Test and learn. That’s the best way to reach your marketing and business goals. A/B testing is perfect for this. If you aren’t testing, you are leaving money on the table. And as a business, you just cannot let that happen. We genuinely believe that one should test their conversion funnel and marketing campaign to get an insight into how it will perform in advance.
And that’s precisely where A/B testing comes in handy. We are going to discuss A/B testing inside and out in this comprehensive post. So, stay with us till the very end!
What is A/B testing?
Don’t confuse it with split testing. A/B testing and split testing are used interchangeably. But, they both are quite different in approach. In A/B testing, you usually compare two versions of the same element. While in split testing, you compare two different designs.
A/B testing is the process wherein you will compare two versions of an element on your website, a web page, email, or other elements in a marketing campaign. It helps determine the difference in performance in these elements and further helps marketers make better marketing decisions.
You are essentially making two separate versions of the same element compete against each other. Once you find out how each variation performs, you can use the best-performing variation and let your marketing campaign thrive.
Why is A/B testing important?
Why do we need to A/B test? Indeed, creating a website or a marketing campaign is one of the initial steps one takes to develop an online presence. But, you will have to make many important decisions down the line to help your business grow. A/B testing helps get rid of the guesswork and allows you to make the best decisions.
Take any element – headlines, words, phrases, creatives, images, videos, testimonials, page layout, or more – you can create each of these elements to make your marketing campaign or website work highly efficiently. Believe us when we say that even the smallest element on your site can impact its conversion rates.
A/B testing, therefore, is a highly useful marketing tool that has become an essential part of any marketing or website development process. Let’s find out more about A/B testing, shall we?
How to perform A/B testing?
Now that you are well acquainted with A/B testing, it’s time that you learn how to conduct it. You can hire CRO experts to run A/B testing for your site. But, the basic understanding of how A/B testing works helps a lot. Here are the steps to conduct A/B testing for any element on your website.
1. Choose the element to test
Remember: you don’t need to test all the elements at once. Start with a single element that is most important to the conversion goal. For example, sites that need more traffic should focus on elements related to SEO. Sites that need more conversions will have to focus on elements related to conversion rate optimization. So, select the elements carefully.
2. Set the goals to measure
Once you have the elements to test, pen down the goals you want to achieve with the A/B test. What is it that you want to achieve? Is it more sales? Is it more sessions on the site? Whatever the goal is, you should always focus on a single metric when you start. This will help you get precise data to work with.
3. Create a variant
Next, you will want to create a variant for the elements you chose earlier. However, you will only want to make a small change in the element. Don’t make too many changes because then it will become challenging to understand the results. Make only one change. For example, CTA can be tested for background color, text, button color, button size, and more.
4. Run the test
Then you will have to choose the right A/B testing tool. The tool will entirely depend on what you want to test. For example, A/B testing tools for email marketing are different from A/B testing tools for SEO. The tools help create and test variations to find the winning variation automatically. Most testing tools will start funneling the traffic to the winning variation.
5. Accumulate and analyze data
Lastly, you will have to accumulate all the data produced by the A/B testing tools. This data should be collected and analyzed thoroughly to understand the results of making changes to the selected elements. The statistics must be analyzed to figure out the winning variation and the reasons why the variation won. Once you have the winning variation, try the process with another element.
What should you A/B Test?
Wonder which elements you can A/B test? Although you can test most of the elements on your website or marketing campaign, here are the ones you will mostly analyze. Let’s discuss them briefly before we conclude.
1. Landing pages
Landing pages have one and one goal only – convert more and more people for your business. If the landing pages don’t work, you will lose potential sales. Run a heatmap analysis to find out where people are clicking when they land on your site. Collect the data and then run A/B tests to figure out the elements that are causing trouble.
2. Email marketing
There are several elements that need A/B testing to make an email marketing campaign work. You can test your marketing emails by sending version A to one half of the email list and version B to the other. The simplest changes you make in your email body, subject line, CTA, or even the email list can significantly impact your conversion rates.
3. Product descriptions
Product descriptions are an asset, especially if you have an eCommerce website. However, product descriptions work when they are simple and easy to digest. These should be informative and provide a highlight of the product. We suggest you test the product description design and formatting. For instance, you can test paragraphs against bulleted lists.
4. Subject lines
Subject lines have a massive impact on email open rates. Subscribers will only open the email if they find the subject line compelling. Else, the email will go to the trash. It is very important to test subject lines because you don’t want subscribers to report your emails. Test them as you can create different kinds of subject lines like questions, statements, factual, subject lines with emojis or power words, and more.
5. Calls to Action
Visitors need direction when they land on your site. You can use calls to action to tell visitors what they need to do to get the required information. CTAs will help you drive them to the offer or product pages to boost conversion rates. You should test CTA text, text color, button color, size, and shape. You should also test CTA placement with the help of heatmap analysis.
Headlines are the first thing people read when they land on a web page. It should grab their attention and encourage them to scroll down the page to read the rest of the content. If your headlines don’t stick, they won’t convert either. You can hire professional copywriters to write compelling headlines or test different headlines yourself.
7. Media content
A/B test the different media content on your website. If you have videos and images on your landing page, we suggest you test them vigorously. Infographics, stock photos, testimonial videos, and other images can be tested against each other. You should even test their placement. You should also test the product photos you have uploaded on the listings.
8. Social proof
Word-of-mouth marketing works, and as a business owner, you should encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials. However, you must nail the placement of these testimonials on your landing page to get the best results. You can even A/B test reviews/ratings against testimonials.
If you have been struggling to improve your site’s conversion rate, it’s better you invest in conversion rate optimization. Hire professionals that have worked with similar websites and allow them to do their magic. You can use the information mentioned above to start A/B testing the marketing campaigns yourself.
Indeed, it will take practice. But with time, you will know how to get it done the right way. Loved reading this content? Don’t forget to check out other informative posts on the blog!