It’s just another average day. You log in to your Google Analytics dashboard after almost a month. At first glance, the traffic numbers look promising. There’s a smooth surge of traffic on your website giving your business an upward momentum. You’re glad to see the fruits of your content marketing efforts.
On observing GA more intently, though, there’s a MAJOR PROBLEM that seems to emerge….
Your website is behaving like a leaking bucket. Most of your traffic is getting flushed down the drain without contributing anything to your bottom line.
It hurts when you see that your marketing efforts aren’t proving effective in converting traffic.
But where exactly is this leak in your funnel?
Pondering these questions is a good starting point:
- Are you targeting the wrong keywords and promoting your brand on ill-fitting social media platforms?
- Is your lead magnet offer not enticing and relevant enough to your audience?
- Are your copy and other website elements unable to build trust?
When you collect data for answering these questions, you’ll just start scratching the surface. Would you like an alternative that can significantly improve your online business success?
I hear a loud YES!
Introducing A/B Testing.
What Is A/B Testing?
Put simply, it’s an iterative method to compare the user experience on two versions of a webpage. Optimizely sums up the process with this framework.
Veteran entrepreneurs like Ramit Sethi (from I Will Teach You To Be Rich) are so obsessed with testing that they have more than 20 tests running at any given time.
If you manage to improve your conversion rates even by a measly 1 percent, then it might amount to millions of dollars in additional revenue for your business.
In this article, my focus is on performing A/B tests on your landing pages. Building and testing them is one of the top five challenges for B2B marketers. Only 52% of companies and agencies test their landing pages in order to improve their conversions.
I can understand the fears small business owners face in analyzing data and let me just say the dreadful word…
I’ve already written a detailed guide on principles you should rely on for crafting high-converting landing pages.
Now with the 4 landing page tools I’ll review in this article (Clickfunnels, Optimizely, Unbounce and Leadpages) you can peacefully conduct A/B tests with the perfect setup.
No I.T. jazz.
Sans the hassle of designing from scratch.
With dedicated support teams to sail you through your tests.
But before we look at these powerful software tools, let’s begin with the basics of A/B testing.
Four A/B Testing Best Practices
Many business owners consider split testing as a magical pill that will scale their revenues to millions of additional dollars.
I am sorry to break it to you:
It’s an iterative learning game that you’re setting foot into.
Those shiny A/B testing results you read about, which increase conversions by over 500%, are extremely rare.
Most A/B tests either fail or give you small gains in the order of 1% to 8%. ConversionXL shared a study where it took them 6 rounds of tests to find a landing page variation for their client that converted 79% better than the original.
So break into the process with the mindset of learning about your audience preferences and finding what works (letting go of your previous hypothesis). That said, here are 4 tips to conduct effective split tests.
1. Decide on a statistical significance before launching your testing campaign
So you saw a 200% improvement in email optins on changing the CTA color on a landing page variation.
You felt ecstatic and stopped the test. So that’s how you conduct the classic blunder:
Calling a split test early without considering the sample size.
Performing sloppy A/B testing will give you spread out results all over the board.
Don’t declare a winning variation at anything below a 95% statistical significance (preferably even higher) even if your testing tool’s minimum sample size has been met. Which brings me to my next point…
2. Don’t launch A/B tests if you’ve low traffic/conversions on your website
It will take you months to reach statistical significance of over 95% (even when a variation is found to be better). This would mean losing a lot of money and resources. Instead, make massive changes based on data and put efforts towards improving your traffic.
3. Start with one test and one variable
A pretty basic concept to understand:
If you make changes to your headline and the CTA copy, then how do you know which modification had an impact on your conversions?
Don’t muddle up your results. Keep it simple by isolating one variable and running just one test at a time.
4. Data-driven hypotheses will have the highest impact on your business
So don’t chase changing headlines, fonts, and CTA button colors because you feel they can look better. Further, conversion rate optimization (CRO) process isn’t a repeatable process either. What worked for a competitor need not work with your audience.
Borrow ideas from other CRO tests, but don’t throw away your time and traffic on random tests. Check your data analytics dashboard and analyze the problematic areas on your website. That’s a much better way to hypothesize and come up with test ideas.
Alright, now you’re ready to get your hands dirty on landing page software. Let’s start by looking at the tools that dominate the market right now.