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Landing page optimization: a hypothetical use case

relevant products:
  • Optimizely X Web Experimentation

  • Design and implement a landing page experiment
  • Set up geo-targeted landing page experiments 

Landing pages are standalone pages that serve one specific purpose, typically lead generation or to promote product-specific offers. Organizations will often have several landing pages live at any given time, each targeted to a specific offer or customer segment. Because of these factors, landing pages offer many opportunities to experiment for optimization.

Design and launch a landing page experiment

Andrea is in charge of the digital marketing team at Adler Bragdon Insurance, a company that sells health insurance in nineteen states. She wants to test a special offer in each state. The basics of this offer—a discounted rate if a visitor buys two policies at the same time—will be the same no matter what state the user is located in. However, the specific rates and requirements are different for each state, so Andrea wants to create landing page experiments for every state Adler Bragdon operates in.

But Lars, who runs the optimization team, is less enthusiastic about the whole idea. He is wary of the time cost of setting up nineteen different landing page experiments, especially when his team already has plenty of other experiments to manage.

Fortunately, Optimizely provides the tools needed to create and deploy nineteen—or even more—experiments very quickly. By using pages and audiences, Lars and his team can get Andrea’s experiment up and running by lunchtime:

Step 1: Set up a landing page template

Lars’ first step would be to create a reusable template—these are called pages in Optimizely—that tells Optimizely to deliver this experiment to all the landing pages supporting this special offer.

In order to do this, Lars and his team would first have to make sure that at least one landing page has been coded and added to the Adler Bragdon website. That’s because setting up a page in Optimizely requires a valid URL; without one, the Visual Editor cannot be used to make content changes for each variation.

Imagine you are helping Lars and his optimization team set up and implement these experiments. The steps below describe the process of creating an initial page that you will later re-use for a series of very similar landing pages. These landing pages will live in multiple experiments aimed at consumers living in different states.

  1. First, click Implementation in the left-hand sidebar. 

  2. Next, select the Pages tab.

  3. Click Add a Page to bring up the Create New Page modal. 

  4. In the Name field, give your new page a descriptive name such as offer_1_landing_page.

  5. Under URL Targeting, find the Page Type drop-down menu and select a set of URLs. This tells Optimizely to apply the experiment contained on this page to multiple URLs that share a particular pattern.

  6. In the Editor URL field, type the URL of the pre-existing landing page that already exists on the Adler Bragdon site.

  7. Use the URL Pattern field to tell Optimizely where to find the landing pages where the experiment should run. All the landing pages on Adler Bragdon's site are kept in different subdirectories stored within the landing directory. These subdirectories are named according to the purpose of the landing page. Because Andrea wants Lars to apply this experiment to all the landing pages supporting this special offer, the URL Pattern should look like

  8. Next, select substring match from the Match Type drop-down menu.

  9. Finally, click the Create Page button to create the page.

Step 2: Create the first experiment

In this experiment, Andrea wants to know which variation of each experiment works best in each state, and is less concerned with comparing results in Florida to results in Michigan, for example.

Once Lars’ team has created an experiment for one state, they can duplicate it for each of the other eighteen. From there, they can use the Visual Editor on each variation to make the necessary adjustments to the copy and layout for consumers in each state.

Check out this article about how to create an experiment for more details. You can also click on any of the links in the instructions below for more information on that step of the process. 

  1. First, navigate to the Experiments dashboard. Click Create New.

  2. Select Experiment from the dropdown and name your experiment.

  3. Under Pages, click the + next to the pages you want to include in the experiment. Because you are creating a landing page experiment, you’ll add offer_1_landing_page.

  4. Under Audience, you would ordinarily choose an audience for your experiment. For this experiment, you should limit your audience to visitors who live in the state this experiment is targeting. That will require creating a new audience before you can add it. So skip this step for now.

  5. Add a metric to your experiment. Because this experiment is testing the effectiveness of different landing page offers, you should track total conversions as your primary metric.

  6. Set your traffic allocation to specify the percentage of visitors who should see the experiment. You can also set up your traffic distribution, which controls the percentage of experiment participants who see each variation.

  7. Create a variation. A variation is a different version of the page where your experiment will run. Optimizely measures the differences in user response between variations to determine winners and losers. Each experiment needs at least one variation, though experiments with at least five variations tend to get better results.

  8. Finally, QA your experiment with the Preview tool, and publish it by clicking Publish

Create an audience

To limit participants in the experiment to only those visitors from the appropriate state, create an audience that targets visitors based on geographic location. Then add that audience to the experiment.

Find out more with this article on creating audiences in Optimizely.

Step 3: Duplicate the experiment

The final step is duplicating the experiment for each state where Adler Bragdon sells policies. 

  1. First, click the Experiments icon in the left sidebar. 

  2. Find the experiment you want to duplicate.

  3. Click the three dots on the right and select Duplicate from the drop-down list. The Duplicate Experiment modal will open.

  4. Select the current project name from the Select a Project drop-down list. 

  5. Now click Duplicate. Optimizely will duplicate this experiment.

Be sure to re-name this duplicate version to include the name of the state it will target. 

Lars and his team will repeat the duplication process for each state. Then they'll make the necessary copy and content changes one step at a time.

For some suggestions on optimizing your landing pages, see this article on landing page best practices.