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Tips & Tricks for Building Your Experimentation Program

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Landing pages are essential for targeting specific audiences, improving SEO, and promoting campaigns. But lowering bounce rate and increasing conversions is a tough challenge.

Here are some approaches to optimize your landing page like an expert and find conversion lifts:


Segment Your Value Propositions

Drive customers toward conversion with value props that list benefits specific to them. If you have multiple user personas to appeal to, segment your value propositions. Your product benefits audiences differently so it’s best to pitch each one directly. For example, a B2B software company will emphasize the ease of product integration for a an enterprise. But for a startup, they will highlight a solution to jumpstart growth. The language and presentation of these segmented value props could differ, too, and it’s best to test!

Muck Rack segments value props between marketers and creators:

Muck Rack Segment

Muck Rack segments their users into two main personas at the top of their page.

Muck Rack Value Specifics

Muck Rack is very specific about the benefits of their service for both marketers and writers. Their value props are action-oriented.

 

  • Identify your audience by listing the top user personas
  • Segment your value props by writing ones specific to each persona
  • Write your value props in second person and speak directly to your audience
  • Be specific when writing value props; use action-oriented language for each persona
  • A/B test the language and presentation of value props; behavior for each persona is different


Replace Rotating Image Carousels

Using an image carousel at the top of your landing page appeals to internal departments; they provide a resolution by featuring multiple messages. But this doesn’t help usability. Notre Dame University tested their image carousel and found that only 1% of total visitors clicked through from it. Of those visitors, 84% interacted with the first image and ignored the other four paths.

ND.edu Carousel Data

Only 1% of Notre Dame’s total website visitors used the carousel and of those users, a majority (84%) interacted with just the first image.

 

The data shows that the carousel did not help Notre Dame improve users navigate. Experts agree that they typically see this. Carousels hinder navigation, are mistakened as ad banners, and provide too many messages. Avoid using an image carousel on your page and provide a solution that facilitates users in their journey.

If you have a carousel, find out its effectiveness by:

  • Evaluating the relevance of each message to user needs
  • Adding tracking for clickthrough and view of each panel
  • Interpret the data for user experience; users are likely ignoring the carousel or only interacting with one panel

A/B test these alternatives:

  • A static carousel that clearly lets users manually rotate so they’re in control
  • One static image that focuses on a relevant deal, offer, or piece of content
  • One static image that provides immediate navigation in one view to the same pages

Use More White Space & Fewer Links

Even if your landing page looks great visually, that does not mean it is optimized to convert. Use a low ratio of clickable elements versus the call-to-action. Fewer distractions mean more conversions.

Also, don’t be afraid to use white space; this simple technique avoids clutter, which encourages usability. Check out how H.Bloom uses white space and Groupon applies a low distraction-to-CTA ratio:

H. Bloom White Space

H.Bloom avoids clutter and uses white space, which emphasizes product info and contrasts with the form.

Groupon Form

Groupon minimizes the use of non-CTA elements and provides a framed form with a contrasting CTA button. Not many other path choices here.

 

  • Ratio of clickable elements to CTA should be low
  • Remove hyperlinks to external pages
  • Move low-priority navigation below the fold, such as company info, contact, and press pages
  • Avoid clutter; use white space where appropriate to emphasize important elements

Test Usability Before Launch

Too many companies rush to get landing pages live. The danger lies in launching a page that does not communicate well with visitors. Prevent this by not only testing for quality assurance, but for usability. Do this internally or try services like UsabilityHub to assess user experience. Of course, this data comes from a small sample size, but it identifies glaring issues and minimizes risks.

  • Test internally for feedback about technical issues first, then move on to usability
  • Create a detailed survey to collect qualitative data from teams
  • Instruct all users to go through a series of steps in order to fully experience the page
  • Use services like UsabilityHub to get a third-party perspective that closely resembles your audience

Use Directional Cues and Simple Visuals

Visuals are processed faster; take advantage of this connection with users. Use sight or directional cues in images that guide users’ eyes towards CTA. This simple tactic directly leads your audience to their next step. Basecamp and Priceline employ this method:

Basecamp Point

Basecamp uses a playful manager cartoon that points at the start of the form.

Priceline does the exact same directional cue using their recognizable spokesperson.

Priceline does the exact same directional cue using their recognizable spokesperson.

 

  • Use visuals to guide users towards CTA with directional cues
  • Directional cues include pointed hand and body gestures, arrows, eyeline of a person; get creative!
  • The object or person exhibiting the directional cue should represent your brand or product

Align Elements & Content with Goal

Audit every element and piece of content on your page; score how each aligns with your campaign goal. Use this list to prioritize crucial elements and eliminate unneeded ones. This will trim distractions and emphasize purpose. The intent of this Origins page is clear:

Origins Offer

Origins ran a special offer for free gift wrap. Beyond navigation, everything on this page relates to this unique campaign.

 

  • Identify all elements, identify all content, and list them in a spreadsheet
  • Score how each listed item aligns with campaign goals; use this list to prioritize highest-scoring elements
  • Eliminate elements that are outside of the campaign goals

Test Privacy Policies on Forms

Your call-to-action is the last hurdle for users before conversion. Any links to terms, privacy policies, or CAPTCHA inputs make or break conversion. For example, many companies assume that positive information about privacy would drive users to submit. But this is not always the case:

BettingExpert Form Test

ContentVerve found out that customers of BettingExpert reacted negatively to the addition of privacy info on the form. Even if it’s positive, less can be more.

 

  • Do not assume that positive content concerning privacy or spam will always add value to forms
  • Test variations of sensitive language for privacy policies; sometimes it’s best to eliminate it completely or A/B test your way to find a high-performing iteration
  • Avoid CAPTCHA when possible; they dramatically decrease conversions

Conclusion

Use these tips as a guide to optimizing your landing pages like a pro. As you make changes and collect data, you will learn about your users. This insight equips you to continuously optimize and find more opportunities for growth.

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