Surprising split test results: Text vs Video

By | In Google Adwords, Landing Pages | 8 Comments

For years clients have asked me, “should I use video or text on my website?”

My answer has always been, “well, that depends on what you put in the video”.

A boring message on video won’t work, whereas a compelling text-based message can pull like crazy.

But having said that, here’s a test we recently ran, to test the opt-in conversion rates of essentially the same message in text vs video format.

(Click to enlarge)

While I’d like a bit more data to make this truly conclusive, in this test the video opt-in page delivered a 26.5% higher conversion rate, than the text based page.

That’s a quarter more leads for the same traffic spend. (Yet more proof that online marketing is NOT about traffic generation alone. It’s about traffic AND conversion AND monetisation).

So if video has potential – what should your videos look and sound like?

Well, they don’t have to look super slick and professional, but they DO have to have a strong, benefit-rich message that appeals to your target market. Think “infomercial” style, rather than traditional TV commercial.

Here’s an excellent example of a video opt in message from one of our clients, Pure Bookkeeping:


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  1. Interesting test. I agree with what you say about video. It’s just a medium. Sometimes a very good medium, but we need to also remember about the message as well.

    Comment by Trent P — May 9, 2012 #

  2. I wasn’t sure if I misread it, but the Pure Bookkeeping video seemed to 37 minutes (not seconds) long. Do you think many people would have 37 minutes to give someone who has just sent them an email (probably unsolicited) with a link to a video of unknown value? I probaly wouldn’t but perhaps I’m being too harsh.

    Comment by Tracey James — May 9, 2012 #

  3. Hi,

    Great post!

    About the screenshot. Is this Google Analytics? How did you integrate the website optimizer into it? Or are this custom variables your created?

    Please advice thanks!

    Comment by Javier — May 10, 2012 #

  4. @Javier. This is Google Website Optimiser (or Optimizer if you’re in the US), Google’s split testing tool. It’s a very good all purpose split testing tool… and free!

    Comment by Will Swayne — May 10, 2012 #

  5. Hi Tracey. There are actually 2 videos on the site. The first video is 2 mins 48s and is the “opt in” video I was referring to. The video you get in exchange for submitting your details (behind the opt in) is 37 mins long. So people are not expected to go “cold” to the 37 minute video. And in terms of traffic generation methods, the main sources here would probably be search (organic and PPC) and social media as opposed to cold emails. Hope this clarifies and thanks for commenting!

    Comment by Will Swayne — May 10, 2012 #

  6. We have found the same.

    with high traffic split testing we saw a 33% higher conversion rate of a video page over the text page. Even when the text is exactly the same as what was being said on video.

    Comment by Rob — May 30, 2012 #

  7. I think video on conversion pages is always good unless you’re doing the boring one that most people do. I’ve seen clients have good experience with animated videos, although they can get a little more pricey.

    Comment by Jared Detroit — June 21, 2012 #

  8. Hi Will, Just can across your website… have seen you since my days of running Brian Tracy. Great piece, i think it is important to know that a video on a page has great potential if structure correctly for its focus market and can have some really solid SEO advantages from a simple a point as time on page which Google does care about and also to other advantages such as transcription of the video and using the transcription on the page as content which done correctly can add significant boosts to page ranking for you focus keywords

    Comment by Garry Kewish — January 9, 2013 #

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