What is A/B testing? In short, it’s a controlled sample VS another controlled sample with a single variation, which is then shown to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of times depending on how much traffic your website receives. A/B testing allows you to test changes in order to increase sales, decrease bounce rate, and a variety of other options depending on your needs. Although less accurate, A/B testing can even be done on websites with a small amount of traffic.
In the past a programmer would be required to make extensive programming changes in order to A/B test, a process which is both time consuming and costly. Nowadays, using tools like Visual Website Optimizer, A/B testing can be performed on websites quickly, easily, and without any technical knowledge. If you can turn your computer on, you can probably A/B test!
An A/B test can be as simple as changing the font size on a button for 50% of your visitors or as complex as rearranging your entire site; for just a few hours, or as long as you’d like. Let the numbers speak for themselves and guide your website to profitability and success.
You might not realize it, but as humans, we A/B test every day. Think about your last trip to the car dealership, you knew which car you wanted, but which model did you actually drive home with? You wanted black but only the dark blue version had a sun roof. Your wife insisted on tan leather but that version doesn’t come with the wood grain option. You can’t live without 18 inch rims or a navigation system, but you can’t find a car that has both.
Here are 15 questions you should ask when A/B testing a website:
With thousands to choose from, which size and font combination is right for your website?
How are people responding to the colors you have presented for them? Are they bouncing right off the page or do they stick around to see what you have to offer?
Are you using the right images that represent your website? Are they the right size and placed in the best spot possible?
Do your users even watch the video you placed on the home page? What if you placed it on a different page of your website?
Are your forms too complicated spread out over too many pages?
Do your visitors even want to use your menus at all?
7. Placement of Bars:
Are you trying to fit in too much in one spot?
8. Sign up Process:
How easy is your sign up process? Sometimes asking users to sign up right on the landing page scares them away.
How long have you been using your current header? Maybe it is time to show 50% of your new visitors a different header and see how they react to it.
Do you have any at all, or too many? Where do they lead to.
Are your users coming to your website from e-mails or do they ignore them?
12. Submit Button:
Is your submit button attractive and stand out? Or does it blend right in with the rest of your site?
13. Price Points:
Do you show your pricing on the homepage or make the visitor sign up first?
14. Opening Paragraphs:
You usually only get one chance with visitors. Does your opening paragraph impress them enough to stay on your site?
15. Removing the Unnecessary:
There are times when something you personally liked was actually deterring your users. You won’t know until you try removing it.
There is no correct answer to any of these questions I have asked above. The best answer I can provide is A/B testing, which will use data tested over hundreds or thousands of users to provide you with the best finished product. The data from your A/B test will help you make a more informed decision regarding almost any aspect of your website based on your goals. Proper A/B tests will help you find flaws in your website you never knew existed.
I hope while reading this article you have already come up with a dozen possible A/B tests you can begin working on today.