The following is a guest post by my friend Dave Bird. Dave has written for LukePeerFly.com before with his awesome article on social proof. Enjoy!
Landing page segmentation, three little words that kept rattling in my head as I poured another drink. It was a night like any other, the sun was down, the Jack was open, and there were no signs of getting any sleep. But I was used to keeping my eyes peeled in this line of work – peeled like a banana in the hands of a starving monkey.
She had asked for my help, the kind of dame an ordinary guy like you and me could only ever dream of, and even though I wasn’t in the habit of sharing my secrets, I could never say no to a pretty face. “I want to find the kind of traffic that converts” she said.
“Of course you do,” I told her. “We’re all searching for that special someone.”
She didn’t get my meaning and her eyes looked at me as if I had just said a dirty word, so I proceeded to explain:
When it comes to your digital marketing efforts, marketing to mixed traffic can be very difficult. How can you possibly know the right image, text, tone and offer will appeal to anyone and everyone? Splitting your traffic into ‘segments’ on the basis of known visitor demographics/metrics makes the task much more manageable, and is the single most effective way of delivering an immediate, clear message that relates with absolute precision to the visitor’s needs. This method is what’s known as landing page segmentation.
She leaned over my desk and lit the cigarette that had been idling in my mouth since the moment she walked in, prompting me to go a little deeper:
Like any kind of message intended for a specific recipient, a targeted landing page is far more effective at engaging an individual – matching the right message with the right person – is much more welcomed, and above all else it can dramatically improve your conversion rate. The ‘right message’ is determined by the information you have on each traffic segment, regarding who they are and want they want, and then directing them accordingly to the relevant version of your landing page.
“In other words, you’re giving them exactly what they want in order to get exactly what you want. Otherwise this business can get awfully lonely.”
Lets look at an example. Imagine a potential customer submits a Google search query for the keyword ‘meet single women in ‘London’. It is a search based on gender and location. Now imagine that the searcher is taken to the following landing page:
You can see that, although the page vaguely matches the need of the searcher, there is a prevailing inconsistency between the search query used and the message on the landing page.
Now imagine the searcher is taken to the following landing page example:
It is clear that the landing page completely matches the search query, and fulfills the needs of the searcher.
In short, if you were looking to date a professional, which landing page would you be more likely to engage with?
“So, how many landing pages should I use?” she asked.
“As many as you can think of. For each identifiable traffic segment, there should be a comparable landing page pertaining specifically to their needs.”
Here are a few very basic examples:
- Browsing device. Segmenting traffic between desktops, tablets and smartphones, and serving to a version of your landing page optimized to run on their device.
- Visitor location. Segmenting traffic geographically in order to deliver location-specific content/offer that is relevant to the individual.
- Traffic referral. Segmenting traffic depending on method of referral (keyword search, ad banner, etc.) in order to gauge a visitor’s level of interest and engage accordingly.
- Keyword search. Segmenting traffic between keyword search queries and serving to a version of your landing page that has been optimized for specific keywords.
The number of landing pages you should be using is practically infinite, limited only by the combinations of variables that you can think of. The more you can identify, the greater your chances of engaging visitors and securing that all important conversion.
Having only one version – or even an insufficient number of versions – of your landing page can cost you a lot of missed sales. Not to mention putting your PPC Quality Score (if you are running paid-traffic) in jeopardy.
“It all comes down to ROI. An ineffective landing page that fails to engage is a wasted click. And that won’t do anybody’s figures any good. Not even your figure, sweetheart.”
Paid-traffic should always go to a version of your landing page that has been optimized to engage users from that particular source – such as Google AdWords or Google Display Network, for example – in order to better the chances of their success. This not only increases the number of generated leads/revenue, but also improves your Quality Score, which in-turn reduces the cost of pay-per-click bidding.
“Is that everything I need to know?”
“One last thing,” I said. “Don’t forget to test.”
Segmenting your traffic allows you to identify user behaviors right across the board. In other words, you’ll be able to see which segments are performing, which segments require re-engaging, and which segments aren’t worth the effort. This means you can take a good look at your landing pages and test the elements you think need improving. The upshot of landing page segmentation is that it narrows the choices to be made for what to test, because you already know a little bit about your users from each particular traffic source. There’s a lot less guess-work involved which will lead to a quicker and higher positive ROI!