A/B Testing Landing Pages

Digital Marketing » Conversion Rate Optimization » A/B Testing Landing Pages

Landing pages can be a crucial part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Generally, a landing page is a web page that businesses can send interested consumers to from other digital marketing channels, such as social media or paid ads. Landing pages can be used to provide potential customers and clients with information about your services or products, as well as a way to proceed to purchase or learn more. As such, they can serve as a vital touchpoint that can, importantly, help you generate leads

Enhancing the effectiveness of landing pages can be important, and many organizations do this through Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO. CRO can involve methods such as A/B testing–used to better understand the relative effectiveness of different landing pages and subsequently optimize them. Understanding CRO can help business owners better understand how they can optimize their own landing pages. 

A/B Testing: The Basics

A/B testing is a fairly simple process, yet one that can significantly help businesses understand the performance of their landing pages. This method isn’t exclusively used for landing pages and can be used across a wide variety of digital marketing channels, but we’ll primarily focus on A/B testing in the context of landing pages here. Here’s how it works:

  • A business creates two distinct landing pages: One landing page, the “A” page, should remain consistent. The business can then create variations on the “B” Page.
  • Both landing pages are used. The business can then compare the performance of each one and adopt changes if needed. 
  • Importantly, taking a more systematic approach to these variations can be more helpful. Businesses should make one change at a time, A/B test, and then make additional changes in the same manner. By taking a scientific method approach and only changing one variable at a time, you’ll be able to gain a clearer understanding of what you can and cannot attribute effectiveness too. 

Novel A/B Testing

You might understand the concept of A/B testing, but if you’re unsure of where to start, it can be helpful to explore some of the things a business might change between A and B landing pages. Here are some A/B testing ideas you can consider:

  • Try out different value propositions: Experiment with different value propositions and see which ones seem to be more compelling to potential customers or clients.
  • Try out different messaging, language, or formatting: Another thing you can experiment on is how you present the information on your landing page. You can try moving calls-to-action placement, using different languages, and trying various formatting.
  • Consider how design elements can impact user experiences and conversions: In addition to messaging and language changes, you can experiment with design elements and try to better understand how they can impact engagement among visitors. 

Popular A/B Testing Tools

A/B tools offer businesses a way to implement A/B testing and often better understand the results of A/B testing of landing pages. Some popular A/B testing tools include:

  • Optimizely: Optimizely offers tools that enable robust A/B testing. Optimizely allows companies to build real-time segments based on customer attributes, omnichannel experimentation, and more to enable companies to better understand consumer interactions. 
  • VWO: VWO is another service provider offering robust A/B testing tools. With VWO, businesses can use a visual or code editor to make changes easily, test specific hypotheses, and easily segment users. 
  • Crazyegg: Crazyegg offers tools designed to make A/B testing simple and fast. These include no-code editing, a simple setup process, and easy integrations. 
  • Unbounce: Unbounce offers powerful tools for building landing pages that can be extremely useful for A/B testing as well as web design. Unbounce offers AI designed for CRO, pre-optimized design templates, and more. 

Test biases 

Importantly, understanding test biases can help you overcome challenges associated with them. Some of these might include:

  • Selection bias: If researchers play too big of a role in selecting who will be studied, the study can become inaccurate. In order to address selection bias, proper randomization of trials is important. This can also relate to attrition bias, in the event that participants leave the study if there’s a common thread among those participants, and sample bias, in which researchers fail to consider a sample not being representative of the population being studied. These can be addressed by the randomization of samples. 
  • Measurement bias: Measurement bias can occur when researchers fail to measure outcomes accurately. This can lead to misunderstanding data. In order to address measurement bias, researchers should carefully verify measurements and work in a team. 
  • History bias: History bias can happen when things outside of a study affect the outcomes of a study–and, importantly, when researchers fail to take into account the potential effects of those outside things. In order to address history bias, researchers can take a holistic approach to analyze phenomenon and work in teams. 
  • Instrumentation Effect: This can occur when a researcher, even if inadvertently, changes testing methods during the study. This could be something as simple as rolling out a second B variation from your A page during a single period of A/B testing. In order to address this, researchers can strive for consistency. 

Analyzing A/B Tests and Implementing Changes

Once you’ve begun testing and started to collect data, it’s important to put that data to use. Before performing A/B  testing, it’s important to determine a Key Performance Indicator, or KPI. This will serve as a primary success metric with which you can gauge your success. In addition to that, you can identify a second metric or measurement that you can use to better understand your visitors. 

Before beginning your test, determine what the results of your test will tell you. For example, if in your B page, you’ve simply moved your CTA closer to the top of the page, and the B page shows better conversion rates, you’ll be able to understand that moving your CTA can have an impact on conversion rates. If the A page performs better, you’ll know that where the CTA was before might be more effective. 

It’s important to use A/B testing to apply optimizations and leverage the data it affords you to better approach how you engage with visitors on your landing pages. As you learn what does and doesn’t work, you can sharpen your approach and create increasingly effective landing pages. As you notice factors that affect engagement, you should be able to create more questions about how–which you can then use to inform further testing–which can lead to further insights and help you understand your ideal client

Continuous improvement 

Once you’ve run a couple of A/B tests and begun to optimize your landing pages, it’s important to continue running tests and analyzing your strategy. Not only is it likely that there’s always something you can improve, but there’s another reason this is important: As time goes on, markets and the people that comprise them can change, and by continually testing your digital marketing strategy with methods such as A/B testing, you can better set yourself up for long-term success through remaining adaptive with a culture of experimentation in a quickly changing world. 

The bottom line

A/B testing can be a highly important way to facilitate Conversion Rate Optimization. By A/B testing using sound methods and careful attention to research best practices, such as only changing a single variable at one time and remaining cognizant of common testing biases, organizations can better understand how visitors interact with their landing pages. This can be a key component of a business’ overall digital marketing strategy. By investing in A/B testing for important landing pages, service-providing businesses can better understand what drives visitor engagement and optimize their landing pages in order to see more desirable outcomes, like improved conversion rates. By taking a consistent approach that favors continual improvement and ongoing testing, businesses can optimize the way they engage with consumers through landing pages.

About The Author

Matthew Post

Matthew Post

Matthew Post has dedicated over two decades to building and optimizing websites. He has worked in-house for nationwide e-commerce companies and large local firms to increase customer engagement through conversion rate optimization and search engine optimization. His expertise covers both the development and growth of digital properties.