The Importance of A/B Testing for Your Website Growth
First do it, then do it right, then do it better.
Addy Osmani, Google’s manager of the Chrome Team, surely knows what he’s talking about, and his philosophy wouldn’t be feasible without hours, weeks, and months of testing.
The quote from the first sentence can also be applied to polishing your website and making it run like clockwork. That is, of course, if growth is your goal.
A/B testing is crucial for identifying what works and what doesn’t, and you should use it extensively when it comes to aligning individual elements and creating a synergy of the usability and aesthetics and coming up with a perfect formula for capturing leads.
It’s worth noting that visitors to a website tend to be more tolerant towards minor usability issues if the website is visually appealing, so don’t neglect this aspect and include it in your A/B testing routine.
What Is A/B Testing?
A/B testing or split testing is a process of trying out different versions of various website or marketing campaign elements with the purpose of establishing the one which drives the most traffic, engagement, and conversions.
This procedure is a digital twist on a regular scientific method, and it’s based on identifying a problem, collecting relevant data through observation, experimenting, and testing the hypothesis.
Basically, what you do is presenting random visitors with these different versions of your landing page, headline, layout, or any other element that you want to test, and comparing the results you get.
When to Perform A/B Testing?
Besides being a must for websites which don’t get enough traffic and which suffer from low conversion rates, A/B testing should be used whenever you want to optimize a certain element of your website or marketing campaign.
Here are some common situations in which this method can be put to good use:
- A website relaunch can greatly benefit from A/B testing since both your newly designed layout and messaging need to be fine-tuned and tweaked additionally. However, this process could last long if you try out different versions one at a time. Split testing can accelerate things, as well as allow you to feel the pulse of your audience and pick the winning combo.
- A plunge in conversions calls for immediate action. But before you do anything, you have to identify what caused this drop, and it’s A/B testing that will help you identify the cracks through which your traffic slips.
- A new product launch is a challenging moment because you need to find out how well it will perform compared to your existing offerings. By A/B testing different versions of your product page, you’ll be able to spot the weak link and fix it.
As for the elements on the page which require reworking and split testing, the most important ones are:
If they’re not catchy and if they’re not channeling your unique selling proposition properly, it’s time to recompose them. This way you’ll attract visitors and get more social media shares.
2. Call-to-action buttons
They are extremely important in terms of conversions (bear in mind that 90% of visitors who read headlines also read CTA copy), and you need to pay attention to their performance.
3. Contact forms
These can be a make-it-or-break-it factor when it comes to collecting customer information – if they’re too long, your prospects will simply bounce, so make sure to find the right balance with the help of split testing.
4. Color and design
It’s worth mentioning that these two elements play an important role in marketing and sales, so it’s a good idea to see what works for your target audience. Reputable digital companies heavily rely on A/B testing when designing websites and optimizing them for conversions.
5. Ad placements
To make the most of this type of advertising, your ad placements need to be properly set up. A/B testing can help you identify the best spots for placing your ads for optimum conversions.
The Benefits of A/B Testing
Back in 2011, Google ran 7,000 A/B tests in order to determine exactly which one out of 50 shades of blue for their CTA button would drive the most conversions.
Of course, you don’t have to analyze your website in such detail, but take a cue from the search engine giant and always A/B test before making an important decision, as you’ll experience numerous benefits from the effort you put into this procedure. Some of them are:
1. Improved Content.
Providing your visitors with valuable and useful content is essential not only for the success of your website but your entire business. A/B testing allows you to pinpoint what types of content, topics, and perspective your prospects prefer and start implementing them in your content strategy.
This also refers to the copy for landing pages, CTAs, ads, and other marketing elements.
2. Reduced Bounce Rates
Naturally, when you test all the elements of your website, you’ll be able to pick the best options and get your visitors to stay and come back again. For example, if your headlines are compelling, people will decide to stick around longer, read your blog posts, and discover their value.
Ultimately, this will prompt them to convert and turn into your loyal customers.
3. Improved engagement
If you produce high-quality content which has a lot of useful advice and actionable tips to offer, then it’s only logical that your readers will be more likely to engage with it.
Apart from enabling you to improve your website’s performance, A/B testing will also give you an insight into different metrics which means that you’ll be able to easily monitor your progress and see whether your attempts to fix things work or not.
CTAs, forms, colors, fonts, and other interactive elements are critical when it comes to affecting visitor’s behavior and boosting conversions, so make sure to test them carefully.
4. Increased Conversion Values
Not all conversions are the same, as some bring more value to your business than the others. By assigning values to your conversions, you’ll be able to identify the total value of your marketing and advertising efforts, instead just the number of conversions.
This way, it will be easier for you to focus on high-value conversions.
A/B testing will allow you to implement your findings, knowledge, and experience on the web pages where high-priced products and services are listed, thus boosting conversions on these pages and bringing you more revenue.
Eliminate a hit-and-miss approach and know exactly what you should do to improve your website and make it more effective.
Nina is a technical researcher & writer at DesignRush, a B2B marketplace connecting brands with agencies. She loves to share her experiences and meaningful content that educates and inspires people. Her main interests are web design and marketing. In her free time, when she’s away from the computer, she likes to do yoga and ride a bike. You can find her on twitter