At the West Coast leg of the MarketingSherpa B2B Summit 2011 in San Francisco this week the first case study of the day featured IBM’s homepage redesign and the overall approach IBM uses in its redesign process. Joan Renner, Content Manager, Corporate Marketing Digital Initiatives, IBM, presented on how Big Blue engages in site redesign.
But they don’t stop at the landing page. They go the next step into the funnel and test landing pages, as well.
Landing page testing
Joan says, “Having great landing pages is very high value to the company and these tests wouldn’t be difficult to perform.” These two attributes made landing page testing a high priority in their testing backlog, which is their list of tests they’d like to run, ranked on three factors to determine priority:
- Internal visibility
And she added, “We’re putting into our organization the ability for any division to come forward and ask for help.”
In this case a test was created to improve the landing page for the IBM X-Force Internet security and threat report landing page and led to a dramatic improvement in the page’s performance.
The objective was to test the layout of content and the addition of call-to-action button to increase the clickthrough rate to a report download and links to products and services.
The test ran for six weeks featuring a control and two treatments and involved 100% of visitors to the X-Force landing page.
The key difference between the control and treatment is a shortened hero image at the top of the page, the addition of a call-to-action button for the report download and a dramatic reduction in page clutter.
Overall results of the tested changes was a 904% increase in clickthrough rate, and a 1,475% increase in registrations, both at 99% confidence.
This test provided IBM with learnings to take forward to future tests:
- Reduced body copy and simplified content improved results
- Clear and concise calls-to-action are more effective
- Offers should be organized, prioritized and reduced
- Keep the key message above the fold
- Make hero images clickable
- The improved page layout made the most dramatic contribution to uplift
This test also created ideas for future tests at IBM:
- Test the registration form to reduce drop off
- Test headlines, text link targets, button colors and button calls-to-action in a multivariate test to identify element contribution
IBM’s learnings may (or may not) work for your landing pages. There’s only one way to tell … let’s get testing.