Want to know more about A/B testing?
Here’s everything you need to know about the fundamentals in order to improve your conversion rate and A/B test scores – including common mistakes made by professionals.
An Overview of A/B Testing
A/B testing is the best method for improving optimization.
In the online world, when you are trying to grow your business by creating landing pages, emails, or an attractive call-to-action button, the traffic on your website is the best opportunity you have to build the business. It can be tempting to use intuition to predict possible improvements without referencing proper statistics, but a feeling-based marketing decision can be very detrimental to the results.
That’s because it is hard to tell which strategies will resonate with the target audience until you perform an A/B test.
A/B testing is a solution or method that the most successful companies in the world use to be the best in their respective industries.
Here’s what market leaders have to say about A/B Testing:
– Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon
– Mark Zuckerberg, Co-founder & Leader, Facebook
– Larry Page, CEO, Google (Alphabet Inc)
– Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
A/B testing not only helps in conversion optimization strategies but also improves content by creating the best customer experience to reach conversion goals faster. Some of the factors that affect conversion rates are so minimal that we tend to ignore them, thinking they are not important for growing the business effectively.
A/B testing is one of the components of conversion rate optimization. The metrics for conversion are different and unique to each website. Something that works for one company may not necessarily work for another company. CRO experts dislike the term “best practice” because it might not be the best for your company.
The best way to evaluate your conversion and marketing strategies is to get input directly from your traffic, or customer behavior. Discovering the most effective element of a campaign and working with them can make your efforts much more effective and efficient.
So, if you are not A/B testing your site, you aren’t getting a fair value for your work, and you are not getting as many returns as you should.
What Is A/B Testing?
A/B testing is an approach to evaluate various versions of a webpage, app, email, or other marketing strategies to determine which version results in more conversions and is best for your business.
For example: If you want to see whether a different color combination of the call to action (CTA) button or the position of the call to action (CTA) button (i.e., top or the bottom of the homepage) is going to impact the click rate.
To confirm whether this hypothesis will impact any change in the conversion funnel, you would create a different version (i.e., Version B) to serve as the challenger of the original or existing design or control (i.e., Version A).
Then the test will be done with the implementation of the hypothesis and will be monitored to see which version attracts more visitors and clicks.
It is also commonly known as split testing or bucket testing.
Why Do A/B Testing?
A/B testing a landing page is a very powerful way to get many more conversions out of already existing campaigns, as the test gives you the data you need to make the most of your budget, which increases your overall returns.
Businesses are happy they are getting traffic, but at the same time, they are unhappy they’re unable to convert that traffic into customers. Every business struggles with unqualified leads, be it B2B, E-commerce, media and publishing, etc.
These conversion metrics are always affected by some very common problems, such as issues in the conversion funnel, drops-offs on payment pages, or other common issues.
The data from the test lets you know what words, phrases, image, videos and other such elements on the landing page work best. These may be minor changes but they can create a major improvement in the conversion rate.
Here are some of the best reasons to do A/B testing:
Increased User Engagement
Every day among the visitors on your website, a potential customer is seeing your user interface for the first time. They come to achieve a specific goal. It may be just to learn about your service or the product, or to purchase a product, or just to read through the blogs, or maybe simply browse through the website. Regardless of what the goal is, some common elements act as pain points for the user while they’re trying to reach their goal.
It may be elements of a page, including subject line or headline, images, a call-to-action button (CTA), languages, layouts, or fonts, among other things. These may seem like minor things, but users being unable to achieve their goals lead to a bad user experience.
To improve the user experience, testing these minor elements will show which affected user behavior, and updating the experience by solving visitors’ pain points will increase user engagement, ultimately optimizing it for success.
Reduced Bounce Rates
Tracking the bounce rate is the best way to analyze the website’s performance. Reasons for the bounce rate may be many, such as too many options, mismatched expectations, etc. Different websites have different goals for different audiences.
A/B testing helps figure out which combination of elements on your website will improve the user experience and help keep visitors on the site longer, reducing bounce rate and increasing the chance of conversion.
Increased Return on Investment
A/B testing is the most effective way to know what works and what does not help to convert more leads. With the help of the data acquired through A/B testing, you can make the most out of existing and new traffic by making minor changes, which can result in a significant increase in conversions, which gives you increased ROI.
Improvements Based on Statistics
A/B testing is fully data-driven, and it has no room for instinct. You can easily figure out the winner and loser based on metrics, such as time spent, demo requests, and so on.
Redesign the Website With Low-Risk Changes and Profit
A/B testing helps you do small but gradual changes to a webpage without changing the whole website. This can lessen the danger of damaging your present conversion rate. A/B testing allows you to focus on your assets for the most extreme yield with insignificant alterations, for expanded ROI.
Updates can be anything from a minor text or shading change in a CTA catch, to patching up a page. The choice to use one form or the other should consistently be based on information-driven A/B testing.
For example: If you are planning to launch a new feature, dispatching that new element as an A/B test in the page’s duplicate can make the result considerably less surprising, since you’ll be able to learn whether the launch of that new feature is going to affect the visitors’ behavior or the purchase funnel.
Therefore, you can redesign your website without causing any major changes and still be profitable.
When Should You Do A/B Testing?
Many people have very strong opinions about A/B testing. If done correctly, it feels like a cheat code that just boosted the conversion rate, revenue, and so on. Understanding when and when not to A/B test will determine your overall success.
Here are some good times to do A/B testing:
When You Redesign the Website
Redesigning a website is a part of the online world, but this can impact traffic and conversion rates negatively.
And redesigning a website is just another day of jobs for designers and developers, but for SEO & CRO, it’s catastrophic, since it causes an eruption of 404s.
So, if you must redesign, do an A/B test before you plan to redesign. Then use the data from the test as the basis for redesigning the website.
When You Change Prices or Just Want to Raise Revenue
One of the quickest ways of raising revenue is to change the price, but it’s very risky, as the change can either improve your revenue or wreck it.
With the help of A/B testing, you’ll get proper data and additional ideas about what will affect the revenue as well as conversion rates.
When You Change a Service, Plugin, or Feature
Sometimes with an upgrade, you need to change a feature or service on your website, which will affect the customer data or purchase process — so it’s time to do an A/B test.
This can include working on cart service or plugins, email service or forms, and so on. These are very sensitive parts of the website, as they are conversion clutches.
A/B tests act as a medium for businesses to save themselves from disasters, as it gives data, facts, and figures for the business to refer to while making any decisions. This helps avoid major mistakes that can cause a loss of the existing traffic.
Examples of A/B Testing
Discovery Digital Networks
Director of Product Jeffrey Douglas at Discovery Digital Networks conducted A/B testing to drive commitment with the destination’s video content. He chose to run a trial he called the “Ken Burns Test” on around 20,000 guests. In this test, he uses a style where the camera pans across photographs, making a feeling of movement and rejuvenating the images.
The group tried a comparative panning impact against their unique video stills — just like the panning effect Ken Burns uses in his documentaries. It brought about a 6% increment in click rate into Discovery Digital Network’s video content.
Netflix users usually have great things to say about the streaming experience Netflix provides. But it is hard to tell how they manage to make it so user friendly.
To deliver a great user experience, they follow a very rigorous A/B testing program before deployments, which many other businesses still struggle to deliver.
For instance, personalization for the Netflix homepage is based on users’ profiles, such as most-searched content in language or genre.
Amazon is at the cutting edge in transformative improvement, mostly because of the scale they work at and their devotion to delivering the best client experience.
Due to constant and structured A/B testing, Amazon is able to deliver this kind of user experience, such as 1-Click Ordering, which lets users make purchases without using a shopping cart.
Regardless of the ever-changing structure of the Internet, be it the content, media habits of the visitors, or any other deciding factor, the business powerhouses Netflix, Amazon, and Youtube are still on top, all because of optimization.
They have found ways to ensure they are consistently relevant. The audiences of these organizations are never bored with the content, as they consistently think of imaginative strategies to present the audience with new content based on their preferences.
That’s because they are constantly collecting data about visitor insights and analyzing their behaviour, so that when they can come up with new ideas (be it products, services or content), they ensure it’s the best — and that it has the potential to increase the attention of the audience and therefore, sales.
They collect the data, analyze it, and often use A/B testing to understand the audience. This is what optimization is all about.
It’s possible for your business to gain such a high level of optimization, but it should depend on the terms that work for your business, not by copying the most common practices because the data collected, your business niche and various other factors affecting your business are probably different from the factors affecting those big hitters.
How to A/B Test
A/B testing provides a very uniform or organized way of figuring out what works and what does not in any given campaign or strategy. Most of the time, we focus on increasing traffic, rather than conversions. A/B testing in marketing will help you achieve your goals and allow you to make the most out of existing traffic.
A/B testing also helps make your efforts more profitable by finding the most crucial problem areas that need changes. A/B testing used to be done by companies only once in a blue moon, but industry standards are moving from it being a rare activity to being more of a regular and continuous process.
Often when it’s your first time conducting an A/B test or trying web optimization experiments, the business owners, marketers, and CRO specialists are not aware of how to communicate with A/B test developers.
The most important thing to do when you A/B test is to always share your ideas and thoughts with developers so you don’t waste time on an unnecessary question-and-answer process.
Having a checklist is a must, as it avoids a huge deal of confusion and therefore wastes time since a lack of information leads to various testing problems. Always remember to share key details with A/B test developers, such as the experiment name, hypothesis, experiment details, variations, etc., as per the requirement of the particular test that’s best for your company.
So before you conduct an A/B test, make sure you have a proper conversation with your A/B test developers to avoid confusion or friction during the test, which can waste time, resources, and money.
The Process of A/B Testing
A/B testing is just the act of creating a variation of your original landing page and driving traffic to it. It’s also a series of activities that involve planning, a lot of patience, and statistics.
Let’s break down each process:
Step 1: Conversion Goals and Data Collection
Before implementing an A/B test, dive deep and do thorough research on how the website is performing at present. Collect all the data on things related to users visiting the site, what drives more traffic, how visitors are interacting on different pages, etc. It is very important to figure out the reason you want to do the A/B test in the first place.
The tools that can help you have better customer insights for your A/B test include:
Google Analytics, Heatmaps, Omniture, Mixpanel, Surveys, Session Recording, etc.
Google Analytics, Omniture, Mixpanel, etc. are quantitative website analytics tools and can help you find the page with most visits, pages with most time spent, pages with high bounce rates.
Once you’ve figured out the quantitative aspect of the website, you can research the qualitative aspect of the traffic on the website.
Heatmap tools are a key technology used to determine where the most time is spent by the user, their scrolling behaviour, etc. It helps you understand the areas on the website which are not responsive.
Website user surveys are very useful for more insightful research. They act as a medium between the website team and the end-user and help in pointing out issues that may have been missed.
More insights can be derived from session recording tools. It collects the data based on the behaviour of the visitor on the website and helps identify the gaps in the user experience.
Both quantitative and qualitative research are important to prepare for the next step.
Step 2: Prepare the Hypothesis
The conversion rate may be the most important metric to track in A/B tests, but not always. It is very important to know what you want to improve with the help of an A/B test on your website, even if it’s some other metric.
For example, if you realize that after viewing various heat maps, visitors are not clicking the Call To Action button, you figure out that maybe if you change the colour or the font of the Call To Action button, it will attract more attention, which will make visitors click on the button.
If there is no clear hypothesis, then the goal of the A/B test will not be clear. The best way to use any data collected is to analyze it, make careful observations, and then compile website user insights to make assumptions based on the data.
Step 3: Design Variations
After the hypotheses are formulated, the next step is to create variations based on the hypothesis, or the assumptions that were formulated. A/B test it against the existing or original version (the control). A variation is just another version of some changes that you want to test, which are based on the hypothesis formulated.
You can test multiple variations against the existing version to see which one is best for your website.
Step 4: Run the Test
Before we run the test, we need to first understand the four kinds of tests and when to use which method.
Multivariate testing is a strategy for testing a hypothesis in which various factors are altered, not just one. The objective of multivariate testing is to figure out which mix of varieties plays out the best of all the potential mixes.
The multivariate test causes you to sort out which component on a site page has the most effect on its transformation rate. It is more complicated than A/B testing and is most appropriate for cutting edge experts.
Multipage testing is like A/B Testing, with the exception that, instead of making varieties to one page, the variations you make are executed reliably on more than a few pages.
By following the manner in which visitors interact with the various pages that are shown to them, you can figure out which configuration style is best or most effective at increasing the conversion rate.
Split URL Testing
Many times, people get confused between split URL Testing and A/B testing, but they are two different tests.
Split URL testing is the method of testing various versions of the webpage hosted on different URLs. Unlike A/B testing, the variation is also hosted on different URLs.
After understanding the different kinds of testing and what kind of test will be best for your webpage, you should be ready to run the test.
Step 5: Analyze Results
Once the test is complete, analyzing the results are very important. The testing software will gather and analyze all the data from the test, based on metrics such as the increase in the percentage of visitors, level of confidence, impact on different metrics, etc.
It will show the difference in performance between the different versions of the website. If the variation is the winner, implement the winning variation. If there is no change, then get insights from it, and implement them on the next test.
Step 6: Always Be Testing
Most of the time, we stop after one test and either forget to keep testing or choose not to test anymore, but whether it was a success or a failure, testing should always be continuously conducted.
If you are not satisfied with the test results or if the test was a failure, the next step should be to do it again with a better hypothesis, rather than just stopping because it did not work. Take the failed test as a reference, make a better hypothesis, and run it again.
If you are satisfied with the test, or if the test was a huge success and generated leads with the hypothesis, the next step after celebrating is to make new sets of hypotheses and conduct the test again. Most of the time after success, we tend to believe this is it, and we don’t test anymore, but that is a flawed assumption. Testing should be conducted continuously even after success because another small change might increase the conversion rate even further.
A/B Testing Tools
There is a huge selection of AB testing options available, and that number is only going to keep growing. While assessing these tools for use in your own business, it can be difficult to wade through which tool is a solid match for your company.
This means you’ll need a few things to get A/B testing going: the KPIs, access to important information, and a solid assortment of CRO tools to run successful tests.
The best tools for A/B testing are:
Google Optimize is a tool for optimization by Google. It helps boost conversion rates by running various types of tests, such as A/B tests, multivariate tests, split URL tests, server-side experiments, and personalization.
Google Optimize is a huge player in the A/B testing market because it’s both affordable and the best option available right now in the market. It offers not only standard features such as A/B testing and MVT but native integration with Google Analytics, which increases its value manyfold.
It is the most preferred tool by beginners who want to get a better understanding of conducting A/B tests without investing a dime. Unlike most of the A/B testing tools with which you need a certain amount of traffic before you get into A/B testing, Google Optimize can run tests without any such restrictions.
It might have some limitations since it’s free, but you can always upgrade to Google 360, and it will still be cheaper compared to all the other tools in the market. If you want someone to help you out with setting up and running your A/B tests on Google Optimize or any other tool, reach out to us.
Features of Google Optimize:
- Both Optimize and Optimize 360 integrate easily with Google Analytics and other Google apps.
- Connecting Optimize with Google Analytics assists with focusing on a specific crowd set, which makes achieving objectives simpler.
- It doesn’t need a minimum number of website guests to create and run tests.
Optimizely is an advanced experimentation stage for big business promoting and designing groups. Utilizing their amazing A/B and multi-page experimentation tool, you can run numerous tests on one page simultaneously, allowing you to test different factors of your website simultaneously.
Optimizely allows so many great experiments that the possibilities for testing are endless. However, the help it requires can be overpowering to the point that using it to its maximum capacity can be difficult.
Features of Optimizely:
- Execution of Optimizely A/B testing on your site is simple to start.
- The plans are expandable, permitting A/B testing on the web, full-stack, personalization stages, and mobile (both Android and iOS).
- Non-coders can run advertising-driven A/B tests for convenient solutions.
Adobe Target is a standard-based testing and targeting tool, which can integrate with Analytics and make reports that can be used for making showcasing offers, personalization, and UX testing, which allow advertisers to figure out which offers and messages are captivating visitors.
It incorporates a UI, works in prescribed procedures, and has powerful enhancement instruments for following site visitors. With its self-learning algorithmic methodology, it empowers expanded transformation and exact channel results.
It can also automate the personalization of client connections across all showcasing channels and business contact.
Features of Adobe Target:
- Best for automated personalization.
- Works well with sites that use Adobe Cloud, which works great with the tests.
- Has an easy-to-use dashboard, which doesn’t need an HTML expert to set up straightforward tests.
Understanding A/B Testing Measurements
The most important stage is the test analysis stage. The A/B testing setup should offer a detailed interface demonstrating the conversions gained by the variation, the change rate, the level of progress. The best ones boil down the raw data, dividing results by measurement (for example, traffic source, the topographical area of visitors, client typology, and so on).
Before it is possible to analyze test results, the first issue is getting an adequate degree of measurable certainty. It can go from a couple of days to a longer duration. For low-traffic sites, it’s smart to test a page with some of the highest traffic.
Moreover, the analytical tests used to compute the certainty level (for example, the chi-square test) depend on a sample size near limitlessness. With a low sample size, it is unlikely that leaving the test active for a few more days will significantly alter the outcome. This is why it’s necessary to have an adequately measured sample. There are logical strategies to ascertain the size of this sample. In any case, from a pragmatic angle, it is smart to have a sample of at least 5,000 guests and 75 conversions saved per variety.
There are two sorts of analytical tests:
The chi-square technique, or frequentist strategy, takes into consideration or draws conclusions from the data by focusing on a part of the data. The test is based on perception, with a dependability of 95%.
When applied to A/B testing, anyone using the frequentist approach would require more information or data (a larger number of visitors evaluated, over a longer period of time) to arrive at the correct conclusion.
Per the frequentist approach, it is fundamental to set your A/B test’s duration based on sample size to arrive at the correct test conclusion. The tests depend on the way that each trial can be reiterated in perpetuity.
Following this methodology points out a great deal of detail for each test that you run because, for a similar set of visitors, you’ll need to run longer tests. Consequently, each test should be treated with extraordinary consideration on the grounds that you can only run so many tests in a given time period.
The Bayesian technique is deductive. By taking from the laws of probability, it allows you to examine results before the finish of the test.
In hypotheses dependent on the Bayesian understanding of probability, the probability is communicated as a level of faith in an occasion. In straightforward words, the more you think about an occasion, the better and quicker you can foresee the results. As opposed to being a fixed worth, probability under Bayesian insights can change as new data is gathered. This conviction might be founded on past data, such as the results of past tests or other data relating to testing.
Not at all like the frequentist approach, the Bayesian methodology gives noteworthy outcomes practically twice as fast as the more seasoned frequentist strategy while zeroing in on factual importance. At some random point, if you have sufficient information available, the Bayesian methodology reveals the probability of variation A having a lower conversion rate than variation B, or the control.
Ultimately, even though site traffic makes it conceivable to rapidly acquire an adequately measured example, it is suggested you leave the test active for a few days to consider contrasts in tests. Sometimes this period can even be longer, especially if the change concerns items for which the purchasing cycle requires time (such as for complex items/administrations or B2B). Accordingly, there is no standard span for a test.
Elements of an A/B Test
The conversion funnel of a website decides the success of your business. The elements that need to be tested should not be based on instincts but fully based on data. There are elements on the landing page on which you can focus your testing.
Every piece of content that a user is accessing through your website must be fully optimized to its maximum, especially if they influence user behaviour.
The key elements that should be A/B tested are:
The first thing that is visible to the visitor on your website, webpage, or application is the headline. It’s a visitor’s first impression of your site, and based on it, we can assume whether the visitor will continue into your site or not. Keep it short and to the point, and do not beat around the bush.
The body should clearly state the purpose of the website and what the visitor is getting. It should resonate with the headline being used. If there is a mismatch between the headline and the body of the website, the chances of conversion are very low.
The style of writing is a very important parameter that should be also considered. The tone of the content should be based on the target audience.
Design & Layout
Sometimes while fixing all the essential elements, we tend to forget the most essential or important elements. The design and layout are very important factors. They should provide very clear information to visitors.
Write simple content rather than confusing the prospective buyer with complicated language.
Customer reviews should be highlighted. Both good and bad reviews are good for credibility.
Creating a sense of urgency pushes prospective buyers to purchase on the spot.
The call to action is what gives visitors an idea of what you want them to do. This is where all the action takes place and determines whether the visitor will go down the conversion funnel or not.
The call to action should push visitors to act upon your proposal since there should be too much value in it to resist. Even one small change in the CTA can impact conversion rates.
Navigating through the website is also an element that needs to be optimized fully by A/B Testing. This is a crucial element that can impact the conversion funnel because it is an essential element in providing a positive user experience.
This starts from the homepage, as it links all the other pages. The structure of navigation should be such that visitors can easily find what they are searching for.
Forms are the best way for prospective customers to get in touch with you. They become especially significant on the off chance they are essential for your purchase funnel. Similarly, as no two sites are identical, no two forms are identical.
For some organizations, a little form may work; for others, long forms may do wonders for their lead quality. You can sort out which style works best for your audience by utilizing research apparatuses and strategies (such as structure investigation) to find the trouble spots in your structure and work towards enhancing it.
Social proof acts as recommendations or reviews from the experts. They can be from celebrities or customers themselves. This social proof validates the claims by your website.
These can increase conversion rates, but only if it catches the attention of the visitor.
Sometimes, with so many guidelines available in the pool of marketing and optimization, finding out which one to test is the most difficult task of all. Even before you start, be clear about what you expect from the test and your requirements for optimization, per company needs.
To have an understanding of why your visitors are not converting into clients, the best way is to come up with hypotheses and start the optimization journey. In different industries, the elements that need to be tested for optimization may turn out to be different. It may even differ from business to business within the same industry.
For instance, e-commerce A/B testing ideas may be different from those needed in the media industry. The only common thing that keeps the top business at par with ever-changing, dynamic environments is continuous experiments with the help of A/B testing.
Challenges of A/B Testing
The results of a test can be very positive, as it helps you figure out problem areas and subsequently, the best way to implement your marketing efforts and strategy.
But the process of A/B testing can be very challenging, including figuring out what and when to test.
Figuring Out What to Test
The most difficult decision is figuring out what needs to be tested. Even if it’s just a small change, it will impact the business goal. The data collected helps overcome the challenge of figuring out what to test.
Deciding the Hypothesis
Another big challenge after figuring out what to test is to develop the hypotheses. Hypotheses need to be formulated so there is a goal for the test that will be conducted. The process of formulating hypotheses is where the significance of having logical information available to you (or the data collected) proves to be useful, as it helps you to figure out the problem areas of the website.
With the assistance of information assembled in the initial step (i.e., research) of A/B testing, you need to find where the issues lie with your site and think of hypotheses. This is only possible if you follow a very organized and structured A/B testing program.
Analyzing the Result
After running the A/B test, it will turn out to be either a success or a failure. The difficulty of analyzing results applies to both outcomes.
If it is successful, that’s great, but what do you do next? If the test results are interpreted and implemented in the wrong manner, it’s going to impact the existing conversion rate. It is very important to understand or figure out why the test was successful.
If it was a failure, we tend to ignore the failed test and forget to figure out the reason why it failed. These tests act as a path to the test that will be successful, as they contain a lot of data that will give you a head start for the next test.
Moreover, without proper information on the best way to analyze the collected information, the odds of information corruption increases. You may likewise neglect to draw any critical bits of knowledge while wading through information.
Consistent Testing Culture
The biggest challenge is to have a consistent testing culture, as it is one of the most crucial characteristics of programs for optimization such as A/B testing. Sometimes after one successful test, the decision to do another test is easily dismissed. Sometimes due to a lack of resources, businesses don’t use A/B testing in the first place.
Definite Sample Size
Relatively few marketers are analysts. Unfortunately, we frequently call decisive outcomes too quickly since we are after speedy outcomes. As marketers, we need to find out specifically how large our testing size should be based on data collected about the website page’s traffic.
Mistakes to Avoid
Some mistakes may not seem that major, but the following mistakes have the power to waste time, data, and resources.
Sometimes rather than gathering or believing the data of our company website, we try to follow a competitors’ way, or the best practice of the industry, believing it will work for our company.
But a best practice that works for others may not work for your business. The hypothesis created will be invalid since it is not based on the data collected from your website, regardless of whether it’s based on a common trend or because it was a success factor for someone else.
The next step depends on how the hypothesis is created, so if we depend on trends and don’t look at our company data, the probability of tests failing is much higher.
Testing All the Elements
Performing multiple tests at once is a big mistake. Industry specialists alert against running an excessive number of tests simultaneously or conducting large-scale testing at the same time. Too many tests make it difficult to figure out which factor or element impacts the conversion funnel.
Aside from this, the more variations tried, the more traffic is needed to legitimize statistically significant testing. So prioritizing or organizing the tests (i.e., which element needs to be tested first) is necessary for effective A/B testing.
Basing Tests on Instincts
Most of the daily decisions people make are based on gut feeling or instincts, but if we formulate the hypothesis for a test based on instincts, it will end as a failure.
Ignoring the facts and figures or data collected from a website is a wrong move that will impact the business. Regardless of whether a test fails or succeeds, allow it to go through its whole course so it arrives at measurable significance.
Thus, any test that is conducted should be based on the data collected.
Duration of the Test
The duration of the test conducted should be based on both traffic and the goal to achieve proper statistical significance. Just because the test is very successful in the first few days does not mean to stop the test, or if the response of the test is not positive, it should not be discontinued before the completion of the fixed duration. At the same time, running a test for a longer duration is a very common mistake many businesses commit.
The span for which you need to run your test relies upon different elements, such as existing traffic, existing change rate, anticipated improvement, and so on.
Lack of Consistent Testing
A/B testing is a continuous process, with each test expanding upon the aftereffects of past tests. It should not be discontinued after a few tests, because each test that is conducted always has some significant points that should be considered for the next test.
Organizations often abandon A/B testing after their first test comes up short. But to improve the odds of your next test succeeding, you should draw experiences from your last tests while arranging and launching your next test. This improves the probability of your test prevailing with genuinely critical outcomes.
Moreover, don’t quit testing after an effective one. Test every component well to deliver its most improved variant, regardless of whether they are the result of an effective test.
Continuous testing always helps improve your site.
Don’t compare the results of a test from a period when it sees the most traffic to a period when it sees the least traffic because of specials, holidays, etc. Since it wasn’t conducted during a typical time period, the results won’t be relevant. It should be conducted in a typical time period for better results.
SEO and A/B Testing
There is common confusion about whether it is OK to conduct an A/B test because of whether it will affect the rank of the website. Google, on their blog “ Website Testing And Google Search,” supports the use of A/B testing and has cleared the air about the fact that the test won’t affect the website’s search rank.
However, if A/B testing is used or abused for the wrong purpose, it is possible to endanger your website’s search rankings.
Google has published some accepted procedures for conducting effective tests with the least impact on a website’s search rank and performance.
This is the act of showing different content to the visitor than is shown to the Googlebot. It is against the Webmaster guidelines, whether you are conducting the test or not. Violating these guidelines can cause your site to be downgraded or even taken out from the search results completely, so the results of the test would be moot at that point; it’s best not to risk it.
Conduct an Experiment for a Suitable Time Period
Conducting tests for more time than needed, particularly if you are serving one variety of your page to an enormous level of clients, can be viewed as an endeavour to trick web search tools. A good testing tool will definitely show when you have gathered the proper amount of data to make a reliable conclusion. Google suggests refreshing your site and eliminating all test varieties of your site when a test closes, and that you should try not to run tests for pointlessly long periods of time.
Use rel=” canonical”
If you are conducting tests with different URLs, Google recommends using the rel=” canonical” attribute on all the alternative URLs, to point all the variations to the original or the control version of the webpage. It suggests using rel=”canonical” rather than a noindex meta tag since it more clearly indicates your intent in conducting tests.
Doing so will help search engines understand that all the test URLs are close copies of minor departure from the first URL and ought to be combined, with the first URL as the canonical.
This should keep the Googlebot from getting confused by different variants of a similar page.
Consistent Redirect to 302 Redirects, Not 301
A 302 is a temporary redirect, and a 301 is a permanent redirect. So in case you’re running an A/B test that diverts clients from the original URL to a variant URL, utilize a 302 redirect, not a 301 redirect.
This tells web search tools such as Google that this is brief — only while you’re running the test — and that they should keep the first URL ordered as opposed to the test URL.
A/B testing is one of the best techniques to improve a site’s conversion rate. It assists with staying away from a lot of minor errors that might affect the business. This simultaneously helps improve the site and therefore, the client experience.
The first step is to find a good plan for the job so you will have time to make changes. Since the above information should help give you some ideas, the next stage is to actualize them with the assistance of testing.
You may be able to handle testing with your in-house team at first, but as your site develops, it will require more complex tests to up the game. For dynamic A/B tests, you’ll need the assistance of good engineers, UX designers, Q&A specialists, and more to complete it, under which condition outsourcing the A/B tests to the professionals will be the best decision. Handling this while avoiding A/B testing issues is imperative to keep traffic steady.
Follow the steps in the process above to discover many advantages about how to convert traffic into buyers and improve your conversion funnel. If you don’t have a team to assist you with this, you can ask Brillmark for help whenever — we’d love to assist you with A/B testing, building, and set-up. For more than 10 years, we’ve been handling tests for customers who love proficient testing assets.
Ping us now to discover more.
Always be testing!