When you hear about A/B testing, it's often generically associated with testing landing pages. But what exactly can you test on the landing page? (Tons of things.) And can A/B testing extend beyond landing pages to other areas of your marketing? (It totally can.) So without further ado, let's start by breaking down the benefits of A/B testing, and then dive right into all the places you can leverage the power of A/B testing that you might not have thought of before.
Why A/B Test?
If you're creating landing pages with forms, then you already understand how important lead generation is to monetize your site traffic and meet your marketing and sales goals. But aside from following best practices, there's no way to know if the approach you're taking on that landing page is the one that will drive the best results. In the lead generation game, your gut can only get you so far. The real success comes from the numbers. A/B testing is a scientific approach to telling you whether your gut marketing instincts are correct, off base, or somewhere in between.
What Can You A/B Test on Landing Pages?
As we've discussed before, A/B testing of landing pages is most effective when you make large scale changes to a page instead of tiny, incremental changes over time. But how much is there, really, that you can change? If you're at a loss, consult this exhaustive list of the elements you can test on a landing page. If you're in doubt that such miniscule things could make a difference, read this case study on the difference just a change in button color makes. Here's a list of everything you can change on a landing page to test for effectiveness.
1.) Landing page headline: Does a punchier headline work better, or do more descriptive, clarifying headlines do the trick? Does different language and messaging make a difference?
2.) Landing page form field names: Are prospects getting confused when trying to fill out your form? Are there clearer ways to label the fields on your form?
3.) Number of landing page form fields: How many form fields is your prospect willing to complete to obtain the offer? How much information do you need to gather from him or her to effectively qualify the lead?
4.) Form button color: Is a color that stands out from your color scheme more eye catching? Or is it distracting, and causing people to abandon your landing page?
5.) Form button size: Is the size of your button too small for people to find? Or is it so large that it overwhelms the explanatory copy and other page elements?
6.) Form button copy: Is the copy on your button actionable enough to get people to click through? Does it clearly explain what will happen after the submission?
7.) Landing page layout: When you lay out your landing page, do more people convert when your form is on the right, or left side of the page? Where on the page should your image or video reside? And where is the best place for your headline and copy?
8.) Form headline: What words in your form's headline most clearly portray your message? Which headline provides the lowest landing page abandonment rate?
9.) Image: Is your image engaging? Is it relevant to your offer? Or is it confusing landing page visitors?
10.) Captions on images: Does adding a caption to your image help clarify it? Or does it distract people from filling out the form?
11.) Copy and headline font size: Is the headline bold enough so page visitors can orient themselves quickly on your landing page?
12.) Use of video: Would a video help demonstrate your value proposition, causing more people to complete your form?
13.) Use of social follow buttons: Are you getting more followers by including social follow buttons on the landing page? Or does it distract people and bring them to your social media sites, instead? Are they best served on your thank-you page, only?
14.) Use of testimonials: Does the inclusion of customer testimonials help make you convert more leads? Where on the page should they reside? Do they only help with certain offers, like case studies or buying guides?
15.) Use of third-party seals of approval: Does adding a VeriSign seal or BBB seal of approval make people more comfortable submitting their information to you?
What Else Can Be A/B Tested?
I know. The landing page tests were so successful that you can't wait to get these results for other areas of your marketing. Here are some more elements you can begin testing to maximize your marketing results. Over time, what was once a shot in the dark will become proven data points that you can implement on a daily basis as you craft your marketing campaigns.
16.) Email subject line: Is your email subject line interesting enough to get people to open your message? Is it too long? Too short? Too vague? Or does it work best with only one particular segment of your email database?
17.) Email image: Is your image too big for your mobile readers? Do you have better click-through rates when you use smaller images? Have you considered changing your alt text to something clearer?
19.) Email sender field: Do your email recipients prefer to get emails from a real person's name, or your company? Since the answer may change depending on the segment of your list, have you experimented with your sender field for different email recipients?
20.) Call-to-action layout: When creating a call-to-action button, what design resonates best? Should the headline be bold and on the left of a square button, or centered above an image in a rectangular button?
21.) Call-to-action headline and copy: Just as on your landing page, the language you use in your call-to-action's headline and copy can make or break its success. Is your language actionable and clear enough? Have you tested different verbs to see which generate more clicks?
22.) Call-to-action color scheme: Are your call-to-action buttons getting more clicks with a white background or a dark background? Is the color scheme blending in too much with your site's skin? Do your call-to-action buttons look like paid ads instead of offers?
23.) Call-to-action size: Is the call-to-action button big enough to get noticed? Or is it too big, getting your viewer's attention before they've had a chance to read the copy explaining the value behind your offer?
24.) Anchor text copy: If you're trying to drive traffic from one page on your site to another, what text should be highlighted to garner more clicks? Is it product or branded anchor text, anchor text with an action verb in the beginning, anchor text that hyperlinks an entire sentence, or anchor text that hyperlinks only three words?
25.) Placement of links in emails or page copy: Where in your copy should links be placed to get the most clicks? Are the links in the introduction of your blog post getting the majority of your clicks? Will people read your entire email to click the link in your P.S.?
26.) Ad and call-to-action placement: Will you receive more clicks if your ads and calls-to-action are placed at the top of your page, at the bottom, or on the right or left of your page? Is there any difference in the quality of the traffic?
27.) Placement of social sharing and social subscription buttons: Should your social sharing and subscription buttons be at the top of your blog post, or at the bottom? What about in your emails, or on your homepage?
28.) Offer format: Do people enjoy downloading webinars more or less than whitepapers? Which content format does your audience prefer to digest?
What other elements on or off a landing page can you think of to A/B test?