A/B Testing Your Webpage For Sales Success
[This blog post is Part 5 of 5 in the webpage improvement series “5 Key Concepts That Will Convert Your Webpage into a Sales Machine!”]
Part Five: How To Test & Tweak Your Sales Page
Goal: To test, modify and re-test your webpage until your call-to-actions are converting at the highest rate possible.
If you’ve ever created an online sales page, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of putting hours of work into a webpage that didn’t perform to your liking. Building webpages for sales is never as simple as build it and they will convert. To get your sales page just right, you have to do a series of testing and reiteration to ensure that your message is conveyed in a way that resonates with your customer. Once your customer understands your product’s value, they need to be convinced that the benefits outweigh the cost. Only then will they be willing to take action.
In this post, we’re going to explore two methods of testing that will help you drastically improve the performance of your sales page. After that, we’ll get you started by running through a list of eight things you can adjust to get the optimal performance out of your webpage.
There are multiple ways to test your webpage to see if it’s performing the way you intend it to. First off, start with the simple ‘convenience’ test. Get a friend—someone who is unfamiliar with your website—to look over your page for 15-30 seconds and answer the following questions:
- What is the product?
- Who is the product for?
- Why should someone care about purchasing the product (what are the main benefits)?
- What is the call to action?
While interviewing each person, ask them for their feedback on each of the four questions above. Identify which on-page elements distracted them from the call-to-action and which section of copywriting could be revised to better communicate your message. Similarly, make sure you confirm what is working well. It would be a shame if you removed a key piece of information at this early stage.
Once you familiarize yourself with this process, question a handful of people and analyze your preliminary results. Were your friends able to answer every question within the time limit? If so, great! You are ready to move on to A/B testing. If not, you need to get back to work and make sure your first round of test subjects can make sense of your page before you go spending the time on A/B testing.
A/B Testing To Improve Conversion Rates
Once you’ve completed your preliminary ‘convenience’ testing and made your sales page live to the public, you’ll begin to see how it’s performing. Through using tools like Google Analytics E-Commerce Tracking or simple goal tracking, you’ll get a clear picture of your initial sales volume and conversion rate.
Once you have established a benchmark conversion rate, it’s time to start tweaking your sales page and measuring its improvement through a series of A/B tests AKA split tests.
For those of you who don’t know what A/B testing is, it’s a simple process that involves displaying two different versions of a webpage to incoming visitors at random. Through using A/B testing platforms like Unbounce or Google Content Experiments, you can create multiple versions of a page and test which ones perform better. In doing so, you can identify important on-page changes that will boost your conversion rate and ramp up your sales! To get you started, we’re going to take a look at eight things that are worth testing on your webpage.
[Resource: For a step-by-step guide on A/B testing using Google Content Experiments click here.]
8 Things To A/B Test On Your Sales Page
1. Alter the colour and size of your call-to-action buttons
Also try adjusting the text in and around these buttons to better communicate the benefit your customer receives by taking the directed action.
2. Add a video that pitches your product
Videos can significantly portray more information in a shorter time than text. They will both engage your customer and educate them quickly.
3. Have your CTA button scroll with the page
Many sales pages provide content that goes well beyond the fold. When this happens, it’s important that your CTA doesn’t go out of sight for too long. By making your CTA float down the page, it will remain immediately obvious to your reader. This gentle nudge may be enough to boost your click through rate.
4. Free trial VS money back guarantee
People often prefer to test a free version of a product before entering their credit card information. To reduce consumers’ perceived risk of purchasing your product, try providing a free trial if it is suitable to your offering. If not, do your best to provide product demos or some sort of support that allows your customer to see the product in action.
Pro Tip: Sometimes decreasing the length of the trial period will increase your conversion on paid sales. Giving people too much time to make a decision can be a bad thing. For example, over the course of a 30 day trial, a consumer may forget about your product and move on to something else. Having a shorter trial period (i.e. 15 days) pushes the consumer to fully test the product and make a final decision right away.
5. Try short form VS long form sales pages
By changing the length of your sales page, you can identify the amount of information your readers desire before taking action. For some products, it may make sense to provide a wealth of information to the reader in order to convince them that your product is what they need. When deciding between creating a short vs long form sales page, consider how much of an investment your product is. The more money someone has riding on the purchase, the more info they’ll want before taking action.
6. Change the angle of your sales pitch
When you write a sales pitch, you generally construct it to target a certain type of person or appeal to a certain set of values. Sometimes you can use humour and other times you want to keep it professional. Because you never can be certain whether or not you are striking the right chord with your readers, this on-page element is always worthy of a good A/B testing session.
7. Rearrange the order of the page elements
Without re-arranging your page elements, you’ll never have a good idea of exactly what your customer wants to know. Sometimes it may be more effective to offer your social proof near the top of the page, other times it might make sense to focus on your value proposition first and foremost. By shifting the order of your page elements, you can gain an inference into what your customers care about the most. The page variant with the highest conversion rate will present information to customers in a way that is most appealing to them.
8. Create multiple headlines
Your headline is usually the first thing people see when they land on your page. It has a significant impact on how the reader perceives your product’s value. This is one of the elements that should always be included in your testing process—especially for new products.
A few last thoughts
In general, when running A/B tests, you’ll find that drastic changes tend to drive drastic results. If you find that your on-page tweaks aren’t making a huge difference, try a big change. Don’t be afraid to switch things up completely. You’ll never know what might work!
Before closing this chapter on webpage testing and wrapping up this series, I’d like to remind you of one thing: When you start running A/B tests for the first time, you need to be mindful that you’re entering the world of statistics. As such, you need to be aware that it is vital to uphold certain standards in order to obtain accurate data. Before starting your testing, I highly recommend reading the Search Engine Watch Article 8 Rules of A/B Testing to make sure you’re following the proper procedures.
Testing your webpage could mean the difference between a 10% conversion rate and a 40% conversion rate. Depending on the business you are running, this could translate into hundreds, thousands or even millions of dollars. You’ll never know what you’re missing until you start optimizing for conversions.
Now that you know the ABC’s of designing for conversion, you’ve got all the knowledge you need to build a highly converting sales page. We wish you the best of success and would love to hear how things are going for you. Drop us a line in the comments section and share what you’ve learned on your journey to creating the ultimate sales page.
If you’d like to catch up on the first four articles in our series “5 Key Concepts That Will Convert Your Webpage into a Sales Machine!”, you can find them below:
- 6 Web Design Tips To Focus Your Customer’s Attention
- Online Copywriting Tips That Will Boost Your Conversion Rate
- 7 Ways To Implement Social Proof On Your Sales Page
- 7 Tips To Increase The Conversion Rate On Your Call-To-Actions