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Original Publication Date: December 16, 2016
There’s no quicker way to make your visitors run from your landing pages than to greet them with a poor user experience (UX).
Not only should each element of your landing page be super functional and easy to use, but you should also provide your visitors with a relevant and delightful experience.
After all, you want them to stick around for the long term.
We’ve teamed up with UserTesting to bring you these four pillars of the landing page user experience so you can turn your conversion rates into lifetime valued customers.
The Five Second Test
There’s nothing like being able to say what you wanna say in the most succinct way.
Ideally, you’d be able to accomplish this on your landing page where visitors can understand your messaging within the first five seconds of seeing your page.
Does your landing page pass the 5-second test?
Here’s how to tell:
Once you think you’re as clear as possible in your design and messaging, flash your landing page in front of your subjects and ask them to answer clarifying questions.
Some questions you can ask to check on the clarity of your landing page include:
- Can you state what the offer on the landing page is?
- What is the landing page about?
- What are you supposed to do on the landing page?
- Why should you care about what’s on the landing page?
If they answer these questions correctly, you’re headed in the right direction.
Otherwise, you can continue to modify and clarify your messaging and design until the call-to-action (CTA) is crystal clear within seconds, or the blink of an eye.
Also known as the blink test, if your audience can figure out what the purpose and goal of your landing page is within seconds, you’ve got it going on.
Tip: Keep the cognitive load as light as possible. The less thinking your visitors have to do, the better.
The Preference Play
By comparing variants of your landing page elements you can find out which design pieces help to optimize your page, one preference test at a time.
You can place different elements side by side and ask test subjects which one they prefer to find out which is the more popular option.
According to UserTesting, preference testing may provide direct user insights around:
- Visual design & Branding
- Interaction design
- Navigation approaches
- Use of imagery
- Page layout and information hierarchy
- Any other contentious issues at your organization
Here’s an example from IntuitionHQ, where they conducted a preference test to unveil how people understood color choice:
Another route is to run A/B testing, where you show two different variants to your audience members. In other words, 50% of your audience sees variant A, and 50% sees variant B. The variant that converts better is the winner, which you can use that as the base as your next test.
Multivariate testing is a version of A/B testing where you test three or more versions of your design.
Here’s an A/B test example from Behave that helped Darby find out which app thumbnail image their audience preferred:
By running the A/B test, Darby found out that visitors preferred Version A over Version B by a whopping 233.3%.
Whether it’s side by side comparisons or releasing different versions to parts of your audience, preference testing your landing pages and sites can lead you to optimal designs that your visitors will most likely happily engage with.
The Feedback List
Analyzing comments, thoughts and opinions directly from your visitors can help you to uncover some valuable insights you might not have otherwise captured or understood just by analyzing the numbers.
Use feedback tools, like surveys, forms and questionnaires, to gather qualitative data from your visitors. This can help you to better understand usability issues by analyzing your audience’s thought process.
Live chat is even an option for gathering feedback data from your visitors. Here’s what a UserTesting live chat box looks like
You can even go through live chat transcripts to find out which points of concern are most popular among your visitors. Start by testing out the things that come up the most.
UserTesting recommends reading through live chat transcripts:
“You might see that people are really confused on one particular page, which will give you really good A/B testing ideas for it.”
Tip: If your feedback is anonymous, your subjects are more likely to give you the brutal truth, which will ultimately lead you to a better UX design.
By recording your subjects during their usability testing, you can play back the videos and analyze their behaviors and facial expressions to see if they were frustrated or delight while interacting with your landing page.
Even if you just record the screencast of your user interacting with your landing pages and site, you can replay their mouse interactions and analyze usability triggers that way.
There are three main usability testing formats you can use:
1. Moderated in-person: Participants physically come to your lab and are observed and recorded by researchers.
2. Moderated remote: Off-site users log into a screen-sharing tool, while the researcher observes, interacts, and records the session.
3. Unmoderated remote: Users are off-site and record their screens so researchers can replay and observe the session afterwards.
Reading and analyzing body language and nonverbal communication can reveal a deeper level of understanding your audience.
Dr. Paul Ekman pioneered the study of micro expressions and interpreting facial expressions and nonverbal communications. He helped to come up with emotional labels that fit very specific facial expressions that were universally shared and understood across cultures.
Look out for certain facial expressions in your recordings. They may tell a deeper story about your subject’s usability experience than their submitted answers.
What people say and what they think may not always align.
By testing out these four pillars of performance you can find out which versions of your landing page will provide the best UX for your visitors.
A thoughtful UX on your landing page equals a happy visitor, which means a higher chance of that visitor clicking your CTA and converting.
Treat your visitors like special guests on your landing page. Make understanding your offer and taking action as easy as possible.