How to Do A/B Testing With Landing Pages: A Complete Guide

by Neil Patel

Last updated on November 1st, 2018

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Landing page A/B testing is essential if you want conversions. It’s the only way to know whether your current landing page is the best you can do.

Too many businesses create landing pages and forget about them. They make assumptions about what will trigger audience response.

And too often, they’re wrong.

Conducting landing page A/B testing lets you see what version of a landing page results in more clicks, better conversions, and reduced bounce rate. Plus, you can continue refining your landing pages over the course of multiple tests.

That might sound like a lot of work, but it’s critical for conversions. You need every piece of your landing page puzzle to fit together, and you want those elements to work together to produce more leads.

What Is A/B Testing? Find the Right Definition

The definition of A/B testing is sometimes mangled since it’s confused with other practices, such as split-testing. A/B testing refers to the comparison of two versions of the same piece of content, with one item changed on the variation.

For instance, if you’re A/B testing landing pages, you might create a variation of the existing one and tweak the headline. During the A/B test, you’ll see which version generated more engagement, such as click-throughs and conversions.

A/B testing your landing pages can make a huge difference in your bottom line. You don’t just one to conduct one A/B test on your landing page. Instead, you want to continuously test to make sure you’re serving up just the right piece of content for your visitors.

4 Reasons Why You Should A/B Test Your Landing Pages

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A/B testing your landing pages sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? That’s why many businesses don’t bother. However, with tools like Crazy Egg, the process isn’t difficult at all. Plus, you get tons of amazing advantages from running these A/B tests.

Let’s look at the top four reasons to A/B test your landing pages. You’ll discover how you can “hack” into your audience’s minds and figure out what makes them tick.

1. You want higher conversion rates

Conversion rates are a major reason to A/B test landing pages. If you’re not getting enough conversions, maybe you need to switch up your messaging, call to action, images, or something else entirely.

Many entrepreneurs and marketers think they know their audience because they’ve done research. It’s important to realize, though, that you can’t know your audience as well as you want without seeing how they behave on your site.

Even if you sell the same things as Company XYZ, you have a different corporate culture, mindset, belief system, and target customer. Small differences are often reflected in conversion rates.

A/B test your landing pages to figure out why your visitors aren’t converting. Start with one element, then work through them all.

2. An A/B test can increase your sales

Landing pages A/B tests can not only boost conversions, but also increase sales. When you’ve identified the perfect creative and copy for your landing page, your message will resonate better with your audience, leading them to make buying decisions faster.

Any tweak that can accelerate your visitors through the funnel will improve your bottom line. Instead of waiting for a prospect to make contact with your business four or five times, for instance, they might buy after just two touch points.

3. You want to understand more about your visitors

You can read all the literature you want, but if you aren’t collecting data points from your specific audience, you’re leaving money on the table. Learning about your visitors requires you to set up an environment in which you can collect data.

Using A/B testing on your landing pages lets you see what elements really click with your audience and which don’t. Changing just one word in your CTA can reveal nuances about your target audience that you never would have otherwise discovered.

4. You can get more engagement

Contrary to popular opinion, landing pages aren’t just for conversions and sales. You want your visitors to carry through with your CTA, but even if they don’t, your landing page can become a critical vehicle for spreading your message.

If a landing page “speaks” to a visitor who isn’t yet ready to convert or buy, he or she might instead follow you on social or check out your latest blog posts. Just because that consumer doesn’t buy right now doesn’t mean he or she won’t return later.

Landing page A/B tests help pinpoint the imagery and language that resonate with your audience. The more precise you get, the more engagement you’ll see across all the platforms you use to reach your audience.

What to A/B Test on Landing Pages

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What frustrates many marketers is that landing page A/B testing requires you to test just one thing at a time. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t run multiple tests concurrently.

The reason you only test one element at a time is to ensure you get actionable results.

Let’s say you A/B test the layout and the offer, which I’ll describe more below. You learn that Version A performed better than Version B, but what’s the takeaway? You won’t know whether the layout or the offer — or a combination of both — influenced visitors.

By changing just one element at a time, you know which headline or CTA or other element contributed to the results. That allows you to execute more quickly.

Let’s look at some of the landing page elements you should consider A/B testing.

The layout

A landing page’s layout refers to the way in which elements are arranged on the screen.

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You could A/B test your landing page by putting copy to the left of your main image on one version and to the left on the other. These might seem like simple changes, but they can have a big impact.

Play with how you arrange the copy on the page, too. Do you start with benefits or features? Long copy or short? Bullet points or paragraphs?

The offer

Every landing page needs an offer. It’s what you want to give your audience in exchange for something else.

If you want people to sign up for your email list, you might offer a lead magnet. If you want them to buy your online course, you could offer a 20 percent discount.

Changing up your offer will tell you a lot about what your audience wants. Maybe your visitors don’t have any desire to read a long-winded whitepaper, but they’ll fork over their email addresses for an explainer video or an interactive infographic.

Test multiple offers at different times. Figure out what your audience wants most, then deliver it to increase conversions and sales.

The headline and the rest of the copy

Even in today’s video- and image-centric world, copy still matters. In fact, it’s one of the most important parts of your landing page to A/B test. Your copy explains your offer, reveals information about your company, and encourages visitors to engage with your site further.

A/B test the headline first. It should be highly engaging and directed at your target customer. Change the wording a bit, such as replacing a boring verb with a more exciting one.

Then work your way down the page. Experiment with words and phrases you don’t see very often in your industry. Interesting copy can overcome many objections among consumers.

The call to action

Your call to action is your pitch. It’s your chance to win over the visitor and convert him or her on your offer. For that reason, it deserves special attention when you’re A/B testing landing pages.

You can A/B test multiple aspects of your call to action:

  • Background and font color
  • Font style and size
  • CTA copy
  • CTA position on the page

Just keep testing. You might find that you need to go through multiple iterations before you stumble upon the secret sauce that makes your CTA almost impossible to ignore.

Product descriptions

If you’re using your landing page to sell a product, your product description needs to sing. Start by writing a description as the control or first version, then tweak it a bit for the variation. Consider switching your paragraph of text to crisp bullet points, for instance.

Just as you do with the rest of the copy on the page, experiment with unique words and phrases. Pinpoint the problem your product helps people to solve or the goal it allows them to reach. Drill down on that to get your product descriptions to resonate with visitors.

Images and videos

Let’s start with one quick fact: You don’t have to use images or videos on your landing pages. Many landing pages work extremely well as minimalist pages with large copy and lots of white space.

One of your landing page A/B tests could be stripping the images and video from your landing page and testing it against the existing version. From there, you can add, subtract, or substitute as necessary.

Understand the A/B Testing Process for Landing Pages

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Now that you know what to test, how do you test it? The A/B testing process for landing pages isn’t complicated, but it does require you to adhere to a few rules.

A/B Testing x Split Testing

A/B testing and split testing aren’t the same things. A split test compares two completely different versions of a landing page to determine which design aesthetic converts better.

There’s nothing wrong with split testing, but don’t get the two confused. If you’ve already established your basic design aesthetic, you’ll want to focus on A/B testing. Your results will be far more reliable.

A/B Testing Examples of Landing Pages

Let’s say that you run a business that sells customized artwork. You create a landing page that asks people to sign up for your email list in exchange for a 5 percent discount on a future order.

That’s a nice offer and a great way to endear your audience to your business.

Now, you set up a landing page with a couple examples of your work, a few testimonials, a brief description of your USP, and the CTA. You’re golden.

But it’s time to start testing.

You might start with the examples of your work. Show three examples in the control and three other examples in the variation.

It all depends on your specific needs and what you think will contribute more heavily to conversions.

Next, you might test your headline. Add in a bit of personality since you are the brand. Make it appealing to the people most likely to buy your customized artwork.

You’ll continue this process until you’ve completely refined your landing page.

How to A/B Test Landing Pages in 6 Steps

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We understand why you need to A/B test your landing pages. It’s time to put in the grunt work and get those tests started.

Let’s break down landing page A/B tests into easy-to-follow steps. That way, there’s no confusion or frustration.

1. Understand user behavior to decide what you should test first

Understanding how your visitors behave when they land on your site can help you decide what you need to A/B test first. Crazy Egg Snapshots provide you with detailed, personalized data about user behavior.

What links attract the most clicks? How far down pages do your visitors scroll? What percentage of your visitors engage with forms on your site?

You can have this data at your fingertips, but I’ll explain that further below.

The important thing to know is that you need this data before you start A/B testing landing pages. Growing your brand and improving conversion rates require fast execution, so you want to start with elements that will truly make a difference in the results.

2. Define the “A” version

Version A for your landing page A/B test can be a landing page you create from whole cloth or one that already exists on your site. The latter is less time-intensive, of course, and if you’re already getting conversions from it, start there.

On the other hand, if you’re building a brand new website, you probably don’t have existing landing pages. In that case, refer to the data you got from your Snapshots to create a Version A that you believe will convert well.

3. Identify the opportunities and create the variation

Now that you have a control — Version A — change one element to create the variation. Again, refer to the Snapshot data you collected. Which element do you believe will contribute most to conversions? That’s what you want to test first.

4. Choose a good A/B testing tool

Tools matter when it comes to A/B testing landing pages. Lots of options exist, including Crazy Egg’s A/B testing functionality. Use a tool that provides you with plenty of versatility and easy-to-understand results.

5. Find out how long you should run the A/B tests

Crazy Egg helps you decide how long you should run your A/B tests. You want each version to run for long enough to collect sufficient data.

For instance, if only one person visits each variation, you don’t want to make lasting decisions based on that one visitor’s behavior. Instead, you want to collect lots of information from your audience so you can make decisions that work well across your audience.

6. Analyze the A/B testing results

Crazy Egg will tell you which version of your A/B test “won.” That makes it easy to turn around, change up another variable, and dive right into another A/B test.

Start Using Crazy Egg Features to A/B Test your Landing Pages

Crazy Egg combines multiple tools into one need package. You can collect detailed data with Snapshots, then run A/B tests to see what version of each piece of content you create performs better.

Don’t stop with A/B testing landing pages. You can also test your homepage, product pages, and more.

Each A/B test you run is easily accessible in your Crazy Egg dashboard. You can also collect Snapshots while you run A/B tests. It all depends on what areas of your website you’re trying to optimize.

Conclusion

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Nobody wants to get crushed by the competition. That’s why A/B testing your landing pages is essential.

We live in a very competitive landscape when it comes to commerce. Everyone has competition, no matter how unique their products and services, and A/B testing your landing pages gives you a competitive edge.

Start by creating the first version of your landing page. Tweak one element, such as your headline or CTA, to create a variation, then pit them against one another.

Some A/B tests might reveal dramatic differences, while others might turn out to convert more or less the same. However, you’ll have hard data to back up your decisions.

Start A/B testing your landing pages today so you don’t lose conversions tomorrow.

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Neil Patel

Neil Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg and Hello Bar. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue.

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