Tim Ash on "Uncovering Site Problems for Landing Page Optimization"

By Amanda Sides | Apr 24, 2009
More Articles by Amanda

The goal of every site is to optimize for conversions… What better way to do that than creating landing pages. You probably aren’t new to the idea of landing pages, but Tim Ash’s article “Uncovering Site Problems for Landing Page Optimization” in Website Magazine gives a good basis on how to approach the process. It can be tough, so here are some ways to get started off in the right direction.

Your conversion rates can drastically improve by facilitating landing page testing, but where do get ideas of what to test? Ash responds: “The answer lies in your own website, with data you already have.” Easy enough. Now what?

Web analytics related to the content of your website can provide many important clues to uncover and prioritize potential problems…

Most-visited content. Take a look at your most important pages. Find out if they are getting enough traffic… if a page is not, it may need to be relocated or have more links leading to it.

Path analysis. This helps to identify what path a visitor took when they navigated through your site. You can discover what the most common flow of traffic is, and move key pages within that flow, or reposition links to get ideal drive-by visibility.

Top entry pages. Detect what users first see when they arrive to your site. Pages resulting in the most traffic might be pages you want to begin with when approaching conversion tuning.

Top exit pages. Just as you figure out where people come into your site, it’s a good idea to find out where they leave as well. If a certain page results in heavy exit traffic, it may be a signal that it has some faults. It simply means that the visitor didn’t find exactly what they were looking for. Sometimes, nothing can be done. But a lot of times, it could just mean that the page needs some tweaking to provide more relevant information. A more serious problem could be that a popular entry page is also a common exit page; your site bounce rate will probably be high if this is the case. If you have this issue, that page needs your immediate attention.

Funnel analysis. You have a set path you’d like visitors to take once they get to your site, to lead them to a specific conversion page… if a step in this funnel has a really high drop-off percentage, it means that particular step is problematic. You may need to reevaluate your funnel/path and either simplify or break it into smaller more manageable steps.

Conversion goals. Compare your conversion rates with the industry standard to see how you match up. Some web analytics software can use reverse goal paths; meaning you can discover the most popular entry points for specific conversions.

Now that you’ve got some insight on how to get your site ready for landing page optimization, keep a look out for Part 2 of Tim Ash’s article, where you can find out more ways to identify site problems.

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