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The Landing Page or the Form, Which to Test First?

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chicken or the eggA question that came up recently was whether to recommend testing the landing page or the lead form first for an upcoming project. Fundamentally this breaks down to asking whether we want more people to enter the conversion funnel on our website or do we want a higher conversion rate at the end?

The best optimization approach will vary based on a number of factors with the client, pages involved and traffic sources.

  • If it’s a new product or unfamiliar brand I would focus on optimization the landing page first to reduce bounce rate. A premium needs to be placed on getting people to understand what they are looking at which means maximize the number of eyeballs and time spent.
  • If the traffic were paid on a CPC basis (SEM campaigns for instance) I’d also lean toward optimizing the landing page first since that’s when cost is incurred.
  • Established brands are just the opposite. Site visitors tend to be more deliberate in their site behavior and generally are willing to put up with a bit more to get what they want. As such confusing forms, and vague calls to action and next steps become the bigger roadblocks and can often be addressed by optimizing the form page.

When creating a test plan remember that data will arbitrate what’s best. Having the right rationale for prioritizing your tests will give your site optimization program the fastest lift and shortest payback period.

To learn more, pick up your copy of Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions

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Written by Greg M

July 20, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Posted in Tips

Tagged with , ,