Are you looking to improve your conversion rates? A/B testing is a great optimization tool to ensure your marketing is achieving its fullest potential. Simply test two versions of your website or campaign among a small group of visitors, determine the better performer, and then use the winner for the remaining visitors. By constantly testing and optimizing your page you can increase revenue, donations, leads, signups, downloads, or anything else that aligns with your goals. In this article I’ll uncover a few basic strategies in conducting a/b tests that’ll ultimately help strengthen your marketing initiatives.
Develop a Strategy
Instead of diving head first into a/b testing, sit back and access what is currently working for you and what needs to be re-examined. Through the use of tools such as Google Analytics, you can get a glimpse into metrics such as page abandonment and how long people are spending on your site, in addition to the bounce rate. The site overlay feature will also tell you where people click, where they don’t click, and where they’re leaving your site.
Determine What to Test
Only after you develop a strategy should you begin to choose the components to test based on the goals laid out. For example, if you want to increase the number of sign-ups, then you might test the following: size of the form, types of fields in form, etc. You can then use a/b testing to determine what is preventing users from signing up. Perhaps the forms length was too long after all or the website didn’t inspire visitors to sign up. A/B testing takes the guesswork out of the development of your website or campaign through utilizing proven, user-based feedback. Your strategy is unique, but some of the common elements to undergo a/b testing include:
- The call to action’s (i.e. the button’s) wording, size, color and placement,
- Headline or product description,
- Form’s length and types of fields,
- Layout and style of website,
- Product pricing and promotional offers,
- Images on landing and product pages,
- Amount of text on the page (short vs. long).
You want to make sure to keep a regimented schedule to a/b test. Once your website receives a good portion of traffic, it’s time to run some tests. Even if you don’t get a positive result after your first couple of tests, designating time to test each month ensures positive results will eventually come. Keep in mind that if you’re launching a product, tests as early as possible to prevent loss of sales.
Consistency can also translate onto the setup of the test itself. Prevent skewed results by presenting the same variation of each page. If, for instance, you show one call to action on one page and another variation of that same call to action on another, the results will be skewed. Mechanisms can be set up to prevent blunders from happening, and should be explored if you’re testing different offers.
Determine How Long to Test
The next step in a/b testing effectively is running your tests to the right amount of time. You’ll need a good amount of traffic so the clicks you receive are statistically significant. For instance, if you’re running two ads, you should wait until you have at least 100 clicks for each ad. You can then implement to the more successful ad onto the page for good.
Tools are available to help you break down roughly how long you should run your tests for. The A/B Split and Multivariate Testing Duration Calculator will help give you a rough idea of the duration you can expect the test to run.
You can gain a lot of insight into user behavior by utilizing a/b testing in your marketing initiatives. To prevent issues, try utilizing these tips to help make your optimization process as seamless as possible. You’ll be much closer to achieving your website goals in doing so.