A/B Testing is a successful tool for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Converting visitors to customers or turning them to do desired action is a challenge most of the companies face. CRO is about using analytics and user insights to improve the performance of your website.
If you work in conversion optimization — whether it’s an agency, in-house, or as a consultant — you almost certainly run A/B tests.
What is A/B testing?
A/B Testing (or Split Testing) is an approach to testing when marketing elements (images, layouts, headers, call-to-action buttons, etc.) are being compared to each other to learn which perform better.
A/B testing is a great tool to learn how to attract more leads and increase conversion rates. Even the smallest improvements can make a difference.
By successfully A/B testing you can
- Convert social media followers into customers
- Decrease the bounce rate
- Increase the average time spent on page
- Convert blog readers into customers or subscribers
- Decrease cart abandonment rate
- Reduce page loading time
- Improve your landing pages performance
All these influence your conversion rates and your sales. A/B testing is a powerful technique. But to get results, you need to run it properly.
What is MVT and how it differs from A/B testing?
MVT combines several A/B tests conducted at the same time. It compares a higher number of variables and reveals more information about how these variables interact with one another. The purpose of an MVT is to measure the effectiveness of multiple variables combinations.
Essential Tips for Effective A/B Testing
Test One Asset At a Time
Let’s say that your ad is not performing well. To learn why you need to do A/B tests —was it the wrong audience, the visual, the ad’s text or maybe all of them? If you conduct multivariate testing, you won’t be able to recognize the issue — too many factors will muddle your results. The only solution here is to A/B test each element separately.
Test Minor Changes
When it comes to ads and websites, changes to small things often bring big improvements. The positioning of the lead-capture forms, the color of the CTA button — every little thing matters. Consider testing email forms, colors, fonts, designs of CTA buttons as variables — you will be amazed by the results!
Conduct High-Level Testing
Let’s say you decided to rebuild one of the landing pages from scratch. You’ve got two landing pages at hand and you want to learn if the new one performs better. Testing large elements against each other is a high-level approach to the A/B testing. If you test the same page with several changes applied you won’t be able to recognize which work out better or draw any other conclusions.
Mind the Metrics
While A/B testing, you need to pay attention to how it affects the sales metrics such as visits, leads, click-through rates, traffic-to-lead conversion rates, demo requests and more. It is possible that a landing page that converted fewer prospects produced more sales.
Decide What to Test
Break down your webpages, marketing materials, ads into elements that might affect the conversions — CTAs, email forms, design, wording, layouts, etc — and run A/B tests on them. Mind other factors like different target audiences, the timing of promotions, etc.
Create Equal Conditions
To get statistically significant results, you need to create equal testing conditions — equal audience groups, identical timing, etc. If run on the different time of the day or months, A/B tests are most likely to be influenced by these factors.
A/B Testing Examples
You may feel the need to improve your landing pages and other marketing-related elements, but you might feel overwhelmed by the number of possible variables to test. Not all of them influence your sales figures so you need to focus on those that matter. Most often these include landing pages, emails, CTAs, and ads.
Landing Page Split Testing
Landing pages contain several elements that are subject to testing.
Offers: Learn which offerings help you push leads down the sales funnel and have the most conversion — sales, demos, ebooks, webinars, coupons, etc.
Texts: Make sure that your offer descriptions are convincing, easy-to-grasp, and have all questions covered.
Form fields: Request email address only or ask for more information? On one hand, form fields help you qualify leads and nurture them. But some marketers say that the more fields there are in your form, the lower your visitor-to-customer conversion rate is going to be.
Whole page: A/B testing of the entire landing pages is the fastest way to learn which ones drive more conversions. After that, it’s reasonable to test low-level elements such as forms, CTAs and more.
User Experience Testing
CTA button and its placement on the landing page is a part of the UX. According to the F-shaped pattern of user activity on the website, many marketing experts suggest the top left side of a page. Others argue that it should be placed on the top right side of a Landing Page. The opinions differ and there’s no right answer. You need to do A/B tests to find out what works best in your case.
Test fonts, color schemes, graphics, background color, design, size and positioning of particular elements (e.g. lead-capture forms, CTA buttons, etc.). Again, no best practices here — you need to discover them yourself through A/B testing.
Facebook / GA Testing
As I mentioned earlier, ads should also be A/B tested. Try different audiences and ad placements to learn who’s your perfect target audience and what placement is the most effective one. After the experiment is completed, compare essential metrics like impressions, number of clicks, CTR, number of desired actions and their costs, etc.
Some tools for effective A/B testing
Oracle Maxymiser enables the optimization of customer experiences with data science technologies covering multivariate testing, audience-segment discovery, and predictive personalization.
Google Optimize offers AB testing, website testing, and personalization tools for small and large enterprises to help deliver engaging customer experiences.
Google Optimize connects with Google Analytics right off the bat. It’s free for an unlimited amount of views like Google Analytics. It’s made by Google which means its more or less trustworthy and will be around for a while. It also has a great web editor built-in that allows you to make changes to your website and publish from inside the Google Optimize software.
VWO is the all-in-one platform that helps you conduct visitor research, build an optimization roadmap, and run continuous experimentation.
Easily change the headline, button, image, or any other element to create multiple variations of your website. VWO will equally divide your website traffic among all the variations and track which one works the best for you.
- Create multiple variations of a website in minutes
- Track revenue, sign-ups, clicks, or any other conversion goal
- Know the statistical validity of the results
With Visual Website Optimizer it’s really simple to set up split tests and monitor the results. Powerful tracking and results dashboard make it easy to always be confident that you pick the best variation.
A/B testing is an important marketing approach allowing you to launch better-targeted marketing campaigns, attract more leads and increase conversion rates. There are no universal truths that work out for every case, so you need to find out what works best for you through experimenting.