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Site Optimization

Email Optimization

Search Optimization

Marketing Optimization



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Home arrow Site Optimization arrow Landing Page Optimization
Landing Page Optimization
Monday, 05 November 2007

Topic: Landing Page Optimization: Improving Conversion 50-60% by Applying Continuity and Congruence

Are customers getting what they expect when they reach your Landing Page, or are they receiving mixed or incomplete messages that disrupt the effective expression of Value Proposition and hurt Conversion?
After our recent clinic on Site Flow Disruption we received many requests for more information on the relationship of Continuity and Congruence and the clear communication of Value Proposition.

This brief reviews two recent case studies where improving Continuity and Congruence significantly improved Conversion for our Partners.

Editor’s Note: We recently released the audio recording of our clinic on this topic. You can listen to a recording of this clinic here:

Landing Page Optimization: Improving Conversion 50-60% by Applying Continuity and Congruence


Case Study 1

Test Design

We performed a one-week A/B split test for a partner with the goal of increasing overall conversion of their offer page.

The PPC ads and keywords were identical for both offers.
The only difference was the Landing Page after the click.

Let’s look first at the Control version of the Landing Page.

What would you do to improve the Continuity of this conversion process?

Case Study 1 - Control Page
Control Page

Many online efforts fail because, although a business has an effective Value Proposition for their product, they do not communicate it effectively.

Thinking holistically about Value Proposition involves two key elements: Continuity and Congruence.

Continuity refers to ensuring that each step in the conversion process either states or supports the Value Proposition.

So how did we improve Continuity?

Case Study 1 - Treatment Page
Treatment Page

  • We changed the banner, headline, and body to ensure Continuity with the PPC ad.
  • Now each step of the path expresses a clear and consistent Value Proposition.
  • We also moved the seal and the left column, and added the “Megan’s Law” legislative background.


Case Study #1
Page Conversion Rates
Control 0.60%
Treatment 0.98%
Difference 0.38%
Relative Difference 63.30%

Check boxWhat you need to understand: The Treatment page produced a 63% higher conversion rate than the Control page.

Site Flow Disruption caused by discontinuity increases Friction and Anxiety and hurts Conversion.
Including Megan’s Law on the Treatment page increased Continuity because of its presence along every step of the conversion process, from ad to order completion.

It also increased Ad-to-Page Relevance, yielding search placement benefits in paid search networks.

You can increase Ad-to-Page Relevance for your own Web site by:

  • Identifying keywords for your ad.
  • Determining why people are using a key phrase.
  • Writing ad copy that goes beyond key words to the intention of the searcher.

The searcher—the prospective customer—must encounter a consistent, continuous Value Proposition. If you break it—if you disrupt it—you lose the prospect.

Now let’s look at the effect of Congruence on the expression of Value Proposition.

Case Study 2

Test Design

We conducted a 24 day test for a non-profit organization seeking charitable donations with the goal of increasing both conversion and donation revenue.

What would you do to improve this page?

Case Study 2 - Control Page
Control Page

Is the “You Can Give Hope!” headline definitive enough?

The graphic showing 94% of donations go to research is impressive, but would a picture be better?
The copy is focused on the scientists’ receiving funding and the qualifications of their leader, not who is being helped. What’s missing?

Congruence refers to ensuring that every element of your page either states or supports the Value Proposition.

  • Design
  • Copy
  • Images
  • Colors
  • Logo
  • Price

Value Proposition is communicated not just by the statement in your logo, but by the design and the copy, the way you position your images as well as the content of the images, the colors, and the logo’s design—and even the price.

Think of a web page as a person. If a person is not congruent, contradicts himself, and does not seem to be consistent, that person is typically not someone who earns your trust.

So how did we improve Congruence?

Case Study 2 - Treatment Page
Treatment Page

Case Study 2 - Treatment 2
Treatment Page

Every element—the new headline, new copy, new image, and the founder's testimonial—is now congruent with an intense, emotional tone that touches people and invites them to donate.

We emphasized the present tense in what the charity is doing with the donation. This is important because people want to see that there is a “present tense” impact.

We believe the founder’s story is especially credible, so we emphasized that.

A one-time donation is set as the default, which reduces Anxiety.

The page is no longer focused on the institutional; it makes the donation more personal to the donor.


Case Study #2
Page Visits Donations Conversion Rates
Control 1319 39 2.96%
Treatment 1185 54 4.56%
Difference   1.60%
Relative Difference   54.10%

Check boxWhat you need to understand: The Treatment increased conversion by 54% over the Control. Also total donations increased by 33.1%.

Incongruence disrupts site flow, increases Friction and Anxiety, and hurts Conversion.

The highest performing landing pages are those that match exactly what motivated a customer to come to you in the first place.

Summary of the concepts of Continuity and Congruence

Businesses may generate few sales through their websites, even when they have effective Value Propositions for both their products and business because they fail to effectively communicate them.

Thinking holistically about Value Proposition involves two key elements: Continuity and Congruence:

  • Continuity: Ensuring each step in the conversion process either states or supports the Value Proposition and is consistent with every other step in the conversion process.

    Does every page or part of the sequence contribute or communicate the same Value proposition right down to the confirmation page, all the way through the process?

  • Congruence: Ensuring every element of your page either states or supports the Value Proposition and is consistent and harmonious with every other element on the page.

Once you have a powerful and compelling Value Proposition for your business and your offer and you are able to express it clearly using Continuity and Congruence, you will have cleared one of the greatest hurdles in Web site optimization.


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Literature Review

As part of our research, we have prepared a review of the best Internet resources on this topic.

Rating System

These sites were rated for usefulness and clarity, but alas, the rating is purely subjective.

* = Decent | ** = Good | *** = Excellent | **** = Indispensable

About This Brief


Editor(s) — Frank Green
Bob Kemper

Writer(s) — Peg Davis
Jimmy Ellis
Bob Kemper

Contributor(s) — Jimmy Ellis
Aaron Rosenthal
Flint McGlaughlin
Bob Kemper

HTML Designer — Cliff Rainer

Email Designer — Holly Hicks

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