Everything You Need to Know About A / B Testing

03/04/19
Let’s say you have the main design concept of your website figured out. Now it’s time to make some tweaks to the content to make it as successful as possible. Or maybe your site is live but not getting the desired conversion rates. A/B testing is the perfect tool to use for both situations.

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing is a data collection and analysis method based on experimentation. Two versions of a landing page are posted to a website with one item changed. One version is referred to as “A”, or the control; while the second page is “B”, or the variation. Users that visit the site are equally routed to pages A and B. After analyzing the data generated by both pages, you can figure out which option is more successful.

How is A/B Testing Helpful?

  • Increases conversion rates
  • Boosts sales (if a sales website)
  • Ensures user’s understanding of your brand
  • Encourages the user to interact with your page in the most ideal way

What Elements Should Be Tested?

It’s best practice to test one aspect of the page at at a time so you are sure what piece isn’t working. Here are four elements of the page worth experimenting with

Headline

Your headline serves as the introduction of your business to the internet world. It should catch user’s attention and generate excitement about what you have to offer.

Layout

Maybe having photos with copy underneath captures your customer’s eye? Or are the photos more effective with the copy to the side? Maybe you simply have too much copy or need larger photos? Figuring out exactly how a user interacts with the content of your page is extremely useful information.

Graphics and Images

The purpose of graphics and images is to attract visitors and highlight the benefits of your product or service.They shouldn’t distract users from the action you want them to take. Instead, they should guide visitors towards the next action. This is why it’s crucial that you include graphics and images in your website A/B testing plan.

Call to Action

The call to action is your sales pitch to the user. It is one of the most important elements to test. The tricky part is that there are several aspects to test for your CTA. Your CTA copy, button color, button size, and button placement, for example, all play important roles. You will want to test all of these CTA elements to improve your conversion rate.

How to run A/B Tests

Now that you have a list of items to test, what’s the best way to go about it?

First, it’s extremely helpful to have basic knowledge about how users interact with your website before tackling A/B testing. There are many options available to help gather this information. You can use heat maps and on-page surveys to do this. Also important is choosing a page that gets enough traffic to generate statistically significant samples.

Choose the tool you're going to use to programmatically alternate your test cases. For Drupal, we recommend the "A/B JS" plugin, which provides a handy interface to control minor page elements. If you're already using Google Analytics / Page Manager (or you aren't using Drupal), Google Optimize has a free tier that will let you run 5 concurrent tests.

Determine how long to let your test run, and make sure you have measurable actions by which to evaluate the outcome of your changes

Make changes, repeat.

Conclusion

Utilizing A/B testing is one of the best ways to make sure your website is working for you as successfully as possible. Ensuring that users are interacting with your page the way you want makes your site an incredibly powerful tool to help grow your brand.
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Name
Annie Campo
Project Manager