A/B testing, also known as split testing, is the process of comparing two versions of a webpage in order to assess which performs better. By showing variation (A) to one set of customers and variation (B) to the other at the same time, your company can evaluate which version performs better against the metrics that they care about (conversion rate, sales, bounce rate, etc.) Typically, variation (A) is the existing webpage that acts as the control while testing.
Why should I use A/B testing?
A/B testing can play a big role in making a difference in the success of your company’s marketing efforts and is important for gaining insight into your existing traffic.
It is a way in which to ensure that any changes you make to your web page is going to increase your conversion rates before you make those changes to your site code. By doing so, it will allow your company to explore which version your customers are responding better to improving both user functionality and experience.
What to A/B test?
Common elements to focus on while conducting A/B testing include:
- Call to Action (CTA) buttons on websites, landing pages, ppc campaigns, email newsletters etc. Focus on the wording, colour, size and position.
- Layout and style of website. Look at site navigation, copy, amount of text used on a page, design, colour, font format and size.
- The headline, subject line or product description included in email newsletters, landing pages and paid campaigns.
- Content. It is important to test both how you position and advertise content on your website.
- The placement and content of images used on landing and product pages can play a role in the effectiveness of your company’s conversion rate performance.
The Do’s and Don’ts of A/B testing
For ensuring the success of A/B testing, you should be conscious about the following rules.
- Test multiple variables. When conducting A/B testing, it is important to pay attention to all variables and elements of your market offering in order to be able to refine your marketing approach.
- Start off simple if it is your first time. Even a minor change like changing the colour of a CTA button can achieve major results.
- Make sure you’re A/B test is consistent across your whole website.
- Show repeat visitors the same variations.
- Analyze whether results are statistically significant.
- Wait to test the variation until after the control. Always test both variations at the same time to ensure that results are statistically significant.
- Limit your tests to just one marketing channel. When conducting A/B testing it is important to focus not just on your website but also look at email, social and paid channels.
- Let your gut feelings over rule the results of the test. Your customers’ preference should always be first priority.
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