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December 15, 2016 - Graham

When you have your own website, split testing should be your best friend. In a nutshell, it’s all about choosing a specific design/content feature on your website and testing it against an improved or different version to see which performs better. It’s a big part of data driven conversion rate optimisation.

You might have the most fabulous website imaginable with every new-fangled, sparkly marketing feature. BUT if your website isn’t speaking to your users or appealing to your audience then you’ve got a problem.

This is where A/B testing comes in.

If you can send 50% of your traffic to your current site, and then send the other 50% of your traffic to a slightly amended version of your original design, you’ll be able to test how users interact. If your new version provides a better experience compared to your old version and presents more sales, you know to make that design change.

Luckily for you, there are loads of quick wins you can gain from split testing and you can use them to boost your conversion rates and generate more sales. Sounds good, hey?

So, where do you start?

  • Improve your Calls to Action

See whether more direct, actionable language works for your users or whether one CTA on each page is better than loads of CTAs scattered throughout your copy.

Do text, icons, hover icons or text & icons yield better results? Play around with phrases, the amount of CTAs and their format.

 

screenshot of a call to action

An example of our call to action

 

  • Content and Copy above the Fold

You can use heat maps to see whether your users are reading content below the fold or whether it’s worth shortening everything, breaking your text up and changing sub-headings, so people can find strong messages without getting bored.

  • Test your Content

Breaking up your content length can increase the time spent on your pages. It’s easier for your audience to read and it’s also good for Google; time spent on pages is a metric which affects search rankings. Tweak layouts and write content with your reader in mind.

Heat maps are handy here too.

screenshot of a heatmap

Heatmaps

 

  • Tone of Voice

Depending on the industry you’re in, you might decide that it’s time for a change and you want to re-vamp your brand’s tone of voice.

Something funny and relaxed might work out better for your brand or you might need to sound more authoritative and professional. It’s worth researching and testing what language works best.

  • Use the Language your Customers Speak

It’s all very well writing what you’d want to read, but you need to test out what really works for your audience. You can use interactions with customers and reviews to learn about the language and phrases they commonly use and try to replicate this in your copy.

  • Consistent Copy

Having the same consistent tone of voice and messaging in your copy can boost conversion. Web copy that fits seamlessly with your CTAs and landing page copy is effective.

  • Split Testing Headlines

Split testing the headlines and sub-headings you’re using throughout your site can have an impact on conversion. They act as sign-posts and ways to attract attention, so tweaking them is a valuable task. Experiment with humour too.

Image of a field

Which do you prefer?

 

  • Video Content

Using video content on your landing pages can be a good way to engage customers, but it can also be a hindrance if people don’t want to watch a video to understand your product or to learn what you’re all about.

  • Social Proof

Connecting your site to your social media platforms can give your brand more credibility. Showing your Instagram feed or your amount of Twitter followers can act as positive social proof.

screenshot of a twitter feed

Twitter feed from our about us page

 

  • Responsive or Stand Alone Sites

Creating responsive sites can be expensive, but it can be beneficial for your site to be optimised for multiple devices and mobile usage.  If you’re a small business, you might not get sales from mobile usage, so it might not be worthwhile to spend lots on a fully responsive site.

You could split test a standalone mobile site, but then you’d have 2 sites to update, instead of 1.

It’s completely dependent on your brand’s specific situation and it’s really important to use analytics and data to decide, as well as testing.

  • Minimalist Design

Removing clutter from your website can make it easier for people to get to the next step in your brand’s customer journey. Your copy can have more of an impact and your CTAs can be found more easily.

Less can certainly be more.

  • Drop-down Menus? Yay or Nay

Drop-down menus can make your website more direct and less distracting. Customers can go straight to where they want to on your site, instead of potentially losing your CTAs in text links. Drop-downs can complicate too though if it’s not obvious where the customer needs to go next.

screenshot of Frontify website

Dropdown on Frontify

 

  • Colour, fonts and typography

Experiment with different colours and fonts to see what effect they have. There’s all sorts of colour psychology out there and sticking to a couple of colours is recommended.

More neutral tones might appeal to more people but you could improve conversion with specific demographics when you use something more eye-catching.

  • Pick the right Images and Graphics

Having large images, banners or graphics on your page helps to grab a customer’s attention, but it could easily act as a distraction too and be off-putting. Test different types of images, sizes and the colours they use.

  • Too many Forms

Some customers hate having to fill in contact forms and prefer using a brand’s contact email address. They might get put off by the length of sign-up forms and abandon them. You can test sign-up, contact and offer forms at different parts of the customer journey, when there’s more trust.

  • Are Testimonial Pages worth the hassle?

Customers can be impressed by your reputable clients, but they might not even look at your page when deciding whether to invest in your service. Take it away and see whether there’s an impact.

  • Meet the Team pages

Having a page that shows a bit more about each of your team members can be a great way to show off your brand’s personality and introduce customers to who they could be working with.

The WATB team, that’s me, first on the bottom row!

 

  • Should you show your Prices?

Potential customers might be put off by having to ask for a quote or think that if they can’t see a price, it’s too expensive.

No price means further action is required which can be off-putting, but it also gets people to engage.

  • Free Samples and Offers

Does the allure of freebies work on your site and encourage people to convert? This might be to get people to subscribe to your emails or buy a product, but the proof is in the pudding. You know what to do, test!

  • Broad Offers or Segmented Offers?

You can offer specific options to your customers based on their behaviour on your website. If someone has been browsing for a while, you could open a live chat option with them to assist them. Scrolling past a certain point in your content could trigger an offer to subscribe to your mailing list.

There you have it, just 20 ideas you can use when you split test. There are heaps of other options too and you can get really creative with your testing.

Have fun, and let us know if we’ve missed anything below!

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