Posted by Jonathan Fusco, Account Director
One of the most exciting parts of landing page optimization (using the word "exciting" in a way only search marketers can) is seeing the type of impact changing creative can have on a page's conversion. What almost never ceases to amaze is how a seemingly subtle change can have such a dramatic impact on conversion rate.
In a recent round of tests, for instance, the only difference between two pages (this was for a lead-generation client) was the gender of the person sitting in a chair. Same backgrounds, same colors, same form, same content on the page, same….you get the idea. The difference between the performance of the two pages? Over 100%. Aha, so it's gender that makes the difference. Why, then, for the exact same type of test on an very similar project were the results completely the opposite?
Now, I will say that this is an early iteration of a test. It's being done on a group of similar keywords and by no means what we would consider indisputable evidence. Needless to say, a 100% difference in conversion rate wasn't something any one of us saw coming in this particular test.
The lesson? Well, the lesson isn't rocket science, really – you need to test and keep testing. Use the data you've just discovered to inform your next round of testing and develop another hypothesis – and remember that the "failure" data is just as valuable as the data from those winning pages. Whatever didn't work in one test can show valuable insights about how your consumer is interacting with your product's landing pages.
The fun part is that just when you think you know the answer you probably don't. And even if you do have it figured out for this round of testing, it's inevitable that something on the horizon will probably shock and amaze you and teach you something you never really thought about. Even without shock and amazement, there's at least one other way to segment your traffic and another way to vary the user experience. You, of course, (and/or your brilliant performance marketing agency) will need to determine whether or not it's worth it to go to that next step or consider the opportunity cost if there's something more valuable you could be doing. Economics 101 meets LPO (landing page optimization). It's still fun. Seriously. Just be ready for lots of data and be open to being wrong…you don't know anything about picking a good landing page, and I don't know anything either.