A lot of time and money is wasted every year “optimizing” websites and landing pages; some clever marketing consultants have convinced their clients that a 2-3% temporarychange in conversion rates of an e-commerce or content based landing page is an accomplishment that should be sought after. I love the idea that by focusing on something you can achieve great change, and the ability to examine and a/b test large amounts of dataon a marketing channel is highly exciting for precisely that reason. With that being said –  statistical biases are more than common in marketing – as an agency owner, I can admit that I myself have used statistical bias to avoid confronting some hard realities.

The typical situation is as follows; a company is upset about an average conversion rate, rising costs for PPC, and the management fees they are paying whatever freelancer or agency they are in business with; they post an ad on Upwork or another site for a conversion genius who can turn their frustration into cold hard cash, in weeks if not days. The SME or marketing manager client hasn’t ever optimized a page, so there rudimentary knowledge of landing pages assumes success is related to one of the following issues:

  • Page Color
  • Button Size
  • Using adjectives vs verbs
  • Font typography

Not to blame them, but before I was a marketer, and I owned a tech company, I thought these things too. Changing fonts and testing the numbers seemed like logically what was required, but clearly far out of my skill range or the effort I was willing to put in. I hired someone who change all my landing page colors; two things happened:

  1. My conversion rate (here is an idea of averages for reference) went up 4.5%.
  2. # of Visitors Went Down

In other words, there was no change to my bottom line. Change (2) wasn’t due to any thing my good designer friend did, but the change in conversion rate – yea, it wasn’t real. This does not mean you can’t use data analytics and extensive a/b testing to influence your consumers and skyrocket conversion- it just means changing extraneous designs is not what you need to be testing.

Oh Well, Heatmap. You were fun to look at.

If not design, what is it we can test? Let’s start with a basic question;

Why do website visitors take an action?

Only One Thing. Emotion.

What is the easiest way to evoke emotion in a website visitor? Content. Here are some examples;

  • A Video showing a customer interacting with the product
  • An Image showing a customer after using/buying the product
  • A story that explains why a customer would use the product

Notice a pattern? You are showing the customer how to feel. You are putting them in an emotional state. Let’s apply this a little further, to our goal of A/B testing – what are two variables to examine?

  1. What emotions make our customer hit that “buy” or “join” button?
  2. What is the best way to evoke that emotion?

So an example marketing strategy might be to test various combos, i.e:

Well, in any case – there are my two cents. You can still use a cool landing page tool for these tests; just run the different versions, read the results, and don’t spend too much time thinking about font sizes. And if you don’t have enough time by agree with my logic – set up a time for us to speak and we can figure things out, with none of the aforementioned b.s.

Until next time,

Chris Hanson


About Chris: Im a four-time startup founder and PPC Aficionado; I have had companies in multiple industries including E-commerce, SaaS, and advertising, and the one unifying factor is my love for insights and optimization. Now, I apply my knowledge and experience to helping market other high growth companies.

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