When it comes to boosting conversion rates, both experienced and novice marketers know, nothing does the job like A/B testing.
And while they know it, data seems to suggest they don’t practice what they preach. According to Marketing Sherpa, only 52% of companies and agencies that leverage the power of landing pages also try to improve them. That means 48% of marketers are missing out on MORE conversions.
If you’re one of them — a marketer satisfied with your current conversion rate, leave now.
If you think testing landing pages is too hard, or that it’ll take too much time, you won’t find anything worthwhile in this blog post.
On the other hand, if you’re one of the 52% that wants to improve conversion rate with a reliable method of testing, read on. What you’re about to find out is that optimizing your landing page isn’t as time consuming or as difficult as you think.
Today, we’re going to let you in on 5 quick and easy A/B tests to increase your conversions. Then, we’re going to show you just how easy A/B testing becomes when you’re using the right tool.
Plus, we have a free guide detailing our top 10 A/B testing tips that have proven to work for us time and time again.
A brief refresher on A/B testing
A/B testing is a popular way to optimize landing page conversion rate by isolating just one page element and testing it against a nearly identical page variant.
If you think a shorter signup form would generate more conversions, create an identical landing page with less form fields. If you believe your call-to-action could be stronger, create an identical landing page with a different CTA.
At the end of the test, whichever page has the highest conversion rate is the winner. Really, it’s that easy.
Here’s a diagram to help you better understand how the process works:
Now that you’ve gotten a refresher, it’s time to set yourself up for success.
Set up your A/B tests for success
If you really want your tests to have a positive impact on conversions, setting yourself up for success is just as important as the testing itself.
Before you begin testing you should:
- Set an end point: Establish an end date before you begin testing.
- Keep a singular focus: If you changed your CTA button size and your headline in one variation, how would you determine which one increased conversions?
- Know your sample size: Without a statistically significant sample, you can’t use your test to come to any conclusions about your page elements.
- Define your success metric: Is it more shares you want or more click-throughs? More sales or more signups?
If you’ve taken all these steps, you’re ready to start hunting for a conversion lift with A/B testing.
5 Quick A/B tests to boost conversion rates
1. A/B test your headline
On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. - David Ogilvy
There are few elements on your page more important than a clear and benefit-packed headline. The reason for this is simple. Without a compelling headline, your landing page visitors won’t be convinced to read the rest of your page.
Take this one for example, from a service that promises to teach its members how to create a profitable home-based business: “How To Make Your First Dollar”
What do you think? Would you feel like you absolutely HAD to read the rest of the page after seeing that headline?
Now what about after this seeing this one: “How To Make A $1,000 A Month Business”?
You want to find out how, don’t you?
So did the rest of this landing page’s visitors:
The second variation produced 6.49% more conversions than the original.
Here’s another example of a great headline optimization resulting from A/B testing. Laura Roeder is a marketer who teaches businesses how to promote themselves with social media. Here’s a page she used to capture email addresses for a newsletter:
The question headline engages the reader, but it could definitely be stronger. She obviously felt similarly, because she started A/B testing her headline to see if she could produce a conversion lift. Soon after, she found her winning variation:
It boosted signups for her newsletter by a whopping 24.31%.
2. Test the Placement of Your CTA button
Just as important as what your CTA button says is where it’s placed. Should you put it above the fold? Below?
Really, it depends on your offer. The longer your page, the lower your CTA will usually be. The shorter it is, the higher up it’ll be placed. For example, let’s consider two hypothetical businesses:
- Business “A” needs to create a landing page for a free ebook they’re offering about how to use videos to generate more leads
- Business “B” needs to create a landing page for a $700 course on conversion optimization
Which business’ landing page should be longer?
If you said “B,” you’re right. But do you know why?
It’s because the higher commitment your offer is, the higher scrutiny it’ll be under. The more scrutiny it’s under, the more you’ll need to explain why your offer is worth redeeming.
Think about it: Would you be more hesitant to convert for a free ebook or a $700 conversion optimization course?
The more complex your offer, the more people will need convincing that it’s worth redeeming — which usually translates to longer pages.
Let’s do another one. Take two more hypothetical businesses for example:
- Business “A” is a home improvement company that needs to create a landing page for a new circular saw
- Business “B” is a technology company that needs to create a landing page for a new laser-tool that cuts wood in half the time a circular saw does, twice as safely
Which business’ landing page will be longer?
If you said “B” again, you’re right. But this time it has nothing to do with complexity. This time it’s about your prospect’s level of awareness. Allow us to clarify…
Prospects shopping for a portable device to cut wood will likely look for a circular saw. They’re already aware of the solution. It’s a commonly used tool by those who do a lot of carpentry.
However, people are less likely to know about the new laser-tool, or why they need it. As a result, the new laser-tool company will need to do more explaining to convince their prospects to invest in this new, unproven solution.
Visually, here’s how long your landing page should be in relation to prospect level of awareness:
When Crazy Egg A/B tested a long landing page versus a short one, the longer more detailed page increased conversion rate by 363%:
When this business’s high-awareness, low-commitment offer was presented on a shorter page, conversions shot up by 13%.
A longer page won’t always translate to a lower CTA button (as you can see in the example above), but many times, as the page gets longer, the CTA moves downward.
3. A/B test your form fields
Are you asking too much of your landing page visitors?
Too many form fields can cause a lot of landing page friction. If you want more users to sign up for your free trial, lessen the number of fields they need to fill out to do so. The less work people have to do to redeem your offer, the more likely they are to do it.
Keep in mind that the number of fields you ask your leads is directly proportional to your landing page’s offer. The juicier the offer, the more you can ask of your prospect. If you’re giving up a free ebook, request only a few pieces of information. If what you’re offering is more valuable, like an industry report or a detailed case study, you can request more.
When HubSpot analyzed over 40,000 landing pages to see how form fields impacted conversions, here’s what they learned:
Three form fields proved to be the highest conversion rate and generally the more form fields HubSpot included, the lower their conversion rate.
In addition, a Norwegian beauty shop found this out firsthand when they removed just 3 form fields and boosted conversion rate by 11%:
Even more impressive was Expedia’s form optimization. By removing just one field (pictured below), the marketing team was able to generate an extra $12 million in yearly revenue:
4. Test Your CTA Button Copy
The idea of a call-to-action is outdated.
It puts emphasis on the action your prospects need to take to redeem the offer they’re after.
Newsflash: your landing page visitors don’t want to work. They don’t want to “Subscribe” to get expert tips. They want to “Get expert tips”! They don’t want to “Sign up” to learn the secrets of writing great copy, they want to “Learn the secrets to writing great copy.” A generic CTA like “download” or “register now” won’t do anything to convince your landing page visitors to convert. Be different. Personalize your CTA button copy.
Test your current CTA against something more tailored to the visitor. Aim for something similar to what Glen Allsopp uses for his squeeze page call-to-action:
See how it’s tailored to the visitor, and emphasizes the payoff instead of the action?
5. A/B Test Your Testimonials
The power of a good testimonial can’t be understated.
But slapping a generic one on your landing page isn't enough. Your testimonials won’t be impactful if they’re not credible. Include as many details about the people who give your testimonials — include a real picture of a client alongside her glowing recommendation of your company.
Highrise did exactly that, and they saw a 47% increase in paid signups:
Don’t forget the A/B testing golden rule: The more tests you run, the higher the chances of increasing signups, downloads, and registrations.
With Instapage, you can test multiple variations of your landing pages with just a few clicks, then get instant data on your campaigns with powerful analytics.
Still have doubts about which tests to run? Ask your questions in the comments below or download our free guide to the 10 best A/B testing tips.