How A/B Testing Can Transform Your Website
Running a business can be hard, especially if you’re not getting the sales you expect.
As a business, you should always be looking at ways you can improve your conversions rates and sales. If you didn’t know already, the best way is by changing aspects of your website to see how they affect your sales metrics. But how can you tell when a change has improved sales or decreased them? With an A/B test of course!
A/B testing is great for running experiments on your website to see how little changes can have a huge impact. You might not think about it, but often the colour, font and text size of a website can significantly influence your buying decision. To see which works best for your site and your visitors, you need to find out by running an A/B test.
Here’s how A/B testing can dramatically improve your website’s conversions and how you can run an A/B test on your own website.
What Exactly is A/B Testing?
A/B testing is the process of testing 2 different variations of a web page simultaneously to find out which performs better. Not only does this help you find ways to improve your sales metrics, but it also helps you quantify changes on your website.
If you think a blue button performs better than a red button, then settle it with hard data from an A/B test. The numbers never lie. Not only that, but it also makes it easier to show your results and findings to other colleagues.
By keeping track of the changes on your website and seeing how they affect your sales metrics, you can slowly but surely improve your website. Like any business out there, you want the highest conversions rate you can possibly get. A/B testing allows you to squeeze every penny out of your customers without affecting your sales.
If you run enough A/B tests over a given period, then eventually you’ll have a turbocharged website that converts like crazy. Every business’s dream right? Well, with the right changes to your website, it doesn’t have to be a dream.
So how does an A/B test work? How can people view different versions of your website at the same time?
How an A/B Test Works
An A/B test works by randomly displaying one of the two pages to users that enter your website. If 100 people visit your website in a day, then around 50 will see variation A and 50 will see variation B. Each page will then have its own metrics that you can compare against each other. These will be important site metrics such as bounce rate, time spent on page and conversion rate.
Once you’ve had the test running for a number of days or weeks, you’ll eventually have enough data to make a decision. Either variation A or B will outperform the other, and you’ll be left with a winner. This winning variation will now become the permanent version for that page.
Once you’re satisfied with the results and have made the change, you can begin the process all over again. Maybe last time you changed the headline to see if it improved conversions, next time you could try changing the colours or font. Basically the limit is your imagination. But to help you think up some ideas, we’ve put together a list of the most common changes for A/B tests.
What Changes Can You Test?
When it comes to A/B testing, there are many on page elements you can change and test such as:
- Colours of pages
- Call to actions
- Content and copy
- Layout / design of the page
- Number of testimonials and location
- Above / below the fold content
Always remember that when running an A/B test, you can only change 1 element. More than 1 and you won’t be able to pinpoint which change made the difference. Now that you’ve got some ideas on what to change during your tests, how exactly do you run an A/B test?
How to Run a Test Using Optimizely
Optimizely is a great piece of software that allows you to run multiple A/B tests on your website at once. The software currently supports numerous platforms including WordPress and any custom back-end. Also included with the software is an analytical suite that allows you to examine your statistics and data without having to use anything else. As you can see, it’s an all in one package for A/B testing.
Although the software is not free and requires a paid subscription, you can get yourself a free 30-day free trial to see if it’s for you.
To install Optimizely on your WordPress website, first download and install the Optimizely WordPress plugin. If you’re not using WordPress, then you’ll have to read how to set it up on your website on the official Optimizely site.
Once installed and integrated into your website, simply follow the on-screen instructions to run your first campaign. This can be anything from changing the titles and headlines to pictures or button colours.
For a detailed guide on how to run your first A/B testing using Optimizely, head on over to their knowledge base section for plenty of tutorials and walkthroughs. By following the guides available on there, you’ll have your A/B tests set up in a matter minutes. Now sit back, and wait for your visitors to decide which variation is the best.
Embrace the Power of A/B Testing
As you can see, A/B testing is a valuable tool to have in your marketing toolbox.
Now you know what A/B testing is and how it can significantly benefit your website, it’s time to put the theory into practice.
If you need help setting up your A/B tests, or are looking to outsource your digital marketing team, then we can help. Here at Purplebox Digital, we have plenty of experience in conversion rate optimisation and improving sales figures for clients. To see how we can help optimise your website and boost your sales, contact us today for a consultation.