Testing Splash Pages to Improve Click Through Rates

I’ve talked recently about the importance of using splash pages on traffic exchanges, and the use of ad trackers to know which links are getting the most clicks. These are two great concepts that work even better together.

The idea is that you should not just limit yourself to a single splash page. If you do, how do you know if it could be improved or not? Instead, create half a dozen variations on your splash page, and put them into a URL rotator. Either use an ad tracker as the link from the splash page to your website, or use a URL rotator/splash page combination that allows you to track click through rates on the splash pages (the TEToolbox is one such combination that will let you track click through rates on splash pages for free).

So when you place ads that should lead to a splash page, you put the URL of your rotator page. Each time someone clicks on the link, they get to a different splash page. Over the course of time, each splash page is shown quite a few times. You can then check on the click through rate of each splash page to determine which ones are doing better at getting people to click on the link.

This works best if you change only small things about each splash page. That way you know which change is causing better click through rates.

I ran across a great example of this the other day while doing research. The specific splash page I encountered was this one. The splash page itself wasn’t very effective. In fact, it was later that night that I finally figured out why the woman pictured was wearing boxing gloves.

But, I noticed that the file name in the URL was splash7.php. So I poked around and took a look at the other splash pages they were testing. Here’s the complete list: splash 1, splash 2, splash 3, splash 4, splash 5, splash 6, splash 7, and splash 8.

You can see between these that they have three main splash page designs they’re testing. Each main design has a couple of variations, with the woman and the boxing gloves having four variations. In a couple, the only change in the splash page is a dark background versus a light background. Yes, that sort of change can have an effect on click through rate.

To get reliable data on which page is more effective, you need to process a lot of hits to each page. The hits have to be from the audience you’re trying to target. Run a thousand hits through each page, and you’ll have some nice data on which variation of the splash page is doing best.

Then rework the splash pages to incorporate the elements that seem to attract the highest click through rates, get rid of the other variations, create some more variations, and test them all again. Over time you should be able to steadily increase the click through rate of your splash pages.

Note that if you start targeting a different audience, you have to start this process all over again. What worked best for one audience may not work at all for another.

Doing this sort of testing gives you a huge advantage over most Internet marketers, who either don’t use a splash page or have just a single one they use.

Have any tips for the rest of us on what’s worked for your splash pages?

Update: Recently, over at Forum Know How, one of the experts has been reviewing member splash pages and giving advice on improving them. If you’re not a member, you can still get in for $10 for the year, and get some free advice on improving the response rate of your splash page.

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