24 A/B Testing Ideas That You Should Try

ab testing experiments

You’ve done a great job of finding new ways to drive more traffic to your website. But if that traffic isn’t translating into conversions, you’ve still got plenty of work to do.

I see this common misconception all the time.

Businesses spend much time and effort trying to improve their organic SEO while simultaneously running PPC campaigns to get more website visitors.

There’s nothing wrong with this strategy, but increasing site traffic isn’t the only metric that matters.

You also need to focus on how visitors behave after landing on your pages.

Are they converting?

If not, that traffic isn’t translating to dollars. That’s why you need to learn how to use continuous A/B testing to increase conversions.

These experiments will help give you a better understanding of how to optimize certain design elements of your website. Subtle changes can make a major impact on getting your traffic to convert.

To those of you who have never run these tests before, I recommend reviewing my guide on everything you need to know before you start A/B testing.

However, if you already know how to run A/B tests but just don’t know what you should be testing, this list is perfect for you.

In reality, the number of things you could test on your website is seemingly endless but here are 24 A/B testing ideas that you should try:

1. CTA size

As you read through this guide, you’ll notice that CTA buttons will appear several times in the discussion. This makes sense since it’s the most important feature in terms of driving conversions.

Start off with the size of your CTA button.

For the most part, this button needs to be big and bold. That way, it’s obvious and jumps off the screen. The last thing you want is for someone to be unable to find your CTA button.

How big should it be for optimal conversions? The only way to know is by experimenting with different sizes. Here’s an example to show you what I mean:

size

As you can see, these two CTA buttons are identical. They have the same font, color, and placement on the page.

The only difference is the size.

But bigger isn’t always better. In fact, after running this experiment, it was found that the larger CTA actually had 10% fewer conversions.

There could be a number of different reasons for this, but we don’t need to get into that right now. The important thing is that this would have never been discovered without running the A/B test.

Don’t assume that your giant CTA button is ideal for conversions. Test the size so you can be sure.

2. Headline wording

Your landing pages will have different headlines. These headlines will tell your visitors exactly what they’ll find on the page.

Depending on your goals, the wording can also prompt people to take a certain action.

Plus, you want your headlines to be SEO-friendly as well. Obviously, lots of thought should go into crafting these words.

That’s why you need to learn how to increase clicks by mastering your headlines.

To do this effectively, you’ll need to run A/B tests to find out which phrasing yields the highest conversion rates. Check out this example from the Movexa website:

headline

At first glance, the two pages look the same.

The only difference between the control and variation is the headline. As you can see, the difference is minor. All they did was add one word.

Movexa increased sales by 89% after adding the word “supplement” to the headline on this landing page.

So don’t assume your headline is perfect until you test different variations. You may be surprised with the results.

3. Free shipping information

This one is more specific to ecommerce sites. But it’s an important feature that shouldn’t be overlooked.

First of all, you shouldn’t be charging your customers for shipping.

If this expense is coming out of your pocket, just include it in the base cost of each item as opposed to charging separately for it.

This added charge is the top reason for shopping cart abandonment.

free shipping

But simply not charging for shipping isn’t enough. You need to display this information proudly on your website.

This way your customers won’t have to get to the checkout page to know that shipping is free.

But where do you tell them? That’s for you to find out through A/B testing.

Try different locations on the banner of your website. Maybe include it in the headline.

After you experiment with the placement, you can continue to run tests on the size, font, and color of this text as well. Try using all capital letters, or add an exclamation point to see if these variations change your results.

4. CTA phrasing

Let’s get back to discussing the CTA button.

Now that you know the optimal size of this button from a test I talked about earlier, you can start to experiment with the phrasing.

Obviously, the phrasing will depend on your goal. For example, a “buy now” CTA won’t make sense if you’re trying to get website visitors to subscribe to your email list.

Here’s an example from a landing page that targets visitors who need a loan:

cta phrasing

The team tested “apply now” against “submit.” Everything else about the pages was exactly the same.

The hypothesis here was that the word “apply” implied that the visitor could be rejected from a loan, which would discourage them from converting.

On the flip side, the “submit” button makes it seem like anyone can be approved simply by filling out the form field above.

I highly recommend experimenting with CTA button phrasing on each landing page of your website. This button is too important for you to overlook.

5. Pricing display

Some websites don’t display their prices on their landing pages. Do you?

Depending on the type of business you have, your branding strategy, and the industry you’re in, you may not think this is necessary.

However, it’s possible that displaying your prices could help increase conversions. Check out this example below:

pricing

Adding the price to this landing page increased its conversions by 100%.

After adding the price, you can also run other tests to make sure it’s optimized on the page. Change the location, color, font, and size to ensure you’re getting the maximum number of conversions.

6. Promotional content

Promotional content on your landing pages gives your website visitors an incentive to buy whatever you’re selling.

In theory, these elements will drive conversions. But don’t make assumptions without testing them.

Look at the example from this case study on the SimCity website:

sim city

The original landing page had promotional information at the top of the screen, below the menu bar.

It’s simple. Pre-order the game, and you’ll get $20 off your next purchase.

An incentive like this must be good enough to get people to convert, right?

Not so fast. By eliminating this promotional content from the landing page, they saw a 43% increase in checkouts.

Websites with simple designs have higher conversion rates.

Adding too much promotional content to your pages can make it difficult for the visitor to focus on your CTA buttons. Removing unnecessary text can actually be beneficial.

I’m not saying you need to completely trash all of your promotional content. I’m just trying to show you that you have to run experiments to see if it’s worth including.

7. CTA placement

No, you’re still not done testing your CTA button.

Now that size and phrasing are taken care of, it’s time for you to find the best location on the page for this button. You’ll need to run lots of experiments with this.

Typically, your CTA should always be above the fold. Make sure it’s clearly visible at all times.

But test different locations on the page. Try the middle, left side, right side, or even slightly off-center to the right. Try every location.

Experiment with two CTA buttons. Keep running these tests until you find a winner.

8. Image subject

Your website shouldn’t always have a plain white background with no images. You need to use visual elements to improve your marketing strategy.

But don’t just pull a picture out of thin air and assume it will make your website better.

Use A/B tests to find out which images convert the best. Here’s an example of how Highrise experimented with images on its website:

highrise

Michael had nearly 5% more conversions than Jocelyn.

This may seem marginal, but depending on the amount of traffic to a website, it could be the difference in tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

9. Navigation menu

How do website visitors find what they’re looking for on your pages?

Typically, navigation menus are the best way for them to jump from page to page. However, if these menus are too complex, it can hurt your conversions.

Remember, keeping things simple is always your best bet.

Take a look at what happened when Yuppiecheif removed the navigation menu from its homepage:

yuppiechef

As a result of this design change, Yuppiechef was able to increase conversions by 100%.

If it worked for them, it could work for you as well.

Even if you don’t want to remove your menu completely, you can experiment with other elements of it. Change the color, size, placement.

Consider removing some of the options to keep people focused on converting.

10. Value proposition

Earlier we talked about the importance of free shipping.

But you can test other elements of your value proposition as well. Here’s a look some of the other key phrases that give consumers an incentive to shop online.

value prop

By highlighting these other benefits on your pages in the form of a value proposition, you’ll be able to drive more conversions.

Refer to my guide on how to create a highly effective value proposition if you want to learn more about this concept.

11. CTA color

As I said before, your CTA needs to stand out and be obvious in order for it to be effective.

That’s why the color of this button is so important.

Sure, you want the color scheme of your website to be visually appealing, but that doesn’t mean your CTA button should blend in with everything else.

A blue CTA button on a blue background will get lost in the shuffle. And a color like bright yellow will be difficult to read.

So what colors work the best? Run tests to find out.

Here’s an example testing green and red CTA buttons:

color

Usually, we associate green with go and red with stop. So you could assume that the green CTA button would outperform the red one.

But the results of this test were surprising, which is why we shouldn’t make assumptions.

The red CTA button got 21% more clicks than the green one.

12. Product page layout

On an ecommerce website, the design of your product pages will have a major impact on conversions.

Since these conversions will ultimately translate to dollars, you need to prioritize these A/B tests because a mistake here could be costing you money.

Here’s an example from Smartwool socks:

product page layout

At first, they tried to highlight certain items on their product page.

But after transitioning to a uniform grid system with an A/B test, they saw a 17% increase in the average revenue per visitor.

Try this as well.

Experiment with the number of products you display on the screen at once.

If you have a grid, test rows of three compared to rows of five. Or maybe two columns instead of three columns.

Test the size of your product icons.

After running numerous tests, you’ll be comfortable knowing you have the optimal design for the most important pages on your website.

13. Buy Now vs. Free Trial

You already know free trials convert better than a single option forcing people to buy now. But do you know by how much?

GetResponse used to have just a Buy Now button on their homepage.

getresponse

But when they added a Free Trial button to their homepage, their signup rate went up by 158.60%.

getresponse trial

Granted, their revenue didn’t go up by 158.60% because some users cancel during the free trial period, but the overall revenue increase should still be well into the double digit percentages.

If you haven’t tried leveraging a free trial strategy, you should consider testing it as I’ve never seen it lose… assuming you are offering a good product or service.

14. Credit Card vs. No Credit Card

All free trials are not equal. Some people require a credit card upfront to start the free trial while others do not. Totango just released an interesting study that showed the difference between asking for a credit card upfront versus asking for it later.

totango

The results were huge! By dropping the credit card requirement, they were able to increase front-end signups by 500% and overall paid customers by 50%.

Although 50% isn’t as big as 500%, it’s still a big increase.

15. Trust Symbols

We take them for granted, but trust symbols can help increase sales. The risk of testing a trust symbol on your site is small as it’s very rare that such symbols decrease conversion rates.

Blue Fountain Media wanted to increase the number of leads they were generating through their Request a Quote page.

blue fountain media

So, they decided to test adding a VeriSign symbol to the page in hopes of increasing the number of people who felt more confident giving their personal information to them.

blue fountain media verisign

The end result was a 42% increase in sales. This just goes to show you the power of trust symbols.

16. Adding a Live Chat

For every customer that buys from you, you’ll have at least 30 others who won’t. Their reasoning for not purchasing will vary a lot, and in most cases you won’t be able to find out unless you ask them.

You can do so by surveying your visitors, or you can just try to ask/help your visitors out right when they are on your site through live chat.

Ez Texting tested adding live chat to their site so they could better serve their customers.

livechat

That one feature helped them increase their conversion rate by 31%.

But before you add live chat to your site, make sure you have someone available to be there so that you can answer your visitors’ questions. If you are unresponsive within the chat, and no one is ever there, it can actually decrease your conversion rates.

17. Help People, Don’t Sell Them

Are you used to getting sold? Well, of course, you are… who isn’t? Because you are used to people trying to sell to you, your guard is up, and you’re ready to say “no” even before someone sells to you.

ActiveNetwork decided to change how they use emails to promote their product. They created a new email copy, using a supportive tone instead of a salesy one.

Just take a look at the difference. Here is a preview of the sales version:

sales version

And here is a preview of the supportive version:

support version

The supportive tone of the email increased leads by 349%.

You don’t have to sell to people to make money. Sometimes the best way to get a customer is to simply help them by creating a friendly conversation with them. If they like what you have to say, they will end up converting.

18. Create an explainer video

I’ve created a handful of explainer videos, but they were all done wrong. Once I learned what elements needed to be in an explainer video to help boost conversions, I instantly saw an increase in our conversions.

By adding a video that had the same exact message as our homepage copy on CrazyEgg.com, we were able to increase homepage conversions by 64%. The big lesson I learned there was that people don’t always like reading text, but they are open to listening to a short video that explains a product or service.

If you don’t want to create explainer videos yourself, then you can hire services like I do. I personally use these guys.

19. Have your signup button scroll with the visitor

TreeHouse noticed that people on their library page were reading their content while scrolling down, but they weren’t clicking on the signup button. So, at first they tested changing the color of the signup button from grey to green.

The change in color had somewhat of an impact, but it didn’t have a large enough impact. So they tested a concept similar to what Facebook does – having their main navigation bar scroll with the reader. Because the signup button is in the navigation, it would prompt people to notice the button.

ab testing experiments treehouse nav

This simple change increased conversions on this one page by 138%.

20. Create a two-step checkout process

I was a big believer that reducing the number of page loads and steps people have to go through would help increase conversions. Because of this, Crazy Egg had a simple checkout process –  in which you would first select your plan and then create your account and enter your payment information on the second page.

ab testing experiments crazyegg 2 step

Conversion Rate Experts wanted me to test a three-step checkout process. First, you would select your plan, then be taken to the page where you create your account, and then be taken to another page where you enter your payment information. The total number of form fields was the same as the two-step checkout process, but instead we were just breaking it out into three separate pages.

After a total of 817 conversions, we had a winner – the three-step checkout process had a 10% increase in conversions.

21. Trial length

The longer your free trial is, the better. Right? That’s at least what I thought until my co-founder wanted to test a 30-day free trial versus a 14-day free trial on KISSmetrics.

ab testing kissmetrics trial length

When he tested the 14-day free trial versus the original 30-day free trial, there was no difference in front end conversions. The same number of people signed up for each trial length. But the big difference was in the increase of the usage of the product. 102% more people used the product when they signed up for the 14-day trial versus the 30-day trial.

We quickly learned that reducing the trial length made people feel that they had to use our product as soon as possible. With the 30-day trial, people felt that they had a lot of time, and they forgot about using the product even though we sent email reminders to them.

The extra usage helped boost revenue as more customers experienced the power of KISSmetrics.

22. Offer time-based bonuses

I used to sell the QuickSprout Traffic System for $197 dollars. If you bought it, you would get an Internet marketing course delivered to your inbox that would teach you everything you needed to know about digital marketing.

At first, I didn’t offer any bonuses, but then I decided to include a few for free. The main bonus was a video course offered with a free software plugin. Those two bonuses only boosted my conversion rate by 11%.

Michael Williams gave me the idea of running time-based bonuses, where the first 50 signups and the first 100 signups would get something that others didn’t receive.

ab testing quicksprout bonus

By offering time-based bonuses that encouraged people to sign up now versus later, we were able to achieve a 47% increase in conversions.

23. Add a dollar value to your free offers

Not everyone is ready to buy right away. Some people want to learn more and get to know you or your company. Once they trust you, they are open to buying whatever you may be selling.

That is why it is important for you to collect the email address of each individual who is interested in buying your product or service, but isn’t ready to pull the trigger yet.

Even though I am not really selling anything on Quick Sprout, I still collect emails so I can notify you when I write a new blog post. I used to just ask you for your email address without offering you anything in exchange. I then tested offering you a free eBook and a 30-day course, which only boosted conversions by 6%.

But once I placed a dollar value of $300 on that free course information in my sidebar, my conversions went up.

ab testing quicksprout money

By placing a dollar value on the same free information I was offering you before, I was able to boost my email opt-in rate by 22%.

24. Removing form fields

Test the length of form fields on your landing pages.

For the most part, shorter form fields have higher conversion rates.

form fields

But as you can see from this graphic, that’s not the same across the board.

Right now, if you have six form fields and you can get that down to four, you could assume your conversions will increase based on this graph.

However, some of you may need to have longer form fields if you need to collect lots of information from your customers.

If you look at the data above, it implies that a form with 28 fields won’t perform as well as a form with 40 fields.

So there are certain instances when shorter isn’t always better. Run an A/B test on these forms until you get this figured out.

Conclusion

A/B testing is something that you should constantly practice. Just like you don’t stop doing SEO, you don’t stop optimizing your site for conversions.

When you are reading blog posts like this one as well as others around the web about conversion optimization, be careful.

If you just copy other successful tests others have run, you may end up losing a lot of revenue.

Because every site has different visitors, you have to figure out what works for your site. First, you have to see if the test is applicable to your site, and then, you have to run it.

When it comes to the elements of your website, you should never make assumptions.

Instead, create a hypothesis, and run A/B tests to test it.

Don’t stop after one test.

You should always be taking steps to improve your design, drive conversions, and ultimately increase your profits.