Contact: Heather Wajer, Senior Marketing Manager
Location: San Francisco
Industry: B2C Internet company
Annual revenue: Confidential
Number of employees: 100
When a top Web site took a close look its landing pages, company officials noticed something unacceptable: The landing page for the company's most popular search term converted about 30 percent less frequently than the company's general landing page.
By simultaneously testing four new versions of the landing page, the site was able to ensure relevance, increasing conversions 67%—and decreasing abandonment rates to boot.
For any marketer who struggles to make ads and landing pages directly relevant to the consumer's search, this case study provides valuable insight.
Because "baby names" accounts for such a large slice of BabyCenter's traffic—about 11 of its top 20 paid search keyphrases are related to that phrase—and because the annual baby-name list would be released in December, Senior Marketing Manager Heather Wajer and her team spent the early fall of last year looking at landing page conversions (i.e., user registration).
Of the site's two landing pages, the baby-names landing page converted at a rate about 30% lower than the general paid search landing page. Moreover, abandonment of the baby-names page hovered at some 40%.
"There was a big disconnect between the ad copy, the search term, and the page. It wasn't a relevant experience," Wajer says.
BabyCenter's deep content surrounding the baby-names topic includes tools such as a name finder, lists of top baby names, and baby-name polls. But the baby-name landing page showed nothing of that content.
Rather, both pages were nearly identical: Each included a picture of a baby, a short registration form, a log-in box for returning members (top right), and a search box (top left).
The only difference? The search box on the baby-names landing page was pre-populated with the phrase "baby names," whereas that of the generic landing page was empty.
People who arrived at the landing page using that search term were not finding the content they hoped for and were jumping ship.
Using Web testing and optimization company Offermatica, the BabyCenter team pulled together a test of four different landing pages.
They all had some similarities:
- A picture of a baby
- Headline: "Looking for baby names?"
- Three-step registration process labeled "Getting started is easy!"
There were some major differences:
- One included teaser copy, with the top 5 names of 2005 for boys and girls.
- One included a bulleted list describing the different features, such as the poll and the baby-names finder.
- The third, flying in the face of registration-conversion conventional wisdom, included six links to other areas within BabyCenter.
- The fourth simply contained the headline and call to action, with no extra copy.
The team also ran the original landing page, as a control.
"I was surprised that we saw as much of a lift as we did. I was also surprised which one won," says Wajer, noting that the most basic landing page increased conversions most significantly:
- The simplest landing page increased conversions 67%. (Conversions were measured by registrations, and lag registrations up to two weeks after the first visit.) It also reduced page abandonment 37%.
- The version with the bullet points increased conversions 62%, and decreased abandonment 40%.
- The version with the links increased conversions 10%.
Interestingly, the version with the teaser (top 5 baby names for boys and girls) reduced conversions 2%.
With the new landing page, the team reduced the cost of customer acquisition 41%.
Wajer learned from the Offermatica software that BabyCenter has 7- 10 seconds to convince a visitor that the content is relevant: "That's how you get them to engage."
She also learned that site testing must be ongoing. "We have adopted a continual test-and-learn philosophy," she says, running anywhere from two to six tests at a time.
The most original test, she says, has been on BabyCenter's ecommerce site. Using Offermatica, the team can target blocks of content to make it relevant to specific users individually. If a visitor is pregnant, content slots on the pages will serve content different from that served to the mother of a toddler, for example.
Such tests result in conversion increases of 2-7%. But with several tests running at a time, and with constant optimizing of the results, "that really adds up," Wajer says.
Continue reading "Case Study: How a B2C Web Site's Landing-Page Tests Resulted in a 67% Jump in Conversions" ... Read the full article
MarketingProfs provides thousands of marketing resources, entirely free!
Simply subscribe to our newsletter and get instant access to how-to articles, guides, webinars and more for nada, nothing, zip, zilch, on the house...delivered right to your inbox! MarketingProfs is the largest marketing community in the world, and we are here to help you be a better marketer.
Sign in with your preferred account, below.
You may like these other MarketingProfs articles related to Web Sites:
Useful Tools for Managing Your Online Communities [Infographic]
This infographic recommends tools for a wide range of different tasks, including managing discussion threads, parsing comments, and automating workflows. read this »
How to Spring-Clean Your Website Content
The birds are chirping, the sky is blue, and... yikes, that infographic you posted two years ago just doesn't hold up. Time for a spring cleaning. Here's how to do it. read this »
Your B2B Website Power Page: Seven Must-Have Ingredients
Eye of newt... scale of dragon... whoops, wrong recipe. You want to know what goes into a power page—the top-ranking internet content that makes Google sing your praises. Check out this article to learn the most important ingredients. read this »
Does Your Website Really Need That? Five Elements to Rethink
Remember the early days of the Web when we'd throw everything possible onto a website just because we could (RIP midi files)? Turns out that's not the best way to get people to engage. You should think twice about whether your site needs these five things. read this »
Google's Guide to User-Generated Content [Infographic]
This infographic from Google provides a flow chart for publishers looking to incorporate UGC elements such as comments into their websites. read this »
Eight Questions Website Visitors Want Answered Within 10 Seconds [Infographic]
This piece looks at the questions your website visitors have, the motivations behind those questions, and how you can answer them effectively. read this »