Rebel Hack

A step by step digital marketers guide to A/B testing on landing pages

Landing pages are a brilliant, targeted way to get potential customers to perform an action. You get to create a dedicated page based solely around one single important action such as signing up to a newsletter, downloading a piece of content, taking a survey, performing a search… there’s an unlimited amount of reasons why you might want to make a landing page but this is a guide for beginners.

Lots of companies make the huge mistake of ferrying visitors to their website directly to their home page. Now, the homepage of most sites do not answer a specific question, so visitors go elsewhere if they can’t see an immediate solution to their problem. If your visitors don’t see what they expect to once they’ve clicked a link – they won’t stick around. For example, if visitors got to your site via a promise to “check out awesome office space in London” and you sent them to your home page which tells them about how your site works but with no offices to check out immediately, you can wave them goodbye.

Landing pages are a brilliant, targeted way to get potential customers to perform an action. Click To Tweet

Your home page is the face of your company, it looks fancy and has great features, but just like your own face before you speak, it doesn’t really tell you in any detail about what you can offer. The best thing you can do, as quickly as possible, is tell your potential customer exactly how you can fix their problem, and how you’re the solution they’ve been looking for all this time.

Why spend loads of money on AdWords campaigns if you’re just going to plonk people onto your homepage where they fall straight off? Instead, why not channel people specifically to a custom made bespoke webpage, especially for them?

Makes sense, right?

It’s not enough just to make landing pages, it’s all about testing

Even if businesses do have landing pages, they often don’t have enough and an even smaller amount bother to A/B test, even though a little experimentation can lead to huge increases in conversions.

I first started thinking about the importance of A/B testing landing pages and how they can help you convert customers after reading this blog by Hubspot on the surprising results of landing page tests.

You're catching the fish, but they're jumping back out into the water! Why?! #ConversionOptimisation Click To Tweet

It’s really not enough to adopt a strategy of creating lots of bespoke landing pages for your highest converting clicks on AdWords – you have to figure out what is going to make your potential customers perform that action you need and get even closer to you. You’re catching the fish, but they’re jumping back out into the water! Why?! There’s really only one way to find out…

So, how do you do that?

This is where awesome tools like Unbounce come in. Unbounce is easy to use and you don’t need to be proficient in HTML or any other type of coding to create these pages.

Below we’re going to walk you through how to create and A/B test your landing pages, so you can maximise conversions in no time and grow your business. We’ve made it as simple as possible for you to follow, but if it’s not clear enough for you just whack a comment at the bottom and you’ll get an answer asap. By the end of this post, you should know how to:

  1. Identify your goal
  2. Traditional definition of a good landing page
  3. Creating a new page
  4. Use the layout editor
  5. Widgets section (most used ones)
  6. Mobile responsive
  7. Saving and publishing
  8. Split test (A/B test) and analyse the conversion

Let’s begin.

1) Identify your goal

Ok, firstly you need to identify your goal in building the landing page. What is the particular product or service you’re trying to sell? What benefits does it give the reader? Who is your target audience for this landing page? Where have they come from?

Once you’ve figured this out, decide the ONE action you want your page visitors to perform. This could be:

Let’s use an example of a landing page we made recently for Hubble to encourage their followers, clients and partners to vote for them in the Startup Awards.

In this case we wanted anyone landing on the page to click through and vote. We wanted to make the process as easy as possible whilst explaining who Hubble were and why we wanted help. We were going to share this page by e-mail, social and through referral partners.

Here’s a link to the final landing page as an example for Hubble “we need your help” or click the pic below.

We’ll be going through how to build the above landing page just as an example.

2) Traditional definition of a good landing page

A good landing page doesn’t just look good. It has a high conversion rate! Here are some tips that don’t always apply, but they’re a good place to start.

  1. Include only the important or key information. Don’t include any extra guff or text unless it’s absolutely needed to get your message across.
  2. Although it’s really important that you include good quality content, don’t include too much. You don’t want a wall of text to hit your page visitors as that will put people off and they will leave your site.
  3. Specify exactly what your customer is going to get, be as specific as possible about the benefits you’re offering.
  4. Make sure the steps your visitor needs to take are easy, without asking for too much information. If you only need an e-mail, only ask for an e-mail.
  5. Make sure the call to action is showing on the first page and that it doesn’t require the visitor to scroll down.

3) Creating a new page

Once you’re logged into Unbounce, you will need to create a new page. Click on the green button “Create New Page” on the top left corner.

You will be asked if you want to use an existing template or if you wish to start from scratch with a blank page. You have a wide range of templates to use.


We’re going to start by choosing the blank page and then go to the top right hand side of the screen and name it “test landing”. Then click on “Start with this Template”.

4) Use the layout editor

The editor is divided into 3 main sections. The left side has the widgets, the main widgets that we will be using for this specific page are:

5) Widgets section (most used ones)

Let’s start by dragging and dropping the Page Section widget into the Editor. We’ll use the very top of the page for the company logo. The second section from the top will be used for the title of the page.

Clicking on the second section of the page will give you some useful options on the right hand side of the editor.

In the properties, select an image from the Background Properties field.

The next step is to add a logo to the page. To do this, drag the image widget onto the page and select the image you wish to use.

To create a title, select the text widget on the left “T” and drag it into the editor.

Now select an appropriate font and size. Make sure the message is simple and stands out.

Now you need to add some content to tell people what this landing page is about. As explained earlier, we’re using this page to encourage visitors to vote for Hubble in a startups awards contest. We created a video to introduce Tushar and Tom, the co-founders. Then there’s a button that takes you to the voting page.

You can add content by dragging the text widget once more. See below (on the left).

Now that the page as an image, a logo, a title and a description, we’ll need to embed the video and the call to action button.

Add the video by dragging the “Embed Video” widget.

Steps to copy the code to embed the video:

Double click on the video area on the editor and you will get a pop-up, paste the code in and click “Done”.

The final step is the call to action button!

In our case, the call to action button will link to a web page where we want people to vote for Hubble at the bottom of the page.

To add the call to action, drag the “Button” widget and drop it into the editor.

On the right hand side of the page you’ve got different options for the button. We chose the colour purple to recall the company logo. Try using a catchy message. In the click to action section we linked to the startup-awards page URL.

VERY IMPORTANT

Here you will be able to define the goal of your landing page, and what you’ll be measuring. We wanted a conversion to count when someone clicked on the call to action and ended up on the startup-awards voting page. Everyone that gets there through our landing page will be considered a conversion.

Try and keep the landing page symmetrical. We added added in a bottom section to close the landing page.

Drag the section widget to the end of the page. We used the purple again to match the logo and the button.

6) Mobile responsive

Now your page is done, but don’t forget to optimise it for mobile! To do this, just click on the mobile icon. See below in the bottom right hand corner highlighted in white.

This will take you to the editor section for mobile.

Once your page is optimised for mobile, save your page by clicking “Save Changes” at the top of the page.

Click on preview to view the page and check all the links are working properly. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to double check the URL and go live.

7) Saving and publishing

Click on the name of the page in the top left corner (in our case it’s Startups.co.uk…)

You’ll be taken to the following page, which will display all the pages for this specific campaign. In this case, you’ll see something like this…

8) Split test (A/B test) and analyse the conversion

Your page still isn’t live yet! If you want, you can create duplicates of the page to A/B test by clicking on:

Usually a variant is created to test two or more landing pages. The 2 or more pages will have to have slight differences in the content or position or call to action (it’s recommended you only test one variant at a time so you’re sure on what is effecting the conversions). You can make several variations, each testing one variant. When you find a clear winner, test again.

Assign traffic weight to every variant (make sure they have the same volume of traffic, for example, 50%/50% or 33%/33% etc.)

Going Live

Once that’s done, it’s time to finally go live. How? Simply click on “Publish Page” at the top right of the page.

You can always edit your campaigns once they’re running.

Let the campaigns run for some time until you get a sufficient amount of traffic on them. What you think sufficient is, depends on the volume you decide as a benchmark. Check the conversion rate of each variant page and the CTR to make a decision on which page you want to keep running.

Finally, assign your traffic to your highest converting page!

Once you’re getting more traffic to your site check out this awesome post on Forbes by Sujan Patel about how to do A/B testing right, avoiding the many mistakes marketers can make.