Getting your content marketing and search engine optimization effort to drive substantial traffic to your site is certainly a major accomplishment. However, the real golden ticket lies in optimizing your landing pages to maximize conversion rates.
A time-proven way to do this is through A/B testing of various approaches and content for prospect audiences with similar characteristics. Here are some considerations you’ll want to take into account to execute a successful A/B testing initiative.
Think engagement vs. overload.
When you examine your current landing pages, you might think there isn’t really any content you can afford to eliminate. The fact is, the time-pressed prospects who view that landing page will ask themselves the same question: “Is this something I can safely ignore?” So the idea is to quickly provide the prospect with a concise idea of what you offer, in a way that clearly differentiates you from the competition.
Try layouts that break out of the box.
When you’ve optimized landing pages for conversion in the past, you’ve probably done things like changing up the headline and/or the visual, massaging the body copy, and tweaking your call-to-action or response form. Any one of these incremental changes can move the needle a bit. But think about taking a more dramatic approach. For instance, if you’re using a more verbiage-oriented approach, try testing it against a stripped-down and highly visual layout that leads the visitor quickly to your response form. (Or vice versa, for that matter.)
Challenge assumptions on what you need to include.
Often a brief and effective mention of a big-picture selling point can help to open some white space and breathing room on a page. For instance, a phrase like “6 technical support centers across the US” or “12 convenient locations in the Boston metro area” can negate the perceived need to list multiple locations in detail on the landing page. The location information you collect via your tracking and response form can be used to further define this once you’ve established a connection.
Pre-determine your metrics for success.
As always, setting up realistic goals based on meaningful metrics is crucial for determining the success of your A/B testing initiative. In the final analysis, the metrics you choose should reflect the nature of your business and the specific realities of your marketing space.
For an e-commerce site that offers more quick-hit types of products, boosting transaction counts and increasing short-term revenue are huge considerations. For a long lead-time selling environment, you may also need in-depth analysis of key customer-journey factors such as average pageviews, session duration and frequency of visits.
As with anything associated with inbound content marketing, A/B testing of landing pages is part art and part science. To optimize page content, maximize conversion rates and reduce cost-per-action (CPA), it takes a solid upfront strategy — followed up by a tenacious test-and-refine process — in order to achieve substantial and sustainable results.