A/B Testing for Improving Websites
Are you happy with how many sales or leads you are getting from your website at the moment?
Want to increase the performance of your website, but not sure what to improve?
Well its very important that you understand the benefits and power of using A/B testing on your website!
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing is the comparison of two or more pages or variations on your website to find which one performs better for increasing one of your major goals (usually increasing sales, leads or click-through rate).
For example, testing one homepage (A) versus another homepage (B) to see which performs better for increasing click-through rate and sales.
As shown in the example below, homepage A would be the current version and homepage B would have proposed improvements, like better headline, imagery, benefits and call-to-action button.
What are the benefits of doing it?
Ultimately A/B testing enables you to quickly improve your website so that it converts a higher percentage of visitors into sales or leads (known as your conversion rate).
And the higher your conversion rate, the more revenue you make on your website, and the more profitable it is – everyone wants that, right?
Here are some of the other benefits of A/B testing:
- A/B testing takes out the guesswork of not knowing what changes will increase your conversion rates, and sales or leads.
- It allows you to measure the impact of changes on your website – without having to push new content live and hope it works.
- It allows you to make changes much quicker and easier – without risking launching content that doesn’t increase sales or leads.
What kind of results can you expect?
The results will vary depending on how good your A/B test ideas are, but here are some great examples of the results you can get:
- I’ve helped many clients get great results – one got over 20% increase in leads with just one A/B test.
- Even just a small 10% increase in conversion rate can result in $100s or $1,000s in increased sales.
- The sky is the limit – for example, GetResponse.com increased signups by 150% by doing A/B testing
How does A/B testing work?
A/B testing is performed on websites using an A/B testing tool to help you set up and run A/B tests.
This type of tool lets you test one or more new page versions against the current version (called the control).
In the example above, the tool would show 50% of visitors homepage A, and it would show homepage B to the other 50% of visitors.
It would then calculate which version, if any, results in significantly higher percentage of leads or sales (called conversion rate), and declare a winner if one is found (called a statistically significant winner).
Using an A/B testing tool you can test multiple pages against the control (not just one) or test specific page elements like headlines, images or buttons.
And you can do A/B testing on any page you want – for example your product pages, checkout flow or landing pages.
How to get started with it on your website?
- First you need an A/B testing tool, like Visual Website Optimizer or Optimizely (definitely check out this A/B testing tool comparison guide).
- Then you need testing insights and some good testing ideas (ideally gathered from your analytics and visitor feedback – not from your boss!)
- Then you need to start implementing test ideas on your website using the A/B testing tool chosen.
- Lastly, you need to analyze the results, and make improvements to tests to get even better results.
To ensure you get high-impact test ideas and best A/B testing results, consider my A/B testing services.
What are some of the best practices for A/B testing?
A/B testing can be hard to get good results, and you need to learn best practices to ensure you get better conversion rate increases (and more sales or leads). Here are some of them:
- Test your key pages first – like your homepage, top entry pages and your checkout or signup flow.
- Use your web analytics tool to find great insights and page ideas for testing.
- Get visitor feedback to create more high-impact test ideas (e.g. surveying and usability sessions).
- Test page elements that are above the page fold – these have a high impact on conversions.
- Testing headlines, imagery and buttons often result in higher impact than other page elements.
- Get expert ideas and perspective from conversion and A/B testing experts – don’t just guess!
To help you get started, grab the high-impact test ideas guide below for free.
Hi I'm Rich. I've improved many websites like Disney.com and wrote web optimization booksLearn how I can help you