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5 Things Angry Birds Can Teach You About Landing Page Optimization


I have been talking a lot about Angry Birds lately. In fact I am slightly concerned that my Klout score in “Angry Birds” may even trump my pride and joy “expert in bacon” rating. For those who have been in hiding for the last couple of years, Angry Birds is a highly addictive game that involves using a slingshot to shoot birds into pigs.

But before you dismiss it as just a mindless waste of time and loss in productivity in the workplace, let me throw this out for you: You should be playing Angry Birds at work. You should be playing Angry Birds at home! You should be living and breathing Angry Birds all day and night. Because Angry Birds is a perfect learning tool for landing page optimization.

Here’s why.

Let’s draw some parallels between Angry Birds and Landing Page Optimization.

The Pig (you know, the one who mocks you when you give it a black eye but he doesn’t pop): he’s the conversion.

The slingshot is the marketing channel that drives visits to your landing page.

The bird is your conversion strategy.

With me so far? Now let’s get into the 5 Things Angry Birds Can Teach You About Landing Page Optimization:

1. When you fail to convert, you need to adjust the angle of your approach.

Optimizing a landing page does not mean “load up your slingshot and fire.” Odds are, you won’t hit the pig (conversion) the first time. The key to testing and optimization is how you take your learnings and adjust your approach. So when you shoot a bird and it falls short of the pig, or it overshoots it, or maybe doesn’t have enough velocity to knock down the barrier, you can adjust the angle of the trajectory and try again. This adjustment may be a slight copy/messaging tweak, a change in segmentation or even new creative altogether.

2. Not every strategy works with every conversion.

Frequently in the game, you need a specific bird with specific powers to destroy a pig. For example, a red bird ain’t gonna break through 2 layers of rock but that black boom bird will. This is true with optimization, too. To expect that someone coming in from an email will behave the same way as someone coming in from search is foolish. Each channel has different mindsets and therefore different ways to achieve conversion.

3. Mo’ conversion points, mo’ problems.

Sure, it’s easy to use 3 birds to destroy 1 pig. But what happens when you need to destroy 3 pigs with one bird? It becomes a whole lot more difficult. Focus your optimization on a single specific conversion point first. This will help you send the right strategy (bird) at the right time. And like the game, if you only have one bird, expect it to take longer to achieve success.

4. Beware of friction points in your path.

The designers of Angry Birds are crafty little buggers. They build your confidence up with easy beginning levels and then all of a sudden they throw in barriers like trees, rocks, and ice. These are friction points in your conversion path. They aren’t impossible to break through, but they certainly slow down the path of your bird. These are the same types of friction points in your conversion path. Elements like unclear messaging, a difficult process, or a lack of payment options may not make it impossible for someone to get through, but they certainly will make it difficult. Reduce those friction points and you will have a clear path to your conversion goal.

5. It isn’t easy, but repeated action will eventually bring success.

This is the single most important thing to remember about landing page optimization. If you approach a test with very little patience for failure, you will have failed before you started. In Angry Birds, you will no doubt come up against a board that you can’t get past right away. All the variables are stable: the placement of the pig, the barriers in front of it, the number of birds, and the slingshot. Knowing these variables are stable makes it easy to continually try to reach that conversion point. You only adjust one element: the angle of the slingshot. Sometimes you may overshoot. Sometimes you may undershoot. With each passing failure you have learned something about the right approach and you continually tweak until BAM! you have success.

Angry Birds is like landing page optimization in many ways. But the best similarity is how addictive it is to try and try again. Achieving success in your landing pages through testing and optimization is addictive. Go do it!