Your website is basically your company’s digital headquarters, responsible for reflecting your brand image, offering the right resources to buyers, and ultimately converting them into customers. But for many companies, their website UX is kind of a guess. Some internal folks liked how it looked and thought the copy was good, so it’s now live – for better or worse. This is where A/B testing comes in. Instead of taking a shot in the dark with something as important as your website, you can turn to concrete data and know for sure what works and what doesn’t. Here are some answers to FAQs about how to optimize website performance using A/B testing.
What is A/B Testing?
First things first: A/B testing is essentially creating two versions of the same thing and then testing which performs better. For example, which homepage design resulted in visitors staying on the page longer? Which version of the CTA copy got more clicks?
Why Should I A/B Test My Site?
A/B testing is incredibly useful because it empowers you to know what your website visitors actually like so you can get better results. It’s also easy to do, and either no-cost or low-cost, depending on how you go about it.
How Do I Start?
While you can A/B test pretty much anything, (e.g. ads, emails, etc.), we’re talking about your website so let’s start there. One of the best places on your site to tackle right away is your homepage since it’s where the bulk of your site visitors will land first.
So, go to your website. Ask yourself what your goal is on the home page. Is it to increase conversions? If so, how do you define conversions? Maybe it’s the number of people who click on your “request a quote” button or it could be the number of people who download your pricing guide. Whatever you consider a conversion is fine, as long as your team is united in this definition.
Once you know your goal and how you define it, come up with a hypothesis. Perhaps Hypothesis A is that you will get more conversions if your homepage has a video playing on it, while Hypothesis B is that you’ll get more conversions if it has a static image instead. You now have your “A” and “B” scenarios figured out, so you then need to test them with a significant sample size to see which wins this battle.
What Tools Should I Use?
As with everything in marketing, there are absolutely tools you can use to make A/B testing even easier – and there are a lot of them. To help you cull through the noise, here are two we happen to fancy:
- Google Optimize helps you “create personalized experiences and run website tests — for free.” It’s also intuitive and user-friendly for even the most novice among you.
- Optimizely is an advanced solution with two different products that encompass A/B testing and much more. You can choose from several paid plans, and scale as needed. We recommend its robust capabilities for more sophisticated marketers and larger companies.
How Do I Continue To Improve?
By continuing to test! Once you A/B test a certain area of your site and make changes according to the results, keep going. A/B test another area, and another until you feel confident your entire site is optimized. Even then, plan to regularly conduct A/B testing since your audience is sure to evolve over time, as will the world around them and other factors that influence buying. Change is always a constant in marketing (and life), and testing will help you perform at your best amid the ebbs and flows.
Still have questions, or are you interested in working with a partner who can help you figure out what and how to test? Contact us!