How to run A/B testing on landing pages to increase conversions

Optimising campaigns is essential to get the best results possible. When performing an A/B test, you can directly compare one landing page variation against another, which will let you ask focused questions about changes to your landing page and then collect data about the impact of that change.

All of this takes the guesswork out of conversion optimisation so you can increase conversions.

How does A/B testing work?

In an A/B test, you select one webpage and adjust small aspects of it to create a second, similar version. You can change anything you want, but generally it involves changing the call to action (CTA), headline, button colours, and form field.

Once that’s done, you run two versions of the page simultaneously, with half the traffic directed to the original version (known as the control or A page) and the other half directed to the modified version (the variation or B page).

Optimising the CTA

The CTA is an important ingredient in every marketing recipe, it’s important know if the CTA is too aggressive or too passive. Running an A/B test against your headlines will give you an indication of which one performs better.

Here are five examples of strong calls to action:

  • start your free [trial period]
  • get your free [focus of landing page]
  • increase your [beneficial result of your service/tool] today
  • learn more today/get in touch today
  • try [service/tool] for free.

Where should the CTA on lead generation forms be placed?

There is a lot of debate on where to place the CTA. Should it be above the fold? Below the fold? Should it go above your lead capture form or should it go in the middle of the body copy text?

The correct answer is the one that leads to the most conversions, and you can validate this by running a test.

Why should you always A/B test your headline?

On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.  David Ogilvy

The headline is the most important part of your page. Your headline needs to grab the reader’s interest, tease them, or arouse curiosity, and then give them a reason to keep reading.

Headline testing can easily be done using a WordPress plugin that will let you create two different headlines and run a 50/50 traffic split to your landing page. 

How long should your form capture be?

The big question is: “Am I asking my landing page visitors to do too much?”

The danger when using too many forms fields is that it might cause your visitors to bounce away. Too few form fields and you might not get the information you need to nurture your lead for future communications.

Here’s a simple guide we use to determine what the length of forms should be:

  • free trial or newsletter sign up – name, email address
  • download whitepaper – name, company, email, phone,
  • quote or meeting – name, company, phone, email, two or three marketing qualified lead (MQL) questions.

If you want people to sign up to your newsletter, you really only need their email address; the name is really just to personalise future emails you send to them. When it comes to gated content, you have a bit more leeway since you’re giving away something valuable, but it’s still better try to keep to the essentials where you can. For quotes or requests to schedule a meeting requests, you could try asking two or three questions to validate their interest and score the lead.

When HubSpot analysed more than 40,000 landing pages to see how form fields impacted conversions, they found longer form captures provided fewer leads.  It found that forms with only three fields generated a conversion rate of 25 per cent, while forms with seven or more fields converted 15 per cent or fewer leads.

Depending on your business and your audience, you may be able to get away with asking more questions or requiring more information. Using A/B testing will help you determine whether you’re asking the right questions, the right number of questions, as well as whether you’re providing the right information in the right way to turn prospects into customers.

For more information on how we can help you maximise your online marketing success, contact us today