Landing pages are a simple concept, but creating highly effective landing pages which successfully convert users can be a pretty complex task.
A great way to get started optimizing your landing pages is to use a technique known as the 5 second landing page test or Impression Test.
The 5 second landing page test is a method used to help determine the impression your landing page presents to it’s viewers, as well as what information users take away within the first 5 seconds of arriving on your page.
Knowing this information is essential when it comes to optimizing your landing pages. It will tell you whether your landing pages are effectively communicating their intended message or simply confusing your visitors.
How the 5 second landing page test works
The framework of the 5 second landing page test is pretty straightforward:
- show a test group a landing page for 5 seconds.
- ask the test group specific questions (in a specific order, ideally) about their impression of the landing page.
Timing is everything
It’s important the test group views the landing page for ONLY 5 seconds.
If they’re shown the page for longer than 5 seconds you risk the testers giving further analysis and consideration to the page and it’s message.
While this can be helpful for other things, it defeats the purpose of gaining insight into visitors INITIAL impression and understanding of the page, which is what we’re after with this test.
After you’ve shown the landing page to the test group for 5 seconds, ask the following questions.
Landing page questions
- What do you think this page offers?
- Do you trust this page?
- What grabbed your attention?
- What confused you most about this page?
- What words or sentences can you recall?
While it may seem like a lot to ask of someone who has only seen a page for 5 seconds, these questions are important and their answers are very telling.
Of special importance is the order in which these questions are asked. We want to ask the most important questions first:
- What do you think this page offers
- do you trust this page
If the user only answers these 2 questions, some valuable insight can still be gained. Afterall, if users don’t understand the offer or don’t trust the offer, your landing page will not convert well.
The additional 3 questions are helpful because they offer insight as to which elements are the stronger (or weaker) elements on the page. Were your offer or social proof elements among the stronger elements?
5 second landing page test tools
There are a few online platforms that offer 5 second impression testing tools. The first one I’ll mention is a paid tool, followed by a free tool.
Typically the paid platforms will be a bit more ‘hands off’ and easy to set up as they’ll have most of the features built-in but if you’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves, the free options can work just as well.
UsabilityHub (https://usabilityhub.com/guides/five-second-testing) is a premium testing tool but it has some cool features baked in to make the testing easier.
The big benefit of using UsabilityHub is having access to their ecosystem to testers they’ve created. You can have your test sent to a curated list of testers based on demographics and other targeting options and get feedback in real time.
For free platforms, you generally have to find your testers on your own.
UserBob (https://userbob.com/tools/5sec) is a free tool you can use to perform 5 second impression tests. While the instructions on their site are pretty straightforward, here are a few additional notes:
The Initial URL field should be the URL of the landing page you want to test.
The Follow-up URL field should be the URL of a page you want your visitors redirected to AFTER they’ve been showing a landing page.
The page you send them to should include a form that asks the 5 questions listed above. This could be a form on your website or on another platform but you need to make sure you have a form where ever you send them to collect their responses.
As a final note, it’s important to make sure you receive at LEAST 25-30 responses before you start to analyze or act on the data. You’ll want to find any commonalities in the responses and tackle those first.
Remember, first impressions are everything so make sure your landing pages present themselves as clear, honest and trustworthy!
As always, happy creating!