The home page, in a way, is like the main entrance of your store. The goal of it is simple and clear: get the visitor to click on something that take them deeper into your site.
Both first-time visitors and repeat customers can reach the home page, and you have very few seconds to encourage them to continue exploring your website. The complexity of this page lies in the fact that its content, on the one hand, must be attractive to your visitors, whatever stage of purchase they are in. On the other, you must make sure that you direct them towards the next step that will bring them closer to the final goal of your website.
Table of Content
Types of A/B Tests
If you want (and should) optimize conversion on your home page, A/B tests are the best tool to get to know your visitor’s preferences and tastes. Instead of relying on intuition that can end up harming the main goal of your website, A/B testing allows you to gradually improve your website based on real data.
Let’s see what types of tests you should create on the home page.
The First Fold
The first section or fold of a home page is critical for your visitor in deciding whether to leave or continue on that page. In that section you should highlight what you think will generate the most conversion. It is not a section in which you have to beat around the bush. Focus on the message you want to convey to your visitor and invite them to take some action.
What types of tests should you try there? Start by creating a page test testing the content of said section. Try changing the cover image or even adding a video. Try different headlines, for example, by changing the sentence to a question. Try changing the text by adding words that invite the visitor to take an action or want to know more.
Show an Offer
On a home page you should show something that engages the visitor. Have you tried offering something in exchange for something else? It’s proven to work. For example, to get people to subscribe to your newsletter or an online course, you can offer them a discount on their first purchase.
If you want to know your audience better, change this offer. Try out different placements, descriptions, text and call-to-action styles, and see what your visitors find most appealing and increase conversions. Try adding urgency: limited time, limited offer, buy now/pay later. Try highlighting value: discounts, free trials, free shipping, etc.
Nelio A/B Testing
I was very impressed by the quality of this plugin, how easy it was to set up, and the outstanding support Nelio provides. I highly recommend Nelio A/B Testing.
The Call to Action
The call to action is your invitation for the visitor to take an action. We have already shown different calls to action in the previous two images. It is your opportunity for the visitor to become a customer. For this reason, the call to action deserves special attention when you are going to perform A/B tests on the home page.
You can run A/B tests on multiple aspects of your call to action:
- Background and color of the text and the button (or buttons).
- Style and size of the text and the button (or buttons).
- Call-to-action text.
- Position of the call to action on the page.
As for the button text, remember that the message must be clear and convey the purpose of the button. For example, a button with the text “Send” is clearer and more effective than “Make request”. Run different types of tests going through several iterations until you find the formula that optimizes the conversion.
Images and Videos
We are becoming more and more visual and we read less. Some companies are well aware that including high quality and impactful images on the web can achieve more conversions than detailed descriptions.
However, you can also find very minimalistic homepages with a large text, a lot of white space, and no images, which also work. Why am I telling you this? Because there is no single formula for all pages.
Create A/B tests by playing with the various options you have for displaying images: remove images and only show text, change the style of images, show a single image, show an image gallery, show an image carousel… Try different options and analyze with which option you get more conversion.
Name, Description and Images of Products
If you use the home page to sell your products, their names and descriptions should be very attractive. Try creating A/B tests with different name and description variations. For example, “Stylish and versatile jacket” may be more appealing than “Black jacket”. Experiment with different words, highlight the problem your product helps to solve. Try adding words of exclusivity, urgency, or limited availability to help drive the purchase.
And don’t just try different names and descriptions. Try different images too, making sure the images are clear and of high quality.
One of the goals of the home page is to convey confidence about the products and services you offer. To this end, including a section with customer testimonials about the experience they have had using your products is one of the best ways to generate that trust.
Create A/B tests with different variants of the testimonial section: show or remove testimonial portraits, display them with a set of blocks, statically or with a carousel, test different headline and text sizes, etc.
On the home page it is recommended that if you add any contact form, you minimize the number of fields and limit yourself to asking for little more than an email address. Try not displaying any fields having a button that opens the form, or include the field to fill in on the page itself. Try informing your visitors that you will not give the email to third parties. Try offering something in exchange for filling out the form, etc.
Layout of the Page
The layout of the different sections and elements on your home page has an impact on how you want users to crawl the content of your website. Depending on the type of content on your website, there are different patterns that describe how to structure the content to better capture the attention of your readers.
The “Gutenberg diagram” describes a general pattern by which the eyes move when looking at homogeneous and evenly distributed information. It applies to text-heavy content such as a novel or a newspaper. The Z-pattern is more recommended for simple designs where the most relevant information is displayed in the points that follow the pattern. The Zig-Zag-pattern is used more for storytelling, and the F-pattern suggests that the reader initially will see the first section, but will become less interested as they scroll down.
Perform different template tests to test different design patterns and, taking into account the selected pattern, make sure that your readers actually pay more attention to the information you want to highlight. To do this, heatmaps can help you understand how your readers see your pages.
The Website Theme
Surely, you already worried that the theme that your website uses was the one that you liked the most and adjusted according to your criteria or to the preferences of your potential clients. But maybe you are wrong.
If the goal of your website is not only to look nice to you but to get your visitors to perform a set of actions, you’d better worry about testing with real data what is most appealing to them. If you dare to test the WordPress theme on the whole website, start making the change on the home page only to see what works best. Then go ahead and create a full theme test to see if your tastes and preferences match those of your visitors.
How to Create These Tests
Now you have a battery of testing ideas to create on your home page. Now, what?
To create the different tests mentioned above, it is best to use a tool like Nelio A/B testing that allows you to create them quickly and without writing a single line of code. All you have to do is specify the variants to test, the conversion goals to track, and run the test. Nelio A/B Testing will already take care of dividing the traffic that reaches your website among the different variants and show you the visits and conversion of each variant at all times.
With Nelio A/B Testing you can create the following types of tests to improve your home page:
- Page test,
- WooCommerce product summaries test,
- Menu test,
- Widget test,
- Custom post type test,
- CSS test,
- Template test,
- Theme test, and
- Heatmaps, Scrollmaps and Confetti.
I insist, creating A/B tests on a WordPress website is very easy, you don’t need technical knowledge and the results you will get will be much more reliable than the intuition of “most experts”. What are you waiting for to experiment with your home page and improve your business figures?