Best SEO Software 2021

A/B Tests & Case Studies with Actionable Insights

Each of the A/B test case studies below includes actionable insights that you can leverage to improve the performance of your website and marketing campaigns.

A/B testing allows marketers to test and improve the performance of their websites and campaigns. Experiments are run on content, landing pages, emails, and every other part of the marketing funnel.

Studying the test wins of other companies is a productive way to uncover new experiment ideas. While each website is different, the same general themes apply to most websites.

The experiments below highlight tactics that marketers can use to increase conversions and boost ROI. Specific takeaways include:

  • Include relevant images in content
  • Remove navigation menus and external links from landing pages
  • Optimize the Attention Ratio on landing pages
  • Use segments to increase email relevancy

Table of Contents

Content with relevant images had 94% more views

Content marketing company Skyword analyzed the impact of images on content performance. Skyword's platform hosts tens of thousands of articles and content. The company has access to performance data for each piece of content on the platform.

Skyword's overall finding was that embedding relevant images in content meaningfully improves content performance. They also found that the impact varies significantly by content vertical. Here are the specific insights from the analysis:

  • Content containing related images performed better across all content categories in all months tested
  • On average, total views increased by 94 percent if a published article contained a relevant photograph or infographic when compared to articles without an image in the same category
  • Certain categories, like news, politics, and sports, benefit more than others, such as entertainment, where image libraries are frequently duplicated across the web
  • Performance was further improved by search optimizing image captions and metadata
graph of views increase on blogs with image

Removing a navigation menu increased conversions by 100%

Most websites have carefully optimized navigation menus that make it easy for website visitors to find the web pages that they need. Running A/B tests on navigation menus is common – fully removing navigation menus is a bolder experiment.

Yuppiechef, South Africa's premiere kitchen and home store, ran this exact experiment on its navigation menu. By removing the navigation menu, VWO reported that the company increased conversions on the corresponding landing page by 100%. The variant on the right with no navigation had a conversion rate of 6%, compared to 3% for the original landing page.

graph of views increase on blogs with image
graph of views increase on blogs with image

Yuppiechef's hypothesis was that the variant without the navigation bar would provide fewer distractions, and help the user focus on the primary reason they had landed on this particular page. The next case study on the Attention Ratio builds upon this insight.

Improving the Attention Ratio increased conversions by 31%

Attention Ratio is the ratio of links on a landing page to the number of campaign conversion goals. In an optimized campaign, your Attention Ratio should be 1:1.

This means that optimized landing pages have a single conversion path and no other external links. Home pages typically have Attention Ratios between 10:1 and 150:1. This helps explain why home pages don't perform well as landing pages.

Unbounce ran an experiment that tested the impact of removing social share buttons and external links. The attention ratio of the page shown below improved from 10:1 to 1:1. As a result, the variant on the right had a 31% increase in conversions.

variant a with external links
variant b without external links

Readers decided in 3 to 4 seconds whether to view an email

Consumers are inundated each day with hundreds of marketing messages across several communication channels. As a result, individuals must decide whether or not to read a message quickly. In fact, Litmus reported that readers spend 3 to 4 seconds deciding if they are going to view your email.

readers decide in 3 to 4 seconds whether to view an email

There are a few best practices that you can follow to improve your open and click rates. These are concentrated on the parts of an email that recipients view first – the sender name, subject line, and preheader text.

Email ComponentBest Practice
Sender recognitionSubscribers are more likely to interact with recognizable and trustworthy email addresses. When possible, use a name or company name they’re familiar with.
Subject lineThe length of subject lines should be under 50 characters. Also, it is best not to repeat brand names or use confusing internal language. Emojis are one way to ensure your subject lines standout.
Preheader textMany email programs include a preview of email content next to the subject line. Preheader text should add value to the subject line, spark curiosity, or include a call-to-action.

Segmented email campaigns produced 30% more opens and 50% more click-throughs

Segmentation is another way to improve content performance. Marketers can optimize content for the target segment, which increases relevancy. Monetate released data on the power of intelligent email marketing. Some of the key takeaways are:

  • Segmented email campaigns produce 30% more opens than undifferentiated messages
  • Segmented email campaigns have a 50% higher click-through rate than undifferentiated messages
  • The email channel has a higher conversion rate than search and social media
Intelligent email drives conversions
Bruce Hogan

Bruce Hogan is Co-founder & CEO of SoftwarePundit, a technology research firm that provides advice, information, and tools to help businesses thrive. Bruce has experience investing at multi-billion dollar private equity firms, leading teams at venture-backed technology companies, and launching new businesses. You can connect with Bruce on LinkedIn.

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