Narrowing the Scope: How to Choose Target Pages for Optimization

Before you can start work on your website, you have to choose a page for optimization. In SEO and PPC, this will be the “landing page” you want to bring users to. In CRO, this is your “testing page”.  To keep things simple, we will refer to any of the pages you want to optimize as your “target pages”.

A solid marketing strategy begins with choosing the right target pages for optimization. This is key because your entire campaign will revolve around the pages you choose. No matter what marketing strategy you are using, or what your goals are, many of the aspects you should consider when selecting a target page will be the same. Here’s a look at the 3 main criteria you should consider.

  1. Campaign Goal: This is the purpose of your campaign. You will want to ask yourself what specific goal(s) do you want to achieve?  Is it achievable? What metric are you using to measure success?
  2. Marketing Funnel: This is your ideal user’s journey from the start to finish. You will want to ask yourself, what path are users taking through your website? What path do you want users to take through your site?
  3. Traffic: This is where you consider your current audience. You need to ask yourself how much traffic do you have on the site and on individual pages? Do you need more traffic? What is the quality of your traffic? What are your users doing?

To fully understand what each of these considerations look like, let’s break them down in more detail. 

 

Considering Your Goals:

All marketing strategies revolve around your goal. In the digital marketing world websites fall into two categories: ecommerce and lead generation. There are a few outliers, and hybrid models, but even those outside this binary tend to lean toward one of these two models. This is convenient because these models have pre-set goals.

  • Ecommerce: the primary goal of an ecommerce website is to generate revenue through increasing sales. 
  • Lead Generation: the primary goal of lead generation is to connect with potential customers (aka “leads”). 

Once you know what your primary goal is, you need to determine how you will track your progress toward that goal. Most website analytics platforms already do this for you with preset reporting. All you have to do is adjust the settings according to your needs. 

Next, you have to break down the smaller goals that will lead toward the primary goal. This will help you with step 2, funneling for Success. To do this, consider what smaller actions a user will complete before they finish their purchase or set an appointment.

For example: Before a users submits a product order, an ecommerce users will:

  • look at a product
  • add the item to the cart
  • fill out the shipping information
  • fill out the payment information 

Each of these steps are called “micro conversions”, and they usually occur on different pages of the site, which leads us to step two to choose target pages for optimization. 

 

Funneling For Success:

Now that you know what you want your users to do on your site, you can determine the ideal route for them to take. In step 1, you outlined each micro-conversion users will need to take to reach the end goal. As I previously mentioned, those actions take place on a different page of the site. Those pages are the breadcrumbs that your users will follow through the site. 

Ideally, these pages will work as a funnel that pushes users toward your primary goal. Each page the customer visits along their path should increase buyer intention, while keeping users engaged. The easiest way to do this is to start with the top of your funnel and optimize your way through the customer journey. Visualize the path you want your visitors toward the primary goal. Think about each page your ideal customer will visit, and what action you want them to take to reach the next step. This top-down method will help you get users to your goal, and make the most of your traffic.

 

Tracking your Traffic:

The final consideration you need to take into account when selecting target pages for optimization is your traffic. You need to know how much traffic your website has, the quality of your traffic, where it is going, and whether or not your current traffic is meeting your goals. Let’s break this down step-by-step.

Step 1. Quantify your traffic: in this step you are going to look at your raw traffic numbers. Some data points to consider are

  • How much traffic does your website get each month?
  • What are the busiest pages of your website?
  • How much traffic are your top pages receiving?
  • How much traffic are your funnel pages receiving?

This will help you determine which pages could benefit from receiving more traffic through campaigns like SEO and PPC, and which pages have enough visitors for other optimization strategies.

 

Step 2. Assess your traffic quality: This is where you consider the current success level of your campaigns. You want to consider:

  • Where your traffic is coming from
  • The conversion rate of your traffic overall
  • The conversion rate of each traffic source.

Segmenting and assessing your traffic this way can help you see which campaigns and pages have the best ROI, and which ones need more work. Remember, quality traffic is more important than quantity!

 

Step 3. Determine areas of Improvement: Now you know which pages get the most traffic, which pages have the greatest ROI, and which traffic sources need the most work. Now you can determine which of your target pages are the best fit for different strategies. 

For example: A low traffic page that’s also an important part of the funnel could benefit from some SEO or PPC attention.  Meanwhile, a high-traffic page that’s an important part of the funnel but has a low conversion rate would benefit from CRO.

Narrowing in on your target pages for optimization campaigns is the best way to maximize your ROI, but the process can feel overwhelming. It’s not always obvious which pages are the best fit for your website goals and traffic flows, but the following pages are usually safe bets!

 

Common target pages for campaigns:

  • Homepage: This is the welcoming page and brochure for your website. Most of your users start their journey here, so it needs to make a good impression. This page also tends to have the highest amount of traffic, but can also have a high exit rate. 
  • Product/service pages: This is where you sell to your customers. If users are clicking onto a product or service page, they are showing interest in becoming a customer. Individual product pages don’t get much traffic, but as a group they receive a lot of views. In a template-style website (like ecommerce) this offers excellent testing opportunities. 
  • Contact Page:  When users navigate to a contact page, they are intending to engage with you. For lead generation sites, this may be the end goal. For ecommerce, this may be an opportunity to get feedback from your customers. These pages tend to get less traffic than homepages, but tend to get more traffic than individual product/service pages.
  • Cart Page: For ecommerce, this page is your final hurdle. It’s the end of the funnel,  where “users” become “customers”. This is also where many users get cold feet. Because it is the end of the funnel, it gets less traffic than other pages, but often has a higher conversion rate. 

 

Summary: Careful planning is an important part of any successful marketing campaign. Learning how to choose target pages for Optimization is an essential part of your  campaign. It can feel overwhelming to determine where to start, but if you follow these steps you will always make the right choice.

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