It’s not that long since we were talking about the importance of having separate landing pages for each campaign goal in your paid advertising strategy. Hopefully, that message sunk in and you’re now the proud owner of compelling landing pages for each of your advertising goals.
Next, you want to make sure each of these landing pages are performing at their best, which brings us into the territory of landing page optimisation. And, when you’ve got multiple pages to manage, you’re going to need a sturdy analytics and optimisation setup to help you monitor performance and make improvements.
So here’s out pick of the best landing page optimisation tools in 2017.
Enterprise grade analytics tools
First, let’s start with the enterprise tools you’ll find agencies like ourselves using on a daily basis. More than landing page optimisation tools, these are full analytics and reporting suites you can use to create your own optimisation campaigns. These give you full control over the data you collect and the freedom to run your own tests, as you see fit.
Not all analytics tools are great for landing pages specifically, though, so here are our recommendations for the enterprise tools that’ll get you optimising for better performance.
Google Analytics – still the first place to start
Yes, we’re starting with the obvious choice but Google Analytics is still the first place to start with landing page optimisation. There are a few reasons for this:
- It’s free
- It can do more than any other analytics/optimisation tool of its kind
- It turns AdWords into a more powerful tool
There’s no other way to put it; Google Analytics is still the first place to start when it comes to landing page optimisation – and web analytics in general. That’s not to say GA is the perfect tool, though. While it’s capable of more than any of its competitors, you pretty much have to set everything up yourself and things can get pretty complicated.
For landing page optimisation, the most obvious thing is events tracking and custom metrics, which can take some setting up. Fine, if you know how to do it, but a little tricky if you don’t. Which gives you a good clue as to why brands pay up for tools that automate a lot of the analytics process. Like this next one, for example.
Mixpanel – a great addition to GA
Mixpanel doesn’t have what it takes to replace Google Analytics, but it is better than Google’s tool at a number of things. First of all, it comes with a range of events tracking and conversion metrics set up and ready to use, which is a very big deal for landing page optimisation. It’s interface and report designs are also more intuitive than GA, although this might not be an issue if you’re used to working with Google Analytics.
Something you can’t get with Google’s tool, no matter how comfortable you are with using it is real-time data – and this is where Mixpanel has a real edge.
We always recommend using at least one more analytics tool, in addition to Google Analytic, so you can keep an eye on the data Google is providing. Mixpanel’s real-time data also makes it a great option for this.
We’re grouping these two together because, in terms of landing page optimisation, there isn’t really anything between them. VWO and Optimizely are both full-suite optimisation tools that aim to provide genuine alternatives to Google Analytics and similar tools.
Again, they’re not quite there but they do simplify much of the process and make great additions to the GA and AdWords combo.
The standout feature on these two platforms, though, is the ability to test and run personalised content on your landing pages. Essentially, you can create content variations and show them to visitors depending on how they’ve landed on your site or previously interacted with it.
This is something that’ll become more common over the coming years – and, once again, you can do with with Google Analytics using content experiments – but VWO and Optimizely make the process faster and more intuitive. Definitely worth looking at.
Landing page builders
If you want a tool that basically automates the entire landing page reporting and optimisation side of things for you, there are a number of dedicated tools providing this kind of platform.
These are probably the three biggest names in landing page builders, all of which are designed to streamline the design and conversion optimisation process. Essentially, you’ll be choosing from landing page templates, customising them to your needs and monitoring conversion rates.
You can also test variations with these pages but you’re more limited to what you can do than the enterprise tools we looked at earlier. This is why you’ll always want to to combine a a number of tools that bring different strengths to the table. What these tools are particularly great at is speeding up the creation and management process of multiple landing pages.
There isn’t much between these three options but there is one things worth mentioning. While Unbounce comes in as the most expensive its drag-and-drop editor is pretty damn handy and they also recently introduced Unbounce Convertables, which brings popups to the platform, if that’s your thing.
Wishpond – landing pages and lead generation
In terms of landing page features, Wishpond isn’t all that different from Unbounce. It also comes with templates, a drag-and-drop editor and popups but does have some unique features of its own. Wishpond aims to help you get more out of your landing pages by integrating them with your social and email marketing efforts. And, while you can do all this with Unbounce, you’re simply integrating the platform with other tools, whereas Wishpond comes with dedicated features like social contests and promotions..
Landing page testing tools
A number of the tools we’ve already recommended come with A/B testing features but there are a various other types of tests and data you can collect from your landing pages. Here are some of the best around in 2017.
Hotjar – a CrazyEgg alternative
CrazyEgg is probably still the biggest name in heatmapping tools but it’s by no means your only option in 2017. Hotjar also provides heatmaps for clicks, taps and scrolling behaviour but it also lets you record videos of user sessions so you can see the experience through their eyes.
You also get conversion funnel reports to highlight where users are slipping away and form analysis to reduce friction points on your web forms.
Usability Hub – The five second test
Usability Hub provides a number of UX tests but its five second test is by far its most impressive. Studies show that people form an opinion about your website within 3-5 seconds of seeing the first page and Usability Hub puts this theory to the test. You can show your landing pages to real users for five seconds and get feedback on what they remember.
This should tell you how focused your message is and how prominent the most important parts of your pages are. Likewise, it can help pinpoint elements that might be distracting user attention away from more important things.
Yes, speed matters when it comes to landing pages. Current Industry standards say your landing pages should load within two seconds or you’ll be losing more paid leads than you can stomach.
With Pingdom and Google’s page speed test you can get insights on how your landing pages stack up against the two-second guideline and get tips on how to improve your loading times. Both tools provide slightly different information so use them both to get a bigger picture on how your landing pages are doing.
As you can see, that’s quite the collection of tools we’ve covered and, while you don’t necessarily need all of them, you will need a number of combined tools to get the best from your landing pages – not to mention the rest of your site. Thankfully, agencies like us are able to buy platforms like these and use them for all of our clients – so give us a shout if you think your marketing strategy is lacking the right tools.