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Increase Landing Page Conversions with Strategic A/B Testing

Posted by Jessica Kumor on July 30, 2015

landing page 1

A well-optimized landing page is the cornerstone of a content strategy and the backbone to a website. This seemingly simple web form allows a company to capture a visitor’s information, typically in exchange for information in the form of an ebook, video, kit, etc.


Landing pages allow a brand to more effectively achieve the goal of converting website visitors into new customer leads by making an offer easily attainable. Once a website visitor fills out a form they should be instantly classified into a CRM system as a potential lead, and if you’re really utilizing this tool, categorized by what stage in the buying process this individual is most likely in. This practice allows a business to turn around and send customized communications to further nurture a lead into a customer – potentially even a reccurring buyer.

There you have it, landing pages are important. So, why do you think that new research from Ascend2, a marketing research firm, suggests that almost a quarter (23%) of marketers do not perform any landing page testing to determine its level of success?

Beats me.

Despite this general lack of interest in landing page testing, 93% of the 342 marketers surveyed by Ascend2 consider landing page conversion rates the most important metric for judging the success of the page. Landing pages and lead generation go together like peanut butter and fluff (New England reference for the win!), yet there’s disconnect between the tool and the goal. If businesses wish to up their lead generation game, landing page testing is a sure-fire way to make the most out of resources already being used.

What is A/B Testing?
For those just dipping their toes in the waters of A/B testing, it is the practice in which a control (A) is tested against a variable (B). With landing pages, the goal is to identify the changes in design, copy, technology and form field requirements that hinder conversion. It’s not uncommon for savvy digital marketers to conduct A/B testing on emails, banner ads, landing pages, call-to-action buttons, etc. Here at Jacobs and Clevenger, A/B testing is a must-have step in any campaign and we’ve called a few winners and losers concerning landing pages for our programs.

For example, for Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) Guide to Lighting Controls and Occupancy Sensors landing page we tested the length of the copy and the title CTA.

Can you guess the winner?

For the purposes of this test, we found that shorter copy and using the title of the ebook versus a more generalized CTA worked better. Because of our A/B testing, this ebook download landing page has achieved a program-to-date conversion rate of 7.49% as of June 30, 2015. With further testing and optimizing the page’s conversion rate may continue to rise.

Version A – Winner
landing page 2






Meanwhile, we’re still in the process of testing a new landing page design (Version B) versus the more traditional style featured in the control (Version A). So far the data is inconclusive and we’re continuing to run the A/B test until we feel more confident in calling a winner.
ab 4What Landing Page Elements Should be A/B Tested?
Landing pages are touted as the most effective online lead generating tactic by 44% of marketers surveyed by Ascend2. Yet, 45% of those marketers claimed that they struggle to optimize their landing pages. Let’s see if we can clear up some of the confusion concerning landing pages here.

Despite being a seemingly simple page, landing pages hold a variety of elements that require testing to optimize them for better performance, including:
• Headline
• Copy
• Form fill requirements
• Images
• Design

Benefits of A/B Testing Landing Pages
Modern marketers know that data is an invaluable component to the development and maintenance of their strategies. C-level executives and clients require measurable efforts as proof of a return on investment, while the information also allows marketers to fine-tune strategies and remain nimble.

In an article written for Harvard Business Review, Wyatt Jenkins, the VP of Product at Shutterstock, discusses how A/B testing has advanced the business.

At Shutterstock, everything is tested, including copy and link colors, relevance algorithms that rank search results, language detection functions, usability and downloading, pricing, video-playback design and even more front-end and back-end features. This has allowed the business to become the world’s largest creative marketplace for more than 750,000 customers.

A/B testing means that Shutterstock knows more about their customers, statistically, than other brand competitors. This same benefit holds true for marketers who are A/B testing their landing pages.

By utilizing A/B testing, marketers learn more about their customers and in return, increase the number of their customers and their lifetime value. For content marketing purposes, landing page optimization through A/B testing facilitates greater content reach. Your ebooks, videos and guides are all able to garner the attention of your intended audience, spreading your expertise and improving your reputation like ripples in water.

When J&C first started working with PG&E, conversion rates for landing pages were low – 1.06%. So, we set an ambitious goal – to reach an overall landing page conversion rate between 5 and 7%. Now, just six months later, we’ve reached a landing page conversion rate of 8.16%, thanks to strategic planning and A/B testing our landing pages.

According to the Ascend2 research, only 23% of marketers are using internal resource to execute landing page creation, including content creation, optimizing the pages for SEO, designing and developing the pages and analyzing. For marketing teams looking to instill landing page best practices and get the most out of these lead generation machines, it may take external sources.

Topics: Content Marketing

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