A/B Testing for Landing Pages – Just the Basics
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A/B testing, or “split” testing as some would call it, is a process of elimination where you take two elements and put them against another, track the results, and rework your efforts based on which of the two produces a greater result.
Landing pages are one of the most powerful pages on your website because it naturally funnels visitors into your opt-in list or into the sales page; they’re direct for one purpose only and that’s creating a conversion.
How do the two and two go together?
Smart marketers understand that a landing page is only as effective as its conversions but most often the baseline is built around best practices, templates, or gut instincts when designing, developing, and populating the page. The only real way to tell whether the pages are performing at their peak is through the process of A/B testing which gives you real-world data about the elements that could cause your visitor to step away from completing the action (or the element that pushes them over the edge and into the conversion funnel).
This post aims to bring you the bare essentials for what’s needed to do A/B testing on a landing page so you can improve conversions and make more money.
The Basics of A/B Testing
A/B testing is generally done using a service or manual tracking to test variables in order to improve the conversion of a particular web page. The process is done with one change in mind to keep it simplified and free of errors due to multiple points of testing. The elements tested are done so based on best practices and creativity; it’s not guaranteed a change will improve the conversion but even the failure can present valuable information about the page.
Have a look at this graphic provided by SmashingMagazine.com:
A/B Testing Factors (and Ideas) to Consider
There are many factors that can be used in testing; all of which will provide unique results on the conversion rate. The scale of the A/B testing can be extremely simple or immensely complex which is why there is such a great importance placed on doing just one single element at a time.
Stumped for ideas for what you can begin testing? Here are a few ideas:
- The headline – Consider changing the entire headline or certain words of it to convey a different message or tone.
- The hook – Read as much as you can about great headlines, subject lines for email, and print campaigns that had great performance and tweak the hook to play into emotions and intrigue.
- Body copy – Make it longer or shorter, try a different structure in the formatting, rearrange certain sub-sections, use different icons for the bullets, include or remove a story, add social signals or trust badges; play with one section at a time until you’ve nailed it then work on the next.
- Primary graphics – Try out different genders or ages if you’re using stock images of people, consider showing the product, a screenshot, a different color combination, call-outs, badges, and all the other little effects that could guide a visitor’s eye throughout the page.
- Timing of the day – Track, test, and record what happens when you promote the landing page at certain times of the day and use that information to schedule your marketing campaigns to the moments when it’s most effective.
- Subject lines of emails (and email elements) – No doubt you’ll promote the page through your email list so give try out the various elements in this system as you would on the page; use the email as an alternative A/B test to try out new headlines which may make their way onto the actual page – it’ll be win/win.
- Testimonials – See if the pictures and quotes you’ve pulled from reviews aid in the conversions; try testing elements of the testimonials such as pictures of the people (or not), graphics to create contrast in the quote (like a blurb graphic), or code that could rotate the testimonials rather than keeping them static.
- Font size and font family – Smaller, bigger, san-serif, serif? Try them all.
- Colors – Maybe lighter colors, maybe darker? Maybe more contrast, maybe some complimentary elements? Colors can set the mood so try out different types to see what works best for the page.
- Directional indicators – Which directions do the eyes of your stock photography people look? Where are the arrows pointing? Tweak these directions and you may see an improvement.
There are literally hundreds of various elements that you can test on your landing page if you want to give them a try. A/B can take into account various media, tone, authority, and referrals, too. There is no limit to improving your landing pages when you place the effort to split test its elements.
There are dozens of great split testing tools and resources available throughout the web such as Unbounce, KissMetrics, and more. For now, however, wrap your mind around the basics and what it will bring to your business if you choose to implement these tests and make the improvements.