Last Updated on: 12th June 2022, 09:36 am
A/B testing (sometimes known as split testing) is a method of comparing two versions of a web page, marketing piece, or app interface to determine which one performs better. In this guide, you’ll discover how to use A/B testing to increase website conversions, run effective email campaigns, create more effective adverts, and much more.
We want to make the most informed decisions when it comes to A/B testing and so, we need to be able to determine what works, what doesn’t work, and why.
Split testing is a powerful way to grow your website’s traffic and sales. It allows you to test out different versions of an element on your sites, such as headlines, images, or calls-to-action. You can then see which version performs the best, and optimize your site for conversions from that point onwards.
Note: The first step on your journey to A/B testing success should be defining whether or not the obvious problem you want to solve can actually be solved by A/B testing it. Will you know for sure if A performs better than B? And will you have enough statistical evidence in such a short space of time?
The process itself is easy – all you need is a little bit of creativity and a willingness to learn what works best. Here are 15 steps for you to follow when doing A/B testing on your website:
What is A/B testing?
It is the testing of two versions of a webpage in order to determine which is most appealing or effective. For example, you can change the color of a button from green to red and then analyze how your visitors react to the color.
The term A/B testing is derived from the statistical hypothesis testing framework: the classic approach tests whether a parameter (in this case, color) is equal to some value (in this case, green); if so, it rejects the null hypothesis (the color is not equal to green); otherwise, it fails to reject the null hypothesis.
The goal of A/B testing is to determine whether one version of the site works better than another, or whether the two versions are equally effective. When it comes to A/B testing, there are many different factors that affect the effectiveness of a website.
A/B Testing in Marketing
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method of marketing research to determine the viability of a product, service, or marketing campaign. It’s an effective way to determine what works and what doesn’t on any given project.
A/B testing, at its core, is really a simple concept. Before you roll out any sort of large-scale campaign (which includes social media), always test your ideas first with A/B tests. Remember, everyone who sees your content has their own opinions about what they like and don’t like. Your content must appeal to their preferences.
A/B testing has a multitude of benefits to a marketing team, depending on what it is you decide to test. Above all, though, these tests are valuable to a business because they’re low in cost but high in reward.
Here are some common goals marketers have for their business when A/B testing:
- Increased Website Traffic: Testing different blog post titles or webpage titles can change the number of people who click on that hyperlinked title to get to your website. This can increase website traffic as a result.
- Higher Conversion Rate: Testing different locations, colors, or even anchor text on your CTAs can change the number of people who click these CTAs to get to a landing page. This can increase the number of people who fill out forms on your website, submit their contact info to you, and “convert” into a lead.
- Lower Bounce Rate: If your website visitors leave (or “bounce”) quickly after visiting your website, testing different blog post introductions, fonts, or featured images can reduce this bounce rate and retain more visitors.
- Lower Cart Abandonment: Ecommerce businesses see an average of 70% of customers leave their website with items in their shopping cart. This is known as “shopping cart abandonment” and is, of course, detrimental to any online store. Testing different product photos, check-out page designs, and even where shipping costs are displayed can lower this abandonment rate.
How to Conduct A/B Testing
A/B Testing is a great way to get a better understanding of what’s working with your users and what’s not. It helps you to find out which pieces of content are resonating with your users, and which aren’t.
For example, if you want to know whether visitors to your blog are more likely to read a certain blog post if it’s above or below the fold, you can use A/B testing software like Optimizely.
Optimizely will let you show one version of a page to 50% of your visitors and another version.
Before you can get started in your A/B test, Let’s cover the steps to take before you start your A/B test.
1. Pick one variable to test.
One of the hardest things to do is to pick a variable to test when running an A/B test.
You can’t just change one word or one sentence and expect that to be your best-performing variable. You need to think of a call to action, a headline, an image and you need to think of how all of those elements will work together when you are trying to sell your product.
So how do you choose? Easy. Use our template below.
1) What is something that you’re currently selling?
2) What is your goal for that
A/B testing is the practice of testing two versions of a page against each other to see which version performs better. Optimizing your landing page can be one of the most important things you do to improve conversions, but it can also be one of the most difficult.
There are different types of A/B tests that you can run:
Testing call-to-action button text (CTA)
Testing form length and design (and placement)
Testing social media share buttons and accent color
2. Identify your goal.
The most common mistake that companies make when A/B tests their landing pages is failing to establish a measurable goal. Setting up a test without knowing your success metrics means you have nothing to measure the results against.
For example, if you’re trying to increase signups, you need to set a benchmark of how many signups you’ll need before you can determine if the test was successful. Identify your goals and benchmarks before you start A/B testing your landing page so that it can be a worthwhile investment for your business.
3. Create a ‘control’ and a ‘challenger.’
A/B testing is a great way to track the results of small changes made to your site. By creating a control, a challenger, and a baseline you can isolate different factors that are affecting your conversion rates.
For example, let’s say you want to alter the price of your product from $29 to $49. You can run an A/B test by having two pages: One with the original price, and one with the new price. If you have 100 visitors to each page you can measure the conversion ratio for each. Now that you know what changed, you can make more informed decisions.
A/B testing is a very common method of doing analysis on data. I’m not an expert, but there are a few common principles that you should keep in mind.
The first and most important thing is to create a control, or a baseline if you will, against which your test will be measured. You don’t want to make any changes until you have a good idea of what sort of traffic or conversions you’re currently getting, so it might be good to wait for a few weeks before starting the A/B test.
4. Split your sample groups equally and randomly
The easiest way to analyze whether a test works is to split the traffic equally and randomly to two versions of the same page. Then use a tool such as Google Analytics to compare the results.
There are many factors that affect conversion rates, such as seasonality and other fluctuations in site traffic. A/B testing is also not appropriate for websites with very high numbers of visitors per day. For example, if your website’s traffic is 100,000 unique visitors a day, it would be hard to attribute a 5% conversion rate difference between two pages to the change you made.
Testing is a big part of conversion optimization. The more you test, the more you know about what works for your site and what doesn’t. But there are three issues with testing:
– Sample size – if you have only one sample group, you’re not getting accurate results.
– Statistical significance – when your sample size is small, the result can be misleading.
– Control group – if you have only one sample group, it might not be the “control” group that gives you an accurate reading of the impact your change has made on your conversion rate.
5. Determine your sample size (if applicable).
The sample size you need depends on the conversion rates of your original page and the variation. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for determining your sample size. A good rule of thumb is to start with 30 conversions per variation (if your original page converts at 2%) and increase or decrease that number based on how tightly correlated your conversion rates are.
If you start with large sample size, you’re more likely to get a statistically significant result, but you might spend weeks or even months testing before you find out whether the change worked or not.
6. Decide how significant your results need to be.
When it comes to A/B testing, most people don’t really know how to decide what success looks like. They might say “If we get more than 10% more users for our homepage, I’ll consider those tests successful.” That’s not really how A/B testing works.
In a world where you can split test on anything, like button color or placement, you need to be able to define your success criteria in advance. In fact, if you don’t define your success criteria in advance, you shouldn’t be running the test in the first place.
A/B testing is a great way to see which of your traffic generation strategies actually work. It can also tell you how many people will click on your content based on the subject matter, headline, and description.
If you’re going to an a/b test, then you need to decide how significant your results must be in order for you to make an actionable change. If a small change could have big outcomes, then it might make sense to start small and scale up as you learn more about your audience.
7. Run one test at a time on any campaign.
The most important advice you can take is to decide on one thing to test at a time. Any change you make to your website (or any marketing campaign) will usually have an impact on other things. That’s why A/B Testing is so valuable.
A/B Testing is an essential part of digital marketing. It allows you to test your audience’s reaction to any campaign and figure out what works the best for your business.
If you want to complete A/B Testing for your business, make sure you run one test at a time on any campaign. You should always have one goal in mind before you start any A/B Test.
Also, note that Google Analytics will capture every single bounce from your website as referral traffic. So, if your site has a high bounce rate, it could make your data unreliable.
8. Use an A/B testing tool.
To run an A/B test, you must have an A/B testing tool. There are many tools out there that you can use to run your tests. Each of them has a few advantages and disadvantages.
A/B testing is used by most websites. So, you need to know how to do it well. If you don’t A/B test your website properly, you can end up with low conversion rates and low blog traffic.
Accomplishing this job is a lot easier if you have some kind of A/B testing software. There are many different tools on the market that can help you out. We recommend Optimizely because it’s easy to use and has great analytical data.
9. Test both variations simultaneously.
A/B testing is a very simple approach, yet the impact on an organization can be huge. A/B tests are just two versions of the same thing: we give both versions an equal chance to succeed, and whichever one performs better, wins.
To get started with A/B testing, you need to set up a baseline metric (such as time on page or conversion rate), and then create two different variations of your website. One is exactly the same as before, while the other has some new elements in it that you want to test. You then show both variations of your site to visitors.
A/B testing is a popular way to compare two versions of a page to see which performs better. It is an experiment that helps you make decisions about things like where to place calls-to-action or what kind of imagery will engage visitors. But even though A/B testing is used by more than 60% of companies, many people still don’t use it correctly.
The main mistake companies make is not testing both variations simultaneously. The most common way to test websites is to have half your visitors see one version and the other half see a different version.
10. Give the A/B test enough time to produce useful data.
A/B Testing is a method to find out what works and what doesn’t. It’s an important marketing tactic for many companies and one that you should employ on your own website as well.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when running A/B Tests is stopping them too soon. If you end the test after only a week or two, then you won’t know whether one of your variations outperformed the other. You need to run tests for at least 3 months in order to gather enough data to make a decision.
Running an A/B test is a very simple process but it has to be given enough time to produce useful data. You should also change only one variable at a time when you are running an A/B test. # A/B Testing is an experiment that compares two versions of the same webpage, used to determine the best possible version.
11. Ask for feedback from real users.
One of the most effective techniques for A/B testing is to get feedback from real users. They don’t have to be customers, just real people with a similar mindset as your target audience.
How do you get this feedback? You can ask them directly by doing an online survey like SurveyMonkey, or you can make a list of friends, colleagues, or family members who will help you test your website.
A/B Testing is the best way to find out if your product or service is going in the right direction. However, it can be a long journey to reach a point where you can truly say that your product has hit the nail on the head. Even though you will never truly get there, there are many things you can do to accelerate this process.
One of these is to ask for feedback from real users who aren’t part of your target audience. Since they don’t have any particular interest in your industry, they can give you a more objective opinion about what you have created.
After the A/B Test
Finally, let’s cover the steps to take after your A/B test.
12. Focus on your goal metric.
When you are running a test, you need to define your “goal metric”, the one that will tell you if the test has been successful or not.
Defining it can be difficult and there is no “one size fits all” type of solution. The goal could be to increase sign-ups for an email list, increase user engagement or even just boost your click-through rate in Google Ads.
The key question to ask when thinking about a goal metric is: Which metric best represents my success?
A/B testing is the method of comparing two variants of a web page to see which one performs better. It helps you determine what version works for your target audience, and what doesn’t. It’s a crucial part of conversion rate optimization. To improve A/B testing results, you need to have a clear goal metric in mind before making changes.
You should identify which element on your web page is directly connected to your goal so you can measure its effect on conversions. Depending on how many goals you are trying to achieve with your website, you can test different elements and versions of them to improve results.
13. Measure the significance of your results using our A/B testing calculator.
Online marketers rely heavily on A/B testing to determine whether they are performing better than their previous campaigns and what technique must be used to improve the next one. In order to have a more accurate understanding of your results, you can use our calculator to measure the significance of your results.
This calculator is a useful tool for online marketers who want to learn how to conduct an A/B test effectively without any guesswork. It is also great for learning how to interpret the results in a manner that will help you improve your marketing strategy in the future.
14. Take action based on your results.
After doing A/B Testing on your website you can see what will work and what will not. If your site is running an A/B test, you will have a good idea of what works on your site as well as what doesn’t. You can then make changes to your site based on the results of the test.
There are many different ways that you can use the data from your A/B tests to make changes to your website. One way is to use it to find out the best time for a visitor to convert to your website.
A/B testing is not a new concept, but it’s still in the infancy stage. We can expect to see big changes over the coming years as this method of optimization becomes integrated into the everyday workflow of marketers and companies everywhere.
The importance of A/B testing has only recently been recognized by many businesses, but it’s becoming clear that this tactic is extremely useful to optimize web traffic and conversions.
15. Plan your next A/B test.
A/B tests are a great way to learn what works on your website. They’re also a great way to get answers to your questions about the kind of content that will work best for you. Don’t know what kind of content you should write next? Just do an A/B test.
Get started by coming up with a few different ideas for topics to write about. Then, write one article on each topic and compare their results.
The first step to A/B testing is to define the goal. What do you want your visitors to do after reading this post? Once you have that defined, then it’s time to decide what data points are most important for you to track in order for you to reach your desired result.
Do you have an A/B testing strategy for your blog? If not, it’s time to get one started. We hope this guide was helpful for you and we would love to hear about any questions or feedback that you have!