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December 20, 2012

What is A/B Testing Part 2

Written by  Darren Weik
What is A/B Testing Part 2

In the last blog, we gave a brief overview of what you should test on a landing page. Picking up where we left off, here are eight case studies from companies who increased their conversions focusing on the following areas. 

Strong Headlines

Your customers have a short attention span. That’s why the first thing they see has to be an enticing headline. Make sure it clearly communicates what you are offering, and how the user can benefit from it. If your headline doesn’t draw them in, they will probably leave the page.

Here’s a great example by L'Axelle, an antiperspirant company. Instead of writing vague statements like, “we’re the best,” or “our product works,” they communicate the benefit of their product, bluntly, by what it will do for their customer. “Put an End to Sweat Marks,” outperformed “Feel Fresh without Sweat Marks.” by almost twenty percent.



Relevant Images

Another key area to focus on are the images. Nothing looks worse than blurry, pixelated photos that have been thrown in without any forethought. Use the best kind of images that are relevant to both your audience and the offer you’re presenting. A simple test you can run is to feature an image of a man as the focus in the ad or display a photo of a woman.

DHL tested this out and found a fifteen percent increase in leads from those who saw the female image, versus the male. The verbiage was exactly the same in both ads, but it was the picture of the woman that generated greater interest.




Informative Video

Having a high quality video demonstrating your product or service can be great for generating new business. More and more companies are putting videos on their pages and finding an immediate ROI. The challenge with video is having a well written script that describes your company accurately, in addition to having a professional look.

Here are some points to consider before moving forward: Will your audience watch a two-minute presentation, or do you need to drop it back to thirty seconds? Should you use your employees or hire a company to create an animated overview of your business? Test out both ideas and see which one converts better.

Grumo Media was able to double inDinero's signups by adding a one minute video to their homepage.




Enticing Copy

It’s difficult to write well. You can easily confuse your audience with poorly written copy. You have to make sure it’s clear, and easy to read. You don’t want to be overly verbose and bore your customers away from the page. You want to be sure what you’ve written explains how your customer can benefit from your business.

Marketing Sherpa helped AwayFind reformat the exact same copy on their homepage and saw 23% increase in clicks to the sign-up page and 53% increase in registrations.




Simple Forms

Having a form to capture your visitor’s emails is essential. The best way to get their information is to offer them an ebook, a webinar, or a white paper that’s relevant to them in some way. Once you’ve decided what you will present them with, you need to consider how the actual form will look. Here are a few aspects to consider:

The placement of the forms
The number of fields
Required versus non-required fields

Blue Mountain Media completely changed the design of their form. They also added validation buttons to the fields, making sure the process went smoothly for the user. Check out their case study to see how these changes increased signups by thirty-seven percent!





If your call to action is designed well and has a related title, you’ll see a larger increase in conversions. Make sure you are using descriptive words that will let the user know what the next step is. Terms like, “submit,” or “click here,” are too vague. A helpful way to figure out better titles is to ask yourself this sentence: “I want to...”

Download the coupon
Try it for free
Read more
Start my trial

Just as a good headline can bring in more leads, the copy in the call to action is just as important. In a test performed by Optimizely on the LiveChat website, they found just changing the words “Free Trial,” to the more actionable, “Try it Free,” brought in fifteen percent more conversions on their homepage.




Social Proof or Testimonials

Have you noticed you are more likely to try something out if it’s been recommended to you? When someone you trust is telling you about a company, or service, it re-enforces this decision even more. On the web, having a testimonial from a few big-name companies is the best equivalent to this.

It’s helps the legitimacy of your business when you have a lot of social shares. When you can display a seal of approval from a large company or your customers, this will builds trust with the new people you are marketing to.

By adding the logos of companies like Disney, Virgin and Toyota, CrazyEgg was able to increase an already impressive amount of conversions to one-hundred and sixteen percent signups!



Ending the Test

What’s a good point to end your test? Generally, you’ll want to wait for about 1,000 total visitors and make sure you run the test for a long enough time to cover variances from day to day. This could be different, depending on how much traffic you get. If you are a smaller company you might need more than a week. A larger business may only need a few days.

If the results are heavily favored to one design over the other, feel free to end the test at this point.

As you’ll see, A/B testing can produce surprising results. All the time designing, writing, and planning will either be successful, or need a lot more work. Always check to see if you can improve your homepage, landing pages, or ads. Don’t get frustrated. Keep testing to get a better understanding of your audience and to continue to bring in new leads for your business.

A/B Testing Tools

Here are a few tools to perform your tests. Analytics are free, while the other options are commercially supported.

Google Analytics Content Experiments
Visual Website Optimizer


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