A/B Testing, what is it and why it’s so important to do it

Blog, Marketing

So you’ve just invested in a beautifully designed website, and now you need to open it to the world. However, one question remains.

How do your customers actually interact with the website? Does the design show them where to go, how to make an inquiry or how to purchase your goods? Unfortunately, it can be a shockingly complex process to discover an answer to these questions. Even the best designed websites suffer from hidden issues that only become clear when the public gets a hands-on.

Wouldn’t it be great to know these answers objectively? Or how about a methodically accurate report of how your customers view your website?

Well, that’s exactly what A/B testing can do for your business. Conducting A/B testing lets you find out exactly what works, and what doesn’t, on your website layout, via a comprehensive comparison of two unique web designs. Knowing can be the difference between a great web page and a bad one! A carefully designed website can make an enormous difference and lead to numerous improvements to both your conversions and enquiries.

So What is A/B testing, break it down for me?

A/B testing is a detailed method to test the pros and cons of two different design layouts over a certain period. For example, both design A and B would be made public for a month, after which conversion rates can be assessed to find the which was the superior option.  With this methodology, you will be able to quickly and efficiently find the best options, whether it be due to colour choices on your call-to-action buttons or something else entirely.

You may well decide to keep refining the chosen design, as perfection is, as always, an elusive target indeed. But A/B testing is an excellent way to bring yourself just that little bit closer.

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Why should our company A/B Test?

A/B testing allows you to make more out of your existing traffic, and to ensure the design is working for you. As a business looking to make a name for itself, it can be far too appealing to go for flash over functionality, but efficiency and results are key to having a masterclass webpage.

A/B testing offers a strong possibility of performance increases, but at a significantly smaller cost than other methods. Some companies may only focus on increasing their traffic, but converting existing users via an improved layout and placement of call-to-action buttons will create greater long term rewards. This will become very apparent once you begin the process of A/B testing.

If you conduct paid for advertising, such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC), A/B testing allows can help you identify which campaign works best, and ultimately increase your return on investments.

It can also reveal telling insights on how your target audience behaves when they browse your website. You will soon learn what exactly can trigger both positive and negative actions in your traffic, and how you can maximise your returns by exploiting such trends.

Which pages and what elements of the page shall we test?

Start by observing your popular pages in detail. This is where, for most websites, the majority of visitors land. Look at the existing layout and form an action plan regarding what tweaks may be necessary, such as refining wording, changing the layout of buttons and more . Every page has a host of small elements that may direct and influence the behaviour of users, so look to adjust items like:

  • Call to action – the specific action you are trying to get visitors to take (text and buttons)
  • Copy – written in a way to drive visitor response
  • Forms – contact forms ensure they are not too long
  • Headline – short and sweet
  • Images – optimise so they load quickly, capture the users attention, and showcase what you sell
  • Layout/positioning of design elements
  • Length of page – you may discover having a very long page is pointless, people may never scroll down
  • Navigation structure – prioritise the order of entries
  • Social proof – testimonials, case studies
  • Value proposition – a concise overview of what your business does, can offer and how it does it better than the competition

The previous list may be somewhat intimidating, especially to newcomers, but refining your web design with these important tips and yield enormous rewards from your users.

How to get started

A/B testing is by far the best practice to test theories and resolve uncertainties you may have about handling website traffic. Discuss collected data with the team and decide on how to move forward with design changes, full of positive decisions and certainly not presumptions.

Start by deciding which page you want to analyse, get your two designs ready and set a start date. Begin running that page for the duration, then move on to the second. Finally, compare and contrast your data! No need for it to be any more complicated than that!

If you want professional advice and the help of bond media get in touch today by calling 020 8886 4890 or email us on [email protected] and let us get that conversion rate up for you.

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