Landing pages are created to provide visitors with a better experience after they click on an ad, but too often "visitors" aren't even mentioned in conversations about landing pages. Instead, it's easy to get caught up in discussions about what the page should look like, what should be on the page, the call to action, or so on. The best landing pages work not because of any single miracle page element, but because the entire landing experience strategy was developed with the visitor in mind.
Who are your landing page visitors, and what do you know about them? The answer to this question is the foundation for a successful landing page strategy. It will help you answer all of the questions about what should or shouldn't be on your page.
Getting to know your landing page visitors doesn't have to be a "Guess Who" game. There are two main steps you can take to develop concrete knowledge about your visitors.
The first step is to remember that your visitors are real people. We can learn a lot from analytics, but it's even more important to remember that landing page data is driven by the actions of people. It's the ability to understand that the human side of landing pages that leads to conversion success.
Understand visitors sources
Getting to know your landing page visitors starts with understanding how they arrived at your page. Ask yourself these questions about your visitors:
- What was the context? Was the user reading an email, or did they click on a PPC ad? The context for each traffic source changes what visitors expect to see on your landing page. The visitor from the copy-heavy email likely wants to be sent to a conversion point quickly. Whereas, someone from a paid search ad may need more content and information before converting.
- What message did they click on? Your ad message spoke to a concern, want, or need of your visitor, so your landing page messaging should be specific and clearly match the message in the ad or email that prompted their click. Connect all the dots as literally as you can- echo words from your ad in the landing page and use the same imagery so that visitors know they are in the right place.
- What was the inherent promise in the message? An ad is more than words and messages; it’s a promise. It says 'click here' and 'get this'. Do your landing pages keep their promises? Knowing which of your offers or promises are the most popular with your audience will help you learn what appeals to them and what they'd like more of.
- What was the likely visitor motivation? What is that need or want that your promise or offer can fulfill? Understanding what motivates your visitors to take action is the key to raising conversion rates. If you can understand what their pain points are and which of those you can help, then you have the power to motivate your visitors to take action.
Analyze visitor behavior
The next step involves looking at some metrics that will help you confirm your answers to the questions about your visitors and a couple extra ones that will help you learn a little bit more about how people are getting to your page. There are millions of data points that you can track about your landing page visitors. Instead of getting lost in all of that data, focus on these:
- A bounce rate is the number of people who land and leave your landing page without taking action. If your page has a high bounce rate, your visitors are telling you that your page isn't meeting their expectations. What message did they click on? Start there to find out why they are disappointed with your page. If your ad and page are message matched then consider whether your page content makes sense for the traffic coming to your page.
- The number of unique visitors will tell you how much traffic you are driving from each unique traffic source. Looking at both unique visitors and your conversion rate for each traffic source, you can see where most of your conversions come from. This helps you understand where the best potential new visitors are and which messages are resonating the most with your target audience.
- Similarly, knowing which traffic sources bring the best quality visitors and the most conversions will help you know how to prioritize your efforts where they’ll have the greatest impact.
- Your conversion rate tells you how many visitors are taking the actions you want them to take such as downloading a guide, filling out a form or buying your product. A higher conversion rate is your goal and the ultimate sign that you are connecting with your visitor. This means that your messages and promises are connecting and addressing needs or wants of your target audience.
- The user agent string indicates the type of operating system your visitors are using. This is how you can find out if a significant number of your visitors are smart phone users and which devices they are using. You can even have your landing page read this string and automatically serve-up mobile-optimized pages.
- From a visitor’s IP address you can estimate their country or region. Depending on your market, you may want to take advantage of this by sending visitors to country, language or region-specific pages. Knowing that your best conversions come from a specific region can help you justify creating localized campaigns for that region and not for another.
By understanding how and why someone ended up at your landing page, you’ll be able to create a better, more specific landing page for them. Creating targeted, personalized landing page experiences makes your visitor feel welcomed, more trustful of you and open to learning more. You’ll find that as you are able to make your landing pages more targeted and tailored for your visitors, your conversion rates will soar.