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Top 12 Landing Page Optimization Best Practices for 2020

What is Landing Page Optimization?

Landing page optimization is defined as the process of editing and testing elements of a landing page with the goal of maximizing user conversion rate. 

For example, if your current landing page is giving you 10 signups per day with 300 users, that is a .03% conversion rate, then your landing page optimization goal will be to increase conversions with this number as your current benchmark. 

Whatever changes are made to the landing page, they must increase conversion rate, else need to be discarded and retested with more ideas. 

Meeting landing page optimization’s final goal of improving means improving:

  • Page load speed/ experience
  • Content consumption experience
  • CTA and form/ action button

Benefits of investing in landing page optimization

Landing page optimization should be part of any campaign that uses a landing page, especially if you are running paid ads to fuel the traffic to the page. Even without paid ads, an organization already makes investments in the landing page through human resources and technology stacks. Landing pages are at the most end of the funnel 

Before we look at the best practices for accomplishing your landing page optimization goals in 2020, let us take account of the key benefits of investing in landing page optimization:

  • Increased ROI through end-of-funnel improvements
    Improvements are most impactful to the final revenue stream that marketing brings in, that is, landing page optimization. Landing pages appear at the end of any marketing funnel and improvements made here, directly impact final organizational goals and ROI.
  • More conversions from the same traffic
    There is a significant cost saving and boost in campaigns that have lead-to-budget targets, where you need to deliver a certain number of leads within a promised budget. Improving conversion rate will not only help you achieve the same targets in less company expenditure, even if the budget stays the same, the marketing team can now deliver more than promised. This is a key to a successful career and growth in marketing and a revenue boon opportunity for any CEO and company.
  • Easy templatization and scalability
    Once you have met your target conversion rate based on optimization tests, these page settings can be easily templatized by a developer or better yet, if you are using a landing page software, you can just save the template itself in the software - and use it for other pages and campaigns. This drastically reduces landing page creation cost and time and improves team productivity.

How to test and conclude landing page optimization?

Landing page optimization essentially includes 3 key tests:

  • - Define desired conversion rate/ landing page goal
  • - A/B test each change
  • - Note the final changes that deliver the best conversion rate

Learn more: Top 10 User Experience (UX) Design Best Practices for 2020

Top 12 Landing Page Optimization Best Practices for 2020

Here are the top 12 best practices every marketer should test for quicker success in 2020:
1. Make a checklist of all configurable key page elements
The first action before you begin any testing for optimization, you will need to take an account of all the configurable landing page elements. Even if you have a developer at hand who can fully customize the page all over again, you still have design theme and time constraints.

Moreover, listing down the key elements that you want to experiment with to test conversions - helps you get more clarity on testing options, total number of tests that will be needed and properly tracking changes in each test cycle. 9 elements may be - title, sub-headings, images, form fields, page length and scroll, content sections, overall design and formats.

  • 2. Thumb rule: Only 1 edit per test cycle
    If you make more than 1 change per test cycle, you will not be able to make a data-oriented determination on which change had the most impact, if at all. In some cases, changes may counter each other and the result may be null and you would not even be able to tell based on performance, which is your primary parameter. Therefore, in order to ensure there are no muddy waters after your tests, each update to the existing page must be accompanied by a test and results should be benchmarked based on previous page performance. If changes are noted, it will now be clear as to which change to the page is responsible for it.
  • 3. Utilize current and past success data
    When a marketer gets a new landing page project, many want to create one from scratch and undertake optimization activities to determine the best match that will potentially achieve the target conversion goal.

2 big pieces missing in this, especially in organizations where information is not solidly centralized and may remain in a silo, is:

- past landing page optimization/ landing page test data. 

- current conversion rates for the website and its pages

A past landing page may have achieved results that are better than the average landing page on your website, or the other way around. In either case, if this conversion rate is better than your industry’s average, you now have a solid base to start your operations, rather than beginning from scratch. It is also a smarter way to efficiently utilize your company’s existing resources.

  • 4. Prioritize fast page delivery and performance
    Page load speed is one of the biggest determinants of page experience. According to a 2017 Think With Google report, a 2 second page load delay from 3 seconds to 5 seconds, contributes to increasing probability of the user bouncing off - from 32% to 90%A fast loading page deters users from checking out more competition.

A page that loads father than competitor landing pages (especially in case of search ads) will also deter/delay potential buyers from visiting competition, as on search, people tend to open multiple brand pages simultaneously. In such cases, the page that loads the fastest will get the reader’s first attention.

Learn more: What is a Squeeze Page? 

  • 5. Test all 3: long, medium and short content
    The debate over content length for landing pages has been raging forever with only one conclusion - test it yourself. At the same quality of content, some type of campaign might do better with long than medium and short and might change for another campaign. This depends on a few factors such as brand awareness, the source from where the user came to the landing page, product knowledge etc.

Even if you are running a campaign where the source of traffic for the landing page is pre-set and known, some users may still need more convincing and an optimum amount of content - that sweet spot which provides maximum user engagement and conversions, needs to be tested and determined. 

If you don’t have enough time or don’t know where to begin, conduct a competitive research and pick a benchmark set by your closest competitors and industry leaders.

  • 6. Form length: the balance between lead quality and quantity
    A long form length can deter some users from completing and submitting, but it is also a deterrent for quality, high intent buyers. A study conducted by Venture Harbour shows that while increasing form length decreased conversions, it also contributed to better lead quality.

The right balance of form fields depends on the type of industry as well. The same study also showed that in some case increasing form fields actually improved conversions. This is understandable especially in the case of private banking and wealth management where long forms may indicate authenticity of the company since trust plays a key role in financial dealings. 

In either case, the study also reveals that the best approach will be to test your form fields. Start with the must-have information you will need from a user and then see if the nice-to-have fields can also be included. 

  • 7. Test conversational forms
    Conversational forms, unlike typical web forms, is an on-page application that captures information from users in an engaging and question-answer model, typically only one question/ form field at a time.

It is highly advisable to test this against your page load benchmarks, since 3rd party apps and Java scripts have a significant effect on page load.

  • 8. Leverage live chat
    Another tech hack to be tested is live chat. This is especially easy of your company already provides live-chat support and sales.

According to a Super Office study in 2020, it is claimed that live chats can increase conversion rates upto 40% if the right human and tech resources are in place to enable a seamless conversion with the user. 

  • 9. Essure customer experience and GDPR compliance
    If your company is a mid-to-large brand in B2B or B2C spheres, the landing page optimization team needs to ensure that it complies with the brand’s overall customer experience guidelines. This may include larger CX themes such can content and messaging and more intricate details like color codes and logos. The goal is ensure that not only is the page able to deliver the set standards of experience, the checklist will also ensure that your page is able to fully leverage existing brand awareness and recall to improve conversions.

Similarly, you will also need to ensure that your landing page is compliant with customer data laws such as GDPR in European campaigns and CCPA for US campaigns in California state etc. 

  • 10. Leverage retargeting as a traffic source
    One of the effective ways to identify traffic to fuel your landing page (if you have a paid ads budget), is to target a defined slice of your web traffic that shows a certain level of conversion intent. For example, if you are a software product company, then a visitor who visited the product features page, and then the pricing page, but did not convert - will be an ideal retarget group for a special discount campaign. This can be done through retargeting software and user tracking site pixelation in which your developer team can certainly help.

Learn More: What is Retargeting? Definition, Types, Process and Best Practices

  • 11. Add option for fast signup and payment gateway apps
    There are a number of 3rd party signup integrations, such as Google, LinkedIn and Facebook, that replaces your typical web form and significantly reduces signup time. These apps pull user data that they have stored and automatically populate your required fields in the backend with the user merely needing 2 clicks - one to initiate and one to confirm the details that will be shared with your company.

In this case, the main test for you will be to see of your audience is comfortable sharing their Google or social media account details with you. If you are a well reputed company, especially with no incidences of data theft through hacking, users will be more likely to share the details. 

Similarly, if your campaign’s conversion goal includes a final product purchase, then it is imperative to ensure that you have a fast and high up-time payment gateway app. You will also need to ensure that you include all the popular apps based on market authority, since most users may be using one of, say, the top 3 apps in the country. 

  • 12. Thumb rule: Content is king, context is queen
    At the end of it all - one golden rule will still contribute to 70% of your success - excellent content that is contextually set for the reader to understand.

A great content for a reader who does not understand the context will not help in conversion, it will deter it. For instance, if you successfully used a landing page for social media promotion - in dedicated groups and posts with context to the landing page, may easily lack context when used to land users from other sources, like display ads, in-content native promo, external site hyperlinks etc. 

Learn more: Online Lead Generation Process and Techniques for 2020