How to test your way to a kick-ass landing page

I’m going to stick my neck out and bet that you have a pretty good landing page. Actually, I’m not sticking it out too much. If your landing page is converting and making money, your landing page is better than most.

If you’re happy being better than most, read no further.

But what if there was a way to double, triple, maybe even get 5X your conversion rate? What if you could get there with a simple, methodical series of A/B tests? Here’s how successful online merchants do it.

First, the not-so-basic basics of A/B split testing

The keys to a successful landing page design are well-known. Once you have your design, you can test changes. Here’s how it works.

1) Make your current landing page the “control”

2) Pick one variable

2) Create an alternate landing page with just that difference

3) Send half your traffic to each landing page

4) Wait until you have a clear winner (95% confidence level)

5) The winner of that test is now the control

6) Return to step 2 and repeat

Let’s be clear, you can’t A/B test every one of the hundreds of nuances in a landing page design. But there are 6 key variables that have been shown to give the biggest boost. They are:

Test variable #1. The value proposition.

I bet you thought I was going to say, “the headline.” I did. The strongest headlines are value propositions: Clear, concise statements that tell the visitor exactly what you’re going to do for them. Even an offer headline (Buy 1 Get 1 Free) needs a strong value proposition, in the subhead. Otherwise, the reader has no idea why they might want to buy 1 and get 1 free.

(Bonus tip: Don’t use your corporate tagline as a headline. You’re better off locking it up with your logo and letting the headline sell your product.)

Test variable #2. The image.

Is there an image that might be more arresting? More relevant? Can you increase the selling power of an image? If you’re showing a static product image, maybe test it against a picture of the product in use. Are you showing a picture of a nutraceutical bottle? Maybe show a muscular body — some outcome of the product’s use.

Test variable #3. The Call to Action.

The most successful CTAs (calls to action) use words like free and get, your and my. They also feature benefits or offers. You can test an offer (Start your free trial) vs. a benefit (Lose weight today). Also, test your vs. my. Believe it or not, some marketers get a lift going from Start your free trial to Start my free trial. Others have the opposite experience.

Test variable #4. The Benefit List.

This is where you add anything your product offers above and beyond the value proposition. Some landing pages convert better when it’s added. Some when it’s removed. If you test a benefit list, keep the list short and sweet. Odd numbers work best, so stick to 3 benefits or 5.

Test variable #5. Testimonials and other trust marks.

Almost without fail, the addition of testimonials and trust symbols improves landing page conversions. The Verisign logo alone can lift conversion rates by 50% or more. The more recognizable the authority, the bigger the lift. By the way, a Verisign logo can also reduce chargebacks. It tells customers you’re reputable and they can call you with a problem.

Test variable #6. The colors.

Changing the color of a CTA button can lift response rates 10% or more. If it’s an image and you increase the contrast, 50% or more. Think about who’s buying your products and what colors may mean to them. If you’re selling an automotive product, red may get attention, but it also means “stop.” A green “go” button just may give you a lift.

We hope you find this information helpful!

At Pinpoint Intelligence, we specialize in helping online merchants and direct marketers obtain reasonably priced processing and mitigate fraud. So, when our customers succeed we succeed. Let us know what you think.

Posted in: blogs, Landing Pages

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