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How to Test Copy on Your Landing Page

A landing page exists for exactly one purpose: To get visitors to take a particular action. Besides the appeal of the offer itself, user experience design, visual design, and web page copy are all elements that determine the page’s rate of success. How can you be sure the elements are working for you? Really, all you can do is give them a test! Here, we’ll talk about testing your landing page copy.

Image of a laptop on a work desk with coffee and post it notes

Structuring your test

When it comes to structuring your tests for any element on your page, it sort of boils down to two choices: The A/B test, and the multivariate. In an A/B test, you split web traffic into two versions of a page, each with a change in just one element (like a headline), to determine which version of that element performs best. In a multivariate test, you split traffic between a large number of pages, each of which has different combinations of different versions of each element (like headlines, body copy, button text and more) to determine which overall combination works best.

A/B testing is simpler, easier to execute, leads to more direct learnings, and isn’t as dependent on high volumes of traffic. The latter can lead to fascinating insights, but requires a more sophisticated test structure and is dependent completely on high volumes of traffic. Which approach you decide to use should depend on your goals, your traffic volume, your available volume of content to test, as well as desired outcome of learnings.

Whichever you go with, read on for more information about specific copy elements you can test.

Copy elements to test

As for which copy elements to test, the answer is - all of them! Elements to consider include:

  • Headline: The largest text on the page, designed to grab the reader’s attention

  • Subheader: The text that appears just below the headline, the subheader is usually a quick sentence or two to draw the reader in

  • Body copy: Is the paragraph or two that constitutes the most voluminous content on the page

  • Specific keywords: Are included in the paragraph and are impactful for characterizing the product or service described on the page

  • CTA button text: The words or phrase that appears as the main call to action - the thing you're asking the site visitor to do

But it makes sense to whittle down the ones you think will have the most impact, and test your way into desired impact. Generally, based on my years of content marketing experience, I’d order likelihood to change outcomes as follows:

  1. Headline

  2. CTA button text

  3. Subheader

  4. Specific keywords

  5. Body copy

Running your test, gathering learnings

No matter where you decide to start, the process is the same. Once you’ve identified which element to test, decide on the variants to use, set up your test structure accordingly directing traffic to each version you’ll use, run your variants until you’ve got enough data to analyze (ideally until data reaches statistical significance), then see which version performed better.

Once you know which copy element performed better, you can begin directing all traffic to that version of the page, thus capitalizing on the opportunity of better performance based on your learning. And that’s a complete cycle of a landing page copy test!

The beauty of iterative learning is that you truly can never be done. There’s always more testing to do, always more learning to capture, and always more optimization to be done. Work in order of expected return on time invested, and - because audiences, products, and competitive landscapes are always changing - revisit your previously tested elements often.

Need help designing your landing page or deciding which elements you’d like to test? Contact us for guidance. We’re here any time you’d like help.


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