A/B testing is the art of trying two different versions of something out and seeing what gets better results. You can A/B test email campaigns, paid ad campaigns, and many other marketing activities. But today, we are going to talk about doing A/B testing on your website. Specifically with your landing pages.
This can be trickier than doing A/B testing for email campaigns for example because there are more steps involved in the process, there are third parties like search engines that will be included in your experiment, and you need to get the hang of some sophisticated technology to be effective.
We are going to walk you through A/B testing your landing pages at a high level so you can work towards better optimising your website, and be converting more visitors into customers along the way.
What should your goals be?
When A/B testing your landing pages, you could have two goals in mind. One goal might be to drive more traffic to your website via SEO. This is an excellent goal to have in mind, you always want to be driving organic traffic to your site, but this kind of testing is more abstract and will be harder on beginners. The goal we are going to start with is converting more of your SEO organic visitors into customers.
Conversions should be easier to test if you have consistent traffic to your website. This makes analysing your results simpler and will help you get the hang of running these tests and discovering what works on your site to better convert visitors to customers.
What can I A/B test on my landing pages?
There are many different things you can A/B test on your landing pages. At first, it might be hard to see where the opportunities lie. But when you start to look closer, there is a myriad of different components on every webpage that can be altered and changed to potentially optimise for a specific action, in our case a conversion.
The call-to-action on your site is a great candidate for testing. This is the where you prompt an immediate response or encourage an immediate sale. The phrasing and placement of your call-to-action could make or break a sale.
The layout of your page may be something that could help users convert better. If your current layout confuses users or doesn’t help them to find what they are looking for you might be losing visitors to attrition before they even get the chance to see what they came to your site for.
The styles on your website might have some room for improvement. For example, merely changing the colour of your sign-up button might encourage more sign-ups.
By changing the copy on your page you might see an uptick in organic traffic, or maybe you make the service or product you sell more clear to your visitors. Whatever the case, website copy is a great place to start testing.
Adding an image to a page that contains none, or removing them might be a way you could run a test. You might also try changing images, models, or otherwise make small variations to pictures to see what performs better.
Another great place to look for other areas to modify and test your landing pages is GoodUI.org. They have a bunch of different changes and tweaks you can make to your site that would be ideally suited for A/B testing.
If you need more ideas, you can always check out another website, or competitor sites, and think about adopting something that they do well into your design as an A/B test. The possibilities are unlimited.
How to get started
Now that you know what you want to test, you’ll need to step through and understand the process of conducting the A/B test.
Create your landing pages
The first step in the process is to create your landing pages. Your pages will share much of the same content and structure to focus on just building the one page for now. If you already have a landing page in mind you would like to test; then this step has already been accomplished.
Optimize your pages for SEO
You’ll want to make sure that you optimise the page(s) you’ve created for SEO. After all, you want these pages to perform well with regards to organic search. To do this, you will want to make sure you are following SEO best practices. Make sure you are using user-friendly URLs, have only one H1 tag per page, have alt tags for all your images, etc..
Identify what to test
After you have created your pages, you can move on to identifying what to test. This will be what we went over before with what it is possible for you to test. To determine what you want to test you’ll need to take into consideration both how much testing you’ve already done, and what element on the page might have the most impact. A great place to start is your call to action.
Launch your pages
When you have your pages and variants created, you’ll need to deploy them and have a process in place to capture the results for further analysis.
Analyze the results
When your results are in you’ll want to make sure you are using best practices to evaluate your tests.
With your analysis complete you can then pick the winner and hopefully count on more conversions!
Do it again
After doing one A/B test, you might be thinking you’re all done. But you should learn from this and continue to test as much as you can on your site. If you can incrementally increase conversion rates, you owe it to yourself to do as much testing as possible. Rinse and repeat. Don’t stop testing just because you’ve improved. Keep Improving!
A/B testing is a crucial part of improving your website. In fact, it’s the best method for improving conversions. If you aren’t already testing your landing pages, you should be.
A/B tests can seem intimidating. But if you stick to the methods outlined above and seek to understand and improve your website indeed and it’s visitors, A/B testing can be a powerful tool for increasing ROI. Because it’s about finding what works.
I have been building web applications and other digital products for more then a decade. Currently on an exciting journey discovering the ins and outs of content marketing while growing my newest business. Dedicated to helping digital agencies and entrepreneurs around the world succeed!