Landing Page A/B Testing: Top 10 Things To Compare and Why21 min read
So, you want to start A/B testing your landing page. But before you go picking things at random, think about it. Successful experiments are based on theory, not guesswork.
What’s the performance like on your current landing page? Where are users dropping off? Is the whole thing aimed at the kind of leads arriving there? Once you know these answers, you’ll get faster, better results from your tests.
You should never stop testing. Even after you find something that works. There’s always a way to boost conversions. From obvious changes to tiny, insignificant details.
These are the top 10 elements of your landing page to A/B test and why. Plus, lots of examples:
- Call-to-action text
- CTA button
- The headline
- Main copy
- Images and video
- Sign-up form fields
- Landing page design layout
- Social proof
- Smaller details (colors, fonts, etc.)
A/B testing tools
A/B testing simply refers to 2 competing variations of a webpage. But there are other types of tests you can do too. Split testing halves the traffic to 2 different versions. While multivariate testing compares more variables and combos.
But each test has to be based on research and observations. Then you need a hypothesis to work from.
There are tons of CRO (conversion rate optimization) tools that offer A/B testing. Each with varied pricing plans. (Including some free ones for companies with zero budget.)
These are some of the most popular:
- AB Tasty
- Crazy Egg
- HubSpot’s A/B Testing Kit
- Google Optimize
- Da Button Factory
So, check them out and see if any work for your brand.
Does the current version of your landing page have pop-ups? If not, why? We’ve all experienced pop-ups ruining UX (user experience). But it doesn’t have to be that way. Done right, they can lower bounce rate and move potential customers down the funnel.
There are so many ways to A/B test pop-ups. You can try different colors or shades:
There are lots of different formats to try too. Depending on how subtle or obvious you want to be:
If you’re in eCommerce, you can try out different offers for page visitors:
A few things to keep in mind:
- Timing is everything
- Keep size and design simple
- Make it very clear what’ll happen once users click
- Use friendly copy
Sometimes it’s not what you say. It’s how you say it. And your A/B testing process can help find what resonates with people.
Your call-to-action is your marketing campaign’s conversion goal posts. Right through them is your purchase, download, or sign-up.
It’s tempting to keep it simple and write “Click here”. But there are so many alternatives that will engage users and hopefully inspire the desired action.
So, what should you write? First, you need to identify conversion intent. You want to align your copy with where users are in the funnel and where they came from (the traffic source).
Calm keeps things really simple. A single line of text tells you the app’s overarching goal. Then 5 different CTA buttons let you choose your most relevant pain point. After that, you’re taken to a quick, personalized quiz to find out how best to use the app. Genius.
The Budgetnista lets you know exactly what you’ll be getting from her weekly newsletter. She’s upfront with the value and knows her money-saving audience will appreciate it’s all free.
You can get really creative with your CTA copy. First, find out why site visitors are there and what they want. That way, resonating with them should be easy.
Your CTA button is the last step of your call-to-action. It turns passive visitors into active users. So, it deserves a section of its own.
Because so many parts of it can result in a higher conversion rate:
- Making the design look clickable
- Being descriptive with your copy
- Sizing and spacing properly
- Trying first-person
- Creating urgency and using strong verbs
- Adding a subheading
One small tweak to your CTA button could drastically affect A/B testing results. Unbounce discovered that changing the copy on their landing page from “Start your free 30 day trial” to “Start my free 30 day trial” increased click-through rates by 90%.
Even changing the button color can have a big impact. Users clearly preferred the bright orange version in this email to the navy blue of version B:
You can trial different versions of buttons using Da Button Factory’s free tool. Create different styles, colors, fonts, and text. Then download and test on your landing page.
Source: Da Button Factory
You can even try adding button “subheadings” to show you understand potential pain points:
Then you need to emphasize the value of what you’re providing. Then handle any objections.
Source: Marketing Examples
Landing page optimization is all about those tiny details. Especially with the final step before your conversion. So, don’t forget about them.
On average, 80% of people will read your content’s headline. But only 20% will bother to read the rest. So, a lot is riding on it.
It’s the first impression many people will have of your site and brand. So, it can’t be boring or confusing. It has to be engaging and relevant.
Here are some of the things you can experiment with:
- The copy itself
- Sentence length
- Where it sits on the page
- Size and font
- Which main benefit you’re highlighting
Author Amanda Stevens increased her eBook conversion rates by 307% just by A/B testing the wording of her headline. She switched from this original version:
To this much clearer update:
Here’s another A/B testing example from KlientBoost. They’re currently testing the headline of their marketing plan page. Here’s the first version of the page:
And the other they’re trialing:
One final tip from Harry Dry is to avoid “landing page words”. Things like: supercharge, unlock, unleash. We don’t really use these words in conversation. So, they’re harder to relate to.
Your headline could be your first and last impression for people. So, make sure it’s not the latter.
The written parts of your site are one of the main factors for SEO. So, yes. Keyword research is important. But don’t forget, you’re writing for humans.
Your brand voice needs to shine here. And it can be fun to A/B test different variations of copy to see which your target audience likes more.
Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. And they use their cheeky and sarcastic tone to sum up the whole thing in 2 short paragraphs.
Formatting matters with your main copy too. Humans scan pages before committing to read the whole thing. So, make sure you use subheadings to break up longer text.
Source: Marketing Examples
BarkBox is a great example of clear, well-formatted copy. They get potential customers want to find out exactly what they’re getting in the fastest way possible.
And the minimal look seems to be a growing trend. Tonic brand Unspiked has used the same tactic. Replacing a wall of text with a few main points in their conversational tone.
Whatever you’re saying on your landing page, there will be better ways of getting it across. So, A/B test your brand voice, the value you’re highlighting, and the format. And see which your audience responds to.
Images and video
Visual content is so important for digital marketing. And to engage your target audience, your landing page needs graphics that help make the value of your product or service clear.
This could be in different formats:
- Screenshots from your app
- User-generated content and social proof
- Photographs of your product
- Cartoons or graphics
- Films or showreels
Source: Marketing Examples
Humans are visual creatures. And it’s so much easier to show what your product or service does rather than tell. It’ll also be more memorable that way. So, I’m going to take that advice and show you some examples of each that work.
A high-quality photo of the product people could purchase:
A sketch that conveys the kinds of things the service covers:
A screenshot of the app in action:
A showreel playing in the background that you can click to view more clearly:
You could try A/B testing any of these formats. Maybe put still shots against each other. Then try a video against the winning photo or graphic.
Your audience may have a preference for products or people. They might want to see a 360 video of your product. Or before/after images they can zoom in on. And it’s your job to find out which.
Sign-up form fields
You’ll often see sign-up forms on landing pages. And the design will depend on what you want people to sign up for. Is it a weekly email newsletter? A scheduled webinar? A downloadable resource?
Asking people for a lot of information upfront when you don’t need it can be enough to put people off. Even the big names get this wrong.
Source: Marketing Examples
Think how simple you can make your sign-up form. Maybe you could ask for just an email like Notion.
Then get the rest of the information you need through set-up and onboarding. You could also A/B test these ideas with your forms:
- Ask for credit card details for free trials or not
- Give immediate feedback on completed fields (e.g. ticks or crosses)
- Options to register through social media, Google, or Apple
- Call-to-action wording and button color
- Form structure, placement, and progress indicators
- Add instructions or error message variations
Think of everything on your landing page like a call-to-value rather than call-to-action. This tip increased this betting forum’s sign-ups by 31.54%.
Because it was much more obvious what people would be getting from signing up. The test ran for 9 days with a sample size of 13,560 visitors and 291 conversions. And these are all important metrics you need to track with any A/B test you do too.
If you can simplify the process, do it. If you need a lot of information, break it up. Make each stage of progress as smooth as possible for people.
Landing page design layout
I’ve covered lots of single page elements so far. But how about the design of your landing page as a whole?
The layout can have a huge impact on what people see first and interact with. Heatmaps and session recordings are invaluable here. Because they can help you to track the user journey. (Some of the tools I mentioned at the start can help with that.)
They will show you what’s grabbing people’s attention first. Plus, any features or buttons that don’t work as they should.
A lot will depend on whether your visitors are also warm or cold leads. Putting CTAs and forms “above the fold” is standard. But it might seem pushy if people don’t know anything about your product.
This company moved their CTA to the bottom of their long B2C landing page. And actually increased conversions by 304%.
Source: Neil Patel
Don’t just go with the norm. Or what everyone else is doing. Because it might not be right for your site.
Landing page builders like Unbounce or Leadpages have lots of templates and options. So, use these for inspiration or go your own way.
Use the results of recordings and heatmaps to shuffle your layout. Don’t just go with what you think your user journey is. Track it and make changes based on facts.
Most homepages now include social proof. It’s based on the idea that people adapt their behavior depending on what others are doing. It benefits your landing page because it helps build trust and perceived value. And increases the confidence level of first-time website visitors.
Social proof can come in many forms:
- Case studies
- User-generated content (UGC)
- Influencer and brand ambassador endorsements
- User statistics
It can quickly highlight why your company is the right choice for visitors. Like the social proof on VWO’s homepage.
They’ve shown their success in a really simple way. A percentage next to each brand logo, showing how much they’ve increased conversions by using their tool:
Other times, social proof can clutter the page. And take focus away from your CTA. So, that might mean looking at your layout first before adding it.
Buffer uses a mixture of testimonials and statistics on their homepage for social proof. It shows the large number of people that already use and value the company. Then delves into specific experiences:
Or you can keep it mega simple. And display your rating from a well-known review site like TrustPilot. That way, you don’t need to say anything else.
Source: Butternut Box
So, how do you get some social proof of your own? Try these options:
- Ask customers on social media for feedback
- Use social listening to see what people are saying about your brand
- Add reviews to your site
- Ask for UGC or start a hashtag campaign
- Highlight some metrics from Google Analytics
Once you have a few options, it’s time to test. See how it can fit into the layout of your landing page. Find out which version draws customers in. And which doesn’t add much. Then try something else.
Smaller details (colors, fonts, etc.)
Two versions of a landing page don’t need to be wildly different to be tested. Sometimes it’s changing the details that might seem insignificant.
Need an example? Increasing the size of this CTA button’s background actually decreased conversions by 10%. Crazy, right?
The opportunities for testing are endless. But remember, base any you do on research that suggests it could have a positive impact.
You could play with:
- Color scheme
- Typography and font size
- Countdown timers
- Background images and patterns
- Link color
Obviously, you don’t want to waste time testing hundreds of font variations. So, be realistic and select a few that fit your brand identity.
In this site’s case, increasing the font size of a single link resulted in a +33% click-through rate.
A small tweak like that could be the difference of thousands of dollars. But you won’t know until you try.
There are so many elements of your landing page you can A/B test. But you need evidence to back them up first.
A lot will depend on your product or service. And the types of landing pages you want to direct users to. Are people ready to buy when they reach your site? Or are they hoping to learn more about your product?
Audience research is critical. So, make sure you know everything about potential customers first. This way, your landing page A/B testing will take less time and effort. And have a much more meaningful impact.
Have you seen any success with A/B testing? Which part of your landing page could use updating? Let us know in the comments below.