Landing Page Optimization
Technology can play an important role on our online advertising lives, however, like everything in life, do not exaggerate in the doses, it can really backfire.
It is imperative, before setting all kinds of "good ideas" in your page, to understand your customer journey and define your objectives. You might have a strong up-sell target this month, but hold back your thoughts before including all fancy feature and offers you have heard of, whilst the user is trying to buy something at your online store, define clear KPIs and figure out data patterns.
Defining your KPIs
Needless to say that KPIs is important to control, and optimize your pages, however which one to use? All figures from Google Analytics can be used and translated to action but below you can see the ones I usually use most and the explanation why:
- Bounce Rate: When users view no more then 1 page on your website. It is a good indication that users are not finding exactly what they are looking for. For instance, when setting a campaign, you can use advanced segmentation "paid search" and filter the bounce rate of a specific campaign. High Bounce Rate indicates that your ad is not matching what customers are expecting to see on the landing page
- Avg. Time on Site: When Bounce rate is low but avg time on site is low as well, it might indicate that maybe you are diverting the attention of potential customers with different offers or pop ups on the page.
- Page/Visits: Depending on the objective of your landing page, a high number of Page/Visit, could indicate a bad pattern. Customers might be just comparing prices and leaving your website, or they are just confuse and getting lost, hence I use to set a threshold (that is of course is different to every website) of Page/Visits. Lower than 2 or higher than 8 are confused users and it should be investigated why they are not getting what they are looking for.
- Page Value: If you have an ecommerce website, Page Value is a good way to see the real contribution of your landing page to the business whereas Page Value is (Transaction Revenue + Total Goal Value) divided by Unique Pageviews for the page or set of pages), therefore, even if your main goal is lead nurturing, you can still set the goal values and the Page Value show the calculation for you. The only precaution I suggest to use here is to filter out all pages that are hit by a user regardless, for instance the checkout page, login, cart, confirmation page, etc. To do that so, use regex symbol "|" which means "or".
In order to understand User flow, I usually use 3 features from Google Analytics:
- Visitor Flow
- Event Tracking
- Goal setting/Funnel Visualization
Planning before hand the flow you want the user to follow from a specific landing page is important. I always like the Hernan Cortez strategy when conquering Mexico. Hernan Cortez basically before invading Mexico, he simply burned all his own ships sending a message to his own men "That is the only way: Towards Tenochtitlan". At the end, giving too many options might be confusing and dismay users. Make sure that your landing page has the necessary internal links and message (avoid external links but if necessary include "_blank" on the link).
1. Visitor Flow (image below) can help you understand where your customers are coming, how many are exiting the page and where they are heading to. You can segment per region or campaigns and learn whether your campaign intention is directing the user to where you want. To that click on "Select a Segment".
In order to analyse a specific page is a little tricky. You should first click with the right button of your mouse at any page step.
Click on "Explore traffic through here". It will display the flow from the page you have clicked. From here you should click on the the "Gear" icon and it will display the image below
Just type the landing page you want to analyse and apply. From there you will see all flow internal flow of your campaign, so if users are moving to another page and dropping, it might be a good idea to simply delete the link to that page on your landing page.
Beware that the exit percentage is in relation to all visits, hence you will need to do your own calculations. :)
Events have the following components:
- Category (required) The name you supply for the group of objects you want to track.
- Action (required) A string that is uniquely paired with each category, and commonly used to define the type of user interaction for the web object.
- Label (optional) An optional string to provide additional dimensions to the event data.
- Value (optional) An integer that you can use to provide numerical data about the user event.
- Non-interaction (optional) A boolean that when set to true, indicates that the event hit will not be used in bounce-rate calculation.
Most of the cases, the first two components should be enough, and you could track external links for instance and understand to where your users are heading after leaving your page.
3. Goal Setting/Funnel Visualization
Setting your Goals with GA is easy and it is "mandatory" to every single webpage, regardless if your page is commercial only or not, you always must have an interest or an objective of having your webpage, otherwise why bother having one? To set goals you need first identify the landing page url and create the goals on your GA profile.
Since we are considering Landing Page Optimization, I will focus only on the first Goal type, which is url destination. Unless you are 100% sure that your landing page is not dynamic, I recommend to use the "head match" since this option will consider all variations of the url you want to set as a goal. You can also include a goal value if you want.
On Goal Funnel, first check the box "Use Funnel", and include all steps you want the user to follow on your campaign. If you check the box "required steps" it will only consider a goal success if all steps are hit. After saving, you will need to wait a couple of days maybe, depending on your traffic and then you will be able to see the traffic funnel as follow.
To see your Funnel, you should go to Conversions>Funnel Visualization.
At the end optimizing a page it seems sometimes including or excluding components at your page, so you should always have in mind a clear picture of your objectives and tight control over your analytic.