The Basics of Landing Page Analysis
Whenever we go online and visit a website, the first page that we arrive at is the landing page. This has a huge bearing on what we do next.
If the landing page is informative and engages you, there's a fair chance you'll continue to use and explore the site further. If it is slow to load, difficult to read or there's no obvious pathway through the site then you will head for the exit.
The success and failure of a website often relies on the quality of its landing pages. If they fail to convert traffic, so too does the site.
For this reason, many sites invest a great deal of time and effort in testing and analysing their landing pages. The testing process, as you might expect, involves a lot of subtle changes to the page's layout.
It also requires an understanding of what the searcher is looking for and how best to help visitors convert.
Sometimes the alterations are far-reaching, including whole segments of text, other times less so, perhaps moving or changing the colour of a button within your call to action. Whatever the issue, it has to be identified and then properly tested.
The testing process usually involves having two pages running in parallel; one being the original, the other with an amendment. Your programme will automatically filter visitors in an even split between the two pages, even dropping a cookie so that they will only ever see that page when visiting your site.
Over time a pattern will form, identifying which page converts better, allowing you to make effective changes that will improve your site's performance.
However, the landing page analysis is what starts all of this off.
As stated, you have to be prepared to delve deep into a page to find elements that are undermining its performance. This takes some technical skill and an appreciation of your audiences psyche. What are they looking for? What do they want to see? Is there enough content? Is there too much? Is it too slow to load? All are relevant questions and all need answers.
To identify an under-performing page you have to refer to the statistics. Perhaps you've been running an expensive PPC campaign but some pages have done better than others. Maybe, despite good rankings and far-reaching SEO work, your site has a high bounce rate for some key terms. All of this will be highlighted by an analytics package.
Don't underestimate the power of statistics. They will highlight things that you have never previously been aware of. It can get you to the crux of a problem that you may never have known even existed before. This of course is vital in landing page analysis.
The more analysis you are able to do for your landing pages, the better your understanding will become.
While in the first instance you might find yourself shooting in the dark a little, unless problems are obvious of course. It will take a reasonable amount of experimentation to really get to the bottom of your site's problems.
Once you've established a problem, tested it thoroughly and found a solution, this will give you encouragement to make changes elsewhere.
The process does take time, but all the while you'll be getting a better understanding of what your visitors expect and how you can get your site to convert with greater frequency.
So landing page analysis can take a fair amount of effort and understanding, but ultimately you should get far more in return.
With any website, it is vital that you are able to convert the traffic you receive into meaningful custom. The best place to start is the first place people will see on your site, which of course is the landing page.
About the Author: Stephen Logan works as a Copywriter for leading Hampshire-based SEO Company Impact Media. They offer a full range of search engine marketing packages including expert Landing Page Analysis.