The amount of traffic your site receives equals the number of opportunities you have to expand your business by acquiring new clients and build new relationships by serving the existing clientele. It is your conversion funnel that translates if your website gets good traffic that leads to a good amount of visitors. Here conversion means that a client visits any site and then takes action on that website, consequently, the rate at which a website can drive this is referred to as conversion rate. A more optimized funnel implies higher chances of conversion and that is the reason businesses want more traffic on their sites.
A/B testing is one of many ways to optimize your website’s funnel. It is also called split testing as it involves showing 2 variants of the same web page to a different chunk of visitors at the same time. Then comparing which one of the variants drives more conversions. The one that gives higher conversions is then called the winning variant, which can be applied to optimize your site for better results.
The basis of conversions or metrics varies depending on your site. For an online business, it will mean the sale of products, for a B2B it may be generation of qualified leads. A/B testing comes under the umbrella of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), which is a method of gathering quantitative and qualitative user insights. These insights can be used to understand what potential customers need and what can be done to optimize your conversion funnel based on that acquired data.
Why should A/B testing be done?
Different sites can have different reasons for opting A/B testing. For instance, an e-commerce site may have a high cart abandonment rate, a B2B business may be loaded with unqualified leads or a media house may have a low viewer engagement. All these problems affect the core conversion metrics and can be due to leaks in conversion funnel, drop-offs on the payment page, etc.
Enlisted below are some of the problems that A/B testing can help solve.
- Solve visitor pain points: Using this technique, data can be collected based on visitor behavior and analyzed to target visitor pain points.
- Get better ROI from existing traffic: A/B testing can help you achieve high ROI as sometimes minor tweaks can have a big impact on conversion rates and traffic on the site. It helps you maximize your current traffic without having to spend on acquiring new traffic.
- Make low-risk modifications: You can make minor low budget changes on your web page using A/B testing. This helps to reduce the risk of losing the current conversion rate and targets your resources to maximize output.
Benefits of A/B testing:
- Increased Website Traffic: Testing different titles can affect the number of views on a hyperlinked title. This results in more traffic.
- Higher Conversion Rate: Experimenting with different locations, colors or anchor text on your CTAs can help to change the amount of traffic your site gets. This, in turn, can increase the number of people who fill out your forms or surveys and thus a convert changes to a lead.
- Lower Bounce Rate: If your visitors abandon the page soon after you can try experimenting with a different blog post intro, feature images or fonts. This can also help in retaining visitors.
- Lower Cart Abandonment: According to MigtyCall about 40-75% customers leave their shopping carts before checkout. This problem can be avoided by attempting to change product photos, checkout page designs and even the spaces where shipping costs are mentioned can have an effect on this problem.
How does it work?
A/B testing is a very systematic method of finding out what works and what does not in any given marketing campaign. It ensures that you are able to offer the best experience to your customers so that they are able to achieve their goals while they are able to convert in the fastest and most efficient way. A structured A/B testing program can pinpoint the most crucial areas that need optimization to make your marketing efforts more profitable. The testing includes the following steps:
- Research: Before you begin, you need to have thorough research on how the website is performing. Data will be collected on every aspect of the site like the number of users, conversion goal, etc. Tools like Omniture, Mixpanel and Google Analytics can help with this. Heatmap can be used to identify the problem areas of your sites. Data on both qualitative and quantitative aspects will help in the next step
- Observation and Hypotheses formulation: Log different research observations and create data-backed hypotheses that aim at increasing the conversion rates and help you target your business goals. The data collected in the previous step needs to be analyzed now. Once you have the hypotheses ready, test it on parameters like how much confidence you have of it winning, its impact on macro goals, etc.
- Variation Creation: The next step is to create a variation based on your hypothesis and test it against the existing version that will serve as the control. Here the variation means another version of your site that incorporates the changes or improvements you identified. You can compare multiple variations against the control to choose the best.
- Testing: Then comes the testing method application. You can use the HubSpot software that lets you test emails, calls to action and landing pages. For non-users, Google Analytics can be used. It is important to test both variations simultaneously or you may be left to second-guessing the whole process. You want to make sure that the tests run for a good amount of time so that it is easy to tell significant differences between the two variants.
- Feedback: Get real-time feedback from users on both variations through a survey or poll. This will help you decide and understand the choices as well.
- Action: Once you have your results, take action on those results and develop a better variation to optimize your traffic.