Landing pages are the bread and butter of many online businesses. When people start out as affiliates, they’re almost always instructed to start by making a funnel; and the first page of a funnel is the landing page. Unfortunately, while you can find all sorts of articles, videos, and courses about effectively building your funnels, few teach about the importance of landing page tests.
These oversights are killing your landing page and giving you abysmal conversion rates. It would be best if you had good conversion rates on your landing pages to build your client list, which is where the money truly lies.
Failure to conduct landing page tests can set your entire business back, so don’t forget to test them. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling; landing pages need to be tweaked, campaigns need to be adjusted, and you need to give your audience what they need.
Not Testing for the Right Length of Time
Many marketers don’t like to test for long periods. They’d rather start raking in money immediately instead of ensuring they’ve collected the right amount of data to improve their conversion rates.
The unfortunate thing is that a business, which includes affiliate marketing, takes investment. Not as much as a brick-and-mortar business, but it still requires some upfront funds. So if you take the plunge without being prepared financially to test your landing pages, you’ll wind up hurting what could’ve been a successful business.
How long should you test your landing pages?
The time frame is flexible, as many factors are playing into it. However, as a general rule, if you can get between 5,000 to 10,000 page views within 30 days, you’ve likely run a comprehensive test and already gathered a lot of data. That doesn’t mean you have to stop, but you’ll have enough data to act on.
What you’re looking for in the data is the following:
- How many people who saw your ad clicked on it (low conversion here points to a lousy landing page).
- How long the average visitor remains on your page before leaving (you only have seconds to grab their attention).
- How many visitors turned into leads.
As you can see, testing isn’t just about conversion and seeing the ratio of visitors who left to those who joined your list and continued through the funnel. You want to see if your landing page is grabbing peoples’ attention and making them curious enough to stick around for a while.
Ignoring Other Points of Data
Besides the three mentioned above, you also want to personalise some of the data you’re looking for.
Your landing page shouldn’t be viewed as separate from your blog or main website, and if you don’t have one of those, you should definitely get one. Your site or blog is like the beating heart of your business, while your landing page is like one of its limbs. They’re all part of a single whole, and the data you get from visitors to your blog and visitors to your landing page during testing can be used to improve both.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself so you can measure how well your message is getting across on both your site and landing page:
- What is the purpose of my blog?
- How does testing my landing page help my blog with its bottom line?
- Why do people like my product?
- What points is my competition emphasising?
If you can poll your existing customers (if you have some) to see how they feel, that’s a great way to get more data so you can improve.
You’re Not Segmenting Your Testing
When most business owners and affiliates think of segmentation in marketing, their minds immediately warp to their email list. Of course, segmentation in an email list is essential, as it helps you market to the right people (those who haven’t bought from you yet), but segmentation is also important when testing your landing pages.
You can divide up your testing or use other tools to gather data related to specific points that will tell you what’s working best. This isn’t about A/B split testing (although that is essential in itself). It’s actually about gathering data regarding:
- What time of day your landing page or blog sees the most traffic
- What days of the week do they see the most traffic
- Where visitors are coming from (this can help you target your ads more specifically)
- How many new visitors you’re seeing vs return visitors
You can also segment your email lists according to this data, allowing you to send your emails to people when they’re most likely to be opened, too. In other words, keep morning people segmented away from night owls and improve open rates.
However, you can also use this information when running ads to know when to pause campaigns, who to target, and when to update your blog posts.
Not Split Testing
Most funnel-building tools nowadays will allow you to make variations of the same pages within your funnel and set how often they appear to those who click your link. This means you can see which versions are performing best and continue tweaking.
This is the most arduous process of landing page testing, but most marketers will at least spend a little time on it. However, messing up the process is easy, especially if you aren’t using good tools.
- Please don’t spend your time running ads to one landing page and then pausing it to run ads to another later. With the right software, you can quickly test different versions of your landing pages, so take advantage of that. You save money this way.
- Tweak small things at a time. Don’t radically change your landing page from one version to the next, but instead, work on tweaking the headlines, the colours, the copy, etc., in intervals so you can keep what’s working and get rid of what obviously isn’t. If you change everything at once, you may not know what change was the one that produced the best results.
There are no rules of how many variations of a landing page you should split test with, but most marketers start with two or three. Since good funnel builders will allow you to create different variations of the same page and adjust the frequency with which they appear, this means that with one ad campaign, you can start seeing results faster.
Not Organising Your Data
Keep these things in the back of your mind when you start seeing data come in or noticing patterns regarding which demographics respond to what. But, of course, your best friend will be spreadsheets from now on.
You want to log when you get the most visitors, which landing pages people respond to and what makes that landing page different, the keywords you used in your ads, the keywords a lead searched to find you (for your blog), and the conversion rates, etc. If you think it’s useful, make a note of it somewhere.
A spreadsheet will give you an excellent visual of what’s working and not, and you’ll see the patterns forming on the page before you. Obviously, to get some data, you’ll have to use tracking pixels, but the more information you can collect, the clearer the emerging patterns.
Collecting Data Around the Holidays
Holidays, especially Christmas, will give you all kinds of unreliable data. People searching online during the holidays are often looking to shop; for some, that might be outside of what they usually do online. So you want to get an idea of what people who aren’t in holiday shopping or New Year’s Resolution mode will do when they see your ad online.
The best thing to do is to pause all of your campaigns during the holidays if you’re still in the testing phase of your marketing. You want to avoid junk data making you see patterns that won’t hold or suddenly unravelling the patterns you thought you saw earlier.
Funnels and landing pages that act as a starting line are some of the most important keys to your bottom line. But, unfortunately, newbies are so desperate to see the success of their efforts that they often need to pay more attention to ensuring those efforts are a good use of money.
The goal of all of this testing is simple: higher conversion rates. Of course, you want leads and customers, but a landing page that isn’t converting will only run your marketing budget into the ground. So take advantage of all the tools available, collect as much data as possible, and remember to be patient.
Success in anything is a marathon, not a sprint.