I was recently meeting with a client to talk about search engine optimization (SEO) recommendations for their website, and as we were talking about A/B testing and ways to optimize landing pages, someone from their web team asked me what they should test. As I answered, a light bulb seemed to go off in his mind that let me know my response was not what he was expecting.

So what was my advice? To experience the website like their audience will. Here’s what I mean:

  • Forget everything you know about your brand/product/service – Imagine that all you know about your brand is what you’ve seen in a direct mail piece, print ad, PPC ad, etc. Work with the rest of your marketing team to collect materials that your audience might see, and make sure that you receive new marketing collateral as it’s designed so that you can collaborate on the web component.
  • Test calls to action – Take the action the marketing pieces ask you to take. When you visit the landing page, which might be the homepage, does the look and feel match what you were expecting? Is it easy to find the information for which you were looking, or is there no connection between the website and marketing materials? If the ad you saw mentioned a special sale or a free ebook, but that information is either missing or buried on the website, you have a problem.
  • Complete the sale – Whether the purpose of the page is to make a purchase, request more information, etc., are you able to take that action easily, or do you have to scroll and search?
  • Optimize your site – Once you’ve experienced your marketing like your audience will, optimize your site so that it works in tandem with the other marketing pieces. Change headlines and imagery and move call to action buttons so it’s easier for your audience to take the action you want them to.

It can be easy to get caught up in launching new campaigns and promos, and connecting marketing materials to the website is often a step that’s overlooked. Remember to collaborate with your web team and take time to experience your marketing the same way your audience will.

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