What is A/B testing?
A/B testing is a popular statistical test that uses two or more set of hypothesis in an experiment. In simpler terms, A/B testing is a simple method of comparing two versions of, let us say, a web page and evaluating which of them performs better. A/B testing is also sometimes called as split testing.
To further answer this fundamental question let us take an example.
If you take two versions of a page, let us say A and B. You then show both the variants to visitors visiting your page at the very same time. Then you evaluate your data on the basis of conversion rate. The conversion rate is the action that helps you meet your goal. Here the goal can be whether it is making a purchase, or signing up to your services or even visiting your website. The option which registers the better rate of conversion can be selected. This in turn helps improve and optimize the conversion rate.
What can be tested under A/B testing?
A/B testing is popularly used to test web pages. Moreover, blogs, email campaigns, website designs and certain design elements belonging to a website can also be tested using A/B testing.
Let us understand with the aid of an example:
You are an e-commerce firm. You have designed a marketing strategy for a special offer sale of your products. You have designed an email campaign to target a set of prospective customers who have visited your website, signed up, browsed through your product catalogue but have not made a purchase yet. You target these prospective set of customers, with an emailer asking them to visit your website with a discount code. Now, you need to decide which emailer will appeal to the prospective customer to hit the call to action button so that they are directed to your website. A call-to-action is prompt to the viewer that makes him/her take action.
Here A/B testing comes into play. What you can do is create two set of emailers. Let us say, you create one emailer with the call to action button displaying ‘Buy Now’ and the other emailer with the call to action button displaying ‘I want this’. You then divide your prospective customer set into two parts, where each set received one of the two variants of emailers. Once the emailers have been sent across and the prospective set of customers respond, you will be able to track conversion. Here you can track which of the two set of emails compelled the prospective set of customers to reach the end goal of your test – successfully making a purchase of your product(s) on your website.
With this information in hand, using A/B testing you are now equipped to design emailers keeping in mind the design of the emailer that had the higher conversion rate. So by using A/B testing in this case, you now know what works and what does not work.
Why is A/B testing important?
A/B testing helps to validate your marketing strategy and business ideas before you fully deploy them.
If you are a have website for your small scale business or run an ecommerce venture A/B testing will help you streamline your marketing strategy. The primary aim for any small scale business or run an ecommerce venture would be the sale of your products and services,
The key benefits of A/B Testing:
It is measurable
It is straightforward
It is conclusive
Is A/B testing necessary for blogs?
The primary aim for any blog is to drive traffic. And thereby increasing the reach of the blog which ultimately increases the readership. An enhanced reach and readership can also increase the number of sign ups and subscriptions to the blog. Hence, it is necessary to conduct A/B Testing for blogs.
How is A/B Testing beneficial to my blog?
Here is a list of tests that can be done using A/B testing on your blog:
- Using A/B testing you can try using different variations of headlines and evaluate which one is more effective.
- Test blog posts with images and without images using A/B testing.
- You can also try using different images to check on the engagement each one is capable to generate.
- The blog layout can also be tested using A/B testing for ease in navigation, readability and faster loading time. This is an important feature to test since user content is consumed on mobile websites as well, the loading time of the page is critical.
- Use A/B testing to determine which style of writing generates the best response from your audience.
- A/B testing can be also used to test tabs used in blogs.
Overall this form of testing will help in driving traffic to your blog posts and content of your website.
Before you begin:
Things to keep in mind before you start using A/B testing methodology for your blog or website.
- A/B testing is not just an overnight process.
An A/B Test is required to run for a long time; long enough to get adequate visitors. Moreover, one must keep in check the visitors represent the regular behaviour of those who visit your website regardless of time and business cycles. So a test that runs about four weeks or so with minimum 100 conversions on each variant can be conclusive and may be close to accurate.
- A/B Testing is not “one-size-fits-all”
We may come across a dozen of case studies on A/B Testing that throw actionable insights. However, do not be tempted to think what worked for them will work for you. For example, if changing the colour of the call to action button to green works for one brand’s website, may not necessarily work for your website. So do not copy A/B tests blindly and tread carefully. Remember, your business is unique and your tests should be unique as well.
Now, with this gamut of information on hand, are you ready to use A/B testing? Share your experience with us.