What Is A/B Testing?

A/B Testing imagePart of my job here at Active Web Group is to help business owners fully understand the limitations of current website designs they may have, or help them to improve upon what they’ve already done so far. Sometimes it’s helpful to use analogies. Think of your website visitors as a river, and you are trying to build a Dam to make the water go where you need it to go. The question here is, how do you know the best terrain to make the river travel? A good website traffic analysis is crucial in my procedures. I like to think I’m pretty good at what I do, but I’m only as good as the tools that are available to me. One of my first questions when someone asks me my opinion on their E-Commerce site, or for an SEO Analysis, is to ask them if their site has Google Analytics installed. You’d be surprised how many people don’t. For those of you business owners who do not know, Google Analytics has many tools and reports you can generate that can be utilized to help better understand your current website traffic. Once you begin to understand your traffic, you can make better decisions on how to maximize your conversions.

A/B Testing is a great way to figure out what website visitors are doing on your site and is an even better way to work towards increasing your conversions. You’d also be surprised at how many people don’t use them, haven’t heard of them, or more importantly as I hear all the time “Yea, I heard of that, but I just haven’t done it yet”.

All you’re really trying to figure out with A/B Testing is which ‘version’ of the page your visitor is on, is more appealing, and better designed to generate a sale, a lead or a contact to you. Sometimes the smallest thing can make a huge difference. You may change one word to blue, or make your phone number bigger, move this to the left, or move to the right. The important thing is to have it automated to alternate different WebPages, keep analytics on it, and make decisions once you have collected enough information.

How do you get started?

Trying to figure out how to do this best isn’t really as complicated as you might think. If you’re selling access to your website, like a membership directory, then perhaps you may be interested in the amount of information you collect on your contact form, or the way it is configured to the end user. You have to figure out your call to action messages. Some sample things I strongly recommend to include in your tests are below:

  • Color Schemes – Layout and the Style
  • The Length of the form that is collecting information and the types of information you collect
  • The name or title of the product you are selling
  • Your Call To Action messages (i.e. the BUY NOW buttons), where you put them, color and size.
  • What price are you selling it for
  • The pictures you choose

Important Things To Remember

Make sure again, that you have collected your information for a long enough period of time, before making your changes official. You need to be very sure that you’re making the right decision. This can affect your bottom line. The second and most important part of this first lesson is to make sure you alternate your stream of traffic so that every other visitor sees each new page. If you try to do it any other way, you may not have good results.

Whether you’re selling a product through an E-Commerce website, or your business is a local business designed to generate foot traffic to your retail store, A/B Testing is a great way to figure out and maximize your conversions.

Should you try A/B Testing?

Unless your conversions are running at 100%, it would be safe to say that doing some A/B Testing is something you should consider trying. It would make sense to speak to someone who knows about marketing a wide variety of products and services on the Internet to analyze your site traffic, and make recommendations. You shouldn’t have to pay for this, this is something someone should do for you for free, like good faith work. If it makes sense to you at that point, chances are you’ll do business with them. Good luck to you all, and good selling.