For many companies, your website is the lifeblood of your business. The website is an essential platform to communicate your business to the average consumer and is the hub of what drives your business forward, connecting interaction with your brand wherever it begins. Because such a high percentage of potential customers or clients interact with your site, optimization via A/B testing is an investment that can yield significant eturns.
You’ve heard of A/B testing before. It’s a tremendous way to gain valuable insight on visitors’ behaviors, as well as improve the conversion rates, which in turn leads to more prospects and more sales. A/B testing may seem overly scientific or challenging, but we promise it’s not. It takes only a few steps to complete your first A/B test.
Plan & Produce
It’s easy to start running, editing different sections of your site and taking tenacious notes on what transpires, but that’s not efficient, nor strategic. Your first step should be to write down what you hope to accomplish. List out your goal (i.e. to increase clicks on a certain button or form submissions on a certain page), what areas on the site you want to test you believe will help facilitate your goal and how you believe you can prove it (i.e. measurement).
Once you have down the basics of what you’d like to test, pick ONE and start crafting the differing variables. If it’s a button, are you changing the color, the copy or the placement? Pick one of those, build it and get ready to implement it.
Once you have those items locked in, only then are you ready to begin your A/B test.
Write out what you’d like to test and why - pick one item and run with it
Decide the duration of your test and the different variables
Create the different options for your test
Implement the options into your existing website
Keep to Your Schedule
It’s easy once you set up an A/B test to move on to the next. The hardest part is waiting for the results to come. Don’t get overly excited though, keep your cool and stick to the plan. If you’ve determined to test a specific area for two weeks or for 200 clicks, then follow through on it. It takes time to accumulate the traffic necessary to produce the results, but make sure to stick to your schedule. However, a good practice is while the original A/B test is taking place, you’re building and planning for the next test, so you can quickly move once the result becomes clear.
Measure and Move On
At the beginning of the A/B process, you listed out your objective. Since you have that metric to follow, now you can measure which version was more successful. If one option clearly stood out, you have a winner! The great thing about A/B testing is that no matter what the result - tie, or the new version wins or fails - you gain value by learning more about what your visitors care about.
Measure your A/B test and define the most effective option
Take detailed notes on how visitors acted and their actions
If there was no clear cut favorite, quickly rewrite your test and conduct again
Once the clear option presents itself, accept the outcome, cement the change and move on
A/B testing is an exciting opportunity to find what resonates with your visitors. Knowing what works best and why gives you confidence and allows you to take the next step in your business development. Go ahead and test a section of your website today. We’d love to hear how it goes in the comments section below!