This is my last update as part of my LeadPages WordPress Plugin Experiment.
Due to a heavy work load I wasn’t able to continue keeping up with the experiment. Keep reading to discover some lessons I learned.
Here is a recap of the areas on my blog where I used LeadPages:
- A LeadBox on my sidebar
- A LeadBox on my About page
- A 404 Error Pagee
- 2 Thank You Pages
What I Did From November Through Now
I had previously said I would set up a content upgrade and I did set it up on my last blog post referencing referral spam and how to fix it.
I was able to put together a downloadable PDF of my blog post “Block Referrer Spam In Google Analytics With This Free Tool”. It had 1 opt-in during the month of December and a few unique hits. LeadPages reported 2 opt-ins but Google Analytics only reported 1 successful goal completion.
The sidebar LeadBox didn’t receive any more opt-ins since October. There were a total of 86 visitors who opened the LeadBox since the beginning of the experiment, and 4 conversions total. According to LeadPages I received a 4.65% conversion rate.
About Page LeadBox
The about page LeadBox also didn’t had another conversion since October. The total number of hits to the LeadBox was 37 and out of that I got 1 conversion. According to LeadPages I had a 2.7 % conversion rate.
404 Error Page
There still weren’t any 404 page hits in LeadPages since the last update. LeadPages reported there were no unique clicks during the entire experiment. The Search Console (formerly called Google Webmaster Tools) shows that there have been at least 17 404 page errors since the experiment started. So, I’ve concluded that the offer on that page just wasn’t converting.
Thank You Pages
I added a new thanks page for the content upgrade, and the hits to it matched the content grade opt-ins as expected.
The thank you page for the resource guide was flat-lined which is consistent with the lack of opt-ins on either the sidebar or about page.
Some Take Aways From The Experiment
I’ve been concerned about the low number of opt-ins I’ve received during this experiment. In my search to figure out why, I learned a few things that I’d like to share. Some of these things I knew already, but knowing something and having hard data of your own to verify it is two different things.
1. This site doesn’t get a lot of traffic. For the duration of the experiment starting July 15, 2015 and officially ending February 15, 2016, I received a 1,827 sessions. In a sense this experiment was never going to show good results because I didn’t have high enough numbers to work with.
2. I’m still learning who my audience is. Because of this, my site-wide offer of the “Top 5 Free Website Marketing Tools” didn’t really resonate with the people who visited. I’m learning a lot about defining a customer avatar and then creating an offer that they want. The one good thing about content upgrades is that the more of them that you do, the more you’ll attract different people with different interest. So someone might not like what you’re offering in blog post A, but love your offer for blog post B.
3. Sidebar Opt-ins just aren’t working like they used to. I came across and interesting article from a conversion rate optimization expert named Devesh Khanal who wrote an interesting blog post about sidebar and end of blog post opt-ins aren’t converting well any more. His findings were that sidebar opt-ins were converting at about 0.3% – 0.6% and after calculating my own sidebar conversion rates, I’m seeing a similar number at 0.2%. One thing I noted is that his numbers were being pulled from a site with 100,000 visitors.
4. Don’t rely on best practices alone. What is working for one person or group of people may not necessarily work for you. In my case, having a lead magnet on the 404 page didn’t do anything to capture the interest of those who stumbled upon a broken page. There are so many factors involved that need to be tested and validated before any conclusions can be made.
There is no magical marketing tool. Using the LeadPages WordPress Plug-In wasn’t going to guarantee extra conversions. Following the LeadPages best practices and suggestions on how to turn my WordPress site into a conversion machine proved to be false in my situation. Perhaps if I had more traffic, or a better targeted audience I could have seen better results. What LeadPages did do for me is make it easier to create opt-ins and offered a great split-testing feature.
Would I recommend LeadPages? It would depend on the needs of the individual. If you are just trying to generate leads on your website, I would recommend OptinMonster because its about 1/3rd the price (as of this writing) and has A / B split-testing that is just as good. If you want landing pages and sales funnels, I’ve found a much better solution called ClickFunnels which has one of the easiest page builders I’ve ever used. I’m going to be writing up a full review of LeadPages soon!
What do you think about the LeadPages WordPress Plugin experiment? Tell me in the comments below!