CXL Growth Marketing Minidegree Week 4 Review

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

I got bored with the A/B testing course, and I moved on something a little bit more interesting — landing page optimization.

Let’s see what I have learned during my 4th week of the Growth Marketing Scholarship by the CXL Institute.

Before we go deep into this lesson, let’s me first explain what a landing page is. A landing page is a page where (you guessed it) users can land on after they have clicked your ad. It’s a page that works independently on the site, and it’s focused on a conversion goal.

The landing page shortens the journey from click to conversion.

To understand how to optimize a landing page, you should always look at it in the context of your entire funnel.

Here’s a proven six-step landing page optimization process:

  1. Conduct research.
  2. Form/validate a hypothesis.
  3. Create treatment.
  4. Conduct experiments.
  5. Analyze experiment data.
  6. Conduct Follow-up experiments.

The research is a two-step process:

  • Quantitive Research

It’s a type of research in which we ask questions like “What?” and “Where?” to get a deeper user insight.

  • Qualitative Research

In this part, we ask questions like “Why?” when looking through the landing page.

Here’s a rough research process outline:

  • Heuristic walkthrough — empathy & understanding.
  • Quantitive research — what? & where?
  • Qualitative research — why?

According to Daniel Kahneman’ book — Thinking Fast and Slow, the brain has two modes of operating:

1) Intuitive thinking (fast) — it happens to you.

2) Analytical thinking (slow) — its something you do.

There are three biases you should keep in mind when creating your landing page:

  • Priming — exposure to one stimulus influences response to a subsequent stimulus.
  • Framing — the way you deliver a message has a direct impact on how it is perceived.
  • WYSIATI — what you see is all there is.

Let’s break down what each chemical does.

Dopamine creates the joy of finding things that meet your needs. It’s the “Wooo hoo! I got it?” feeling. Dopamine plays a central role in motivation and habit formation, and it’s also a reward mechanism.

When you experience a dopamine dip, you start feeling disappointment and even anger.

On the other hand, cortisol produces the “Oh no — I have to do something now!!” feeling. It’s an alarm system signalling that you’ll start experiencing pain if you don’t act fast.

If your cortisol rapidly increases, you’ll start experiencing fear. If your cortisol drips, you’ll feel stressed.

Here are a few cortisol triggers to watch out for when creating your landing page:

  • Violating expectations (perceived bait and switch.)
  • Ambiguity (lack of clarity.)
  • Disempowerment (I’m not in control.)
  • Multi-tasking (trying to solve several tasks at once.)
  • Too much pressure (forced to make a decision.)
  • Stop words (e.g. SPAM.)

A wireframe is a visual guide that represents the framework of a page or website. It helps you visualize the page early on and improve its structure.

On the other hand, the information hierarchy helps you find and select the most important information for the users.

Having a lot of information on your landing page is fine — as long as it is relevant and served in a logical and concise way.

Here’s how to build your information hierarchy:

  • Target audience: whom are you communicating with?
  • Goal: What do you want them to do?
  • Source: Where is the traffic coming from?

You should also know the awareness level of your customers. They can be:

  • Problem aware — they know they have a problem but don’t know that there is a solution.
  • Solution aware — they know there is a solution, but they aren’t familiar with yours.
  • Product aware — they are familiar with your product/offer but don’t know if it is right for them.
  • Most aware — they are familiar with your product/offer/brand, and they know they want it.

Build a logical information hierarchy and a logical “storyline.”

Like I said before, the quantitative research helps you find what and where the problem is. It enables you to find key insights like:

  • Overall landing page performance.
  • Overall device performance.
  • Overall browser performance.
  • Traffic, conversion rate, transactions, bounce rate.
  • Source, second page, exit page, gender, age.
  • Potential bugs.

The qualitative research helps you identify the weakest points in the landing page experience.

A good place to start with this research is the 5 seconds test. Just look at your page for 5 seconds and answer the following questions:

  • What is your first impression of this step?
  • How does it make you feel?
  • Is there anything that stands out?
  • Is it clear who the source is?
  • Does the source seem credible?

Now, that you’re done with that, you should do a detailed analysis. Go through the entire content of your page and answer these questions:

  • Is the information delivered in a logical order?
  • Is the content structured in a logical order?
  • Does anything seem confusing?
  • Do you have any unanswered questions?
  • Do you have a clear idea of what to do next?
  • Is there anything you would add?
  • Is there anything you would remove?
  • Is there anything you would rearrange?
  • Are there any UX issues?
  • Are there any bugs / technical issues?

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. This research works best when you’re early in the process and not familiar with the page.
  2. This is only a starting point — it’s not the entire truth.
  3. It’s great for creating initial hypotheses.

The next step in the research process is reading customer review sites. That way, you’ll learn what the real customers are saying about the product and get an overall idea of their experience.

Another thing you can do to gather more intelligence is to interview your customers.

You can ask them some of the following questions:

  • What do you think of product/service x so far?
  • What problem were you trying to solve with product/service x?
  • Has product/service x helped you solve that problem?
  • If you were the CEO of our company tomorrow, what’s the first thing you would change?
  • When were you evaluating product/service x, what questions or concerns did you have?
  • Can you describe your buying process — what were the steps?
  • Was anyone else involved? What were their concerns?
  • Was there anything that almost made you not buy?
  • If a friend or colleague asked you to explain what product/service x does, what would you say?
  • Is there anything I important I missed? Anything you want to add?

If you want, you can even interview your customer support team. You can ask them questions like:

  • What are the top 3 questions from potential customers?
  • What do you answer when you get these questions?
  • Are there any particular aspects of X that people don’t understand?
  • What aspects of X do people like the most/least?
  • Are there any major deterrents?
  • Are there any major drivers?
  • The elevator pitch — if you only had 30 seconds to pitch our product/offer, what would you say?
  • Did I miss anything important? Got something to add?

The next step in the research process is interviewing your sales team by asking them questions like:

  • What is the main problem that evaluators are trying to solve with our product/offer?
  • Based on your experience from talking to evaluators, what is the decision-making process you typically see (FOR B2B: how many people/departments are involved?)
  • In this process, are there any “aha-moments” that bring evaluators closer to either “Yes” or “No”?
  • What are the top 3 questions you get from evaluators?
  • At what point do they realize whether our product/offer is the right/wrong fit for them?
  • Are there any major deterrents?
  • Are there any major drivers?
  • The elevator pitch — if you only had 30 seconds to pitch the product/offer, what would you say?
  • Did I miss anything important? Got something to add?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re doing interviews:

  • Do the interviews via phone and record them.
  • “Lead the witness” as little as possible.
  • Keep it short and sweet — shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes.

The next step in the landing page optimization research is looking at the session recordings. They will help you get insight on critical aspects of the funnel. However, you should first find the weak spot in your funnel and then use the session recordings to learn why users are having trouble.

Another thing you can try is using heat maps to find out where users are clicking and how far they are scrolling on your landing page.

Also, you can use feedback pools to get a clear and actionable insight on how to improve your page. You can ask your users questions like:

  • What is most important to you (Present a few options)?
  • What is your biggest question regarding x?
  • What brings you to page X today?
  • What is your motivation for X?
  • Have you looked at other X?
  • What problem were you trying to solve with X?

Just keep the polls short and sweet — 1 question at a time.

The last step in the research process is usability testing. You can do it using tools like usabilityhub.com.

Thank you for reading this article!

Stay tuned for the next one.

Photo by Lex Guerra on Unsplash

I write articles about business, marketing, philosophy and books.

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