Pipeline Marketing Blog

8 Simple Homepage AB Tests You Can Try Right Now

By Andrew Nguyen
Jan 21, 2015
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This is a guest post by Sujan Patel, VP of Marketing at When I Work. Patel outlines 8 A/B tests you should try to boost conversions on your homepage. 

Let’s face it: your website is your one shot at a good first impression. If people don’t like what they see, they’ll be gone within seconds. That means you need to make sure  your homepage is appealing, user-friendly, and primed to maximize conversions. But how?

Is there some silver bullet to web design that you just haven’t heard of? Would life be sweeter if only you had the perfect designer? Maybe, but boosting your homepage conversion rate doesn't require expensive outsourcing.

It’s a simple, attainable goal, and it starts with A/B testing what you’ve already got. To prove it, we’ve provided 8 actionable A/B tests you can run right now.

Beyond retooling your call to action, or sexing up your stock photos, these are concrete tests that can take your homepage to the next level. Check them out and watch your numbers climb!

Test #1. Information: Above the Fold vs. Below

above_the_fold_vs_below

In running these A/B tests, you are trying to see through the eyes of your customer. The first thing that you are in control of is what they are—and what they aren’t—seeing when they land on your page.

The A/B test here is simple. For one, try increasing the size of your content, and reducing what can be seen at the top of the homepage (that is, “above the fold”). For test B, try reducing the size of the main text, so that more content fits in that first visual landscape.

Consider this: it can be aesthetically appealing to leave some content off of your homepage, but that doesn’t always mean it’s helpful to do so. But sometimes, this A/B test reveals that leaving content off of the page makes it less compelling to the customer.

Test #2. Surveys: Ease of Use vs. Amount of Information

It’s easy to want to use your website’s survey as a tool to extract as much information as possible. It might be your one shot to get the customer’s data into your system. The problem is, if the survey is too complicated or time consuming, they could lose interest and forget it altogether.

For this test, try two different surveys on your homepage. One survey might have more fill in the blank questions, whereas the other may have check boxes.

You can test one that is information-heavy against one that is quick and simple.

You may be surprised at how often customer acquisition has to do with convenience.  

Test #3. Messaging: Catchy vs. Unified

catchy_vs_unified_ab_testWhile creativity is often the sign of a successful company, too much of it can be a waste. For this test, find out how much is too much. 

For test A, take one tagline that you’ve used in advertisements, PPC, and other marketing applications, and use that on your homepage as a sort-of call to action.

For test B, try using a more creative tag line as the CTA – one that requires more creative thinking.

You may find that customers are more comfortable with the familiarity of the already used tagline.

Test #4. Color Button Test: Pretty vs. Legible

This is one of the simpler tests we can do that makes a big difference. You probably have a number of buttons that you’re ready for customers to push on your website. Whether it’s “Submit” or “Buy Now,” you want to make sure that the button is as accessible as possible. But what does that mean?

For one test, try making your button a bright and attractive color that really stands out. For the second, try making it a color that highlights the text better. Check more examples from Platonik to understand the difference. 

You can learn about testing button copy at Izideo.

You might be surprised to find that the best choice may not be the brightest.

Test #5. Content Style: Precise vs. Inventive

precise_vs_inventive_ab_testThere is always more than one way to communicate an idea, but sometimes even the slightest difference in style can determine whether you capture the attention of a prospect.

In this A/B test, try to style your content creatively using elements like thought bubbles or other non-standard text box alternatives.

For the second test, try using a simple bullet point approach to communicate your main ideas.

Oftentimes, customers just want the information as fast as possible, and it may not matter how amazing the presentation is.

Test #6. Proof of Security: Trustworthy vs. Unassuming

Much like the color button test, having a “security seal” on your site in strategic places can make or break customer trust. But sometimes, that seal can cause undue worries or suspicion.

Try putting a “secure” or “verified” badge next to a submission form in test A. For test B, simply remove it.

In some cases you may see an increase in traffic with the addition of a badge, but other times you may find it hurts you more than it helps.

Test #7. User Ratings: Testimonials vs. Self Confidence

If you’re putting any sort of product, service or review on your site, it seems like a no-brainer to include some user endorsements. Whether it’s customers reviewing their experience, or users who are picking their favorite products, testimonials can be an essential asset.

Other times, however, it can simply add confusion and clutter. On the home page, see if adding or removing user reviews changes how people interact with your site.

Test #8. Layout: Strength vs. Gimmicks

strength_vs_gimmicks_ab_testThis last test is one that gets at the root of each of the previous tests. When you’re considering the layout for your homepage, it’s going to be tempting to include every trick you can.

You may want to use flashy banners, inventive text boxes, and all of the most sharply written user reviews you can get your hands on. But that may not be what your customers want.

For this A/B test, consider the layout of your page. Try one page that is structurally simple, easy to navigate, and fairly stripped down. Only include the information that really needs to be there, making sure it looks professional.

For the second, try to spice things up. Include some of those more “gimmicky” styles and ideas. No doubt, you’ll quickly discover which one your customers prefer.

The beauty of A/B tests is that it’s all in the numbers. You don’t need to know which one will work better going into the tests—that’s what they’re designed for! So have fun, get creative, and let the numbers show you how to make the most out of your homepage.  

Sujan Patel is the VP of Marketing at When I Work. I previously founded Single Grain. For over 10 years I’ve helped companies like TurboTax, BlueHost, and Sales Force increase traffic & revenue.

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Topics: ab testing, lead generation, demand generation

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