12 Simple A/B Tests You Should Be Running Right Now to Increase Sales or Leads

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ab testing

Fairly new at using conversion rate optimization (CRO) to boost your website sales or leads? Not really done much A/B testing? Not sure where to start?

To help you get a great kick-start with your efforts, I have created a list of 12 simple A/B tests you should use to increase website sales or leads. They don’t require much website coding or development to get up and running, yet have high potential impact. All you need is an A/B testing tool and to create 2-3 test variations to find which convert your visitors best into more sales or leads.

Let’s get started with the 12 simple yet high-impact A/B testing ideas..

  1. Emphasize your unique value proposition in your homepage headline
    A common basic mistake websites often make is they fail to clearly and prominently explain their unique value proposition (why someone should use their website instead of a competitors). To remedy this, test using a few different headlines on your homepage to explain – ideally it should be under 10 words and try testing variations that ask visitors great questions to spike curiosity or clearly explain benefits. Here are a few good examples plus an indepth guide:
    uvp headlines
  2. Add some short powerful testimonials on your homepage
    Using testimonials is one of the best ways to build social proof on your website and increase conversions. To test this great potential impact, gather 2-3 short and sweet testimonials from your customers, and add them above the page-fold on your homepage, ideally with an image of the person giving the testimonial to make it more eye-catching and believable. Testing embedding Tweet-based testimonials is a great eye-catching way to show short testimonials.
  3. Add a free incentive and capture email leads via a popup
    Don’t just rely on your website converting your visitors first time they arrive. Instead, create a great free incentive (like a short related ebook, free consultation or first time visitor coupons) and then use a lead capture pop-up tool to promote it and get your visitors email in exchange. Then you can send a great series of engaging auto-responder emails (using a tool like Aweber) to your visitors to increase the chances of them coming back and converting.
    ecommerce popup
  4. Show media mentions on your homepage to boost social proof
    Another great way to build social proof is to test showing media mentions that your website has received, for example any reviews or mentions on leading websites, newspapers or TV stations. Showing these quite high up on your homepage will make your website seem much more popular and help to increase leads or sales.
  5. Make your call-to-action buttons more actionable
    No A/B test list is complete without a test to improve your call-to-action buttons – these have a huge impact on conversion rates. Don’t just test the size, color and location of your buttons, you should also test making the wording on them much more actionable and enticing. Test using action based words to get higher engagement – don’t use boring and dull words like ‘Learn more’, ‘Download’ or ‘Submit’. Here are a few great examples:
    better CTA wording
  6. Remove clutter from your homepage to increase clarity
    One of the most common problems I’ve seen with many websites are cluttered homepages. These often overwhelm visitors with choices (the paradox of choice), and lack focus on solving for visitor’s main needs. To focus your homepage much better and increase click-throughs, simply set up a test removing 3-5 of your less important modules on your homepage like your latest news or big call-to-action buttons for old or less important content.
  7. Add risk reducers in header or side bar to increase their visibility
    To increase the chances of visitors purchasing from you, you need to reduce their risk of purchase by offering things like guarantees, free trials or free shipping or returns. To increase the chances of visitors seeing these and being influenced by them, you should test adding some risk reducers like those to your header or sidebar – this ensures that they are seen no matter what page your visitor arrives on (not just your homepage).
    risk reducer header
  8. Improve your navigation menu to entice visitors
    Another great simple test is to improve your navigation menus so they are much more compelling for your visitors and act as funnels to your most important pages. In particular test using more compelling link names instead of generic unexciting ones, for example ‘Happy customers’, ‘New? Start here’ or ‘Why use us?’ links. And if you have multiple sub-categories test using drop down mega-menus to make the contents of them more visual and enticing.
  9. Add security seals to your checkout or signup pages
    It doesn’t matter how good the rest of your site is if your visitors don’t get a sense of trust and safety in your shopping cart or signup flow. Therefore to reduce purchase worries when they will be highest, you should test clearly adding security logos and text (100% safe and secure) on those pages – not just in your footer. Don’t over do it though – one good security seal like Verisign or McAfee will usually be enough to increase sales.
    security seals
  10. Cut out the fluff in your side bar and focus on solving needs
    Sidebars on websites can be just as bad and cluttered as homepages for confusing your visitors. Test dramatically simplifying them, for example removing your latest Tweets module, Facebook fan modules or those ads that probably don’t make you much money. Ideally you should only have your 3-4 most important modules in your side bar that help solve your visitors main needs and relate to your key website goals.
  11. Add business accreditation seals to your footer
    To help build more of a sense of trust for your visitors, you should also test adding in some business accreditation seals in your website footer. BBB seals are the best example of this, but also try using things like logos of associations that your online business is a member of.
  12. Add a ‘why use us’ module to explain unique value proposition
    Going back to unique value proposition – I can’t emphasis enough how important this is, especially to your first time visitors. To increase the chances of your visitors understanding reasons to use your website instead of your competition (and decrease your bounce rate), you should test adding a ‘why use us’ or ‘why our clients love us’ module on your homepage with 3-4 short bullet points to help explain this. Don’t just presume your visitors know!
    value proposition module

And for those of you looking for more A/B testing help, I have some great articles – help for picking an A/B testing tool, and help if you aren’t sure you have enough traffic to do A/B testing.

Wrapping Up

Which of these 12 simple A/B tests have you used so far? What other simple A/B tests have worked best for increasing leads or sales? Please comment below so we can discuss.

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  • Peter White

    Nice short and sweet list for those new to CRO – although surprised you didn’t mention testing getting rid of homepage carousel sliders – they don’t convert well and are very common.

  • Jeremy Smith

    Number 2 really resonates with me. Most websites I see don’t clearly communicate their value proposition. I see it time and time again. The one crucial piece that I always see are industry terms or jargon used inside the corporate walls, that when a normal user reads it they have no idea what it means.

    The other thing I see all the time are incorrect use of call to action buttons. I tend to go towards non committal button copy for most B2B sites as people are researching and need more information. Button copy is one of the easiest things to test and usually has a pretty quick impact on conversion rates. If your tests fail, you know really quickly what not to do. Always learning from your fails is just as important as key wins. Great post Rich.

  • Thanks Peter – yes I didn’t mention that one because many people have been focusing on it. And in my opinion, sometimes they work better than static images. Just depends on what you are using in the slider! Always best to test variations of it.

  • Thanks Jeremy! Yes, value proposition issues are so basic, yet so many online businesses suffer from it – often without even realizing it. And yes, I agree that button copy is one of the quickest things to test with high impact.

  • Aayushi thakur

    Article. it’s Really Helpful and Enjoyable Post for Every Blogger. Thank you
    very much for Sharing with us. .

  • Ann07

    A/B Testing is commonly used in web development and marketing. It’s simply a method to test changes to your page, and to determine which ones bring positive results.

    As what I know about AB Testing, it is a method to confirm that any new changes to an element in your website are improving your conversion rate.

    Well, these ideas shared above are interesting, and I’ve found them helpful and effective to do better AB Testing to increase sales and leads. I must agree with all these tips given, especially the tip numbers 3, 5 and 8.

    Thanks for the shared knowledge! I’ve indeed learned a lot. 🙂


    By the way, I found this post shared on Kingged.com

  • ivildev


    Can you explain how can we test 2 pages with different value proposition into header, which values we have to measure? Number of Page visits? Session duration? How can we know what value proposition is better?

  • Hi – good question. For a global test like that, I would measure against total conversions, and you could also go more micro and measure against bounce or exit rate. To know which is better, the value proposition that results in most conversions or lowers exit rates would be the best.

  • Great stuff Rich. Keep the tips coming… Always look forward to your insight in this area… Learning new stuff each time you post. Regards, Phil Adair Sydney

  • Thanks Phil! Glad you enjoyed this article and thanks for the kind words – hope things are well with you!

  • Jay Kapor

    tips. I think content consideration is important today. If we like to give
    something different then sometimes we want to provide different kind of content.
    Having known that the themes support this purpose will ease our blogging
    experience .

  • Tobi O.

    I like this, thanks. Everyone needs to do this to, because it will definitely help to achieve your sales or leads. I also believe a training at wdc.com.ng can help to learn this