How many analysts are actually looking at the landing page and optimize the content or tags to make it work better for your site’s goal?
I’m not sure, but it is definitely an important aspect if you really want to maximize your traffic. Even if you’re acquiring qualified traffic to your site, if your landing page is not effective, then you’ll end up sending them back to where ever they came from.
I’d like to re-introduce to you Landing Page Optimization or LPO. Reason is, I feel like minimal effort can go into LPO, and make your site even more effective. Some of the key areas of what you’ll want to see from LPO is reducing bounces, stream line traffic to high performing pages, and increase conversion.
Here are some of the key techniques and data points to look for in your web analytics tool, to make your landing page more effective.
I will use Google Analytics for my examples.
1) Top Landing Page vs. Bounce Rate (Avg)
For a data from x date to y date, select the top landing page report. Then click on the “camparison” view, which is on the right of the four view selections. Select “Bounce Rate”, to see the bounce rate of each landing pages against overall bounce rate average.
This example tells me, 58.4% of all entrances occur from the top 10 landing pages. In other words, the top 10 landing pages, out of 144 landing pages contributed 58.4% of all site entry.
Obviously, you would want to concentrate on your top 10 landing pages before you even jump into optimizing other pages.
2) Set a Goal to reduce the bounce rate.
Currently, the overall site’s bounce rate is 63.5%. Say you want to reduce that to 50.0%. Let’s do the math.
Bounce Rate = Total Bounces / Total Entrances = 1,794 / 2,824 = 63.5%
Desired Total Bounces = (Desired Bounce Rate) x (Total Entrances) = 50.0% x 2,824 = 1,412
Amount of bounces required to reduce = 1,412 – 1,794 = 382 OR 21%
This will give you a clearer picture for the actual amount of bounces you need to reduce in order to achieve the desired overall bounce rate.
Just looking at the top 10, here, we have the opportunity to optimize 5 landing pages. Because we know that these 5 pages are performing worse than the overall bounce rate (63.5%), we have the opportunity to reduce 393 bounces.
393 bounces = [(231+109+100+99+81) x 63.5%].
This 393 bounces are around par to the amount of bounces I would like to see improved.
3) Why are people bouncing from these pages?
This is a very broad topic. Every pages are probably unique, and users arrive on that page differently. So I’ll introduce few tactics in approaching what to think of before tackling out your page optimization.
a) Traffic sources
Look at the traffic sources of each landing page by drilling down to each individual landing page and select “source”.
- Is it the search engine driving traffic and causing bounces?
- Is it other referring sites driving traffic to this landing page?
- Is the campaigns that you’re investing in to drive higher traffic to these content causing high bounces?
If the majority of users to a landing page are arriving by a specific phrase or keyword, maybe there is something about the page which is not relevant to people’s search.
Also, what is touted on the referring site is not relevant to the actual landing page.
One you get a firm understanding of where users are coming from, you’ll getter a better sense of what users are experiencing.
You definitely don’t want users landing on the page with KPI definition when they have intended to learn about “how to come up with KPI” or “KPI to make money”. Double check your content, and page title to see if you’re serving the right descriptions.
Apply the findings to your optimization.
b) Page layout and creative
Since every content is unique, going through every single content on your page is pretty painful, if you serve thousands of pages. That is one reason why I looked at the top 10 landing page.
Now, after looking at the traffic source, other area to look at is your actual page. Your page may serve the right information, but it doesn’t necessarily address and represent the information in a user friendly manner.
You might want to ask your self the following questions.
- Does the page has a exit link towards the top? If the page has an exit link (or any links to other sites) towards the top of your page, then users may leave your site even before they finish reading and click through to other page.
- Is your page too wordy? Obviously, people may loose interest when they see a page full of text. You might want to consider breaking out the paragraph and put some image if necessary. Give your users’ eyes some break.
- Are the color, layout, text size, or creative causing a bad user experience? Might want to consider testing these elements as well. I definitely don’t want to read a blog with a background of shocking pink or neon yellow.
4) Optimize and Test
Once you have identified the areas of improvement, you may want to consider executing your changes and test it.
I recommend using Google Website Optimizer since it is a free tool and you’ll acquire just enough learnings from doing an A/B test on your old vs. new page.
Optimize, Test, Optimize, Test…. Basic fundamentals of web analytics.
Note that, in order to test it is not going to happen in over night. You might have to give it a few days for the site to acquire significant amount of traffic data.
Enjoy optimizing your landing page !!
Site optimization related article: Tip: 4 steps to site optimization