Making your website more effective – the Conversion Optimization process – begins with a Landing Page Audit. Every Landing Page Audit (LPA) begins with two hard questions. At first glance, these questions may not appear difficult.
- What action do you want people to take on your landing page?
- What promise did you make to drive traffic to your landing page?
If you are looking at these questions and struggling to come up with succinct and comprehensive answers, don’t worry – you are not alone.
Most website developments are driven by designers, not conversion optimizers. We have different priorities and different goals. As the typical website development goes through multiple milestones leading to launch, reviews focus heavily on the visual and informational elements. The feedback is often something like, “I like the way it looks.” Conversion optimizers do care about how the site looks, but we care more about how it incites visitors to the right action.
If your website went through a design-centric or information-centric development process, you may be struggling answering those 2 questions right now. That’s OK. This worksheet will help you answer those questions.
Question 1: What action do you want people taking on your landing page?
The best way to answer this question is to think about roles and tasks. A role is a persona of a typical visitor. You probably have multiple roles (personas) visiting your landing page. For each role, you have a task or series of tasks you want them to complete.
Example 1: Animal Shelter Home Page
One role may be a visitor seeking to adopt a puppy. The tasks for that role are:
- Look at pictures of puppies
- Select a puppy
- Make an adoption appointment
Here is the action for this landing page: “I want the landing page visitor to find a puppy they like and make an adoption appointment.”
Example 2: Engineering Firm Home Page
A role may be someone who recently had a road or driveway wash out in a storm. The tasks for that role are:
- Find an engineer who specializes in road design
- Call or make an appointment to talk about the project
Here is the action for that landing page: “I want the visitor to navigate to the section of the site that lists our road specialists and schedule an appointment.”
- List all the roles (personas) of people you anticipate visiting your landing page.
- Write the individual tasks for each role and list them under that role.
Once you have done that, you will find it much easier to answer what action you want visitors to take on your landing page. Your answer should be clear and succinct. We limit that answer to 150 characters to facilitate better results. A clear and succinct answer makes it easier for us to score the effectiveness of your landing page.
Question 2: What promise did you make to drive traffic to your landing page?
You are probably saying, “I never promised anything!” But you did make a promise, perhaps without realizing it. Your visitor landed on your page for a reason, and they came with an expectation. Here are some possible paths:
Organic Search: Your SEO marked up your pages to drive traffic from certain keywords. Did the SEO optimize for “Adopt Free Puppies” or “Adopt Puppies”? Even though they sound similar, those are 2 different promises.
Paid Search: Your PPC manager ran ads that made promises. An ad that says “Robust Driveway Design” is making a different promise than “Driveway Design Services.”
Email Campaigns: An email campaign that features a picture of a Black Lab inadvertently promised the visitor will find Black Labs at the dog shelter.
Word of Mouth: Many businesses are referral businesses. I recently recommended a law firm to a friend who needed an employment lawyer in his state. Even though I told him they probably have offices in his state, it wasn’t true. When he went to their site, he went with the promise that he would find an employment law specialist from his state.
- List all the channels that drive traffic to your landing page
- List the promises each channel made to drive traffic to the landing page
Once you have done that, you will be able to write a clear and concise statement of the promise(s) made to drive traffic to your landing page.
Going through this exercise will help you answer the 2 questions that start your Landing Page Audit. Most likely, you will find answers to these questions after some thought.
If you’ve gone through this exercise and still can’t answer these questions, then it may be helpful to use our consulting services first. We will guide your team through a discovery process of identifying the goals that different stakeholders have for your landing page.
Once we can answer these 2 questions, we can score your landing page and let you know how well it achieves your goals.