How does A/B testing help optimize your webpage?

What is A/B testing?

Testing makes conversions happen faster. How do you know any new design changes or changes to an element on your web page is tilting the balance the right way for you? Oust the guesswork about website optimization and replace that with data-backed decisions and, lo and behold, you’d be saying, “We know” instead of “we think” at your next business meeting. By letting the quantitative data take control, sign-ups, downloads, purchases, or whatever other goal you’re after — all of these metrics can be driven to get positive results.

A/B testing is pretty straight forward. You present your users with two choices — two versions of your web page, the A version (the control) and the B version (the variation). With live traffic to monitor, all you have to do is find out which version of your page performs better and reaches the goal that you set. For example, if you set out to increase your company’s annual revenue, your head of marketing will naturally tend to look at the checkout funnel to see the results of the optimization efforts. Now your company doesn’t have to fall back on “hunches” but work with user generated content to increase revenue, downloads, donations and valuable insight about your content.

When the testing starts, all the users are bucketed into the variation and divided equally between the two version; A and B. Imagine there are two web pages that a widget selling company owns. Both these pages have the same background colour but the “Buy” buttons on either are different — one is a darker blue and in the variation, it is red. The testing measures two things on each of these pages — the number of hits on the “Buy” button and the number of customers who landed on the confirmation page after the purchase, and juxtaposes these to obtain a comprehensive metric.

Suppose, the test results say that the page with the red button performed better, then the company can use this insight to improve conversions and ultimately stop making assumptions.

The Perks

Bottlenecks. Scratch that. Say hello to actionable data

If it is high time that your web page needed a face lift, there is no sound replacement for a technical entourage. But this is often hard to come by in most organizations. This is where an online A/B testing tool can come to the rescue and act as your on — demand technical team. The upshot — your creative changes become deploy-able codes in no time.

All your quirky new ideas — alive. Instantly.

With A/B testing, you get instant testing capability. No strings attached. Every new idea that you come by, can be live to your users within minutes.

Measurable, manageable metrics

Clicks, sign-ups, downloads or absolutely anything that matters to your business — you can keep a tab on. Measure anything and validate your variations.

You are the helmsman. You steer

From scheduling tests to allocating the variations to users, you have total power to control you tests. A/B testing is as kneadable as it can get.

Cash in now. Code later

With the multivariate tests you can run to check for winning variations, you can allocate all your users to these tweaked variations and make changes to your code later. No dawdle. Only replicable results. To take you testing to the next level — customize your codes to get a statistically significant difference in behaviour.

Are split testing and A/B testing two different things?

No. Split testing is synonymous with A/B testing. The beauty of it lies in converting seemingly subjective choices about web design into objective ones with the countless number of tests that can be run to improve a website metric such as clicks, form completions or purchases. These metrics either undermine or support a hypothesis. ROI (Return On Investment) too can be measured efficiently because of the quantifiable nature of the whole process. Nearly every element on a web page — pictures, videos, colours, calls to action, size of buttons, menus and visitor flow, can be split for testing.

Each click during a test is a data point from a potential customer. These metrics and stats are never usually mentioned in isolation, but are always followed by an insight. It is this insight that is leveraged to create a seamless experience for your customer. There is obviously no one-size-fits-all type of recipe to optimize your web page. But having fewer page elements, a focus on the calls to action (These tend to resonate differently with different customers) and testing changes that are consistent throughout the visitor flow works well for starters.

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