There are many different ways to optimize landing page conversions, from copywriting to color schemes. While these incremental changes can make small differences in conversion rates, localization is one of the most under-appreciated and under-utilized strategies for reaching new audiences and increasing conversion rates.
Let's take a look at how to localize your landing pages to maximize your conversion rates.
Why Landing Pages?
Landing pages are standalone web pages that are distinct from your primary website. Often, they are designed to achieve a single objective, such as capture a lead or make a sale. They are usually designed in a way that makes them easy to change over time without having to update any code impacting the rest of the website or application.
Many companies develop landing pages for paid advertising campaigns. For example, a heating and air conditioning company may create a landing page offering a free inspection. They could then set up a Google AdWords campaign that targets visitors in their local area and sends them to the landing page with the hope of generating a set of leads.
Localization optimizes landing page content to target a visitor's specific location. The most obvious example is detecting a visitor's location and translating the landing page's language — but that's just scratching the surface of localization strategies. You can also dynamically swap out images or content based on a visitor's location.
Example landing page for NYC tour guides. - Source: ToursByLocals.com
Some examples of localization strategies include:
- Targeting offers based on a visitor’s location.
- Replacing stock images with localized images.
- Replacing generic content with localized content.
- Providing a local address and phone number.
- Embedding a Google Map to help visitors find a location.
- Providing local business reviews via a third-party website.
- Adjusting prices based on a visitor's country.
Nifty Marketing gathered data from top-ranking landing pages across five industries and found that 80% of the highest-performing landing pages employed localization strategies. For example, 77% of top landing pages contained a local address and phone number, 49% included a local photo and 21% embedded a Google Map to help visitors find a location.
How to Localize Landing Pages
Record Your Baseline
You should already be collecting conversion rate information from existing landing pages before making any optimizations. Using Google Analytics, it's possible to see everything from traffic acquisition costs to conversion rates at various points in a conversion funnel. Use this data to record a baseline before starting the localization process.
Create a Shortlist
Start by creating a shortlist of landing pages to test with localization strategies. Depending on your business, there are several ways to go about selecting the best candidates.
If you have a local business, you might choose the offers that convert the best in any given market (e.g. a free inspection versus a furnace giveaway).
If you have a multi-state or global business, you may simply look at what landing pages are performing best in English or in a particular state.
These landing pages will become the starting point for testing localization optimizations to reach new audiences and increase conversion rates.
Come Up with Ideas
Create a list of potential localization optimizations that could improve conversion rates on these landing pages. You could use some of the techniques mentioned above, such as translating the page or adding a local image.
As with selecting landing pages, the best ideas depend on your business and market.
If you have a local business, you might want to try including a phone number or Google Map showing the distance to your location.
If you have a multi-state or global business, you may want to experiment with injecting the name of a visitor’s location into the copy or using local images.
Start with only one or two concepts and test them individually to gauge the impact to know what led to the change in conversion rate.
Implement the Localization
The implementation of localization ideas depends on your business and technology platform. For example, companies with custom applications may need to manually look up a visitor location and change the landing page, whereas companies using popular content management systems might be able to find a plugin that simplifies the process.
Some of the most popular localization tools include:
- GeoFli is a great way to localize content or images with minimal effort.
- MaxMind provides a GeoIP database that lets you match IP addresses to locations.
- TranslatePress makes it easy to manage translations in WordPress.
It's important to test localization strategies to ensure that they're working properly, particularly if you're not using an off-the-shelf solution. While it's easy to test one or two landing pages, larger companies often find it challenging to maintain tests for hundreds of thousands of landing pages. It's too time-consuming to visit each landing page and switch locations.
Many test automation tools can help, such as Selenium, but configuring proxy servers to work with these tools poses its own challenges.
WonderProxy simplifies localization testing with over 250 servers across more than 85 different countries. With an easy-to-use API, you can easily automate localization tests using internal tools or integrate Selenium via SauceLabs. You can even use the WonderProxy Switcher browser plugin to easily switch between servers and conduct manual tests.
Measuring the Results
The final step is measuring the results and taking any further actions to improve conversion rates. These measurements should be taken with only one or two changes to the landing page — in order to understand the cause of the changes — and over a sufficient period of time to get repeatable results.
There are several ways to analyze the results:
Did the change demonstrate that there's demand in different markets? If you translated a landing page, was there more traction than the original version?
How much did localization strategies impact your cost of acquisition? Were localized ads cheaper than generic ads? Did you realize a higher ROI?
How did the conversion rates compare? Did localized traffic convert at similar rates to non-localized traffic, or were there are notable differences?
Based on these findings, you may decide to expand your localization efforts. You could translate landing pages into more languages, add more targeted content, source more targeted images or add more local phone numbers. If you didn't realize a benefit, you may want to try one or two more attempts before moving on to other optimizations.
The Bottom Line
Landing pages are a prime target for localization since they're easy to change and test over time. Depending on your business, there are many different changes that you can make to improve conversion rates and reach new audiences. These strategies may be worth prioritizing over some of the more nuanced A/B tests, such as minute changes to colors or designs, especially since tools like WonderProxy and GeoFli can simplify the process.