Split testing 101: what is it and how can it improve your landing pages?


Choosing the right landing page layout, words, and media can be the difference between success and failure for your latest campaign.


So how can you ensure your landing pages are successfully converting visitors into qualified leads?

Split testing 101: a brief overview

How do you know your digital marketing is working? If you’re not split testing, you could be missing out on a whole bunch of conversions… without even realising it!

Split testing (also referred to as “A/B testing” or “multivariate testing”) is a fantastic tool for figuring out the best digital marketing and promotional strategies for your business.

Instead of relying on your gut or what you think looks good, split testing helps you uncover exactly what resonates with your visitors - and most importantly, converts them!

Here’s how it works: you and your digital marketing team create two different versions of a landing page. In most cases, both these versions are almost identical… save for one detail.

For example, you might compare a CTA button that says “BUY NOW” against one that says “BOOK NOW FOR 20% OFF”.

At the most basic level, split testing works by directly comparing the two against each other and tracking how they perform.


What do we mean by “perform?”

Well, the point of your landing page is to create conversions - naturally, whichever one generates more conversions is the one you should implement on your landers!

Of course, split testing is a tad harder than that.

There’s a lot more that goes into running an effective test: duration, sample size, statistical significance, confidence intervals… the list goes on.

It’s a technique built on statistical methods and analysis - that said, you don’t have to be a statistician to use it effectively!


Why you should split test your landing pages

Everyone split tests: did you know that Barack Obama's campaign team was able to tweak their splash page to make it more effective and boost their conversion rate?

In the end, they raised their conversion rate to 40% (up from 8%) and brought in an additional $60 million in donations.

Split testing isn’t about testing for the sake of it.

It’s all about determining what you need to change to your landing pages to get more conversions for your business.

Testing can give you tremendous insight:

  • Gets rid of uncertainty by eliminating guesswork
  • Uncovers that words or images resonate with visitors
  • Can reveal unexpected insights
  • Allows you to optimise your landing pages for conversion

Popular split testing variables

Test your copy

Despite only being a couple of words long, headlines play a huge role in the success of your landing pages. In fact, we find it harder to write a compelling headline of just 5 or 6 words than a 1000-word blog post!

A compelling headline can be the difference between conversions and bounces.

They draw people towards your content, but beware: good headlines are NOT clickbait!

Don’t over-promise. Do be excited, truthful, and clear!

The conversion power of your headlines can’t be underestimated. As such, they’re one of the major players involved in split testing.


Test your images

When it comes to your landing pages, images are like an oasis in a sea of text - they break up the monotony of reading and can illustrate certain points.

But not all pictures are made equal!

Images that aren’t relevant to the services you offer can actually harm your conversion rate. Some stock images in particular don’t go over well with visitors. Some of those overly posed photos - even in they’re relevant to your business - can come across as impersonal, artificial, and just plain awkward!

Pictures say a thousand words - you’ll want to make sure the images you choose for your landing page are encouraging conversions.

People love to see people: no matter your line of business, potential clients want to know who they might be working with.

Consider testing images of your team against your services, business or diagrams.


Test for length

Landing page length is a bit like coffee: everyone holds strong opinions about what should go in and it’s a topic that generates fervent discussion.

Of course, each site and its target market is different.

Someone who’s in the market for a new car is probably more willing to read through your copy than someone who’s looking to hire some props for a Christmas party, for instance!

The only way to find out the ideal length of your landing pages is to split test them.

To test this properly, you’ll need to do more than create two different versions of your text. It’s also a good idea to play around with the length of any graphics you might have, as well as your page’s overall length too.

And if it turns out your landing pages are too long, then it might be time to test what you can get away with trimming. If you’re anything like me, that means cutting out a lot of unnecessary text!


Test your CTA

If you’re not wrapping up your landing page with a call to action, you’re not doing it right.

You don’t need us to tell you how effective a well-written call-to-action can be at making conversions. Why does Macca’s ask, “Do you want fries with that?” Because it works!

Choosing the perfect wording for your CTA can be achieved using split testing. And unlike testing for other parts of your landing page, determining how effectiveness of your CTA button is as simple as looking at how many clicks you get!

The screenshot below comes from one of our own client’s websites - Watermaster Roofing. Did you know his phone call clicks soared once we added that arrow and 5 simple words?


Split testing is a part of your overall SEO strategy

There’s really no clear-cut, one size fits all solution when it comes to optimising your landing pages - that’s why testing is so important.

Of course, split testing doesn’t have to be limited to your landing pages. Testing can be applied to any aspect of your SEO strategy: from your site layout and your email newsletters, to even the small line of text above your website’s phone number.

Many platforms like Wordpress have testing plugins - others like Google, Facebook and MailChimp even have their own inbuilt platforms.

So there you have it: what split testing is and how it can improve your SEO strategy.

Have any questions about split testing? Curious about how you can improve your digital strategy? Call iformat today on 1300 88 64 50 or contact us here.


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