Analytics as the Foundation for Successful Landing Page Optimizations

By Samantha Kerr | @samantha__kerr | CRO Manager

For those of you following along at home, you’ll remember from last month that the analytics analysis is one piece of our CRO puzzle. What is involved in the analytics analysis and why is this important to develop landing page optimizations?

Why Analytics?

Utilizing your analytics platform will lay the groundwork for your landing page optimizations. Rather than making optimizations based on best practices or what others in the industry are doing, utilize analytics to learn whom it is your optimizations should be targeting and where on your site you should be making these optimizations.

Is your site targeting the right people?

It’s important to know who your users are when making optimizations and creating landing page tests. You need to be sure the language, messaging and design is tailored to the right audience. There are three main buckets we look at when examining who our audience is:

  • Demographics
  • Behavior
  • Device / Technology

Demographics will help us ensure we’re targeting the right people. For example, our target demographic may be 35-55 year olds but we may see our highest conversion rate from 18-24 year olds, who only make up 4% of our traffic. This is a very real example we came across last month. This lead to a great discussion with our client and opened up a door of possibilities.

In terms of behavior, we look specifically at whether our users are new to the site or returning. How does their behavior differ? Ideally, we’d like to see our returning users more engaged and converting at a higher rate but we also don’t want to see an atrocious bounce rate for our new visitors.

When we look at devices, we want to see how engagement differs depending on the device. We also want to see what device the majority of your users are on to ensure we’re optimizing for the right people. We see that it’s common for users to do their research on their phones and ultimately convert on their desktop computers. Are we delivering the right content to them and presenting it to them in an easy to find, easy to read fashion?

As you can see, there are many segments to look at when analyzing whom your optimizations should target. Some of these segments may present more key takeaways than others depending on the client but having this data is a great first step in laying the groundwork for your optimizations.

Are you optimizing the appropriate landing pages?

Many tests are created because they’re best practices or because competitors are doing it. However, you can ensure you’re getting the most out of your landing page tests by targeting the right pages. How do you determine what pages are ‘right?’ Utilize analytics to find the problem areas.

  • Are there landing pages that have low page value?
  • Do you have landing pages with high bounce rates?
  • Do the pages deep in the funnel have high exit rates?
  • Are your highest volume pages bringing in the lowest conversion rates?

These are all things you should look for when determining where to focus your optimizations. However, these questions need to be considered in context. For example, your page may have a 90% bounce rate, so you choose to optimize here. However, you need to consider what this page consists of. Is there one primary goal of the page? Is it a dedicated landing page or is it an e-commerce home page? Similarly, when considering the page value, you need to consider the context. Does this page get a good portion of traffic to make optimizations valuable?

It’s very important that we optimize landing pages that are going to give us good sample sizes for our tests. Therefore, we tend to look at our pages by traffic and look for any red flags. Does our e-commerce home page have an extremely high bounce rate? Identity this as a red flag and your next step is to analyze user behavior to hypothesize why it has a high bounce rate. Finally, determine a solution and test it out!

What’s Next?

Analytics is just the foundation for your landing page optimizations. It’s very difficult to look at this data and determine what to test. Instead, it will help you determine where to test and who to target. Your analytics data will direct you towards potential red flags but further analysis is required in order to determine why these red flags exist and what to test in order to optimize for them. Enter user behavior analysis.

Tune in to our webinar with Kissmetrics next week where we’ll walk through how we perform this analytics analysis, dive deeper into the specific metrics we look at and provide some examples. Until then, reach me on twitter @samantha__kerr with your analytics questions!

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