Figuring & understanding your customer behaviour is necessary for your product or service based Digital business. The best data-driven companies are realized of its importance and are engaged in passively storing and analyzing data about their customer base. They actively generate actionable data by running a lot many experiments. So, how do they get valuable insights from that data? Well, it is with testing for sure!
A/B testing is a method where you get a chance to test and compare two patterns of a webpage or app against each other to find out which one is performing better. While you run A/B testing for your website, your 50% visitors will view Version A, and the other 50% will view Version B.
Going deeper into A/B Testing, we have figured out that most companies are thinking about A/B testing all wrong. Many modern tech companies assume their service, product, or content, is all that create values for their customer base. Every customer interaction with the product is what they call a measurable amount of value for their applied digital marketing strategy. Well, this is not true!
For getting value from data, one has to actively engage in storing and analyzing data about their customer base. Generating insights from this actionable data requires running a lot many experiments, one being A/B Testing. Hence, there is no doubt that the secret of getting valuable insight from data is testing. If you are looking to grow your online business, you require implementing a well-executed & consistent A/B testing.
A-B testing is a cost-effective way to compare and see which of your online marketing strategies are working better than others. It includes valuable data from web pages to email campaigns against each other, so you get the best ROI. After this method, you will get to see the real-time statistics, and you can decide what needs to be changed out, modify, or left as such.
In this article, we are emphasizing the A/B Testing need for the success of your business, how you can carry out A/B testing for an improved website conversion rate. We have also explained a full process of undergoing an A/B test, helping you choose the best elements from your website that require testing.
Importance & Need for A/B Testing in Digital Marketing
Ever wondered if your digital strategy is effectively delivering the main motive of your business? Is it well promoting your business? Do your customers well interpret your digital marketing strategies?
Confused, answering the above questions? If yes, then it is high time to understand the need for A/B Testing! If your business is digitally based, then A/B testing allows you to change your user experiences while collecting data on the results. It can further allow you to understand how one or more elements of your website are impacting user behavior. You can make the necessary changes eventually to improvise those elements. If you are not A/B testing, then you are missing an important thing. The following three factors showcase the urgent requirement of undergoing A/B Testing:
- A/B testing helps you understand how your audience responds to specific elements on your website. The elements of your website, including content, images, videos, testimonials, email campaigns, and more, are tested through a vigorous A/B testing. The result displayed will tell you which one of those elements is working best for you & what changes you have to undergo to make other elements perform better.
- A/B testing is the most popular test used in conversion rate optimization that allows you to test elements inside your website. For instance- Let’s test the element of an ongoing campaign, like a landing page, alongside one another. The result determines which version is the most effective option. Each version is then presented to half of your visitors. During the process, you will get to understand the version that hits with your audience based on certain metrics, like conversion rate or time on page.
- AB Testing in SEO is critical to the success of your content marketing campaign. A/B testing can significantly improve your SEO. Wondering how? We will tell you! It considerably reduces your page load times and corrects down many SEO elements inside the site. The result is- A faster site that not only improves your conversions (by up to 7 percent or more) but also places you higher in Google search results.
Let’s Test your Website- Here is the Complete Process for A/B Testing
Enlisted is the step by step description on running an effective A/B test on a website:
Step 1: IDENTIFYING YOUR GOAL
Before undergoing a test, you must identify and decide your ultimate business goal. Whether it is to “improve your website” or “increase revenue,” you have to be clear in determining what you want to achieve results for. Are you looking to get more clicks on a homepage call to action? Or earn more subscribers for your email list? Or simply want to generate more purchases for your e-commerce store?
In short, be specific about exactly which actions on your site you want to generate.
Step 2: DETERMINE WHICH PAGE TO TEST
Now when you have identified your goal, it is time to select a page to start optimizing. Identify pages that critically require optimization. For this, you can take the help of Google Analytics to find out which page is popular among your customers & which is under-rated & need improvement. Pick up the pages that generate low conversion rates or high bounce rates that are not yet generating the results you want.
Step 3: CHOOSE AN INDEPENDENT VARIABLE ON THE PAGE TO TEST
After choosing a web page you want to undergo testing with, you need to decide what you want to test on that page. Take the help of Google Analytics to identify those elements that can possibly be creating problems. Here are the top ten most effective A/B testing elements to consider:
- Headlines and copywriting
- Form fields
- CTAs (Call to Action)
- Images, audio, and video
- Content depth
- Product descriptions
- Social proof
- Email marketing
- Media mentions
- Page layout or design
Step 4: CHOOSE A DEPENDENT VARIABLE TO DECIDE ON METRICS
After you have selected an independent variable from a particular webpage, now select a "dependent variable” that will act as a metric or focus element throughout the test. Conversion rates, time spent on a page, bounce rate, etc. can be taken as a dependent variable for your A/B testing. Try considering KPIs (key performance indicators) most relevant to the variables being tested.
Step 5: SETTING UP YOUR AUDIENCE/SAMPLE SIZE
When testing a web page, where you have more control over the audience visiting the site, the duration of the test will determine the sample size directly. While A/B testing for emails requires testing with two or more audiences equal to achieve conclusive results.
Determining your sample size varies on your A/B testing tool too. So, it is better to set up your sample size accordingly. Sample size theory is better explained in the example below:
Let’s say you are A/B testing an email. You should first send an A/B test to a smaller portion of your audience list and wait to get statistically significant results. After you get the winner, send that winning variation on to the rest of the list. The trick will not be applicable when you are testing a web page that doesn't have a finite audience. Here, as long as you keep your test running, it will keep affecting your sample size. Therefore, you'll need to let your test run for long so to obtain a substantial number of views by your audience.
Step 6: CHOOSE THE BEST A/B TESTING TOOLS
Choosing the right A/B testing tool is important with the perspective of the correct result obtained. This depends on what exactly you are testing. Like, if you are A/B testing emails, you can rely on the built-in testing tools by email service providers itself. To test other variants of your website, consider using these best testing tools for 2019-
Google Analytics for data collecting, Optimizely for CRO, Crazy Egg Tool for testing landing pages, Evergage for real-time personalization, Leadformly for web forms, Unbounce for landing pages, Nelio AB testing for Wordpress, Apptimize for mobile-centric experience.
Step 7: RUN A/B TEST
When both dependent & independent variables are in place, it is time to go testing! Test both the variables simultaneously. The test could take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks to deliver the final results depending on the site traffic, the elements chosen and so on. Do include Exit surveys and polls to site pages for the duration of the testing period. This will get some additional insight from your visitors’ reactions and can add value and efficiency to your results.
Step 8: ACCUMULATE DATA
This is the wait-and-see period. With A/B testing tools, data gets collected automatically, thereby allowing the progress of your test at any time. The test also concludes the results like- how many people visited each variation, which devices they used, and more.
Step 9: ANALYZE THE A/B TESTING RESULTS
To interpret your test findings, make use of the correct testing tools. If one of the either variation proves statistically better, your testing is successful! You get a hint here to take action and optimize your campaign. Take ample time and effort to implement the necessary change required as per the issue found after testing.
Step 10: WHAT IF THE TEST FAILED
If none of the variations produced statistically significant results, then probably the test was inconclusive i.e. there are several options available. In this case, reconsider your significance level or re-prioritize certain KPIs from the context of the element being tested. Also, do not get afraid to re-test again; after all, repeated efforts can only help to improve optimization.
How critical is A/B Testing for Your Business Success?
Testing pinpoints, which changes on your website have an effect on your visitors’ behavior, and which ones do not. Wondering why A/B testing is critical to the success of your website and business?
Doing A/B testing is crucial to improve your conversions quickly. A well-planned A/B testing using a powerful A/B testing tool can highly affect your sales and marketing efforts. This practice can protect you from risks by allowing you to target your resources for maximum effect and efficiency. This, in turn, helps increase business ROI to a greater extent. When A/B testing, markets seek to achieve business goals like:
- Increased Website Traffic by testing different blog post or webpage titles
- Higher Conversion Rate by testing different locations, colors, or even anchor text on your CTAs
- Lower Bounce Rate by testing different blog post introductions, fonts, or feature images
- Lower Cart Abandonment by testing different product photos, check-out page designs, shipping costs displayed area etc.
- Increased Sales with fewer bounce rates, better customer engagement, more customer conversion, and other aforementioned benefits achieved through testing site variables.
So, now when you have a deeper understanding about A/B Testing, it can be concluded that A/B testing is an efficient & ideal method to gauge your audience's response by obtaining significant and apparent results quickly in no time, regardless of your company size & site traffic. Following the above listed step-by- step process of A/B testing, one can unlock numerous benefits like:
- Extensive understanding of more about your customer behavior- what convinces your audience to convert.
- Streamline your user journey through your website, offering a unique & awesome navigation experience while reducing friction for your potential customers.
- Improve your website conversion rates that further helps in boosting your business bottom line.
The A/B testing insights are useful for obtaining results that can be improvised & later be applied to your site’s design systematically. Testing is also helpful in identifying which parts of your campaign are underperforming & how you can improvise those things based on prioritizing your testing and optimization efforts.
If you have just started transforming your journey into the Digital World, it is high time to undergo A/B Testing to optimize your website conversion rate. Few best A/B testing software solutions have been analyzed well, rated, and listed out by the experts at GoodFirms. Check and pick the one that suits your need. If your business set-up is new and have a budget constraint, you can always try the free and open source A/B testing software solutions.