You’ve carefully researched your target audience, you’ve spent hours developing your lead generation strategy, and you’ve hired the very best copywriters and designers to boost your conversions but until you A/B test your content, you don’t really know what’s resonating with your visitors — or if you could do something better.
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a way of experimenting to see which combination of copy and design gives you the best results for your specific target audience. It can be used on absolutely any part of your website. The basic idea is that two different portions of your audience see different elements, text, or content and measure how many of those take your desired action (form submission, newsletter sign-up, button click etc.). Then, you can make an informed decision about which delivery style or format leads to the most conversions.
What you may not know is that you can split-test virtually anything that appears on your website. While you don’t want to change too many variables at once, you can follow a careful testing process to gradually approach your optimal combination of elements.
So let’s jump in and cover 6 things you should A/B test on your WordPress website.
1. A/B Test Your Message/UVP/Offering
Start with the basics. Is your core message resonating with your target audience? If you’re struggling to convert leads into customers — or get leads at all — it might be worth the effort to rethink your unique value proposition (UVP). What new approach could you take to better connect with your ideal customer? How could you better express your UVP?
Split testing your core message might entail trying out a new tagline or ‘hero’ text on your website. Is there a different core benefit you could highlight? Even subtle tweaks to the tone of your landing page copy might have a big impact.
You may also want to split test any lead magnet you’re using. If you’ve been using an e-book to generate leads, try switching it out for a worksheet for some of your visitors. A/B test two versions of the lead capture page with the different offerings to see which one converts better.
If you want a head start, our friends over at FunnelPacks have some fantastic lead magnets for freelancers and agencies. Why not split test to see which one your target audience likes most?
2. Test Your Headings
Headings are not only important for the structure and readability of your site but are also essential to your customer engagement – and therefore your conversions. Search engine crawlers often look at headings for keywords as one of many factors to determine how your page ranks. However, headings are more important to your audience and Google ranks appropriately also based on user engagement (time on page, bounce rate, and so on). The reader’s eye is naturally drawn to larger text, and many visitors will skim the headings rather than reading all of the content so you need to captivate them to read deeper.
That’s why it’s so important to find the perfect copy for your headings. Split testing your headings is a brilliant way to do so. Try A/B testing different keywords, then see which version of the page yields more conversions. This strategy can work on landing pages, product pages, and pretty much anywhere else you can think of.
3. Test Your Images
As the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words. So, you want to be sure that you’re not using an image that says the wrong thing. The only way to know for sure is to split test. Try testing different header images, whether it’s a stock photo versus a vector or two distinct styles of photography.
You can also test whether the presence of an image is helping or hurting the page. You’ve probably heard that hi-res photos boost conversions, and that may be true for some brands. Sometimes, though, images distract from the copy that might be doing a good job of selling on its own. A/B test their presence to see if that’s the case for you.
One more option could be to split test images vs video. Does your particular audience prefer the more visual animation of video vs a static image?
4. Split Test Your Forms
Most lead captures involve a form of some type. Getting someone to fill out your form is the bread-and-butter of converting a visitor to a lead. The problem is that most visitors are reluctant to do so.
Shorter forms collecting the basics of the information you require and being as easy as possible to fill out will generally always benefit your conversion rate. The downside to this is it may not necessarily be completed by your ‘ideal’ client. With such a low barrier to entry, this could lead to a lot of wasted time speaking with unqualified leads. However, if you’re just starting out and have low website traffic then this is probably a good place to start.
Likewise, you could extend it and add additional fields to filter out those lower quality enquiries leading to a higher quality of conversion rate. It’s a common tactic for agencies and freelancers to use a more complex form asking about the goals and requirements of a project as a reasonable barrier to entry so the lead can show they’re serious about their project.
You can also A/B test the positions and labels of your form fields. Unclear flows or descriptions can confuse visitors and make them less likely to convert. Before completely re-doing your form, split-test some variations to see if shortening or clarifying its structure would make it more effective.
A good example would be moving a phone number fields towards the end of the form as the user may feel already invested as they’ve filled it in thus far.
5. Split Test Your CTAs (Call to actions)
Few elements on your webpage are more important than your call-to-action (CTA). A weak CTA almost guarantees that you’ll suffer from a low conversion rate. However, even strong CTAs can be tweaked to perform better. Once again, A/B testing can help you determine the best way to draw people to your CTA.
First, make sure that your CTA is placed correctly. Common theory dictates that the CTA should be placed above-the-fold and otherwise prominently on the page. However, the optimal placement for a CTA depends on the overall structure and design of the page. Sometimes, a CTA that follows some compelling copy can convert more visitors than one that blasts the visitor as soon as they land on the page. Test different placements to see which one converts better.
Colour (we are British, this is how it’s spelt ????)
Colour is also a major factor in your CTA’s success. As a rule of thumb, you should use a contrasting colour for your CTA button. Don’t let the CTA blend into the page; that’s a great way to kill your conversion rates. You can also A/B test different colours to see which gets your visitors more excited. For example, red is often a contrasting colour, but it might come off as aggressive to some people. Try a couple of options to see which colour your audience prefers.
Most importantly, ensure that your button says something meaningful. Sometimes, simple copy such as “Buy Now” is effective. Often, though, you’ll find that engaging copy — even if it’s a little longer — drives more conversions. Try using action-oriented language or fun phrasing that piques your visitors’ interest. This bit of copy is essential to your CTA’s conversion rate so that you know which phrasing has better results.
6. Test Copy for Engagement
How your webpage visitors perceive the page comes down to more than just the right combination of images and colours. Even though people mostly skim webpages, they do still read if something strikes their interest. Engaging web copy is more likely to be read, and therefore more likely to convince visitors to convert.
Especially for landing pages, product pages, and other pages where words are crucial to scoring a conversion, try split testing variations of copy to see which performs better. You can test different tones, structures, or even wholly different blocks of copy. Remember, you only have a few seconds to catch and maintain a reader’s interest, so make sure it counts.
There are so many ways to split test your webpage that you could continue to tweak until the end of time — and you should. People’s preferences and interests change, and you should never assume that what worked for your business a year ago will work forever. Make A/B testing a regular part of your strategy. Just be sure to test progressively rather than all at once, or else you won’t be certain which change was responsible for the improvement. Once you’ve created a plan of action, start testing some variations and getting to know your audience better. Then, watch your conversion rate increase.