Advertising Insider

4 Ways to A/B Test Your Landing Page Headline

Posted by Karyn Bak on February 11, 2016

a/b test landing page

Landing pages are a staple in digital marketing. In a previous post, we provided some tips on how to optimize your landing pages with the power of images. Today, we’ll be look at some ways to A/B test your landing page headlines to find what works best for your brand and will boost your conversion rates.


1. Test Different Verbiage

Using different phrasing on a headline can mean the difference between 10,000 visitors or 100,000! A/B testing landing page headlines is one of the most important steps you can take as a marketer.  As Upworthy curator Adam Mordecai so elegantly said: “We’re all dumb, and our intuition often means squat. Writing copy might be more art than science, but just because you prefer a certain variation doesn’t mean your audience will feel the same way.”

While there are some general guidelines to follow for creating viral headlines, they might not be applicable to your audience, so experiment until you find something that works for you. Try changing the length of your headline, its vocabulary, or its syntax and compare. Ultimately readers are more likely to respond to headlines that pique their interest, so in addition to improving the format of a headline, A/B testing can be a great way to better understand what your audience is most responsive to.

2. Look for Big Winners

The longer you wait, and test, the more obvious a winner for your A/B testing will be. But try not to get hung up on waiting and seeing if one variation shows a clear advantage. To maximize the efficiency of your A/B testing, you want to look for variations that are at least a 15-20% advantage. Otherwise, it’s back to the drawing board. Smaller gains aren’t necessarily bad, but they present a resource and accuracy problem. As with any experiment, you’ll need to set up a control and a treatment. The control is your standard landing page and headline. Your treatment is the changed landing page. Changing the treatment incrementally, rather than sporadically or all at once, will allow you to pinpoint what exactly your audience is--or isn’t--responding to.

For example, if you’re going to try changing the background color of your landing page, don’t also change the headline in the same test. Doing so would make it impossible to tell which variable your audience is responding to.  

3. Test Different Styling and Placement of Headlines

How a headline is presented can be just as important as what it says. The color, size, and style of your font can all play a role in how an audience responds to your headline, in a much bigger way than you might think. In a case study for AMEX in the United Kingdom, VWO found that just changing the size of their headline from 17 pixels to 18 pixels brought about a 16% increase in click rates.

4. Be Experimental

Use A/B testing as an opportunity to take bold risks with your headlines that you might not otherwise. Try using emojis, or a mad libs style input form, or changing up your vocabulary to be more aligned with your users. The results might surprise you.  

Given the ease of testing your landing page headlines, and the huge benefits doing so can have on your conversion rate, there’s really no excuse not to. In the end, you’ll be wiser for it by truly understanding how your audience responds to different types of content. Try using the tips in this article on your next A/B test, and make sure to record your results, so you can look back and track your progress.


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