While we may rely on intuition and best practices when initially designing our marketing content, including landing pages, optimizing them works best when based on empirical evidence. Find out what really does work—not just what you think should work.
The best way to gather that evidence is with A/B testing. A/B, or split, testing matches up two versions of an element, randomly presented to your website visitors, and allows you to determine which version drives the best results.
These posts will give you a quick overview of A/B testing:
Find full guides to testing your marketing tools in An Introduction to Using A/B Testing for Marketing Optimization.
Landing pages, where website visitors fill out a form to access one of your offers, are where visitors become leads, so making them as enticing and effective as possible is vital to generating leads online. Consider each element carefully.
5 Elements to Optimize On a Landing Page
One of the basic elements of a landing page is the copy. What you write can impact how visitors perceive and react on the landing page.
In testing your copy, you could compare the results to two completely different approaches, such as testing a short description with bullet point benefits against a lengthier story that includes a testimonial.
Or use a similar copy format, but test two different messages or taglines.
What type of image is best? A/B test your landing pages using two very different images, such as an image of the offer (example: the cover of an ebook or an image of the product for which they are getting a coupon) vs. an image of a customer to go along with the testimonial.
Or test a photo against a short video or against an infographic.
Of course, you could also test a landing page with no image against one with an image.
Find out what catches your visitors’ attention without distracting them from the job of filling out the form.
3. Form fields
Speaking of the landing page form, what is the best way to present a form?
Use A/B testing to gauge your form completion rate when all that is requested is an email address vs. more information, such as name, job title or company. How much information is enough to give you needed lead intelligence, but not so much that it scares visitors away from completing the form?
Sometimes you may be able to improve the form simply by changing its formatting. Test a form with bulleted fields against a simpler version, or try placing fields closer together compared to a more open layout.
From the form, you move on to the button. Seems simple enough—just a button saying “Submit,” right? Maybe not.
Some evidence shows that other phrases are more effective, but your results may vary. So test it. Try changing the verbiage on your button to something more active such as “Start saving,” “Join today” or “Sign up.”
You could also run an A/B test to determine if a certain color or shape of button outperforms another on your landing pages.
5. Whole page/layout
Not all testing has to be done on the micro, single-element level. One of the fastest ways to achieve drastic results and produce a landing page that drives a lot of conversions is by testing completely different pages.
Change up the entire layout of the page, from image placement and form length to the copy. Once you have a statistically significant result pointing to the variation that performed better, you can continue optimizing through smaller tweaks.
Of course, landing pages aren’t the only elements you can test. Check these posts for more A/B testing ideas.
Find complete details on testing your marketing elements and using those test results to optimize them in our free ebook: An Introduction to Using A/B Testing for Marketing Optimization.