Landing page optimization and testing can
often produce double-digit conversion rate
improvements and transform the economics of
an online business. But to get the best results
from our landing pages, we must first know
where to begin.
I am often asked: “How do I get ideas for
what to improve or test?”
The answer lies in your own website, with
data you already have.
Web analytics related to the content of your
website can provide many important clues to
uncover and prioritize potential problems:
Most-visited content: The popularity of a Web
page helps you understand whether it is getting
the proper exposure. If a key page is not getting
enough traffic, it may be necessary to move it to
a more prominent location, or create more links
to it from other popular pages.
Path analysis: Path analysis allows you to see
the sequences of pages that visitors use to
traverse your site. They show you the most
common flow of traffic. It may be possible to
change the position of key conversion pages
or links within the site to benefit from such
Top entry pages: A list of the top entry pages
shows you the point of first contact users have with your website. Generally, the more traffic
hitting a landing page, the more attention that
page deserves in terms of conversion tuning.
Traffic levels can help you prioritize what landing
pages need to be fixed first.
Top exit pages: Exit pages are the places where
visitors leave your site. Each exit page can be
viewed as a leaky bucket. If visitors exit your
site, they probably did not find what they were
looking for. In some cases, there is nothing you
can do about this. But for the majority of cases,
you could improve the page to provide more
relevant information or better navigation. The
total number of exits and the exit percentage of
a page can be used to prioritize problem pages.
The worst-case scenario is a popular entry page
that is also a frequent exit page. The bounce
rate is the percentage of entry page visitors who
leave immediately without visiting any other
site content. High bounce rates on high-traffic
pages are red flags indicating those pages need
Funnel analysis: Regardless of your visitors’ initial
wandering paths, they must often pass
through a well-defined series of pages in order
to convert. It is possible to see the efficiency of
each step in this linear process. The funnel narrows
as people drop off during each step. High
drop-off percentages may signal that a particular
step is especially problematic. If problems
are uncovered, consider breaking the process
up into smaller and more manageable steps, or
Conversion goals: Web analytics software allows
you to track conversion rates (CRs) for all of
the important goals of your site. By comparing
your CRs with analyst research for your industry,
you can get a rough idea of whether your
site efficiency is competitive or substandard.
Some Web analytics tools offer the ability to
view reverse goal paths. These are the most
common sequences of pages that visitors traverse
on their way to completing a conversion
goal. Unlike forward-looking funnel analysis,
reverse goal paths look backward at the most
popular points of origin for a conversion.
In Part II of this column I will examine
several other powerful ways to identify site
In-page Web Analytics
A new class of software tracking tools
recently emerged and made finding landing-page problems even easier.
cookies tracking techniques as most other traditional Web analytics packages.
However, instead of looking at large numbers of visitors across your whole
site, the in-page Web analytics programs look at individual visitors interactions
within a single page. By aggregating granular individual behavior, new insights
can be gleaned.
How often do people hover over a link without clicking? How many visitors
scroll to see content at the bottom of your page? Do certain form fields take
longer to complete? What does the heatmap of the page look like based on the
mouse movements of your visitors? Do people from different traffic sources
behave differently when navigating the page?
Click-tale.com, CrazyEgg.com and Pagealizer.com all offer inexpensive
ways to get started with in-page analytics.
About the Author: Tim Ash is the CEO of
SiteTuners.com, and the author
of the bestselling book “Landing