So far in this series, we have covered best practices for designing and building landing pages. Above all else, landing pages should offer a quick, clean path to conversion for your leads. Creating a great landing page involves clarifying your concept, getting the design elements right, and locking up quality content behind effective forms to capture as much prospect data as possible. But achieving these fundamentals is just the beginning of your task. Testing and refining your landing page to maximize the conversion rate is the key to mastering these best practices.
What should I test?
First, identify and isolate landing page variables that are easy to change up, such as:
- Header image
- Phrasing/word choice
- Fields in your form
- Length of form
How do I test?
There are two basic types of tests you can run: Multivariate and A/B.
- A/B testing compares two versions of a single variable (Do more visitors sign up for a free demo or a white paper?) and tracks visitor response rates to each option so that you can see which is the more effective of the two.
- Multivariate testing compares a variety of variables in different combinations (Do visitors respond better to a short form next to an image of the white paper on offer? A screenshot next to a long form that earns them a free demo? Which of these options fares better once the headline has been worded differently?). You could think of multivariate testing as conducting multiple A/B tests in various combinations.
Which type of test is best?
Each type has pros and cons. A/B testing is relatively straightforward to conduct, and it generates a clear winner–but you can only test one element at a time. Multivariate testing yields more complex findings that, while certainly more precise and accurate, still contain far more grey area than the cut-and-dried A/B test results. One recent informal survey found that 80% of conversion experts prefer A/B over multivariate testing. Why? Multivariate testing is more complicated and takes a lot longer, as there are endless combinations of variables you can test. But spend too much time testing and you’ll get diminishing returns. Your best bet is to choose the most important variables, come up with some different possible combinations, and finally narrow it down to the best two versions of the landing page for testing.
What should I do with the results?
Use your testing results to make continuous improvements to your landing pages. Always be thinking different elements to test, better ways of wording things, and new items to introduce. Remember that this is an ongoing process, not just a one-time series of tests. Prospects’ needs and tastes aren’t fixed; testing can help you identify and keep up with new trends and directions. Constant testing and refining are part and parcel of achieving a high conversion rate for your landing pages.