[Split Test Challenge] Which Headline Do You Think Boosted Conversions 37.02%?


A simple change to a single line of text. . .

In essence, that’s all a headline split test really is — changing a handful of words on your landing page to see which version gives you a higher conversion rate.

But even though it may seem small, this is the kind of split test that has the potential to dramatically impact your landing page conversion rate.

That’s exactly what happened in the split test below from LeadPages user Doug Larson of BarBellShrugged.com, a fitness website for athletes, coaches, and gym owners.

Doug split tested two headlines on a landing page he created (using the eBook Landing Page (from Pat Flynn) LeadPages template) to give away a free weightlifting guide:

  • Headline #1: “An athlete’s guide to perfect weightlifting”
  • Headline #2: “The best exercises and drills to help you lock in perfect technique for the olympic lifts”

One headline is short and general. One is long and specific. Which headline do YOU think won in this split test?

Vote below to reveal the winning split test variation and our analysis!

Vote: Which Page Won This Split Test?
1 What's Your Vote?
2 And the Winner Is...
Base/Original: "An athlete's guide to perfect weightlifting" - Doug uses the eBook Landing Page (from Pat Flynn) to offer his free "Snatch & Clean and Jerk Technique" weightlifting guide.
Variation: "The best exercises and drills to help you lock in perfect technique for the olympic lifts" - With the exact same page, Doug uses a longer, more specific headline.
1 What's Your Vote?
2 And the Winner Is...
3 Free Guide
Free Download: See Results from 20 of the Best Split Tests We've Featured on Our Podcast, ConversionCast (Called "The Split Testing Encyclopedia of Results").
It Contains Dozens of More Split Test Ideas, Results, and Insights.)
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YES! Nice call!
Nope! Try Again Next Time!
Winner: Version B created an overall increase of 37.02%
39% 61%

How People Voted

Click here to see our take on these results.

As it turned out, the longer, more specific headline won this split test — increasing the conversion rate from 14.18% to 19.43%. That’s a 37.02% increase in conversions.

Since the headline change was the only difference between the variation and the original, it’s safe to attribute the increase in conversions to the longer headline. This is why we advocate split testing one change at a time on your landing pages — you’re able to pinpoint the exact change that increased (or decreased) conversions.

This means that for every 1,000 visitors to this landing page, Doug can expect approximately 52 more conversions using the longer headline over the short one. Not bad for changing just one line of text.

The variation with the longer headline won with 98.27% probability of not being due to chance.

Check out the full statistics below.


So, Longer Headline = Higher Conversions. . . Right?

Not so fast, my friend.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when split testing is attempting to draw global conclusions from small, isolated tests.

It’s not enough to just say, “The longer headline won, so let’s just keep writing long headlines.”

In fact, if you stop and consider this split test for a moment, you’ll see it’s most likely that specificity — rather than length — allowed the second headline to win.

Think about it — BarBellShrugged.com is a website built for a certain niche: athletes, coaches, and gym owners interested in fitness.

Is that audience (which eats, sleeps, and breathes weightlifting) going to be more excited about finding a general guide to “perfect weightlifting”. . . or to a list of drills and exercises for a specific technique?

If you’ve ever known someone who is into weightlifting and fitness, you know how enthusiastic they can get about discovering new exercises that achieve specific results.

That’s why, in this case, my money is on specificity over length.

What Do You Think?

Two things:

1. If you’re new to LeadPages, you should know that all Pro and Enterprise LeadPages members can run any split test inside LeadPages in just five clicks.

In this test Doug tested headlines, but you can also split test images, colors, backgrounds, and just about any design change you can think of using the intuitive LeadPages builder.

Watch the one-and-a-half minute video below for an introduction into enabling split testing on your LeadPages account.

2. Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts about this split test. What made you vote for Headline A or Headline B, and why do you think Headline B won?

  • I’d just like to point out that I got it right. Love it.

    • Nice work, Tim! I’d expect a “Conversion Educator” like yourself would be able to guess correctly. 🙂

    • Me too!

      now where I can I get that sexy Leadpage survey template..

      • David

        I would just copy the previous comment.

      • Hey Sweeney! Are you referring to the split test voting widget? If so, it’s a WordPress plugin we had custom-made for these posts. 🙂

        • Ahhh respect. Will you guys should be a pal and release it to the customers 😉

          • We’re still making a few tweaks to it, but you never know! We’ll see what happens. 😉

  • Jeff Wenberg

    Booyani! I would also like to point out that I got it right! 😀 This is awesome…and fun! Thanks for sharing Will!

    • Jeff! I’d give you a gold star right now if I could.