There’s more to landing pages than landing!

Together with CRO (conversion rate optimisation), landing page design is becoming an increasingly popular discussion item. And, rightly so!

In recent months and weeks there has been an increase in the number of web-based landing page design systems launched and you might get the impression that designing a landing page is the be and end all of it.

But no…

Web site owners and webmasters now have the opportunity and ability to design their own landing pages as and when they need but will it make a real difference or be a real benefit.

What’s important?

Landing page design is not primarily about the page but the environment and framework within which to enable testing of alternative content and layouts.

Applications like Google Website Optimizer and others in the testing marketplace allow variations of pages, A/B testing, and multivariate testing (testing of various elements of the same page) to identify which variation(s) work best to drive page objectives.

These can be making a sale, newsletter sign-up, download requests or simply click-throughs to deeper content (reduction in bounce rate).

But what to test?

The most important element of landing page design is identifying the page elements that it is thought or believed influences visitor behaviour.

Equally important is the hypothesis of the changes of the page element to make and test eg that

  • increasing the size or colour of main headline
  • the headline content itself
  • the size, position of image
  • position of response form (left or right of page)
  • size and colour of call-to-action text or button

will increase response by ‘a desired level’.

Results can be surprising!

There are no hard and fast rules that the successful change of an element one one page will lift the conversion of another page by making the same change to the same element.

There are some changes that a trained eye can identify as limiting factors to the conversion process but to what extent and by what level can only be achieved by testing and then testing again and again…

And, sometimes the changes can be negative or a very small change have a surprising and welcome affect.

There’s no way of knowing by how much or how little except by landing page optimisation and testing using whichever tool or application best fits the bill and your budget.

PS A good example of just how difficult it is to get it right without testing is Ann Holland’s Which Test Won website. See how you do against the actual test results!

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