The A/B Testing Guide: What to Test For

You might have already heard of A/B testing from various marketing blogs and commerce sites. If you haven’t looked more into it and tried it out for your own website, then it’s high time for you to give it a shot so you can start increasing your conversion rate and begin getting more sales.

A/B testing, also known as multivariate testing, isn’t a new technique. Rather, it’s been around for several years now and is used by a lot of online retailers and big sites to optimize their design and make better use of the traffic that comes their way.

What is A/B Testing?

First and foremost, A/B testing is defined as a technique to determine the better option between choices A and B. Often, only one element is tested at a time. However, some people choose to test a number of elements per test in order to reduce the amount of time required to conduct the tests and implement a site design that’s optimized for conversions sooner.

If you’re in no hurry, then it might be a good idea to follow the ideal and go for one element at a time. This way, you will be able to pinpoint the exact reason for the results that you will be able to obtain from your tests.



Who’s Using A/B Testing?

Some of the big sites that use A/B testing include retailing giant Amazon, online auction site eBay, and the web’s largest search engine, Google. Other sites include the BBC, Netflix, Microsoft, and Zynga. As you can see from this list, the usage of A/B testing isn’t limited to online retailers. It actually includes corporate sites, blogs, and news sites as well.

Why Use A/B Testing?

Most people use A/B testing for two primary reasons: to boost sales and increase conversion rates, and to build user profiles so they can understand their site visitors better. All of these are in tune with building an optimized site so that it can better serve its purpose, whether it’s to make more profits, increase your reach and audience, or spread your cause or advocacy to a wider audience.

Unlike other testing methods, A/B testing is relatively simple and can be implemented without the use of highly complicated coding or programming.


What to Test For: Websites

It’s important to recognize and pick out which elements that you’d like to conduct a test on. Rather than picking random elements from your site, it would be better to take a more systematic approach and make a list of all the elements that you can test. You can consider the content in each part of your website, like from the header, main body, and the footer. Then you can go into the specifics and prepare the different versions for testing, like the images to use for the banner ad, the font size and face to use for your main content, and so on and so forth.

Don’t be limited when it comes to choosing what elements to test out. You can make the process go more smoothly by ranking each element according to priority after you come up with the list.

What to Test For: Email Copies

A/B testing is also commonly used by marketers for the email newsletters and related mailings. Although there are fewer elements to test out, marketers can continue to conduct test cycles even after they have tested each element to cater to the evolving preferences of their target market. Some elements that marketers can test out include the text content, introduction, use of banners or images in the email copy, and the call to action.

Author Bio: Tech writer EJ Parfitt has been writing for a short time now and has already picked up steam with several tech and sports sites. During his free time , you’re sure to catch him competing in local chess tournaments in downtown Fort Lauderdale, FL.


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