The Next Generation of Visual Website Optimizer is launching in April 2014 See What's Coming

Seven essential ingredients of a high converting landing page

Posted in A/B Split Testing on December 12th, 2012

For a long time now, A/B testing experts and consultants the world over have been advising their clients to go for the quick wins on a landing page. And when we talk of quick wins, nothing is quicker than changing headline copy. Unfortunately, in larger organizations, it’s also the one that causes a lot of heart burn because marketing and branding executives are uncomfortable positioning their offerings in the completely new ways suggested by the optimization expert. Today’s case study shows why it makes sense to be continually testing and getting the quick wins.

Laura Roeder Social Media provides social media marketing training for small businesses based out of Los Angeles. Their online shops include Zero to Facebook, Your Backstage Pass to Twitter and Creating Fame. For years, they had been using the headline “Could You Use a Free Plan For Promoting With Social Media?” on their homepage, directing visitors to sign up for their newsletter “The Dash”.

The Test

For the headline test, Laura wanted to test something that was more conversation and sounded less like marketing copy. She wasn’t sure if it would work because the new headline just refers to a newsletter, but not what it was about. That meant visitors wouldn’t be able to tell what they were signing up for. However, she let her intuitions be and turned to Visual Website Optimizer to A/B test her idea.

Control – Old headline “Could You Use a Free Plan For Promoting With Social Media?”

Variation – New headline “Yours is the only newsletter that I actually read.”

The Result

Even though the variation headline was a winner from the word go, she let the test run for 12 days. After that period, reports showed that the variation headline increased signups for the newsletter by 24.31% with 97% chance to beat original.

This is what Laura had to say about the test.

“The main takeaway in my opinion is to do something a little different that gets attention. We all know that visitors have a VERY short attention span, but we get so focused on mimicking what competitors do that our sites end up reading like boring brochures. Also, there’s no better source of feedback than real customers! That’s where I got the idea for the headline in the first place, it’s a piece of feedback that we get constantly.”

But wait, it gets even better

The best part is that Laura didn’t stop at that. In fact, she’s almost always testing and the current landing page of the website has undergone many changes. It employs loads of best practices and is an excellent guide for anyone interested in optimizing their landing pages.


Click image to see larger version

Quickly rounding up the best practices on this homepage, they are:

  1. A headline that catches the visitor’s attention
  2. A sub headline that provides social proof as well as a call to action to sign up for their newsletter
  3. Another call to action that includes an all caps “Free”. See this case study on how the word “Free” affects conversion rates.
  4. Large button that is easy to click and also has a contracted arrow pointing towards it.
  5. A large amount of social proof… see how social proof helped in increasing revenues by €50,000.
  6. Eyes looking towards the primary headline. Here’s some awesome research on how this affects visitor behavior.
  7. Human photos have shown to increase conversions even when intuition says they shouldn’t have. And then there are the famous 37signals tests.

Hope these the best practices culled from the LKR Social Media homepage serve as a guide for your landing pages too. If there’s something you like, dislike or want to clarify about this case study, please just scroll down a little and put in a comment.

Siddharth Deswal

I do marketing at Visual Website Optimizer.

The Complete A/B Testing Guide

Know all that you need to get started:

  • What is A/B Testing?
  • Is it compatible with SEO?
  • How to start your first A/B test?
Show Me The Guide


Tags

7 Comments
Patrick Allmond
December 24, 2012

This is a great. I love love love it when people do split testing and show the results. Did you guys keep on testing?

Mark Kens
December 28, 2012

I think better headline with supporting text and an appealing picture can do better than a simple newsletter page. A/B testing is really great way to test more than one set of designing and content for better optimized page.

Siddharth Deswal @ Wingify
December 28, 2012

Patrick,

They did. In fact, their current homepage has again changed.

Etienne Juneau
January 7, 2013

Good tips, loved it.

Rameez Ramzan
January 31, 2014

Is image is also important while making any kind of landing page? remaining stuffs are fabulous for me and other users.

Ted
February 25, 2014

Are there any stats on the new landing page. It looks heaps better

Marcus Rosenberg
April 4, 2014

I would definitely test better button copy. Also a line saying users can unsubscribe any time is an easy win.

Leave a comment
Required
Required - not published


4 + five =

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

I ♥ Split Testing Blog


Stay up to date

Recent Posts

Write for this blog!

We accept high quality articles related to A/B testing and online marketing. Send your proposals to contribute@wingify.com