The Only A/B Testing Guide You Will Ever Need
A/B testing is a requirement now a days for any marketing professional. In today’s internet era, you can’t just throw up a landing page and expect customers to convert. Humans are becoming more and more familiar with technology. Because of that, humans might naturally ignore certain buttons or items that you offer on your site. The best way to obtain more knowledge about the user and increase conversion is by implementing a bunch of A/B testing.
A/B testing isn’t suppose to be difficult or stressful. For the past few years, A/B testing has been associated with UX designers. The problem is that UX designers make A/B testing sound more difficult than it actually is. The UX designers end up throwing a lot of theories into it, which makes the entire process seem a lot more complicated.
Essentially, A/B testing is having two versions of a page and testing it to see which one has a higher conversion rate. For example, if I have a website named WordPressthemes that sells WordPress Themes, I want to know which buy button will attract the most customers. This can be done by setting up two variations. For this example, I might want to make variant A a bright red button and for my variant B I might want to make it bright light blue. A good A/B testing software will then split the variations 50/50 to different viewers that land on the page. After about a month of testing, I will review the analytics to see which one led to more conversions.
The reason why A/B testing is important is because you want the most effective page that will increase your startup’s sales. For instance, on one of your pages you might have a small “buy now” button on the right side of your site. In your other page, you have a big buy now button in the center of the screen right under your detailed description. You review your analytics for both pages and realize that the big buy now button has 10x the conversion rate of the regular small buy now button. The results show that you should be using the big buy now button for more optimized revenue.
What To Test?
This is the part where A/B testing requires a lot of work. As a marketer or ux designer in a startup, your role is to test as many functions on the site as possible. For the above example we used the buy button. Others include:
- Background color
- Call To Action buttons
- Product picture positioning
- Related articles positioning
- Position of Text
- Product Pricing
- Amount of text and description
- Sign up forms
There are a lot more things that can be done with A/B testing, but these are the main ones that marketers focus on in a startup. What you test should highly relate to your startup’s end goal. Is your startup trying to get more email signups? Is your startup trying to generate more sales? Is your startup trying to promote a new product? A/B testing should be directly related to your goal and it should be project based. A startup that is looking to increase their email list should try multiple test to determine which email form will make more users sign up. A UX designer might test a page with an email subscribe pop up box that pops up as soon as user lands on the website vs another page that pops up 30 seconds after the user enter the page.
Tools For A/B Testing
Now that you understand what testing is and what you can test, you will need some tools to get started. Luckily with the advance technology we have, A/B testing is easier than ever. There are a lot of testing tools out there, but I recommend the following.
Anything from Google is great. Google’s testing analytics allows you to create custom pages for testing. The test will return a bunch of results and analytics based on where the traffic is coming from and which one of your page converts more. See which of your marketing campaigns are really paying off with this detailed real-time report. Engagement and conversion activity are included for any link you tag (even on email and banners) and can be segmented by channel. Offline campaigns that send users to your site can also be measured.
Eliminate the guesswork from website design. Test variations of your pages and learn which designs bring you the most conversions. Content experiments are easy to set up: look under Experiments in the Content section of your Google Analytics account. Google also comes with custom reports that can be built in minutes.
In addition Google’s testing allows you to see real time reports. See how many people are on your site right now, where they came from, and what they’re viewing. With real-time reporting, you’ll know which new content is popular, how much traffic today’s new promotion is driving to your site, and which tweets and blog posts draw the best results. addition to that Google allows you to see real time reports that shows. Google’s testing also support mobile testing which is extremely important in our internet era.
This is another famous A/B testing tool used by many startup, developers, and ecommerce sites. People tend to like Optimizely because of how simple it is. After inserting a single line of code generated by Optimizely into your HTML, you never have to touch the code base again – from there, you have instant testing capability, and any variation you create can be live to your visitors within minutes.
The tracking and reports are amazing. Track engagement, clicks, conversions, sign ups, or anything else that matters to you and your business. Optimizely’s custom goal tracking provides an endless range of measurable actions that you can define. Just tell Optimizely what to measure, and the software will do the rest.
Advanced targeting, allocation, and scheduling features provide maximum flexibility and allow you to run tests on your terms. Schedule your tests to run when you want, target your test to key visitor segments, and precisely control the allocation of your visitors to variations. See which page convert more sales.
Another powerful thing about Optimizely is the ability to work on existing softwares like Google Analytic and Kissmetric. Optimizely will not interfere with your current softwares. One click will integrate Optimizely with a range of popular analytics tools, like SiteCatalyst, KISSmetrics, and Google Analytics, and Optimizely’s full-fledged API will give you the power to seamlessly integrate your testing data into virtually anywhere else you choose. With it’s custom in app testing builder, you won’t need to know how to code in order to set up pages for A/B Testing.
Unbounce is more known for it’s elegant and easy to set up landing pages, but no landing page software is complete without A/B testing. After all, the whole point of a landing page is to make users convert to sales. Unbounce will give you real time results with your landing pages. Below are some features that Unbounce’s analytic provide:
- Unique Visits
- Conversion Rate
- Variant Conversion Delta (the difference compared to the champion page)
- Statistical confidence (a measure of how likely the results are to be based on reasons other than chance alone)
Unbounce works with a lot of third party software and plugins. For example if your startup is using Mailchimp to capture leads, Unbounce will help you integrate your mailchimp network with their landing pages in just a few clicks.
Check out their demo video here:
A/B testing isn’t meant to be easy. It takes a lot of time and planning, but if done correctly will increase your conversion rate. The whole goal of A/B testing is to make it so easy for the end user that they do not even realize that you are actually testing something. Your mindset while testing should be to provide the easiest and most effective UX interface for your user. Follow the method of KISS (Keep it simple smarty-pants). Good copywriting skills will improve your testing as well. When hiring a new UX/UI designer for your startup, you should ensure that they are familiar with testing.
Read Next: Why Your Startup Must Have a UX/UI Designer