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A quick shout out to gary bobel for bringing this Associated Content Post!

Getting the best out of your landing page can be a little bit tricky at times. What do you do when your clickthrough rate, conversions and leads are not delivering as you think they should? Create another landing page (LP) and compare it to the first. A/B testing is a great way to see how people respond to different landing pages.

What is A/B Testing?

It is a test methodology in which you split your traffic into two groups, and direct each group to different destinations. In order to be statistically meaningful, the first visitor goes to location A, the second visitor goes to location B, the third visitor goes to location A, and so on.

A/B testing is also used to track ROI and highlight areas that could benefit from usability improvements. If you're using online marketing software, it should be able to generate reports that pinpoint which versions of your landing pages are performing as desired.

Setting Up and Using The A/B Test

By dividing your audience into two groups, you are able to see both your landing pages at work side-by-side. The alternate LP should have only one change made as compared to the original (thus isolating the variable you wish to test).

One example of A/B split testing is this: Let's say you want to determine the best call-to-action to use. On one LP, you may have a simple “click here” button that doesn't detail “why” to click. On the alternate LP, you may give specific instructions such as, “click here to subscribe” to your email subscription list. By creating the two landing pages exactly the same EXCEPT for the “click here” button description, you are able to see exactly which one works best for you.

Areas to Test

Some of the most common areas marketers test include:

  • Content
  • Offers
  • Headings
  • Banners
  • Colors
  • Images
  • Call to action
  • Layout

Each of these elements can affect the success rate of your landing page, and your entire campaign. Running a test on each one of these elements one at a time through the testing period will provide you with the knowledge of what is working and what is not. Don't ever assume that one is working better than the other without running them both in their own test cell. What you expect may not always be what you get.
Usually landing pages are hidden from organic search during A/B testing to make sure that your email marketing campaign or PPC campaign is the only contributing factor generating the leads. It is too easy to lead people astray onto other parts of your website before completing the test if there are other links that could be used during the testing phase.

Tracking Results

Set up different tracking codes for each landing page. By comparing clickthrough and conversion rates between the two groups, you will be able to mark which landing page was the winner for the test.

Accurate Results

The strength and size of your sample and data will determine the length of your tests. You will usually want to shoot for 200 responses for each landing page -100 at the bare minimum.

You should never make changes while in the middle of a test, simply because you will never know for sure what worked out and what did not. One small change could affect your results tremendously.

After the Test:

A/B testing should be an ongoing component of your campaigns. Learning from tests repeated over time will help you optimize your landing pages to their fullest potential. Once you get the results from the first test, you need to test the next area, then the next, and so forth. As your testing continues, you will know precisely the areas in need of change to create bigger and better results and conversions.


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