When you first created your website, you designed pages with text, links, images, and buttons you felt would generate the most traffic. But, creating a successful website is an ongoing process that requires you to constantly make edits, updates, and adjustments in order to bring in new customers and generate leads. That’s where A/B testing becomes crucial to your marketing campaign.
If you’re interested in improving the user experience on your website and increasing sales or conversions, it is recommended that you identify areas for improvement with a conversion rate optimization (CRO) analysis.
In doing so, you can uncover pain points that hinder sales and conversions on your website, by testing your current website elements with proposed changes.
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing allows you to test two or more variations of web pages live on your website. These versions are randomly served to website viewers and data is collected about how visitors interacted with the page.
In doing so, it’s important to keep a control, or the current version of your web page, included in the testing phase. Controls give you the opportunity to look at how users interact with the current page in relation to the variations where you implemented a possible improvement to your marketing campaign.
When it comes time to review the data, you’ll see which variations were the strongest and most preferred version by your users. Then, you can move forward with testing variations of the improvements to capitalize your website traffic.
For example, if you wanted to test a call to action button on your website, the current button on your site would be shown to a control group labeled “A.” A new version of the button, perhaps a different color or size, would be shown to the test group labeled “B.” Then you’re able to see how site visitors interacted with the different buttons and update your website to reflect the button with the most positive response.
Just make sure that you let the tests run for a long enough period before you start making changes. The longer your test duration, the more accurately your data will represent the best option.
How does A/B testing work?
Once you determine the actions that you want to test and the layouts for each variation, edits need to be made to your website. This process depends on your website platform. Most can use third-party plugins made specifically for A/B testing. If you have limited access to your website, you should talk to your web developer and determine the best course of action for A/B testing for your marketing campaign.
What can you A/B test?
You can A/B Test virtually anything!
Just remember that each variation should have minimal changes so that it’s easy to identify which object or change performed best. If you attempt too many changes in a single variation, it will be hard to determine which improvement is responsible for the increase or decrease. Here are a few examples to consider for testing:
- Email campaigns
- Call to action buttons
- Page layouts
- E-commerce checkout pages
- Website graphics
- Font size
Each of these gives you the opportunity to learn more about your target audience. You may come to realize that your audience responds best when images and graphics are aligned on the left-hand side of the page. Or, you may realize that because your target audience is older they prefer large fonts. You might even find that a blue call to action button generates more clicks than the same button in green.
Regardless of the overall results, each time you A/B test for your marketing campaign you learn how to better reach and serve those on your website and, therefore, increase conversion rates.
Why should you A/B test?
A/B testing shows factual data about the way your customers are interacting with your website.
If your goal is to improve something, A/B testing is the best way to determine the most beneficial changes that you should implement moving forward. Instead of making changes based on a hunch or preference, you’ll have the physical data to support why certain changes or improvements should be made.
Your users are giving you the answers to how to help them convert on your website. Along the way, you’ll also find obvious things that your users do not like. It’s important to pay attention to why some of your variations didn’t come out on top – maybe it’s a color or copy that didn’t create urgency or a clear course of action.
Nonetheless, pay attention to the data on each version and use that to your advantage throughout all marketing efforts – not just your website.
Did you have success with A/B testing?
Have you tried A/B testing on your website? What kinds of things did you test, and what kind of data did you find about your website?
Let us know in the comments below!