the next.
Qualitative analytics tools answer questions like:
- Does a visitor perceive the offer to be valuable?
- Is the landing page copy relevant to the visitor’s needs?
- Is the offer clearly presented?
The easiest way to gather qualitative data is to trigger a pop-up survey before a visitor leaves the landing page. Landing page optimization tools like Informizely make this possible by triggering the popup when a user’s mouse moves to the top of the screen to exit the page (by clicking back, entering a different URL into the address bar, etc.).
The tool has a free version that allows marketers to build surveys with multiple questions and drill-down reporting with text analysis.
Most marketers are familiar with qualitative analytics. Quantitative analytics tools track objective metrics like bounce rate, session duration, and page views.
Google Analytics is the most popular landing page optimization tool in this category. It takes some work to understand the advanced features, but it’s one of the most powerful options available, and it’s free.
Website visitor identification is the process of identifying anonymous visitors to a website. Whether a visitor converts by submitting a form on the landing page or not, website visitor identification tools can identify up to 40 percent of a page’s visitors and send a contact record to a CRM.
The record includes information like the visitor’s name, email address, phone number, and mailing address. Some options, like LeadPost, also include details like automotive data, household income, age, education level, gender, homeowner status, length of residence, net worth, marital status, and whether the visitor has children in the house.
This data provides deeper visibility into the types of people who respond well to the landing page. It also makes it easy to send a follow-up survey by email to gather qualitative data.
A marketer’s work is never done! As soon as the landing page is finished, it’s time to optimize.
But with the right combination of behavior analytics, qualitative analytics, quantitative analytics, website visitor identification, and testing tools, landing page improvement is a straightforward process.
These best practices and landing page optimization tools provide the technological foundation to increase landing page conversion rates.