Landing Page Optimization: SES San Francisco 2011, Day 2!

Aug 18, 2011 | 1,686 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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One of the most looked forward to sessions of the SES San Francisco-Day 2, was Landing Page Optimization. The next step after the search efforts to direct users to the site. The landing page is of prime importance, and is responsible for conversions too. The session on tuning your landing pages was put together by:


Bryan Eisenberg, SES Advisory Board and NYTimes Bestselling Author,


  • Nathan Richter, Strategic Services Director, Monetate
  • Joe Weller, Marketing Director, RealNetworks

SES SF Day 2 Landing Page 2 Landing Page Optimization: SES San Francisco 2011, Day 2!

Bryan Eisenberg kick started the session with an introduction to both the speakers. And the mic was given to Joe Weller. Joe started by saying that he was a former AdWords junkie, and made the following revelations:

  • The biggest opportunity in paid search is optimizing is what happens after the click
  • Landing page optimization can bring continual improvements to conversion.

These are the basics that have driven these professionals to create their own success story. He used the example of his own company RealNetworks, and how they worked on its landing pages. The basis behind the success is continuous testing. Joe revealed that with the help of landing page optimization, they could increase their conversion rate – 490% in CR since Q3 2009. That is a huge leap.

Poorly Optimized Landing Pages:
Joe then, with the aid of  interesting visual presentation, showed some examples of poorly optimized landing pages. These pages were more than responsible for turning away business, every time a visitor from search hit the back button. He gives the following pointers in identifying these badly optimized landing pages :

1. Lots of movement- If the page has too much distraction for the visitor, that he has to wade through links to come to what he sought, then, he will not stay beyond 5 seconds.

2. Not a clear picture- If the page does not have the information, that the search results claimed. Then also, the visitor exits the page quite promptly.

3. Lack of credibility- If the content and offers are not believable enough-with no assurance, the user will not take out his credit card.

According to Joe, every page is different, so testing is going to be the best option when it comes to effective optimization. The key to optimization is testing.

All in all, Joe Weller laid a huge focus on testing for every page. And these are the takeaways from his piece at the SES San Francisco-

  • Focus on the post-click
  • Landing Page Optimization brings continual improvements to Conversion Rate.
  • Look at segments, not just aggregate
  • Get an outside perspective

The floor was then given to the next speaker- Nathan Richter. And he took it further on testing. He started off with some informative statistics- when it comes to testing, 61% professionals do less than 5 tests per month!

SES SF Day 2 Landing Page Landing Page Optimization: SES San Francisco 2011, Day 2!

Nathan said that when you get down to testing, you must have the “Mindset of a hunter!”

He then listed the basic qualities that were required to succeed in digital marketing-diligence, dedication, and effort, a lot of effort. The idea is to keep your eyes open, as there is an opportunity in every segment , or every metric. Here are the pointers he gave for effective landing page optimization-

Start with high volume or high value segments- You know what sells well from your site, what do people like? What is already performing well. Then work on it further. The pages with high traffic need to be optimized first.

Monitor Your Visitor's Profile- Are they first time visitors (that have come in through search)? Or are they loyal customers, who have liked what your website says. Study them, what they came looking for on your site. Did they get it?

The Time Spent On The Page- How much time does a visitor spend on the page. And that too doing what. What can you do to increase that time on the page. Probably give them what the want to know/read/buy/explore. This may lead to an average conversion improvement within the range of 5-20%.

Use Badging- As its impact on conversion is high, as high as 55%!

Use all of the real estate wisely – Inform the visitor with complete transparency. Use phone numbers, GEO location, and further information.

Test and Test Again- Always do a test of more copy, more text, or more video. This will help the customer in going through your site better, as he can know what products are good for him and how.
In the following Q and A session, the speaker duo revealed a few of the tools they used for testing.  Apart from their personal tools, they use 'Test and Target' tool from Adobe. Using this tool, they are trying to figure out whether different traffic segments could respond in different ways. They said that when you see a positive response, you can take that up as a campaign. They also recommended, -'User Testing' with which you can watch and listen to the user.

Hot Tip- Never Presume What The User Wants

In the case of e-Commerce sites, having a good landing page is of absolute necessity, and the speaker duo recommended the use of dynamic pages, provided the page has all of the elements you need.

Takeaway Tip-

Test your landing pages. And if you are wondering about a good time frame for testing, then 'Google Duration Calculator' is a good tool. The final time frame will, however, be dependent on your site and the many variables (behavioral and volume).

We have more coverage of the SES San Francisco Day 2 coming up. Keep watching this space.

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Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Landing Page Optimization: SES San Francisco 2011, Day 2!
4.thumbnail Landing Page Optimization: SES San Francisco 2011, Day 2!