A comparative analysis produces strong decision-making data. In marketing, A/B testing is the be all and end all of a comparative analysis. It forces you to not make decisions on a whim. Instead, all the decisions you make are based on proven experiments. They’re what give companies a high ROI and produce stellar results.
Let’s be honest. It’s easy to take the lazy route and do what we think is best for our website pages. Pause for a second. How well is that going for you? Are you getting enough website traffic? Are more of your leads becoming paying customers? Are people staying long enough on your website pages?
A/B testing is a crucial component of almost everything you do in digital marketing. You can use it to test social media campaigns, personalization campaigns, landing page designs, website forms, and email marketing techniques. This guide takes you on a journey through some of the general rules of thumb that can help you use A/B testing to improve your CRO.
What is A/B Testing?
You must understand what A/B testing really is so that you can use it effectively. A/B testing and multivariate testing are often confused, but they aren’t the same. Multivariate testing involves testing variations of individual elements on a page.
On the other hand, A/B testing covers testing an original landing page against variants. It looks at the whole rather than a specific part. The strongest variation is the winner of the test.
What Should You Test?
Website pages consist of many elements. Some of the most common elements that are tested in an A/B test include:
- The headline of the landing page
- The call-to-action
- The graphics used on the page
- The body text and/or product descriptions
- The length of a form or the fields used in a form
- Page layout
Decide whether you want to run a test that changes all these elements or a multivariate test that only tests variations of specific elements. It’s also important to split the website traffic between both variations.
How Much Time Should You Give to You’re A/B Test?
The amount of money you have often determined how long you’re willing to run an A/B test, especially if it’s for a social media campaign. However, money shouldn’t be the gauge used. You will only get the most accurate results if you use the following rules to run your test:
- The test must cover the minimum sample size to make your results valid. What’s the minimum number of visitors that will make the results statistically relevant?
- Complete a full business week even if you’ve reached the minimum sample size
- Don’t stop the test in the middle of a cycle.
What’re the steps for creating an effective A/B test?
- Understand what you want to achieve
You’ve made variations for testing because you’re hoping for certain results. You may want to reduce the number of customers who return items, reduce the bounce rate, increase the number of website page views, increase how long people spend on your website and so on.
Define your goal and then create a hypothesis to test. For instance, if you want to increase the number of website page views you can write, “Changing the header image and headline of the landing page will increase the number of website page views.” Having a goal gives more direction to your test.
- Determine your baseline result
What is the minimum result that must be achieved for the test to be deemed successful? Quantify your goal. For instance, you could quantify the example from step one by adding a percentage. It would read, “Changing the header image and headline of the landing page will increase the number of website page views by 3%.”
- Show repeat visitors the same variation
Repeat visitors may feel overwhelmed when they see something new. Don’t startle them but reserve your variations for new visitors. The algorithm used on your website should be able to identify repeat visitors and show them the same variation.
- Use consistent variations across the website
The variant should be the same on all website pages. For instance, if you’re changing the color of a call-to-action button on your home page, that button should be the same color on all pages of your website.
- Do multiple A/B tests
You won’t get everything right during your first A/B test. It’ll take multiple attempts to truly master the craft. You’ll get the best results when you use multiple A/B tests that truly assess your goal.
- Evaluate the results
Don’t throw poor A/B test results into the bin. Keep hold of the data. After all, that’s why you ran the test in the first place, to learn and get results that you could use to make decisions. Make the necessary changes so that you’re able to surpass your goal.
A/B testing can help you get the most out of your website. It’s important to use proper timing and following the steps listed. Doing this will make you’re A/B tests effective.