Long landing pages v/s short landing pages is a debate that is as old as the Internet itself. The moment someone decides to sell his wares online, the dilemma arises: given the less attention span, should he be giving specific information about the product and getting to the point quicker or should he try to make a convincing case first and then persuade the visitor to make a purchase? Actually, it’s a central problem of persuasion and marketers battle with the question of ‘how much information is enough‘ every single day in their jobs. Even on our blog, we have a post that describes long sales page copywriting and a post that tries to argue that the long pages not only work for information products, but for startups as well. And then we also have a case study where one of our customers A/B tested removing some content from a long page. See what happened to their conversion rate.
What if you are not selling, but actually giving out something for free? Free as in free beer. Do you still need long landing pages to convince people to take up a free offer? I realize that on the Internet, even freebies have to be sold but the question is how hard should you try? That’s what one of Designboost intended to find out. Designboost is like Codeschool for designers – online courses that teach you how to design mobile apps, landing pages and more with Photoshop. They hired Markitekt to design and run an A/B test using Visual Website Optimizer (shameless plug: a market leading A/B and multivariate testing software).
What was tested and why?
Designboost.net is a brand new website, so this is just the beginning of a long conversion optimization process that intend to partake. For the homepage, they needed to figure out what works best for the audience. MarketIt tells us that in their past tests they have consistently seen short homepages outperform long homepages if the offer is free (i.e. email signup). So, they wanted to see if a shorter home page will outperform longer one here as well. It is worthwhile to note here that even though their experience suggested that the short one would work better, they didn’t go ahead and implement it directly. Instead, they did the right thing and A/B tested their hypothesis.
Long version of homepage (6400+ pixels long – click to expand)
What was measured?
The primary goal was to get people to sign up to the email list and secondary goal was a clickthrough to the courses page. Here’s what the variation page looks like:
Short version of homepage: 13% increase in signups (1200 pixels long)
Results and lessons
As they expected, shorter homepage got 13% more email signups and 25% more clickthroughs to the courses page. Their comment on the test results: “If the goal of a page is to get email signups or to get people off the home page, shorter pages can work better.“.
Needless to say, Designboost are very happy with the results and as they said, this is just the first step in their journey towards a full conversion rate optimization nirvana on their website!
How has your experience been for short landing pages or long landing pages? Which ones work best for you?
More optimization awesomeness
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?