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Landing Page Testing: Bounce Rate Isn’t Your Only Friend

Optimized landing pages are a critical component of analytics. After all, there’s nothing more annoying for customers than searching for a specific product only to be directed to a homepage that has nothing to do with their search term. So, why not improve the user experience and tailor content to their needs?

Help your customers find exactly what they are looking for in as little time as possible.

Optimized landing pages help you engage your customers and guide them through your site’s conversion funnel. It’s simple, really – you help your customer find exactly what they are looking for in as little time as possible.

Of course, when it comes to building landing pages, everyone seems to have a different opinion of what works and what kind of layout will resonate best with customers. This is where testing comes in.

Testing eliminates the uncertainty of guessing and hoping things will work out down the road; instead, you let your customers – along with hard data and numbers! – decide for you. A/B testing, for example, presents visitors with multiple versions of a page and helps determine new layouts. Once A/B testing identifies a winning page, you can move on to multivariate testing: that is, identifying the individual page elements – ranging from images and calls to actions to headlines and buttons – that have the greatest impact.

But before you start, you need to choose a success metric to use as a barometer. Oftentimes, bounce rate is the go-to indicator of success – but it doesn’t always tell the whole story.

For instance, many people seem to believe that if a new page has a lower bounce rate, that means fewer visitors are leaving your site and are therefore more engaged. Success, right? Well, not quite yet. What many forget – or refuse to acknowledge – is that the new page is naturally going to have a lower bounce rate; after all, you built this page with specific, targeted offerings and fewer calls to action. And with fewer links to click on, it’s more likely a visitor to that new page will move beyond the entry point.

Therefore, it’s important to get the whole picture of what’s going on on your site by expanding your view to include other key metrics, such as the conversion rates of particular actions on your site, returning visitors, page views per visit, and continuation rates in a scenario funnel. Bounce rate isn’t your only friend in the usability world, so go ahead and friend the others – the more the merrier!

Watch Live on 65

Our very own Mike Grehan sits down for a video interview with Google digital marketing evangelist Avinash Kaushik, in which he discusses a new framework for digital marketers.