A/B testing (also known as split testing) is the act of comparing two versions of a landing page to gauge your target audience’s preferences based on which version performs better. Based on the results of your A/B test, you can then make improvements in order to optimize conversion rates.
A/B testing involves taking two separate samples of your audience (A, and B!) to whom you will display two separate versions of a web page. The success of an A/B test is largely dependent on the size of the samples you choose to take. The bigger the sample size, the more confident you can be in the insights gained from your test. In other words, if you choose to use five people for your sample and three prefer a particular webpage, you can’t make the assumption that their selection serves as a strong enough indication of your wider audience’s preferences.
With bigger sample sizes comes greater certainty and stability, as A/B test results get closer and closer to accurately representing audience preferences. This means you can be assured that the changes you make to your webpages are the most positive possible.
You can carry out an A/B test in a few simple steps:
- Gather data: using analytics tools will help you to establish which specific areas of your website you should A/B test. For a more granular insight, you could use a heat map to find out how users are [or aren’t!] using your website to provide a solid starting point.
- Create two variations: whether it’s changing button text, re-wording a product description, or changing the colour of a banner image, the changes you decide to make should always be underpinned by a strong justification. Simply put, if someone asks you why you have made a specific change, you should be able to answer them confidently.
- Start the A/B test: your test should be run for approximately 3 to 4 weeks with a considerable sample size in order to garner realistic, representative results. Visitors to your website will be directed to one of two landing page variations at random.
- Analyse its effectiveness: arguably the most important part of the test process, as it enables you to apply what you have learned from the test results in order to make positive changes.
There is an abundance of A/B testing software available that will help you to set up, run and measure tests. Be sure to research a couple of options to find the one that best caters to your organization’s needs. It’s a small but powerful investment that will ultimately enhance your profit margins, especially when you consider that for every 92 dollars spent acquiring customers, only 1 dollar is spent converting them!