Letter Perfect: 5 A/B Tests To Ensure Content Optimization

Content, like anything else on your site, can be tested for different variations in order to determine what works best for your specific audience and product.

Letter Perfect: 5 A/B Tests To Ensure Content Optimization

With 78% of CMOs seeing custom content as the future of marketing and more than 90% of marketers using content marketing, you’re in good company.

In fact, according to DemandMetric, marketers now spend more than 25% of their budgets on content marketing. Clearly, marketers are putting a lot of effort into creating content to help brands get found online and engage with their audiences. Those efforts get a handsome return—since for every dollar spent, content marketing generates, on average, three times as many leads as traditional marketing.

But how do you guarantee that your content is conversion optimized? The short answer is that you don’t. You’ve invested in the content creation and rollout, and now you hope it will do the trick. Here’s where content A/B testing enters the picture.

Content, like anything else on your site, can be tested for different variations in order to determine what works best for your specific audience and product.

Here are the five content elements to A/B test to make sure they’re optimized for conversion. Obviously you need to A/B test one of these at a time to be able to know which variation works better.

1. Content titles: Picking the right title is a mix of art and science. Headlines with this type of clarification—interview, podcast, infographic, etc.—performed 38% better than headlines without clarification. This is why they recommend keeping headlines as accurate and descriptive as possible while still being sexy and short.

Try different title variations—long versus short, with/without numbers, with/without media type, etc. Once you have a clear winner in a test, you don’t need to stop there. You can move on to the next test and run the winner against another variant.

2. Content overview/call to action: In many cases, content offers include a short snippet or overview that describes the content offered. It is a part of the call to action that offers the visitors a look at the content, linking typically to a landing page (a page with a signup/download form in it).

Here, too, being accurate and descriptive is important. Try different variants against one another to see what works. Similar to titles, you can compare a short versus longer overview and more data versus a value promise. (For example: “This e-book includes lessons from 342 professionals” versus “This e-book will teach you how to beat your competitors.”)

3. Content type: Your audience may like to consume content in different formats, depending on the offer. Try offering them the same content in different formats to see what works best. For example, test an e-book versus a presentation or a recorded webinar that summarizes the e-book.

4. Content of the landing page:Optimizing a landing page is a whole discussion by itself. Here we will focus mainly on the content aspect of an entire page: title, potentially a subheading, description, form, form title, button text, not to mention graphics.

For the titles and headings, you can A/B test the variations we referred to under the content title section. For the content description, the part that describes your content offer in more detail, you can A/B test different variations such as:

For the content of the form, you can also A/B test the field titles for variations as well as in-field instructions (such as “your name here”) and for sure you’d want to test the text on the form button where you can try variations of descriptive text (“download”), cool text (“Let’s do this”), sense of urgency (“Get it now”), etc.

For our own landing pages, one test we tried out was changing out CTA from schedule a demo to free trial. This led to a 20% increase in conversion.

5. Content of thank you page: Though this is a post-download experience, there is still a lot of potential value here. You can use this opportunity to encourage the visitor to download additional content, share the content just downloaded, or provide feedback of his experience.

Here again A/B testing the offer text, title, and buttons can help you further improve the success of these follow-up actions.