You may already be familiar with the terms ‘A/B’ or ‘multivariate’ testing. If not, they simply mean modifying your landing pages to ensure that they result in the highest number of leads, sales, etc.
By conversion rate—in the context of landing pages—we could take the following formula as an example:
a completed form that passes spam and de-dupe filters, divided by the number of times the form was viewed in a given time frame (normally a day, week, or month)
Landing pages are the backbone of any inbound marketing campaign. As such, it’s worth spending the time to optimize them, so they produce the maximum number of form-fills (or leads). You don’t just want traffic to your site. You want those visitors to take action.
A few tweaks can go a long way to improving your conversion rate. This is the essence of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), which every digital marketer worth his or her salt will be well aware of and actively trying to improve on a daily basis.
Let’s take a look at the elements of your landing pages that can be A/B tested for maximum impact on your demand-generating activity.
Images have earned the top spot on this list because prioritizing images is arguably the most important element of a successful landing page. Inbound marketing 101 tells us that we should use an instantly relatable image, such as another person, on the landing page. That person should be smiling!
Depending on your unique demographic, or if you have specific buyer personas in mind, you may want to experiment with different photos of people on your landing pages. For example, if one of your buyer personas is ‘Midwest Mary,’ a soccer mom in her forties who loves athletics and reading romance novels, this gives you an idea of the type of face you’d want to use on your landing page.
Generally speaking, a three-quarter body image will work well but experiment with using headshot too. It’s all part of your grand experiment to find the image that converts the best for your audience.
To do a fair test, you’ll want to have a set number of impressions (at least 1000) for each iteration. To be able to assess the results, you should only adjust one element at a time.
A statistically significant difference is a .5% change in either direction. Otherwise, the difference in results could be luck.
The copy on your landing pages is the next most important element that you’ll want to experiment with. Just like with your ad copy, you’ll want to come up with a few different versions, and test which ones seem to resonate the most with your audience, as determined by the number of submissions (conversions) on your landing pages.
Once again, use a large-font header at the top of the page to draw people in, and capture attention in that all-important two-second window when they land on your page and decide whether or not to stick around.
Using words like ‘New,’ ‘Free,’ ‘Solution,’ ‘Save,’ or, ‘Perfect,’ are good options to include in your landing page header text. Experiment with each of these. Try alternative punctuation (for example, exclamation points vs. question marks) at the end of your sentence.
Remember to make your page header short and punchy. Posing a question can often improve results. For example, “Want save money on your car insurance?” This follows a classic format—who doesn’t want to save money?
When it comes to the body of the text, you’ll want to have a couple of sentences introducing the offer that the landing page is gatekeeping. Then have 3 – 5 bullet points outlining the unique selling points (USPs) of your offer.
After that, try finishing off the page with a strong call-to-action (CTA). In most cases, this means filling out a form. It pays to remind your visitors why they should do so. For example, “Start saving money on your car insurance today by filling in the short form to the right.”
Your call-to-action and the CTA button text itself is something you can A/B test to get an idea of what is most effective at generating form submissions.
The design and layout of your landing pages are the final elements you’ll want to test. Test the color-scheme used, the length of your contact form, the layout of the page in terms of picture on the left, or picture on the right, the size and style of your font, and so on.
To get the clearest idea of what aspect of the design was most important to an improved conversion, you should test each element change one at a time. Alternatively, have three different templates, and see which performed the best, all other elements being equal.
Now that you have the fundamentals of CRO, there’s no excuse not to make your landing pages lead-generation machines. Questions? Need further advice on CRO or digital marketing? Let’s talk »