The Ins and Outs of A/B Split Testing
When most marketing professionals are faced with the phrase “A/B Split Testing,” their minds automatically revert to the notion that this phrase has something to do with the scientific, mathematical, or a methodology that is far beyond their level of expertise.
To the contrary, A/B split testing is something that every marketing professional can easily master and use to make their marketing campaign and lead generation much more effective as a result. Below is everything you need to know about A/B split testing and how to employ it to your benefit.
An Explanation of A/B Split Testing
A/B split testing is actually quite is and once you get a hang of it, it can be quite fun to see the results. To put it simply, the process of A/B split testing is when you make two separate webpages that are exactly the same – expect that you tweak a few features and “test” which feature works best.
The A/B split testing process is great way to test new features that you want to implement, but aren’t fully sure about using on the formalized and ultimate version of your page. In addition, if one option works better than the other, you can also use it on your backlinks and other pages to help generate new leads.
How to Start A/B Testing
To start your own process of A/B testing, you create two versions of a webpage. The A version is the control version, which is the version that you are testing against. On the other side, the B version is the variation. The variation version is where you implement the changes. With the changes, you’ll be able to look at whether those variations are having an effect on your conversion rate, which you’ll be able to determine by comparing the variation to the control page.
The Simple Study
There are many different versions of A/B testing, but if you’re new to the process, then you should start as simple as possible. The simplest A/B testing scenario will help you get the hang of A/B testing and allow you to navigate your results and how to understand them. The simplest A/B testing study can be done by trying a call to action test.
The call to action test is when you leave the control without a control to action and you add a call to action to the version that you want to test the call to action on. Through this test, you’ll be able to see how the call to action has an effect on your conversion rate and if all works well, you can add it to the final version of your page.
When to Run and End the Tests
Unfortunately, another factor that is overlooked with A/B testing is the running of the tests. Many marketing professionals will start the test on a certain day and end it on a different day. While this may seem inconsequential, it can actually have a significant effect upon your results. The reason behind this is that your conversion rate fluctuates depending on the day of the week. Therefore, to get a full idea on how a test is running for a certain time period, you need to start on a day and end on that same day.
For example, if you start your A/B test on a Wednesday, then you should also end the A/B test on a Wednesday. With this approach, you’ll get the most accurate results with the test.
Your Website Should Have Noticeable Traffic Before You Start
Another mistake that many marketing professionals make is starting an A/B test without traffic on the variation site. At the end of the day, you’ll find that using an A/B test without existing traffic is not going to provide you with the results you’re looking for.
For example, without noticeable traffic, you won’t be able to tell the difference between your control page and the variation page. With A/B testing, the point isn’t to see results within months, it is to see results within a short period of time so that you can implement it on your main page for high level conversions.
Don’t Guess – Try Real Methods
There are many marketing strategies out there that you can try to implement for your landing page to improve conversions. However, rather than guessing about methods that may work for you and your brand and then A/B testing them, you’ll find it much more effective to come up with a hypothesis about what’s wrong with your site and trying to fix it with a method that you are going to test.
By implementing concrete solutions to your website’s problems in the realm of conversion, you’ll be able to more effectively improve the conversion rate and ensure that the investment you make in A/B testing is the right one.
Don’t Test Givens
A given is something that is “obvious.” When it comes to marketing, there are many strategies that are givens for results. In these types of cases, because you know that a certain result is going to take place when you implement a certain strategy, it would be pointless to A/B test it.
Therefore, don’t waste your time with givens. A/B test only what you are absolutely uncertain about because when it comes down to it, A/B testing is time, energy, and an investment.
Just Keep Testing, Just Keep Testing…
It’s easy to give up after your first test when it fails on you. Instead of giving up though, you should realize that A/B testing and getting the hang of it is a process. Chances are, you’re like most marketing professionals in the sense that you’re going to fail at your first A/B test.
Instead of quitting, your next course of action would be to formulate a new hypothesis and run the test again. The most you try, the closer you’ll get to the results that you’re looking for.
Every test is going to have different results. Sometimes, your tests are going to present significant gains. Other times, you’re not going to get anywhere near the gains that you’ve panned out. The gains that you should keep an eye out for are anywhere from 1 percent to 8 percent.
At the end of the day, even with the smaller level gains, they still add to large results when looked at as a whole.
Always Monitor Performance
While you should be careful when you implement the test, how long the test runs for, and the hypothesis you formulate, another aspect of you’re A/B test that you need to look out for is the performance of the test. It’s easy to implement the test and to look away until the period ends.
However, when you implement the A/B test, the best thing to do is to consistently monitor the results. By consistently monitoring the results, you’ll be able to view the progress as it happens.
Inform Your Clients
One major issue that many marketing professionals have when it comes to A/B testing is the lack of support from the client. Instead of implementing an A/B test and getting a confused reaction from the client, the alternative is to keep your client informed by being transparent.
Explain what the A/B test is, how its implemented, the purpose of the test, and why it is a worthwhile investment for the brand. By taking these steps, both you and the client will feel much more comfortable with the entire process. In addition, if it does yield positive results, then all the better.
Credibility Through Case Studies
If you need extra support for you’re A/B tests, then there are a myriad of resources available to get that support. An extremely popular option is case studies. Case studies are a great resource because they present tests that have provided for proven results. With case studies on your side, you’ll be able to provide your client and others with concrete results. In addition, another way to establish credibility when you use case studies is to ensure that you’re answering all the questions that your clients may have. By doing so, you’re giving your client validation about the tests that you are employing and assurance that you are using your marketing budget for something worthwhile.
Things to Test for Greater Conversion
When it comes to A/B testing, the tests that you can implement are endless. If you’re specifically trying to improve your conversion rate, then you can implement A/B tests such as increasing prices, changing the color of your call to action, altering the size of the call to action, changing the length of the landing page, or using a different headline copy. With these options and more, you can put into action an A/B test that works for the marketing campaign and leads to the best results possible. A/B testing isn’t complicated and once you get the process down and try all kinds of A/B tests, you can enjoy the task and make the gains you’re looking for.