Whether you’re a bank in Indianapolis or an SEO company in Chicago, when you market online, you need good landing pages. Why? Simply put, a landing page can be one of your site’s greatest assets: a tool to target a specific audience with content that converts. So, what do you do when your landing page isn’t working well? When you’re not seeing conversions, what’s the problem? One way to find out is through testing. Using A/B testing, you can see what tweaks deliver better outcomes and refine your landing pages to make them more effective. But what should you test?
To give you a starting point for better A/B testing on landing pages, here’s a list of what elements are best to check:
Headline. The headline of your landing pages is typically the largest and most noticeable content visible. As such, it can be the element that either boosts a visitor’s interest or turns the visitor away. With that in mind, try testing different headline options to see what gives you the lowest bounce rate. You might reframe the headline from a statement to a question; from a list to “how to;” or from an imperative to a newsy hook. In each case, you can test to see what performs better.
Value proposition. Before anyone wants to work with, sign up with or buy from your business, he or she wants to know why it’s worth it. Your value proposition answers that question. Because this is the make-it-or-break-it element of your page, try a variety of versions to see what works best. Rather than a list of features (what’s great about what you offer), try a list of benefits (what it does or solves for the prospect). Use these benefits in various ways — an individual benefit as a header, a list in bullets, etc. — testing to see what converts best.
Page layout. The organization of your landing page content can be as important as the content itself. Why? The layout guides visitors through content and makes it easy or hard for visitors to find what they need. It also creates an overall look and feel to resonate with the reader. Try testing different layouts to see what visitor patterns emerge.
Amount of content. While sometimes it’s best to keep your copy short and sweet, other times long-form content converts visitors best. Try testing both options to see what performs better — a page with lengthy, descriptive content telling visitors why to convert or a simplified page that focuses on a signup form?
Calls to action. Whatever the goal of your page — to increase email signups, to boost calls or appointments, to generate clicks on a certain link — you want to ask visitors to complete that goal with a clear call to action. If you’re not seeing great results, try tweaking the copy and testing variations. Other CTA options to test include button size, shape, color or placement on the page.
Credibility elements. Sometimes, what stops a visitor from completing an action is a lack of trust in your business or a question about your credibility. So, what would happen if you added credibility elements such as testimonials or affiliation logos to the page? Would these elements boost your conversions? This is another great landing page element to check.
Social proof. From expert opinions to celebrity endorsements, there are many kinds of social proof. To see what resonates with your target audience, try testing various types on your landing page.
The beauty of testing your landing page is it gives you real-time data on how visitors are responding to your content. When you see the hard numbers pointing you in one direction or the other, it’s that much easier to make tweaks that boost your conversion rates.
Author bio: Shanna Mallon is a senior copywriter for Straight North, a Chicago-based Internet marketing firm that specializes in B2B SEO, PPC, email marketing and web development. She’s also been a freelance writer since 2007.