Landing page optimization starts and ends with research [CXL Review Week 7]

landing page optimization
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Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.

Wernher von Braun

Landing page optimization is a part of the Conversion Optimization area, and as all things optimization, it relies mostly on research.

I am almost halfway through the Growth Marketing Minidegree and it is amazing how with each chapter I am learning more and more about research.

Either this is the most underrated part of the growth programs or is one that is never understood by professionals. I must say that not many people I worked with are able to do great research, either if we are talking about landing page optimization or product messaging.

In the module there are a lot of practical examples about how to do research for landing page optimization, but my guess is that until I don’t get my hands dirty I won’t master it. The bad news is that I never found an organization that is really into research.

I’ve seen small and enterprise companies not leveraging research, and on the other side the agencies. The ones that I worked with are under so much pressure to deliver on results, not many resources put in research.

So this is my rant on research, I really think I need to talk with somebody about this topic. Either this is the thing that makes a marketer top baller or the one that is wasting time and is a good selling point.

Landing page optimization

It seems that behavior psychology has a lot to do with landing page optimization strategies. Thinking, fast and slow by Nobel prize-winning Daniel Kahneman is the fundamental book that is referenced since the first videos.

I’ve tried to read it a couple of times, but it’s not a book that you can read in one night. So here is a video that goes over the main ideas of the book:

Research for landing page optimization

If you were to tell me that you can get insights from Google Analytics in less than an hour, I would have said that you don’t know what you are looking at.

Not anymore.

I was introduced to a custom report and methodology to get fast insights and to kickstart the research phase.

Another good tip for research is to get qualitative data from review sites. This is something that is really easy to leverage when we lack feedback from clients.

Landing page copywriting

Great landing page copywriting delivers on the following fundamental elements:

  • Shortens journey from click to conversion
  • Follows up on “promises” made an ad source
  • Speaks to user motivation and addresses barriers
  • Answers important questions & creates clarity
  • Creates a clear path to the conversion goal

This simple approach simply kickstarts the writing process. Before finishing the chapter on landing page copywriting I thought that this was some kind of science, rather black magic.

Little did I know that each science has a method, so in order to get it, I just need to understand how to use information hierarchy, prioritize elements, and structure your copy:

  • Headline: Message match. Capture attention. Trigger dopamine.
  • Benefits/features: Present important information. Emphasize the value of your offer. Trigger dopamine.
  • Credibility: Make the content trustworthy. Answer questions. Mitigate cortisol.
  • Expectation manager: Ensure users know what to expect. Mitigate ambiguity. Avoid disappointment / negative reward prediction errors.
  • Call-to-action Make users click.

These are similar elements used in the landing page design chapter and it makes sense right. These two are not separate, they need to tell the same story.

Landing page design

When it comes to landing page design, I feel confident saying that I have the response for the chicken and egg question: what comes first? Design or copy?

And the answer is copy.

The reason is that having a design that is limiting the message the copy needs to deliver can hurt conversions. So, next time when I start a landing will start with the copy, build a wireframe and then send it to the designer to add the glitter and unicorns.

Landing page optimization starts and ends with research [CXL Review Week 7] 1

Sure, there is a lot more to understand the basics of designing high-converting landing pages. Here are the 6 most important landing page design elements to focus on:

  1. Headline
  2. Images / Video
  3. Features / Benefits
  4. Credibility
  5. Expectation Manager
  6. Call-to-Action

Even if as marketers we don’t design, we need a deeper understanding of the visual hierarchy and how it affects the experience for users.

How they interact with your landing page is your job.

Let’s take for example lead gen landing pages. Understanding the role forms play in the overall landing page experience and how important form design is can make or break the results. As marketers, we often fail to take into consideration that a form has to make sense on its own. Simply, consider it a standalone landing page.

Product Messaging

The copy might be the most important part of your website, so it makes sense to conduct a conversion-focused teardown with a method around it.

The best part of the product messaging chapter in the “Conversion” module is that each lesson has a resource, usually in the form of a Gsheet.

In the world of copywriting, this might be weird, but the way Momoko Price goes over the technicalities of sales copywriting makes it one of the best courses on this topic I’ve seen.

There is so much information in the videos it is better to just recommend this course. So, if you want to improve your messaging strategy through customer research and analysis I definitely recommend the Sales Copywriting and Product Messaging course by Momoko Price.

Key takeaways

Five more weeks to go and the saying is true. The more you learn, the less you know. True for me. I’m looking forward to some chapters from the next modules, like the Account Based Marketing one, but the key takeway is that being at the top of the industry I sure need to understand how to conduct great research. In whatever form it is needed.

So the next time when I won’t know what I am doing, I will just start researching.

This article is the seventh in a series of 12 reviews of studying Growth marketing Minidegree at CXL Institute. Follow the minidegree tag for the entire series.

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