What is Landing Page Optimisation?

by Stephen Logan - Date: 2010-03-30 - Word Count: 637 Share This!

Landing pages are the first page that you land on when you enter a website. Therefore landing page optimisation is a process of improving pages to better relate to visitor searches and related expectations.

However, that is simplifying things a little. Landing page optimisation is in fact a very complicated process that requires a good understanding of audience, page layout and analysing statistical data. To effectively optimise a page you will often first have to test it.

Testing landing pages requires the creation of various changeable elements. Whether it is a section of text, the position of a call to action or placement of a 'continue' button, all are tested side by side. This process is quite simple, although it will take plenty of planning in the first instance and a little deconstruction of all the data at the other.

Before testing though, you really need to identify what the problems might be with your landing pages as they currently stand. Sometimes these will be obvious, in other circumstances you will need experience in determining site issues. Remedies for all of these potential issues have to be created.

Again, this might be a chunk of text, it might be a reordering of the page or it could just be a simple colour adjustment. The psychology of a searcher, either on PPC or organic search engine results, is a strange thing. We all have in-built expectations and are looking for our own information in a certain format. If a site doesn't adhere, we turn tail and run. The internet affords us the opportunity to browse numerous sites in a minute, so why waste more time than necessary on a single one?

Problems identified can then be tested as part of the landing page optimisation process. These tests include running the website with alternate versions loading for different visitors, with a 50/50 split between the two different page layouts. After a specified period, either a time or visitor number, you can then analyse the data recorded.

Whilst it is often tight between alternating versions of the same page, clear patterns sometimes emerge. When one is clearly more popular with visitors than the other, you have a clear indication of where to start your final optimisation process.

Without this thorough analysis and user testing, landing page optimisation would be lengthy and often lead to unclear conclusions. Therefore it is a crucial step of the process and certainly not one that you should be looking to avoid.

When you come to optimise your site, use the data to find which combinations worked best and then simply implement the required changes. As all elements are tested with a clear 50/50 split, you shouldn't struggle to see which of the two alternatives was the most effective. You can then implement the changes and see how that affects your traffic flow.

Landing page optimisation is an ongoing process though. No page is ever absolutely perfect, but you can certainly work towards achieving that goal. By trying different pages, testing other elements within those pages and gaining a wealth of statistical data, you can better understand what works for your site and, more importantly, what visitors expect from it.

The whole process can be time consuming when done fully and correctly. Obviously if there are major issues on a landing page or a PPC advert is pointing to the wrong URL, these types of issues are usually easily resolved. Keywords too can play a part. If you've been targeting a key phrase that isn't relevant to the landing page, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to look at researching more focussed terms to bring in quality traffic that won't leave immediately.

First impressions are vital on any landing page, so make sure that you optimise yours properly. Don't leave your website's future to chance, be proactive and get more from your search engine traffic.

Stephen Logan works as a Copywriter for leading Hampshire-based SEO Company Impact Media. They offer a full range of search engine marketing packages and have a range of expert Landing Page Optimisation services.n
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