Landing page A/B testing – expert tips, tools and examples to get the best results

Has this ever happened to you?

You’re working on a landing page for a new marketing campaign and you’re trying to figure out how to bump up conversions and increase sales. Then Bob from Accounting wanders by and points at the headline, saying, “I’ve got a hunch you should change that. Trust me—my hunches are never wrong.” And he walks off, looking for other opportunities to share his “can’t-miss” pieces of wisdom.

Tempting, isn’t it? Just go with Bob’s hunch, make the change, and cross your fingers that it’ll get you the results you’re looking for. It’d be easy, but the easiest solution isn’t always best for conversions.

There’s a better way. This blog post will show you tips and processes for effective, systematic landing page testing, which will reveal the path to higher conversions and results so good that Bob will start listening to your hunches.

Let’s dive in.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. What is landing page testing?
  2. Why is it important to test landing pages?
  3. Types of landing page testing
  4. How to create a landing page testing strategy
  5. 18 things to test on your landing pages
  6. Landing page testing for different marketing channels
  7. Best landing page testing tools and software
  8. How to do landing page A/B testing using Unbounce
  9. Landing page testing mistakes to avoid
  10. The 5 essential rules of landing page testing
  11. Metrics and KPIs to analyze landing page testing success
  12. Landing page testing examples

What is landing page testing?

Imagine your landing page is a stage play and each element (copy, images, layout, etc.) is a performer. Landing page testing is like crafting different versions of the play to see who gets a standing ovation and who gets the hook, all determined by the audience’s reactions.

Through a series of controlled experiments, landing page testing helps you shine the spotlight on what works best, turning your page into a crowd-pleaser.

Why is it important to test landing pages?

Have you ever tried to solve a jigsaw puzzle in the dark? (Which sounds like a weird thing to try, but hey, you do you.) Guessing what works on your landing page can feel a bit like that.

A far better approach is to shine a light on your landing page puzzle and see the full picture. Here’s how testing can get you there.

Animated gif of Lisa Simpson saying "I think we should do a test"

Discover the unseen

Testing lets you see if your ideas actually fit together in the real world. It’s about moving beyond educated guesses to uncovering the actual impact of your choices, ensuring that your vision for the landing page aligns with reality.

You’ll learn whether your original ideas actually resonate with your audience, helping you create a landing page that truly fits their needs and interests.

Understand your audience better

By testing a landing page and finding ways to improve it, you’ll also gain insights that can be applied across your entire business. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of what makes your audience tick, so you can better align your content, products, and services with their preferences and create a more cohesive and engaging experience overall.

Minimize risk

Testing your landing page can be a low risk, high impact exercise. Even if you test a landing page variation that doesn’t score well with your audience, all you have to do is change it back to the original form and use that knowledge to move forward in a different direction. It’s about making informed tweaks with the confidence that a single test won’t derail your entire strategy.

Better engagement and results

High bounce rates are like guests leaving a party early—it means your visitors didn’t find what they were looking for (or what they expected). By testing different elements of your landing page, you can find out what keeps your visitors engaged and interested. This leads to a more captivating page that encourages visitors to stick around, explore, and ultimately take the actions you desire—yay, higher conversions and better ROI!

Unearth hidden issues

Sometimes, your landing page might have issues you aren’t even aware of. Regular testing acts as a diagnostic tool, revealing problems that might be affecting user experience or conversion rates. Identifying and addressing these issues early can save a lot of trouble down the line, ensuring your page operates at its best.

Optimize without overhauling

Testing your landing page is about making smart, targeted improvements, not starting from scratch every time. It’s the art of fine-tuning: making small, data-driven adjustments that collectively enhance the performance of your page. This approach is both efficient and effective, allowing for continuous refinement without the need for a complete redesign.

What are the types of landing page testing?

Now that you’ve been convinced that landing page testing is totally a good thing, let’s shift to how you can start the process. Here’s a quick rundown on the main types of landing page testing.

A/B testing

A/B testing is the marketing world’s version of a head-to-head matchup with the objective of gaining clarity through comparison. You take two versions of your landing page—Version A (the control) and Version B (the variation)—and change only one element across the two pages. It could be anything from a headline change, a different image, or a new call-to-action color. Visitors are randomly shown one of these versions, and their interactions with the page—clicks, sign-ups, purchases—are measured and analyzed.

By isolating one change, you get a crystal-clear picture of how that specific element influences visitor behavior. It’s like conducting an experiment where you’re changing one variable at a time to see the effect. This simplicity is what makes A/B testing a favorite, especially for straightforward or smaller-scale changes. It’s perfect for honing in on specific elements to optimize conversions and improve user experience.

You may have heard the term “split testing”, which is a form of A/B testing that involves larger types of variables. Instead of small elements like a headline or icon, split testing refers to examining the effects of meatier elements like the design of an entire page or a complete user experience.

Multivariate testing

Multivariate testing takes the concept of A/B testing and takes it up a notch. Instead of just testing two versions of a landing page, you can create three or more variants and split your traffic across them. 

The advantage of multivariate testing is that it allows you to examine the impact of multiple options. Say you wanted to try out three different headlines—just create a multivariate test with three landing page variations where the headline is the only change across all three pages. After you’ve run enough traffic through these variations the winning headline will reveal itself.

Traffic optimization

A/B and multivariate testing help you figure out which content to put in front of a particular audience, but you also need to optimize your traffic to get the right people to the right page.

That’s what Unbounce’s Smart Traffic is all about. Smart Traffic is an AI-powered traffic optimization tool that uses artificial intelligence to analyze each visitor’s attributes, such as their device, location, browser, and more. 

Once Smart Traffic gathers enough data (from as few as 50 visits), it directs visitors to the variant of your page where they have the highest likelihood of converting. This intelligent routing can lead to an impressive average increase of 30% in sales and sign-ups, kicking your conversion goals into high gear with minimal wait time and effort.

How to create an effective landing page testing strategy

Developing a useful and productive landing page testing strategy is like being a detective with a knack for digital marketing (now there’s an idea for a new TV show!). Here’s how you can solve the mystery of what makes your visitors click.

A visual meme listing four of the world's greatest unsolved mysteries, and one of them is "what makes your visitors click"

Hypothesize which changes will have the greatest impact

Start by playing the role of a data sleuth. Look at your existing data to craft theories about what changes might improve performance, then prioritize these based on potential impact and how easy it would be to implement them. It’s like picking which case to solve first based on the clues at hand. 

When you’re collecting your data, tools like surveys, heatmaps, and session recordings can help you get an accurate picture of your page’s current performance.

Research and identify areas for improvement

Establish your baseline—where are you now? Dive into your current landing page’s performance to understand what’s working and what’s not. After all, you can’t know what improvement looks like if you don’t know where you started.

Set well-defined, measurable conversion goals

What does success look like for you? Define clear, measurable goals so you’ll have a target (or targets) to aim at. These are your key performance indicators (KPIs)—whether they’re sign-ups, downloads, or sales. They should be relevant and significant to your business objectives.

Choose the right testing tools

Equip yourself with the right tools for the job. There are numerous landing page testing tools out there, each offering a variety of options including A/B testing, multivariate testing, and more. Pick one that suits your needs and budget. (We think our own Unbounce builder tools, which have A/B testing built right in, are the cat’s meow. And just because we’re biased doesn’t mean we’re wrong. 😋)

Identify variables and create variations

Decide which elements of your landing page you want to test, such as headlines, images, CTA buttons, etc. (We cover this in more depth below.) Then, create the variations. For instance, if you’re testing headlines, write several different versions so you can pick the best ones to test.

Calculate time and traffic requirements

Before launching your test, estimate how long it needs to run and the amount of traffic required to get statistically significant results. (A sample size calculator can help you figure this out.) This is an important step because if you don’t get sufficient data, you might end up with skewed results that could lead you in the wrong direction.

Analyze results and deploy a winner

After your test is complete, analyze the results. Which version won? Deploy the winning version on your live landing page, then start thinking about the next thing you want to test.

Document learnings from the tests

Whether your hypothesis was proven or not, there’s gold in them thar hills the results. Document what worked, what didn’t, and why. Even “failed” tests teach you something about your audience. These learnings are invaluable not only for future tests but also for broader strategies across different landing pages and other marketing initiatives.

Remember, effective landing page testing isn’t just about running tests—it’s about learning from them, iterating, and continually enhancing your visitor’s experience to achieve your business goals.

18 things to test on your landing pages

Here’s a rundown of the most common components you can tweak and test to fine-tune your page to perfection.

1. Copy (headlines, subheaders, body copy)

This is your chance to play wordsmith. Test different headlines, subheaders, and body copy to see which combination tells your story most effectively and resonates with your audience.

2. CTA (copy, button design, color)

Your call to action is the all-important nudge that invites the page visitor to take action. Experiment with different phrases, sizes, colors, and positions to find the most click-worthy combination.

3. Images

Is a picture worth a thousand clicks? You won’t know until you test it. Try out different images to see which one captures attention and complements your message best.

4. Banners

These are your billboards. Try different designs, messages, and placements to see which banners make your visitors stop, stare, and hopefully click.

5. Look and feel (design, colors, icons)

The aesthetic appeal of your page plays a huge role. Play around with color schemes and icons to find a look that not only pleases the eye but also boosts conversions.

6. Forms

Test different layouts (like the Breadcrumb Technique, which we explain below), field numbers, and types to discover what makes your visitors more willing to fill them out.

7. Countdown timers

When done right, creating a sense of urgency can enhance conversion rates. Test different timer styles and durations to see which ones light a fire under your visitors.

8. Social proof/testimonials

Nothing builds trust like a good word from others. Experiment with different types, placements, and formats of testimonials to find the most persuasive mix.

9. Trust badges/certifications

These are your stamps of approval. Test different badges and their placements to see which ones reassure your visitors the most.

10. Tables and charts

Data can be a powerful persuader. Try different ways of presenting data through tables or charts to see which formats are most effective.

11. Page flows

The journey through your page should be smooth. Test different sequences of content and calls-to-action to find the most natural and effective flow.

12. Page layouts

The structure of your page can make or break the user experience. Experiment with different layouts to find the one that guides visitors seamlessly towards conversion.

13. New elements (e.g., popups, sticky bars)

These can be attention-grabbers. Test different types, timings, and contents to see which ones add value without being intrusive.

14. Value proposition and unique selling proposition

Clearly communicate what sets you apart. Test different ways of presenting your value and unique selling points to see which messages resonate the most.

15. Product positioning

How you position your product can influence perception. Experiment with different positioning strategies to see which one aligns best with your audience’s needs.

16. Campaign concepts

Don’t hesitate to test larger pieces of your marketing campaign. By testing different campaign concepts you’ll see which narratives or themes strike a chord with your audience.

17. Offers/pricing

The right offer or price point can be a game-changer. Experiment with different pricing structures, discounts, or bundles to identify what your audience finds most appealing.

18. Audience

Explore different audience segments to make sure you’re talking to the people who will be the most interested in what you’re offering. 

Landing page testing for different marketing channels

Each marketing channel that’s part of your campaign—social media, email, PPC, organic search, or others—has its unique audience with specific preferences and behaviors. By conducting landing page tests for each channel, you’ll uncover the best way to tailor your content for each audience.

This not only maximizes your campaign’s effectiveness but also ensures that you’re not serving steak to a vegetarian—in other words, you’re aligning your message perfectly with the expectations and desires of your audience. It’s a crucial step in fine-tuning your marketing strategy to resonate with your audience, enhance user experience, and ultimately, boost conversions.

Social media

Social media is like a hip, buzz-worthy café where trends are the daily specials. When testing landing pages here, think of what’s trending: emojis, memes, or pop culture references? 

Use A/B testing like a social media poll: Test different calls to action or promotional offers to see what gets your audience hitting the CTA button faster than a cat video goes viral.

Email

Email is like sending a personalized invitation to your exclusive party (aka your landing page). It’s all about relevance and connection. 

Test different subject lines, email designs, and especially the CTA that leads to your landing page. Does a friendly nudge work better than a bold proclamation? Only one way to find out.

PPC

Think of pay-per-click campaigns as a science lab. Each ad and landing page combo is an experiment where precision and relevance are key. 

Tinker with your headlines, ad copy, and landing page elements, and make sure your landing page’s message matches your ad’s promise so your visitors don’t get a nasty surprise when they land on the page.

Organic search

Organic search is like setting up a stall at a farmer’s market: You need to be visible and attractive to passersby (searchers), offering exactly what they’re looking for. 

Test your organic SEO strategy by tweaking your landing page’s content to be more informative, keyword-rich, and aligned with what your audience is searching for. Think fresh, organic content that search engines will love to showcase.

Multi-channel

Don’t forget, sometimes a mix is better than a single ingredient. Test how your landing pages perform across different channels, and maybe you’ll discover that your email audience loves what your PPC folks ignore.

Cross-channel testing can reveal surprising synergies and opportunities. It’s like discovering that chocolate and chili peppers, while odd bedfellows, make a mean mole sauce.

Best landing page testing tools and software

The next step on your journey towards landing page testing nirvana is to choose a tool. But how do you decide which is the best tool?

To find the most useful answer, try modifying that question to: “Which is the best tool for your needs?” There’s no one tool that will be the “best” for every marketer and every situation. Instead, it’s far better to identify your top priorities, then match that list against the features offered by the tools available on the market and see which is the closest fit.

As you were reading through the sections above, hopefully you put together a checklist of what you want to test and how you want to do it. If you haven’t, feel free to do it now—we’ll wait. *whistling aimlessly*

Ready? Okay, now let’s review some of the most popular A/B testing tools currently available and what they offer.

Unbounce

Screenshot of the Unbounce webpage

Image courtesy of, well, us

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include our own Unbounce landing page testing solution to this list. You can easily design build and test landing pages without the need for a background in coding or design, and our AI-powered Smart Traffic can magically (well, it feels like magic) optimize your page traffic and boost conversions by an average of 30%.

Features:

Google Analytics

Screenshot of the Google Analytics webpage

Image courtesy of Google Analytics

This isn’t technically a testing tool, but it’s still completely essential. Google Analytics is crucial for understanding overall website traffic and user behavior. While it’s not specific to landing page testing, its insights into user demographics, behavior flow, and conversion metrics make it an indispensable part of any testing toolkit. 

Features:

  • Provides essential analytics for your landing page so you can see how it’s currently performing
  • Compare conversion rates of similar landing pages
  • Create custom reports

Microsoft Clarity

Screenshot of the Microsoft Clarity webpage

Image courtesy of Microsoft

Microsoft Clarity is a free analytics tool that provides website managers with insights into user behavior. For landing page testing, it’s invaluable as it allows you to visually understand how users interact with your pages, identifying elements that draw attention or cause confusion. 

Features:

  • Heatmaps, session recordings, dashboards
  • Connects with Google Analytics for more insights
  • Integrates with most of the popular applications

Qualaroo

Screenshot of the Qualaroo webpage

Image courtesy of Qualaroo

Qualaroo helps marketers understand the “why” behind user behavior through targeted surveys and feedback. It offers a unique angle to landing page optimization, delving into the qualitative aspects of user experience to complement traditional analytics.

Features:

  • Pop-up “Nudge” surveys provide valuable customer insights quickly and generate contextual feedback on variations during test
  • Gather real-time insights from users

Hotjar

Screenshot of the Hotjar webpage

Image courtesy of Hotjar

Hotjar uncovers the mysteries of user behavior with heatmaps, session replays, and feedback polls. It’s invaluable for visual insights, allowing you to see through the eyes of your users and make informed improvements.

Features:

  • Testing tools include heatmaps, recordings, surveys, interviews, and more
  • Create dashboards for different situations, websites, and campaigns
  • Integrates with many popular applications, including Google Analytics, Unbounce, and Zapier

VWO (Visual Website Optimizer)

Screenshot of the VWO webpage

Image courtesy of VWO

VWO describes themselves as a “comprehensive experimentation platform,” and they’ve got the chops to prove it. They offer multiple testing tools and the ability to dig deep into the code so you can tweak pages to your heart’s content.

Features:

  • Tools include A/B (split) testing, multivariate testing, heatmaps, surveys, experience personalization, and session recordings
  • Deep analysis of user behavior
  • Advanced code editor

Optimizely

Screenshot of the Optimizely webpage

Image courtesy of Optimizely

Optimizely offers robust solutions for enterprises of all sizes. With its powerful analytics and experimentation capabilities, it’s like having a research lab at your fingertips.

Features:

  • A/B testing and multivariate testing
  • Stats Accelerator can distribute traffic automatically, based on user behavior
  • Content management system and content marketing platform

Instapage

Screenshot of the Instapage webpage

Image courtesy of Instapage

Instapage offers a robust platform focused on personalization and post-click optimization. It’s a hit for teams aiming for high-conversion landing pages, with features like AdMap and collaboration tools enhancing its blueprint for success.

Features:

  • Optimize landing pages with data-backed insights from in-app A/B testing, behavior analytics, and reporting
  • AI content generator
  • AdMap connects ads to relevant landing pages and visualizes the full customer journey

Leadpages

Screenshot of the Leadpages webpage

Image courtesy of Leadpages

Leadpages is ideal for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs. It simplifies the process of building and testing effective landing pages with a range of easy-to-use templates and straightforward A/B testing capabilities, making it a practical, no-frills solution.

Features:

  • Set up A/B tests in just a few minutes
  • User-friendly landing page interface
  • Large collection of pre-designed templates

How to do landing page A/B testing using Unbounce

Let’s dive a bit deeper into how you can run A/B tests with Unbounce. You can read through a detailed step-by-step guide, or just browse through this brief summary:

  1. On the Page Overview screen, scroll down to the Page Traffic Mode section and select A/B Test.
  2. Create a new variant of your current page.
  3. Set the variant weight, which dictates how much traffic goes to each variant. You can select 50/50 to split it evenly or maybe 70/30 if you want to focus more attention on one variant.
  4. After you’ve got sufficient data you’ll see which variant has emerged as the winner. Feel free to funnel all of your traffic to that variant, and consider running more A/B tests to further optimize your page.

It’s just that easy.

Landing page testing mistakes to avoid

By now you’ve got a pretty good idea of how landing page testing should work. But it’s easy to slip up and make mistakes that might skew your results and end up wasting valuable time and money. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

Animated gif showing a young woman smacking her forehead in frustration

Poor insights

Too many landing pages don’t collect data via heatmaps, session recordings, form analytics, or conversion tracking. This leads to ill-informed hypotheses about what to test. 

Poor hypotheses

Because marketers then misdiagnose the problem, their proposed solution also fails. Or worse, they rush to test arbitrary variables like button color, without a real hypothesis to begin with.

Testing multiple variables at the same time

Trying to test everything at once is like juggling while riding a unicycle—it’s complicated and risky. Focus on one variable at a time for clear, actionable insights.

Changing variables in the middle of a test

Altering elements during a test is like changing the rules of a game while it’s being played. Stick to your original setup to ensure the integrity of your test results.

Testing the wrong page

Don’t waste your efforts on a page that doesn’t impact your conversion goals. Ensure you’re testing pages that are critical to your customer’s journey and overall marketing objectives.

Not including past results in your testing

If you ignore the history of your A/B testing you’re overlooking some valuable data. Past results can guide your hypotheses and help you make more informed decisions in your current tests.

Not enough traffic

You need volume to reach statistical significance (multivariate tests need even more volume than A/B tests), and like we mentioned before, a sample size calculator can help you figure out how much data you’ll need.

Not enough time

You also can’t run an A/B test for one week and expect reliable results. Volume takes time, and time takes money—money (and patience) that many don’t have.

Now that you know the basics that will help you avoid a testing faux pas, let’s dive into some rules that’ll help you get the maximum impact from landing page testing.

The 5 essential rules of landing page testing

Our friend Johnathan Dane at KlientBoost provided these five indispensable rules, based on their extensive experience with landing page testing. You should definitely keep these in mind, but only if you want to, y’know, get awesome landing page results.

  1. Traffic conversion intent must follow call-to-action (CTA) intent.
  2. Focus aggressively on the offer itself.
  3. Use the Breadcrumb Technique on your forms.
  4. Don’t stop at the “Thank You” page. 
  5. Go all-in on AI traffic optimization

Let’s explore each.

1. Traffic conversion intent must follow call-to-action intent

Conversion intent refers to how likely your ideal customer is to convert. 

Low intent (“cold traffic”) = Visitors who may not know the brand, who only want to gather information, and who haven’t expressed an intent to convert. 

High intent (“hot traffic”) = Visitors who most likely know the brand, who want to buy right now, and who will convert on all CTAs.

Let’s use a B2B SaaS example

A high-intent visitor is someone who visits a landing page on their own via a direct visit, branded paid search ad, retargeting ad, or organic search, and converts on a “book a demo” CTA. 

A low-intent visitor is someone who visits a landing page via a display ad, an informational Google search, or a native audience on Facebook, and has no intent to convert. 

If your CTA doesn’t match your visitor’s conversion intent, it doesn’t matter what you split test on your landing page—it won’t work. For example, if you’re asking cold display traffic to convert on your “book a demo” CTA, it doesn’t matter what your headline says or hero graphic looks like—they’re unlikely to convert. 

And here’s the kicker: Even if a conversion does happen, it’s extremely unlikely that that conversion will actually lead to a sale.

Why? Because the higher the intent of the visitor, the more momentum there is throughout the marketing and sales funnel. This is what ultimately leads to a sale.

When it comes to intent, different channels signal different intent levels. So step one of landing page testing is to ensure your traffic and CTAs align with one another. At KlientBoost, they call this the Ice Cube and Volcano Scale:

For example, someone who’s passively scrolling LinkedIn (who isn’t part of any custom audience) clearly has a different intent than someone who searches for “Gusto HR software demo” on Google. 

That’s because on social you can target native audiences and retargeting audiences, and it’s not an intent channel like paid search is. That’s why many LinkedIn paid campaigns fail when there’s an attempt to drive bottom-of-funnel (BOFU) conversions on a native LinkedIn audience.

How to Do Landing Page Testing Right

You can’t run a “book a demo” ad to a group of Instagramers who have never heard of you, haven’t signaled intent, or are part of a specific audience with intent (like Lookalikes on Facebook/Instagram) to buy and expect a landing page A/B test to save the day. 

Not gonna happen. 

When channel, CTA, and intent are in harmony, only then will an A/B test produce more meaningful results. To do that, you must first bucket your traffic into conversion intent categories. 

For example, in Google, divvy up your branded, competitor, generic, and informational keywords into different campaigns. In Facebook, separate your custom, lookalike, and saved audiences into different ad sets. Then, route traffic to CTAs based on intent accordingly. 

This will be your first, biggest foundational landing page win. Oh, and don’t forget—if you suffer from The Iceberg Effect, your traffic splits won’t matter.

If you’re not excluding audiences from each other on social, then you’ll have Venn diagram overlaps that can hurt you (one way to avoid this is to exclude custom audiences from your lookalike audiences).

Same with paid search: Make sure your search terms actually match your keywords.

2. Focus aggressively on how the offer is presented

The good folks at KlientBoost have run countless tests where they’ve removed everything below the fold. They’ve purposely and randomly chosen copy for headlines and subheadlines. Time and time again, they found that visitors immediately focus on the CTA and how it’s worded.

Increase motivation with CTA copy

Oftentimes, you don’t need to change your offer or conversion goal to increase conversions. You just need to create motivation by changing your CTA copy to something your visitors find more compelling. 

For example, KlientBoost experimented with five different CTAs and headline/subheadline variations for their marketing plan offer:

  • Get free trial  
  • Get free audit
  • Get free proposal 
  • Get free marketing plan 
  • Start my pricing calculation

Nothing about the offer changed—only the headline/subheadline and CTA copy. Well, that and conversion rates progressively increased with each iteration of the CTA copy.

Version 1: 14-day free trial

How to Do Landing Page Testing Right

Circa 2015

Version 2: Get free proposal

How to Do Landing Page Testing Right

KlientBoost free proposal messaging

Version 3: Free marketing plan

How to Do Landing Page Testing Right

KlientBoost free marketing plan messaging

Version 4: Pricing calculation

How to Do Landing Page Testing Right

KlientBoost pricing calculation messaging

All four versions, while expressed differently, all ultimately lead to the same conversion goal: a consultation with the sales team. 

By testing different headlines and CTAs, they were able to build motivation and, as a result, increase conversion rates without ever changing the offer. 

Why do they swear by CTA copy? Low effort, high impact. Simple. 

Here’s another example: Let’s say we’re dealing with personal injury lawyers: 99% of them use “Free Consultation” as their main CTA. If they’d switch their CTA to “See If I Have a Case” or “See What My Case Is Worth,” then they’ll get higher conversion rates while STILL having a consultation.

The magic trick here is to marry the main questions/objections your visitors have, and turn that into a CTA that promises answers.

You may have heard otherwise, but fewer fields do not automatically equal higher conversion rates. (It depends on a number of factors, really.)

For lead capture landing pages, forms can make or break conversions. But more importantly, the first impression your visitors have of your form’s fields will make or break conversions.

Form layout, number of fields, field labels, field order, placeholder text, button copy, radio button vs. drop down—the list of testable features never ends. But every form split test should prioritize one experiment above all: Adding multiple form steps while changing the order of the fields.

A form using the Breadcrumb Technique separates form fields into at least two progressive stages rather than placing them all on one single form. For example, KlientBoost’s “free marketing plan” form includes four forms with multiple fields (pictured below). 

While a standard form might show all fields in a single column, a multi-step form breaks up six fields into four very digestible stages. Visitors don’t see Step Two until they complete Step One, and so on.

How to Do Landing Page Testing Right

KlientBoost multi-step form (four steps, six fields)

Why multiple steps? Three reasons:

  • Compliance psychology
  • Lead quality 
  • Results

This is the Breadcrumb Technique, aka the method of persuading people to commit to your request by getting them to commit to a smaller request first.

Behavioral psychologists like Robert Cialdini call it the “Consistency Principle of Persuasion.” In layman’s terms, when people actively commit to something, they’re much more likely to complete it. Simple. 

A multi-step form leverages this principle of psychology by placing your most threatening form fields last (contact information) and your least threatening form fields first. By asking non-threatening, non-intrusive questions first, you make it easy for prospects to actively commit to your form. And once they commit, they’re more likely to complete it.

Let’s look at another example from Lytx, one of our clients. 

Notice how the first two steps of the form ask softball questions and the last two steps ask for personal information (email, phone, name).

How to Do Landing Page Testing Right

Lytx multi-step form (four steps)

Bottom line: Multi-step forms increase conversions. Like, by a lot. 

For example, by converting Lytx’s form from one step to multiple steps (and asking for name, phone, and email during the last step), KlientBoost increased the conversion rate from 1% to 20%, increased lead volume from six to 135, and decreased CPA by 95%. Dang.

4. Don’t stop at the “Thank You” page

Raise your hand if you’ve filled out a landing page form and received the following confirmation message:

How to Do Landing Page Testing Right

DemandScience’s demo confirmation page

*All hands go up*

Now juxtapose that with ChiliPiper’s confirmation page:

How to Do Landing Page Testing Right

ChiliPiper’s confirmation page

DemandScience (like nearly everyone else) kills conversion momentum by making you wait for a sales rep to follow up. And for what? To go back and forth via email to schedule a demo anyways?

Like ChiliPiper does with their calendar, use your thank you/confirmation page to move prospects to the next step in the conversion funnel (and closer to revenue) quicker. 

“But what about lead qualifying/scoring?”

In rule #1 ( regarding conversion intent), we talked about how the only sources of traffic who encounter your “demo” request offer (or the “high intent” equivalent of your industry) are those who are ready to buy anyway. No scoring needed—move them to “qualified” immediately. 

Note: The next step toward revenue doesn’t necessarily mean a massive PDF download or resource guide. In fact, in most cases, it doesn’t. The point of this step is to test the efficiency of your funnel. 

When high-intent buyers convert on your CTA, make the process as frictionless as possible. You already know the data surrounding the ability to close a lead with more time that goes by.

Here are some things you can try out:

  • Have a calendar widget on your thank you page and hire an extra sales development rep (SDR) to source which leads are high-quality or not. You’ll have people who aren’t qualified today, but will be qualified six months from now. Give everyone the white glove experience.
  • If you can’t do that, tell people which email address or phone number will reach out to them. In the world of spam or robo-calls, you’ll get ghosted even by people who converted—this will alleviate that.
  • Tell people when they can expect to hear from you. “In the next 24 hours,” “next 30 minutes,” etc. Give them that explicit heads-up.

You spent this much time and effort to get the conversion, so don’t screw up the momentum of the deal because of your un-optimized thank you/confirmation page. Do better.

5. Go all-in on AI traffic optimization

Now that your landing page testing fundamentals are stronger than ever, it’s time we call in help from our AI friends.

Smart Traffic is Unbounce’s AI-powered algorithm that matches visitors to the variant they’re most likely to convert on. 

Unlike traditional A/B testing, Smart Traffic doesn’t crown a single variant as the champion. Instead, it analyzes how distinct groups of people convert differently on several variants. Smart Traffic then funnels each respective group to the variant they’re most likely to convert on. 

AI traffic optimization is a great next step (after A/B testing) to take your conversions to the next level by matching the right visitors to the right page. 

Smart Traffic converts quicker with as few as 50 visitors, lets you test multiple variants at the same time, and works with multiple traffic sources at once. Plus, it does all the analysis for you. 

Metrics and KPIs to analyze landing page testing success

A few times (okay, a lot of times) throughout this post we’ve mentioned how important it is to track data and measure the impact of your landing page testing. If you’re not sure where to start measuring, we’re happy to lend a helping hand (or paw) with this list of commonly-used metrics.

Animated gif of a dog helping a man use a measuring tape

Average time on page

This is like measuring how long someone browses in a store—it indicates how engaging your content is. A longer time on page often suggests that visitors find your page relevant and interesting.

Bounce rate

This is the percentage of visitors who land on your page and leave without interacting further. A high bounce rate might mean your page isn’t resonating with your audience or isn’t what they expected.

Form abandonment rate

How many people start filling out a form but don’t finish it? It helps identify issues in the form itself—maybe it’s too intrusive or not user-friendly.

Conversion rate

This measures the percentage of visitors who complete the desired action, be it signing up, downloading, or making a purchase. It’s the ultimate measure of your landing page’s effectiveness.

Click-through rate (CTR)

It measures how many visitors clicked on a call to action or a link on your landing page. High CTR indicates compelling content or offers.

Page views/unique page views

This tracks how many times your landing page was viewed. Unique views filter out multiple views by the same user, offering a clearer picture of your audience size.

Lead generation metrics

For pages with a goal of gathering leads, tracking the number and quality of leads generated is crucial. It shows not just how many people are interested, but how many are potential customers.

Traffic sources

Understanding where your visitors are coming from (social media, email links, organic search, etc.) can help you tailor your content and strategies to your audience’s preferences and behaviors.

Landing page testing examples

You’re probably familiar with the saying, “the proof is in the pudding” (mmmm, pudding…), which basically means you have to try something out before you know if it’s any good. Well, here are some examples of organizations that have done exactly that by using testing to optimize their pages, and have some pretty tasty pudding darned good results to show for it.

Penn Foster: 202% increase in conversions

Scranton-based online college, Penn Foster, faced a challenge with their underperforming paid advertising campaigns. In a strategic move, they developed a new landing page, emphasizing pertinent information and clear call to action buttons. 

Their goal was twofold: to boost conversion rates and to improve the long-term value of their leads. The results were impressive: a staggering 202% surge in click-to-lead conversions, accompanied by a significant uptick in the click-to-enrollment rate.

Pluimen.nl: 19% increase in revenue

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Pluimen.nl, a Netherlands-based company specializing in gift vouchers redeemable for a variety of experiences such as sauna sessions, dining, and more, aimed to boost conversions and revenue on their landing page. 

Their strategy was to enhance user engagement and reduce bounce rates by simplifying the page, specifically by reducing the number of calls to action and links. They introduced a redesigned landing page, featuring just a single call to action and fewer links. This approach led to a notable 8.5% drop in bounce rates and an impressive 19% rise in revenue.

Digital NRG: 133% increase in conversions

Digital NRG, a digital marketing agency in Bristol, UK, ran a conversion optimization campaign for a couple of their clients. By experimenting with CTA button placement and running some tests, they ended up boosting a page’s conversion rate by over 133%.

To test or not to test: there is no question

At the end of this landing page testing odyssey, it should be blindingly obvious that there really is no question about whether or not you should be testing your landing pages. Instead, the only question worth considering is: When should you start? (Psst—the correct answer is “right away”.)

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