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A/B Testing Your Website: What, Why & How to Do A/B Testing

Introduction

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing is a process through which two web pages, mobile app pages, emails, or another means of interacting with clients are displayed to two different sets of users. Each set will be shown one of the two web pages and metrics such as conversion rate are measured for each of the unique displays.

Why conduct an A/B test for your Website?

The main aim of an A/B test is to simply measure the performance of a design and determine whether or not it should be adopted as the default way through which your website or email is presented to your customers. Performance however is a wide concept and what to measure depends on your performance metrics of interest. It is important to measure some of these performance metrics as they have proven to reveal insight that greatly benefits many organizations. The metrics measured may include bounce rate, traffic, clicks, and conversion as well as load times among other performance metrics. Here is a detailed look at some of the most common performance metrics measures:

  • Bounce rate: This is a measure of the number of visitors that navigate away from a website after viewing a single page. This may arise due to various reasons such as complex UI that is difficult to navigate through.
  • Traffic: This can be generally defined as the number of users that visit a particular website. Traffic be affected by several factors but the design could most definitely be one of them. Websites with too many ads placed in the wrong areas are usually disliked by most website visitors.
  • Clicks: This could refer to the number of times an ad is clicked or a product is viewed.
  • Conversion rate: This is considered as the number of users that perform the desired action, such as purchasing an item on an e-commerce store or visiting a website through a link sent via email.
  • Load time: The time it takes for a webpage to show up on the visitor’s screen upon request.

The above are some performance metrics that could be measured by A/B testing. Let us take a look at some of the advantages of performing the test.

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Benefits of A/B testing:

After identifying some performance metrics, here are some benefits upon analysis:

  1. Reducing bounce rates. A/B testing could help identify whether bounce rates are a result of poor design among other factors.
  2. Increasing conversion rates can be achieved by simply prioritizing the ‘right content’ to display to your users. The ‘right content’ can be determined through A/B testing.
  3. A/B testing enables you to improve your content as it makes it much easier to identify the type, structure, and design of content that is more appealing to your site visitors.
  4. Guide decision-making. A/B testing can help guide your design choices such as where to place ads, color themes, layout among other choices you need to make.
  5. A/B testing can also help identify areas that may need improvement.
  6. Identify any effects of the changes made. A/B testing can be used to efficiently determine whether updates to your website have affected any metrics.

How to Do A/B testing for your website?

Just as the process of Hypothesis testing begins with a claim, so can A/B testing. A claim is a statement that is believed to be true but is still subject to verification.  Before conducting an A/B test, such as the claim could be “This layout is more appealing than the other.” An A/B test could also begin with a question such as “Which design should we use?” Finally, it could also be initiated without having a specific query but to identify changes in some of the performance metrics described earlier. The only requirement despite whatever motivation is behind carrying out the A/B test is two distinct web pages, design, layout, or any other unique property that can distinguish the two.

  • Identify the variables: Variables in this context are the distinguishing features being compared against each other on the two web pages. This could be the content length, webpage layout, design, color scheme.
  • Determine metrics to assess: The next step is to decide what you want to improve. Performance metrics such as bounce rates and conversion.
  • Get data on the current state of affairs: This means that you should try and identify the state of the metrics you want to analyze. Determine your current traffic, clicks, and conversions. All this can be done with tools such as Google analytics. Data on conversion in the case of e-commerce could be obtained from your database records.
  • Determine the page to perform the test on This is commonly the landing page, which is the first mode of interaction your users experience with your brand.
  • Create a different version of the variable you want to test: Once you have identified a variable that you may want to alter, implement the new design or version of that variable. Such a variable could be a button, content layout, or content length. Usually, this variable is believed to have an impact on the performance metric being tested. For example, the content length of a blog can sometimes be linked to the bounce rate.
  • Determine the tools you will need to perform the A/B test: This depends on the type of A/B testing you need to perform. For website landing pages you can use popular tools such as Smartlook, Crazyegg, and Google Analytics.
  • After acquiring data on the performance metric of the second page, perform the analysis: Compare the performance metrics for the second test to the first, and determine which design is the most suitable to implement.
  • When to stop performing the tests: If your sample size is large enough sample size, in this case, refers to traffic, a few tests should be suitable to get decently accurate data.

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Where to start?

If you have a small company or lack a technical team, you could find a Web Development Company in Dallas or any other locality. Several Dallas Web development companies could carry out the test for you and can be selected depending on your company’s preference.

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