Real Magnet

16 Tips for Testing your Landing Pages

With the upcoming release of our Marketing Automation module, landing pages will become a “go-to” tool for Real Magnet customers to compile and collect data on both prospects and customers. Because these pages are on the front lines of your marketing efforts, testing and optimizing them is critical.

SIPA stalwarts Greg Krehbiel of Kiplinger and Josh Baker of Ticketliquidator.com, via a listserve conversation, have offered 16 basic but impactful tips for marketers to do just that. For the benefit of our customers, we provide their collective thinking below.

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1. Have a techie in marketing – somebody who understands the relevant technology and how your site works.

2. Start your testing with your high-volume pages or those that can impact revenue.

3. There are many more variables now with different devices and screen sizes. If you can, segment your tests accordingly.

4. Test the “big things” on the page first (page design, how many columns, long vs. short) before you test little things (color of buttons, size of text).

5. Apply lessons learned from testing the higher traffic volume pages to the lower volume pages. (There’s no guarantee it will work, but you have to use something.)

6. Always run a head-to-head split test of your control versus the winning page combination after you end a multivariate test.

7. Limit your tests to pages that get traffic from a common source – e.g., a Google AdWords campaign.

8. Keep your tests simple.

9. Test “distracting” links, like “free sample issue”.

10. Consider the ROI of the entire process, not just a single page (e.g., one page might perform better, but Google might give it a bad rating and raise your cost-per-click (CPC), or it might improve one part of the funnel but hurt another).

11. Keep detailed records of your tests.

12. Share what you learn with your email marketers and web designers.

13. Use web-analytics data to find high impact pages or user paths to test.

14. Clarifying each test’s goal will help you plan what sections and elements to test.

15. Understand which metrics you will be using to declare a winner by and know how you will get those numbers.

16. Be on the look-out for external issues that might affect the validity of your test results — such as a high visibility current event in your market.

Want to learn more about Marketing Automation and landing pages? Join us for our next Marketing Automation webinar!

About the Authors:

Greg Krehbiel is Director of Marketing Operations at Kiplinger Washington Editors and a seasoned publishing industry veteran. He writes and speaks (often at SIPA) on topics including marketing, technology, product development, digital publishing and mobile.

Josh Baker is a Director at Ticketliquidator.com and an expert in Internet marketing optimization and online strategy. His areas of specialization include Online Testing and Conversion Optimization (Multivariate Testing, and A/B Testing), SEM (SEO, PPC), and Web Analytics.