3 steps involved in the enhancement of your A/B testing practices
An indubitable facet of any successful A/B testing is a meticulous approach to each potential A/B experiment. If you do not optimise, or even if you do to an extent, and you currently don’t A/B test, within a month of doing so you will see your PPC campaigns noticeably improve. If you are regularly expending funds on driving traffic to your landing pages or mobile application, then thoroughly A/B testing various aspects of your page will give you a clearer insight into your target visitor’s search behaviour, increase your conversion rate and maximise your ROI.
- What is A/B testing and why should I do it?
A/B testing is essentially a randomised experiment whereby you have two types of a website design – or component of website design, e.g. header font – labelled A & B, and a metric which gauges success. Subjecting both types to experimentation concurrently, i.e. dividing your traffic between both of them, you ascertain whether A or B yielded more fruitful results, and then dispense with the one which was worse.
Bear in mind, the more testing you conduct, the greater the validity of results, as you are able to see which components for your landing page or website yield the most successful results. Although A/B testing enables you to recognise that a variable is best presented in a certain way, you may not realise why A performed better than B. The point is, you ought to realise the majority of your tests will not provide conclusive results, rather they will inform you in the long term, so after you compare your entire selection of results, you will be able to make meaningful deductions.
Be patient, A/B testing does take time and energy, however it is a cost-effective way of increasing the effectiveness of your PPC campaign, and in this age of fierce online competition you would be foolish not to want to get any edge on your competitors available to you.
1) IDENTIFY YOUR INDIVIDUAL TESTING PRESSURE POINTS
A/B testing would be a lot quicker if you knew exactly what aspects of your website require alteration. As such, it is important to identify what I like to call ‘pressure points’ – key factors which adversely or favourably impact upon your conversion rate.
A good way of doing this is through the use of analytics to identify your top 5 high bouncing rate pages & top 5 abandonment points.
Generally, pages with a high bounce rate imply a page where visitors aren’t being successfully called to action, or they aren’t finding what they’re looking for. In situations such as this, it is advisable to tailor your page to your PPC campaign. So, if it’s a landing page, then you have the same content on it to the ad which led the visitor there in the first place.
This tracing of a visitor’s steps which led to his successful conversion, easily done using a ‘pathing report’ in your analytics, is a useful way of understanding why your visitor ended up converting, and potentially informing the way in which you tailor your campaign from that point on.
2) BEING AWARE OF YOUR VISITORS NEEDS
You ought to create a system, or a set of guidelines, to help you determine your visitors’ wants & needs.
Consider why they arrived at your website, why they did or did not convert, if they found what they’re looking for, and if they didn’t convert why not?
The concept of visitor intent has been at the forefront of Optimisers thoughts regarding A/B campaigns, and the general consensus is that if you can recognise what the majority of your visitors’ intent is, or what problem they face, then you can provide fitting solutions – rather than, seeking to generate interest in your product from scratch.
Measures such as engaging live with a customer on your website forum asking for feedback, liasing with your customer support team to determine what aspects of your website prospective visitors are having trouble with and including feedback forms for both visitors one step away from conversion and pages with high bounce rates, to assess which areas need improvement.
Remember, your website – especially your landing page – ought to call the visitor to action as successfully as possible. That involves meticulous research into average visitor habits, which in turn necessitates the use of A/B testing as it is the most through way of assessing the effect of one particular variable on your overall conversion rate.
3) CONDUCT BOTH SUBTLE AND AUDACIOUS TESTS
In order to ensure you’re A/B testing is yielding the most optimised results, you ought to combine both micro and macro tests.
A/B testing something as seemingly trivial as a header or the font size of sub-headings is undoubtedly useful in a number of ways. Notably, it breeds confidence as if, at the beginning of your optimisation strategy, you see that altering such a small facet of your website can noticeably improve your conversion rate, it will spur you onwards in you’re A/B testing.
A/B testing, as mentioned previously, is time consuming and as such, you will eventually need to make substantial, audacious alterations in order to detect a meaningful change. Trial and error underpins A/B testing, and unless you are display a combination of patience and fearlessness, you’re A/B testing will not yield your desired rewards.
An example of audacious A/B testing could be a comprehensive re-design of your website, bar a couple of solid aspects. In doing this, you will be able to deduce greater amounts about the manner in which your visitors’ seek to purchase products online, whilst further demystifying the optimal route to attain a maximum ROI.
Optimisation is a continuous process; you are always seeking to improve on your previous achievements, as there is no limit to the amount of traffic you can direct.
A/B testing is a core component of a successful optimisation strategy, and the identification of a winning variation, that is one with 95% statistical significance and 80% statistical power, will certainly positively impact upon your ROI.
Best of luck and onwards to exponential improvement in results!