A/B Testing isn’t rocket science to understand and implement, yet it is not so common among digital marketers. Similar to other major subjects of Internet marketing like SEO, SMO, PPC Ad campaigns, etc., A/B testing also helps in knowing insights into visitors’ behavior, which is essential for improving the conversion rates of a website, but its benefits are always underestimated.
Similar to its name sounds, A/B testing is performed on two different versions of a website (A and B) on a specific set of metrics to define which of these two versions yields better results. Whichever version performs best is selected to be implemented as the final version of the website. If the A/B testing is planned in an appropriate way, it can help in creating buzz about your business in the marketplace.
Here in this article, I am going to present a complete guide about A/B testing that includes its comparison with other scientific optimization techniques, its impact on your website’s conversions and performance, and the different ideas for implementing this testing successfully on your website.
Table of Contents
A/B testing belongs to a specific category of Scientific Optimization techniques, however, there are two other categories’ Multivariate testing and Experimental design. The basic functions performed in all these three testing techniques are listed as follows:
While creating an experiment, Google might ask you to select between the A/B testing and Multivariate testing, but the former is always preferred over the latter as it tests 2 varied versions of the same website while in Multivariate, you have to just test a few important elements of your website to check the overall performance of the website. If you go from the visitor’s point of view, either of these methods would not make any change for them, but for simple testing that requires fewer combinations with more changes, A/B testing is a good choice to go for.
Before proceeding with the measures for calculating your website’s performance while conducting A/B testing, it is vital to know the actual definition of what A/B testing is. According to the standard definition, it is a method for authorizing all the latest modifications introduced on the webpage to improve its overall conversion. The steps performed during the A/B test include:
This test confirms which of the two variations yields better conversions and this test usually involves lesser variations with extreme changes like changes in headlines, background colors, icons, pictures, and navigation panels.
So, after getting familiar with the basics of A/B testing, the next important steps are to learn the key considerations for measuring your website’s performance.
Before deciding and implementing changes in a website for enhancing the conversions, the most essential step is to measure the website’s performance to know what the actual conversions taking place on your website are and the reasons behind the low conversions.
If you want to receive actionable data via Google Analytics for your website, it is important to set certain mandatory goals and objectives for your business as well as your website along with an adequate selection of key performance indicators (KPI). These are vital for all digital marketers to ensure that their website is generating leads and sales as per their defined goals.
Without specific goals and objectives of your business, you cannot decide or evaluate the overall revenue in the right way. For example, if you have an online store for selling garments, then your goal should be to increase the sales of garments through your website, and once, this is set, you will be able to focus on the performance of your website to check if it is able to generate the sales as per your expectations or not. For increasing the conversions and sticking with your established business goals, you should have to:
Once, your goals have been set up, you have to define the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of your website, and then only you can perform the A/B testing in an appropriate way.
KPIs are metrics that are used for evaluating the current performance of your website and to know if it is performing in accordance with the defined goals or not. All metrics cannot be defined as KPIs, but a metric will be called a KPI only if it measures something related to your business objectives.
Suppose, your garments online store sells 60 garments in the last month and for defining KPIs for your online store, you need to define targets for them. Like if you defined the target for the KPIs as 200 garments per month, then you have a proper framework to know if your website is selling as per the defined goals or not.
Note: Typically, KPIs include the combination of spreadsheets, charts, reports, and dashboards to display the information needed for a business’s success. Then this information is analyzed to report the results and take action if the results are not as per the established goals of the business.
Once you have collected the required data for performing the A/B testing on your site, you must track down the behavior of visitors on your website to know the user engagement rate on your site along with the duration of their visitation.
Evaluating the visitor’s behavior helps in devising and finalizing the right strategies for executing the A/B testing perfectly on the website because anything that affects the behavior of visitors on your website needs to be A/B tested and that includes:
Listen and analyze the feedback of customers given on your website to know what measures should be taken during A/B testing that could bring significant profits. Also carefully evaluate the latest trends in your customer’s feedback to understand the major or key factors affecting the overall conversions on your website. If something striking pops in your mind, think profoundly and perform the A/B testing by changing that factor to see if positive results are afoot.
Besides collecting feedback from customers, it is essential to segment your target audiences to get key insights into what valuable information could you receive that you can use for bringing profits. The segmentation of target audiences can be done in three categories:
Once you have analyzed the profitable segments of your targeted audiences, you can devise your A/B testing plan accordingly.
Once, you have chosen the metrics for checking the performance of your website by split testing or A/B testing, the next important step is to set priorities on what to test first, since a proper execution of any process needs a reliable start but try to A/B test those opportunities first that could promise positive outcomes.
Set priority for the pages that are not performing as per the defined goals. This data can be received through Google Analytics which keeps track of the problematic pages and the pages that have high bounce rates. Suppose, you have a high shopping cart abandonment rate, then you cannot solve this problem merely by changing the shopping cart views, but you also have to check your product and category pages for fixing this issue.
These are those pages that your visitors see at the end before leaving your website. These pages are labeled as “% Exit” pages in Google Analytics and it will display the percentage of visitors that leave your website after looking at the specific page the last time. These pages help in recognizing the main area of concern.
You should also set the priority on testing high-value ideas first that have low-cost investments. For example, you can test the deviations occurring during the checkout process as it shows the maximum abandonment rate than any other steps.
Apart from setting priorities for the worst performing pages, it is also necessary to set priority to test those pages first that have the highest volume of traffic because these tests finish quicker and also help in fastening your optimization process.
When it comes to performing A/B testing, you can test any element of your website to check if it is performing as per the defined goals or not. You can A/B test by changing any of the given elements such as:
This is a very major area of a website that could be improved with an A/B test. Most of the sites have two sets of navigation menus- primary and secondary. The primary includes the main categories of products, while the second includes the FAQs, About Us and Contact Us, etc. While primary navigation is integrated well into the website, you can test by changing the secondary navigation for knowing the important and popular options on the top of your web pages.
You can perform split testing on call-to-action buttons by changing their colors, size, and wording.
The A/B test can be performed by creating variations of the landing pages by changing their design, background, colors, etc. to evaluate which of the variation yields better conversion.
It is vital to do an A/B test on your headlines because headlines are responsible for increasing user engagement and conversions on your website. If not impressive, they might not convert the potential traffic to sales, which is the core aim of all businesses.
It is common human nature that people are visually attracted more to graphics. Hence, A/B testing on images is a must for understanding if the mere modifications on the images can help in generating leads as per the established goals.
Once again customer feedback and their logos have a greater impact on the mind of your upcoming visitors because they impact a sale and conversion significantly than any other elements on your site. If they are not impressive, it might drive traffic away from your website. Therefore, make sure to A/B test on social proofs.
Ask yourself what things on your site motivate your visitors to click on your products and services. Is this an advertisement or an offer that is catching the attention of your target audiences and inspiring them to make a purchase? Or does the content length on your site impact negatively on the purchasing or clicking decisions of your clients? So, testing pricing and content length are valuable to check which of the given matches up to your expectations.
The best thing about A/B testing is that you may run it several times and still it might surprise you each time with its results. A/B testing may seem to be a complicated task but there are several tools present that help to make it easier for you to perform, One such tool is FigPii.
You can use the above-mentioned ideas in this article which will definitely help to increase conversions for you and you will also be able to give your customers a much better experience.
With this, you might be thinking if there are certain tools for doing A/B testing accurately. How you can do A/B testing with Google Analytics? Does it have any impact on the SEO of your site? Read our next article to stay tuned for the information on the above queries.
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