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Webinar Recording – How To Make A Killer Landing Page: What I Learned From 1000s Of A/B Tests

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[The next webinar is “Digital Outreach for Business Impact” by Jessie Paul on Feb 21, 3:00 pm IST (GMT +530).]

The webinar recording on Digital Vidya, presented by speaker ‘Paras Chopra’ who is the Founder and CEO of ‘Wingify’ covered how to build a killer landing page which turned out to be intelligible and lucid. Mr. Paras is the originator of Visual Website Optimizer, a tool for A/B testing to create an excellent landing page.

1. How to segregate or identify leads generated through different mediums like Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc.; on the landing page?

It depends on how you are collecting the leads, say if you are using a system like Sales host there is always plug-in and an extra referring information that is simply passed on with the lead itself, even for simple systems like mail chain or other lead collection systems there are lots of easy ways for generating leads, even with your own custom programming you can have a hidden field in the form to enter the referred information so whenever the form is submitted in addition to getting the names and contact details you could get where the visitors come from.

2. What are the various persuasion techniques that work on a landing page?

Apart from a single call to action, a clear headline, talking to a single set of segment / customers and the key element of having Social proof, on the Internet you cannot converse with people, you cannot talk to a sales person, so it all comes down to anticipating what kind of questions will arise in a customer’s mind. So as a sales person you could think a visitor who wants to probably know the features, he / she wants to know how popular a particular product is, he / she wants to know what the service is all about, basically, the visitor wants to know about a lot of different things, but unlike a sale person you can’t really have a Q& A with the visitor, so it is very important to identify the sequence of questions that will arise into a visitor’s mind, therefore a visitor would not first ask for service, a visitor would first ask whether this has the features they are looking for and only once he’s convinced that the features are there he’ll be going around to follow the question. So in the same way a theme should be structured, you should not be talking about themes that are not relevant at that part of time, you should talk about those things as the person scrolls or as the person goes to next pages, so landing page should be all about the first thing / solution to what you were looking for and then next is that it is the best kind of solution that is out there and then only talk about the service, the company and careers or whatever you want to talk about. Provide the required information in a very nice looking manner. Therefore, focus is very important.

3. Are there any visual design features of a landing page?

There should be a primary call to action; it should be large enough to get noticed and it shouldn’t be cluttered. There should be a lot of wide space around and contrast is also important, say if you have a very dark colored button with a dark background, that really doesn’t help, the whole idea of having a button is to make it stand out without making it look too flashy, so you shouldn’t have flashy kind of button, have a very simple button that contrast with the background. Generally people use a white background and red, green, yellow or orange buttons and they work really well, you don’t have to try too hard to make a good landing page.

4. What are the ways to re-vamp the exiting landing page?

I) Should we always re-vamp an existing page or start from the scratch

II) If we should re-vamp the existing page how to go about it or are there any guidelines around it?

Conduct a lot of small A/B tests, by not just tweaking existing pages, but once in a while just redo the whole thing from the scratch. There are two ways of tweaking, one is called local maxima and the other is global maxima, so if you’re tweaking the current page what you’re exploring is just the neighborhood of your current page. Your conversion rate may increase from 10 percent to 12 percent to 13 percent, but probably it won’t jump to 20, 25 to 30 percent, it would only happen if you redo the whole page from the scratch. But since redoing the page from the scratch takes a lot of efforts and resources you cannot do it every time, so there should be a strategy of probably doing small tests and large tests every two or three months.

5. Is the conversion rate that I am getting as of now a good conversion rate and how do I define good, some people may be happy with 4 percent or 5 percent some people may be tweaking at 60 percent to 65 percent so is there any point of view or an experience from some industries or if you could share any kind of numbers of what are the percentage conversions landing pages tend to see and what is the variance there?

As per Mr. Paras absolute conversion rates don’t really matter, it’s not very wise to compare conversion rates from one industry to the other and even one business to the other. What matters is if you’re increasing conversion rate, say if you talk of isolation of 5 percent conversion rate for maybe a one crore rupee product, it’s spectacular, but a 5 percent conversion rate for a free product is not that good, so talking in just absolute conversion rates makes no sense at all unless you define the whole context, the industry, the market, the type of audience, the traffic mix that you are getting what matters is that if you’re having 5 conversion rates today does it moves to six percent or seven percent tomorrow. So it’s very convenient to talk about industry benchmark, but they’re not very useful. You’ll just be feeling bad that the best-in industry has 20 percent conversion rate and you just have 2 percent, but you won’t have the context, why they have 20 percent probably they are doing the TV ads which are driving a lot of interests.

6. Any point of view on the copy?

Well, in copy, some people talk about the benefits over features, but it’s important to talk about features first and then benefits and then other things because visitors want to have a concrete understanding of what the product is all about, let them decide whether it is a good fit for them or not. So a copy should not be treated like a novel or an interesting short story, it is a simple brochure of what you’re selling and letting the customers decide if they’re interested or not and then exploring further in order to convince them using social proofs and different kinds of techniques.

7. What are some landing page best practices, especially for services based business that relies on calling a direct online and sending an online enquiry? There are many low friction or low barriers next steps like to get started, try it out, download a guide, but sometimes you want somebody to call you, you want somebody to request a call back so now the barrier is higher so how to deal with that, do you have a point of view on that?

Getting someone to call is a good deal of commitment, so maybe you could try to seduce the friction, we have seen some of the customers try to use the live chat widget on the site, it’s much easier for visitors to engage in a live chat as compared to picking up a phone, so probably that could be A/B tested and things like requesting a call back. Hence, there are technologies available where they try to make it very low friction for the voice commitment, even if people are browsing from their laptops they may try to engage in the audio chat on the site itself.

8. Audiences vary from region to region how to identify what is good or what will work well by targeting audiences from different region?

The technology is out there where you can show different messages to the people coming from different parts of the world, but what you do with it, is entirely context dependent.

9. There are some successful brands that use their home page as their landing pages and it is accurately working well for them, is it generally a good idea?

No it is not a good idea; homepage is generally a starting journey for a lot of visitors, homepage needs to serve a lot of different kinds of visitors, for example, if a person who is interested in joining your company say a person who is exploring career, he / she is going to start at the home page and a person who’s going to purchase a product is also going to start at the homepage so homepage is like a directory that needs to serve to a lot of visitors, so ideally Paras doesn’t recommend a homepage as a landing page and the reason it works for a lot of companies probably because their traffic  maybe directed, so if you’re doing TV ads say for example if Flipkart is doing TV ads and they get traffic on their homepage these people already have an expectation of buying something so that is why homepage may work best but if you’re driving customers to a page without a lot of expectations they might probably get confused. So if possible develop a landing page specifically for the campaign that you’re planning.

10. Some of the application based website  or web apps as we call them,  typically the existing customers would be logged in and anybody who is there on the home page without being logged in is typically a new person who can potentially be a new customer, so while a homepage doesn’t have all the element of a landing page, for example it will have various outbound links but purely if it is an existing customer the person will be logged in and that person will be shown a different starting page all together, typically a lot of companies do use their home page or they try to cater to the last time of visitors who are not their existing customers a yet.

So there’s nothing as such a homepage should just be a bunch of links, if you see the home page of visualoptimizer.com, it is made in a landing page sort of fashion, there is a clear headline and a single call to action. If you’re there in any other publication they’ll be linking to your home page not your landing page, but if you have a specific campaign plan, for example, you are driving traffic from a Facebook, Adwords and even SEO it’s much more beneficial to use the landing page as compared to home page it’s just simply because of the focus.

11. As mentioned text should be minimum and website should have more graphics, but if we have a site that’s sharing knowledge that will surely have lots of text and information what to do in that particular case?

The first step should be to convince the visitor that he or she should be interested in the knowledge, convince to the visitor that the knowledge is beneficial to him / her and knowledge is perhaps the best available among all the other knowledge providers and a lot of people have benefited from it.

12. What exactly does A/B testing stand for? Does it stand for alpha-beta testing?

It may have started with alpha-beta, but it doesn’t stand for anything.

13. What are your top three landing page designs?

For example, WordPress, e-lance, Skype has a good landing page. We shouldn’t confuse landing pages like Flipkart, Amazon, Jabong or other e-commerce sites, mainly because it’s entirely a different scenario for them, they have a brand going behind them, say if you’re going to amazon.com you’re not making a decision whether to buy from Amazon or not, you’re making a decision rather to buy a product or not, so most landing pages are meant for people who are not aware of what your brand stands for and what your product is all about.

14. How different is a good landing page in case of an online retail store, for example, the Filpkart landing page is simple but why is it effective?

We’ll have to define what you mean by a landing page if you mean a product page, a homepage could not be a landing page for Flipkart, they redirect their traffic from Google Adwords to a particular category or a particular product. Probably they don’t have that much to do with the design as much to do with the brand they’ve built around the service, but if an entirely a new visitor is coming he would treat Flipkart the same as any other retailers out there.

15. On landing pages should we have navigation or no navigation?

It relates to the question whether we should have outbound links or not, generally there should not be any outbound links, but you cane be at risk of being seen as a site if you don’t give any choice to the visitor to explore further. Do not have navigation in the header or above the footer, but as you scroll down to the footer you could give the navigation links so that once a person is committed enough and has read the entire page, he/she will be able to explore further.

16.   How can visual website optimizer (VWO) be used on any common store where you have a template system like smarty behind?

Visual optimizer does not really interact with this site’s back end, so it doesn’t matter your site is in Java or .net and PHP or user smarty or any other template engine, so A/B test are executed on the front end on the client side as the page is loading so irrespective of how your page is generated, you should be able to conduct A/B test using that software.

If you are looking for A/B testing your landing pages, you can try Visual Website Optimizer, the tool that Paras refers to during this webinar.

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