A/B Testing, also known as Split Testing, is the process of setting up two different versions of your website and based on their performance, deciding which one is a better alternative.
Even certain elements of your website such as a product image or a CTA (call to action) button can also be tested to figure out which alternative generates greater audience engagement.
Small adjustments to your website can make a big overall difference in your website traffic and conversion rate. Hence, A/B Testing is essential for CRO (conversion rate optimisation).
Types of A/B Testing
User Experience Test
For a user experience test, you need to create two alternative landing pages with one element on your page placed at two different locations.
For example, you would place your CTA button on the top of the page by the menu bar in Version A and on the sidebar in Version B and test them with the same percentage of users to decide which version results in a higher click-through rate.
For a design test, you need to create two alternative landing pages with one element on your page of a different colour or design.
For example, you would change the colour of your heading for Version A and B and test them with the same percentage of users to decide which version generates greater user engagement with the page.
Why should you conduct an A/B Test?
There is always a certain degree of uncertainty about what elements of your website are generating conversions and what elements are not contributing towards the overall success of your business.
A/B Testing helps to clear any ambiguity you may have with which elements of your website are working and which are not. It helps to solidify an assumption into a concrete data point that you can test and analyse.
A/B Testing can help to provide an understanding of how your users communicate with your website and what elements result in a higher click-through rate.
There are helpful tools that can help businesses determine what elements and parameters you would like to test. This is based on a usability testing of your website to understand what elements contribute towards high or low conversion rates. Some of these are Google Optimise and User Testing.
Simple Steps to Conduct a Successful A/B Test
- Pick one variable to test – It is important to isolate one element to test so that the results generated from the A/B Test are directly a result of a variation in that element.
- Design two versions of your webpage or email – Version A of your page will be the current version that is in use and Version B of your page will have a different version of the element you want to test.
- Randomise your sample groups and split them equally – You need to test the two versions of your webpage or email with two sets of audience that are randomly selected.
- Use an A/B Testing tool – To conduct a test on your website or email, you need to have an A/B Testing tool such as Google Analytics’ Experiments.
- Test both versions simultaneously – To get accurate comparative results, both versions of your webpage or email need to be tested at the same time. The tests need to be carried out for a significant amount of time to produce meaningful results with a large enough sample size.
- Get feedback – A/B testing helps to generate quantitative data but some insights into why users take certain actions can be helpful too. Getting some qualitative data from your audience using a survey can help to understand how customers communicate with your website and behave in certain ways.
It is worthwhile to try out A/B Testing as it can help your business receive a real, empirical demonstration of just how well your content works in your own site.