A/B testing is nothing new in the marketing scene. However, many still haven’t taken the time to find out more about this technique that could push their conversion rates to new heights. A lot of people are usually focused on using search engine optimization tactics and web analytics to increase their site traffic, and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, increasing traffic is good—but the more important thing here is what you’re doing with this traffic.
What is A/B Testing?
A/B testing is a method of trying out two versions of an element and finding out which one will be able to get you more success, based on the metric that you’re following. These elements could be formatting, content, or design options for your website or email copy that you can easily manipulate and modify.
In simple terms, A/B testing is a test for your target audience between choices A or B. It follows that the option that gets picked the most would be better for your business because it’s the version preferred by your audience.
Where can A/B Testing Be Done?
A/B testing is used to test elements on websites and on email copy. For websites, you can take a look at the headers, body, and footers to figure what elements could benefit from modifications. The content found in these parts of the website includes text, images, positioning, formatting, and even color themes.
For email copies, you can try out various formatting choices like columns, indentation, and font size. You can also tackle specific content like the introduction and call to action.
How is A/B Testing Done?
The simplicity of A/B testing is one of its major advantages. Without the need for complicated programming and coding, you can really get results that you can use to improve your conversion rates.
Step One. First of all, take your website or email copy apart and identify the elements that can be tested. It might be helpful to have more than one person do this so no elements are left out. After you’ve made a list of what elements to test, rank them in order of decreasing priority.
Step Two. What you should do next is design a test for the element with the highest priority. For example, if you’ve decided that the call to action in your email copy is the most important element, create two variations of it to send out to your email list.
Step Three. Now it’s time to carry out your test. For websites, you can create a script on your server to display different versions of your site simultaneously and randomly to your site visitors. For email marketers, you can simply send one version of the email copy to one half of your list and send the other version to the other half.
Step Four. The duration of the test is up to you. Make sure that it’s not too short that you won’t be able to gather enough data, and that it’s not too long that you’re just wasting your time. When the test ends, interpret your results based on your pre-set metrics. For example, you could make conversion rate as the gauge for the degree of success.
Step Five. Once you’ve determined which option gave the best results, apply it to your website or email copy and move on to test the next element.
A Final Word on A/B Testing
A/B testing is an ongoing process that will get you results slowly as you move from testing one element to the next. It’s recommended that you run a few initial tests to figure out the optimum test duration for your site so you can use it for succeeding tests.
Ruben Corbo is a freelance writer and writes for a number of online marketing websites including those that help online businesses improve split testing techniques to increase sales conversions. When Ruben is not writing he’s producing or composing music for short films or other visual arts.
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