Many marketers make a common mistake of creating too many landing pages and forgetting about them forever. Making assumptions that the landing page you created is going to convert is just like investing your time and energy to tutor your kid, and assuming they would top the class.
If you want conversions, testing landing pages becomes one of the crucial steps. It not only lets you see which variant brings more conversion, clicks and reduces bounce rate but also lets you refine your landing pages for better results. It’s only when all of your elements work well together, you will produce the lead that you aimed for.
What is A/B Testing?
When time-bound parallel experiments are conducted between two or more variants of a landing page to determine which version of the page performs better, it’s called A/B testing. It lets you see with statistical data about how people react when they hit your page and what turns them away. Before we get into the details of it, there are few terms you should be familiar with.
When a new version of a landing page is added to a test, it’s called a variant. The minimum number of pages for a test should be two and you can add as many pages you want in the experiment.
The page with the better performance among the added variants is accepted as the champion variant. Though the terminology may vary, this is how most marketers like to refer.
When you have a new design that you want to test, you have the old version of the page or the existing page as your challenger variant. The challenger variant becomes the champion if it outperforms all the other variants.
You will often come across this phrase if you’re A/B testing. Split testing and A/B testing are mixed up and used interchangeably. While both tests are done with two variants, split testing is when two completely different pages are tested to see which performs better while A/B testing challenges minute elements like copy, layout, and design.
As the name suggests, you can challenge multiple elements of a single page, compare a larger number of variables and see how they interact with each other. In multivariate testing, you can select one section of the page that you want to test and assign as many variables as you want instead of creating variations of a whole page as in A/B testing.
Why should you A/B Test your Landing Page?
If landing page conversions are low or taking the downfall, it’s important that you A/B test them. When it comes to determining what needs to be tweaked in your page, it can be anything from the copy to the visual representation or something entirely different. Just because you know the audience well by research, doesn’t mean you know how they are going to behave on your site. So making assumptions here is ruled out. Starting with A/B testing one element of your website and then working all the way through is bound to give you the desired conversion.
Wall Monkeys is a company selling wall decals, and they wanted to increase their conversions and clicks. The A/B testing conducted resulted in an increase of 550 per cent in their conversions. They had used heat maps and scroll maps to test and understood how users were navigating through their page.
A/B testing will not just improve your conversions but also help you increase your sales. So, if you are struggling to achieve your targets just by an inch, chances are that by testing your pages you will know what will impact or accelerate your audience’s buying decision. The science of a sales-driven landing page is like a magic potion that can be achieved with a tinge of creativity and a splash of resonating copy (and many other ingredients which we’ll see later).
Electronic Arts, a popular gaming and media company conducted an A/B test to increase the sales of a new game they had launched. This test result is also a great example of how marketing hypothesis have proven to fail when it comes to providing incentives. The page without a pre-order incentive proved to perform 40 per cent better than the latter.
Taking the same example of Electronic arts landing page, the A/B test gave a very important insight into the behaviour of visitors – that they weren’t interested in an incentive but in just buying the game.
If you think you know your audience well, but you don’t have any specific data points, you need to rethink what kind of relationship your website has with your targets. By testing landing pages, you not only have the perfect platform to collect data about your audience, but also a suitable environment to discover which elements get the desired action out of your page and which don’t.
Landing pages are not always about direct conversions or sales. Sometimes you need to put your business across the table and an appealing landing page can bring an indecisive prospect to read your blogs or follow your social pages. If the lead is not ready to convert YET, it does not necessarily mean they will never return to your website. Testing your landing page’s layout, design or copy might increase not just your conversions, but your performance across all platforms.
What should you A/B test?
Experiment with your layout while testing elements like form placement and the overall design. For instance, a balanced landing page with complimenting colors, background and white space will derive greater sales and decrease the time taken to make the purchase. Using visual cues like arrows, pointers or appropriate images to subtly direct your user to your offer or CTA has proven to be effective.
In the example below, Groove put their entire landing page layout to test and increased their conversions by 100 per cent.
No matter how visually appealing your layout and design are, the copy should never be overlooked. Your copy not only informs your audience about your offer, product or brand USP, but a good one also assures credibility among your visitors. Starting your A/B test from the headline and then working down to the CTA, you can target your customer with a highly engaging copy and stand out in your respective industry.
Take a look at the headline and sub-headline copy tested for Highrise’s landing page. The champion variant which produces 30 per cent in the clicks was also the only copy that experimented with exclamation mark.
The Call to Action
Testing the CTA is as important as testing the cricket pitch before a match. It is eventually going to determine if the landing page is going to score well in the long run or succumb to bad customer-brand partnership. Testing the CTA can help you improve not just the CTA copy but also the color of the button and font size. See how a simple copy change in the CTA of Unbounce’s landing page has proven to give 90 per cent increase in the click through rate. Here, a first person narrative in the copy proved to perform better.
Forms are the final call to collect the required data from your clients. Keeping the form minimal and straightforward usually works well, but again, avoid assumptions and get your form tested. Depending on your need for data, you should run a test with multiple variations. You can decrease abandonment by testing and knowing the saturation rate among your audience when it comes to collecting data.
A landing page is a huge investment for any website. You can only hope that your hypothesis about the performance of an element will generate leads, but are you willing to take that risk? What if it doesn’t give you your desired results? We have given you a more than detailed idea of how things work and why this process is necessary. With the right testing tool you can derive the perfect recipe which reflects your USP and at the same time gratifies your customers.
So next time, instead of trying to explain to your boss why your landing page didn’t convert, test your page and tell them how you did it!