Data is everywhere, and if you want to make it in this harsh business environment, you’ve got to use it. It can help you better understand your customers and improve your bottom line. However, data isn’t always easy to read or even clear. So, to take the guesswork out of the equation, businesses need to test out different solutions and compare their effectiveness. If you’ve never dabbled in A/B testing, this is the perfect article for you. By the end of it, you’ll get answers to the questions of how to implement A/B testing and why it is so important.
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing, also known as a split test, is a method you can use to compare two online experience options that have the goal of achieving the same thing. It works simply — you show different versions to random users and collect the results for analysis. By following the right practices, you’ll see which changes make sense, and you’ll make data-driven decisions that’ll help your business.
However, the results you’ll get from A/B testing won’t help you only short term. They’ll clarify how your audience thinks, and they’ll help you find the right things to focus on in the future. So, if you’re trying to figure out how to increase lead conversion rate on your site, continuous split testing is the way to go. Not only you’ll get better results right away, but they’ll continue to improve with each test you carry out. To explain why A/B testing is so vital, let’s take a look at all the benefits it’ll bring you.
Benefits of A/B testing
Better user engagement
A/B testing is ideal for checking out how some of the elements of your pages, apps, ads, or emails impact your users. Here are some of the things people love to use split testing on:
- Headlines or subject lines
- Call-to-action forms and language
For the best results, you want to test one change at a time. Run it for some time, see how things pan out, and go with the ”winning” changes. You’ll improve your user experience and get more work, thanks to it.
You can use A/B testing with your ad copies or blog posts on your site. However, to make it work, you’ll have to create a list of potential improvements to show users. So you’ll have to put some time into it. But it’ll allow you to figure out which kind of language and tone works the best for your readers, and you’ll end up with better final versions your users will love.
It makes analysis easy
One of the biggest benefits of A/B testing is that determining the winner and loser of a test is pretty straightforward. Whichever version gets you closer to your goals, it’s the better one. Even if you look at the raw data, you’ll see what works better. However, plenty of split testing solutions out there will do the calculations for you and tell you exactly what to do. Of course, you’ll get the spreadsheets of data to look at if that’s what you want, but you’ll come to the same conclusion as they did.
Lower bounce rates and higher conversion rates
Your site visitors bounce back because of some elements they don’t like on your site. So, if you want to learn how to lower website bounce rate, you don’t have to look any further from A/B testing. By experimenting a little bit, you’ll see why people leave, and you’ll get how to make them stick around for longer.
And since they’ll spend more time on your site, they’ll have more chances to discover the value of your content and convert. Moreover, you’ll see what kind of content works, so you won’t spend your precious time working on something that won’t bring you new customers.
How to perform an A/B test?
Now that we’ve covered all the benefits, let’s see how to implement A/B testing on your site. Here are the guidelines that’ll help you do it right:
Focus on the big and easy changes
You don’t have to do anything complex to your site to make changes that’ll get you the most benefits. For example, your landing page headline and CTAs are simple to replace, but if you get the messaging right, they’ll bring you a lot.
Of course, it’s not magic, and you won’t become an expert overnight. So, keep working on it and experiment until you get it right. The more you do it, the better you’ll become at it.
Figure out what you need to test
Chances are that some things on your website you did right while others might need some improvement. Of course, you don’t want to change the things that work well, so you need to figure out what you need to test. To do it, take a look at your sales funnel. Find where the most customers drop off and optimize that part of the buyer’s journey.
Make A and B different enough
A/B testing will tell you if you need to make a change or keep things as they are only if your proposed update is different enough from the original. Adding or removing a comma won’t make a difference, and you’ll have to take things a step up if you want to see results.
For example, you can make one landing page that introduces the pop-up from your lead engagement software after users have been on a page for more than a couple of minutes and another one that will show the pop-up window only if they show the intention to leave. You’ll see which version gets you more leads, and you’ll know which one you should go with.
Pay attention to time
For split tests to work, you must introduce some control variables. And time period during which the test is run is the essential one. If you give the A version more time than the B version, it won’t be surprising if it gets better results.
To get the most out of it, we advise you to run the tests for at least a couple of weeks. So, you get the A version running for a week and then the B version for the same amount of time. It’ll give you the most accurate results as you won’t have to worry about the ”slow days”.
Now that you know how to implement A/B testing and why it’s so important, there’s no doubt you’ll see some positive results on your site. However, don’t let that short-term success take your mind off real innovation. Sometimes, you’ve got to take risks and even fail to get the richer rewards.
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