Landing page and entrance page testing vector illustration illustrating through symbols
blog post | marketing

Starter’s Guide to Landing Page Testing (Without Overlooking Entrance Pages!)

Camille Bosley Team Photo
Camille BosleyDirector of Strategy

Are you confident that your strategy for landing page testing isn’t overlooking entrance pages? Because we think you could be doing better.

In digital marketing, there is a tendency to ignore content after pressing the “Publish” button. Don’t make the same mistake!

Publishing content is only half the battle. Revisiting content months later armed with data will make sure you’re not missing out on qualified leads. Otherwise, entrance pages already receiving heaps of traffic are left by the wayside while your team is busy crunching out landing pages for the freshest wave of ad campaigns

This post will cover everything you need to know about planning experiments for optimal entrance page performance, from selecting top contenders to the tools that make conversion testing a breeze.

Landing Page vs. Entrance Page

Two plans symbolizing the choice of landing pages or entrance pagesBefore we dig into the dirty details, let’s clarify how landing pages differ from entrance pages:

Landing Pages
are intentionally designed to attract leads and drive conversions, and are most often the destination page for paid ads (think squeeze pages and CTA emphasis).
Entrance Pages
are simply the first page a visitor lands on your website, whether they arrived via an organic, paid or direct source (think high traffic and referral pages).

What do these differences mean for your conversion optimization strategy? Basically, not very much.

Content creators should be applying many of the same conversion optimization tips they use for landing pages to entrance pages.

It’s never too late to capitalize on your existing traffic flow! Now, put on your thinking cap and let’s get started on how you can do that…

Why Test Landing & Entrance Pages

If you want to increase conversion rates, you need to split-test new ideas on your pages to discover which tactics work and which don’t. Changing just a few words in your CTA or varying the order of form fields can have an immediate and drastic improvement on conversion.

In just five minutes, you can generate dozens of ideas to increase goal completions, whether downloads, form submissions, purchases, etc. What’s the only way to know if your idea will be successful? TEST IT!

If you need a refresher on optimizing landing pages, check this one out.

How to Identify Pages That Need Love

Cat doing landing page optimization work because thats what cats doYou could spend months going through each page on your website – testing and optimizing – but focusing your energy on highly-trafficked entrance pages is more likely to put money in your pocket.

Listed below are some quick tips for finding entrance pages with the greatest opportunity for improvement.

High Bounce Rates

Dig through analytics and identify your entrance pages with the highest bounce rates, and place high priority on any page over 60%.

Excessive bounce rates are a key indicator that these pages just aren’t working. Visitors are landing on the page and immediately sensing a misalignment in what they’re looking for, and it’s your job to figure out how to keep them tuned in to the copy.

CTA Optimization

Call to action optimization example for selling lorem ipsum and other sweet latin phrasesHigh traffic pages with low conversion rates aren’t necessarily an indication of lackluster engagement. Maybe you just aren’t making it easy enough for visitors to convert!

Ensure entrance pages have consistent and quickly identifiable call-to-actions that align with your company’s goals. No test is too small, so experiment with CTA verbiage, page placement, or even color.

Optimize Form Performance

Copy and CTAs aren’t always the cause of unsatisfactory conversion rates. Leads are sometimes lost by the masses when faced with a poorly designed form. Long forms suck, and chances are you don’t even use most of the “required” data. Identify core fields and experiment with adding/removing fields to increase conversion rates.

Quick words of wisdom: Your content pages are indexed, but most landing pages are not! Non-indexed pages are perfect for testing headlines, featured benefits and CTA copy without disturbing organic traffic!

Resources for Conversion Optimization

To start planning and implementing, you will need the right set of tools to run smooth and efficient experiments. We recommend the following resources for testing entrance pages and landing pages alike:

Google Analytics:
Hopefully you’re already using Google Analytics and are cognizant of the metrics your company wants to measure and improve. If not, that’s step one. Identify a KPI with underperforming pages to start testing and optimizing.
Heatmapping Tools:
Tools like Lucky Orange and Clicky allow you to see how visitors interact with your website…in real time! Set up heatmaps to track clicks and scroll depth, and interpret form analytics to gain valuable data worthy of experimentation.
Split Testing Software:
For ease of use and proper data aggregation, split testing software is a given. With a user-friendly format and intuitive design, tools like Visual Website Optimizer and Optimizely allow for simple testing (like the kind you don’t even need a developer for!).

You’re Ready to Test! But Before You Go…

Getting started on optimizing landing and entrance pagesBefore you run off and become the go-to gal or guy in the office for conversion optimization, keep these three best practices for landing page testing in mind:

  1. Test one thing at a time! It’s easier to attribute success to one specific change when you perform A/B testing instead of multivariate testing.
  2. Choose pages with moderate traffic. It takes at least 100 visitors to declare a winner, so pick pages that won’t take months to generate a credible outcome.
  3. Keep a detailed testing record. Make sure you don’t repeat tests or overlook any details by keeping a full record of all experiments.

Even the smallest change can have an impactful and positive effect on your company. Have any success stories of your own? Please share them with us in the comments below!

About the writer
Camille Bosley Team Photo
Camille Bosley | Director of Strategy
Camille is a lively director with a competitive drive for results. When she's in the zone, you can find her mapping out magic behind a whiteboard.

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