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What is A/B Testing and How It Can Grow Your Online Business

Gone are the days when marketing experts used to rely on their intuition and guesswork to generate desirable outcomes. We live in a data-driven world, where everything relies heavily on data analytics, from our decisions to marketing strategies. 

One of the most sought-after tools to make informed decisions in an online marketing setting is A/B testing. This blog will explain what A/B testing is, how to conduct it, and how it can help you grow your business online.

What is A/B Testing?

a/b testing tools

A/B testing, also called split testing, is a systematic method of comparing two different versions of a variable (website, webpage, apps, element, etc.) to decide which one generates a more remarkable result and drives better business metrics. 

In easy words, A/B testing tools compare two different categories of something to identify which one performs better. This approach is mainly associated with websites and software applications. 

Latest layouts, marketing strategies, and visual designs aren’t always paving your way to success. To get the most from your website, it’s better to perform A/B testing now and then. 

When to Do A/B Testing?

No matter your industry or company size, anyone can use A/B testing tools to understand their audience better and make adjustments and improvements more efficiently. 

Testing your online profile, website, or social media platform is key to improving your business. The online presence of a company has to be optimized regularly to make more data-driven meaningful decisions. So, anytime is the best time to use A/B testing tools. 

The sales and engagement on your website determine the success of your business. Therefore, each content piece that goes onto your website plays a remarkable role in providing value to your audience, making A/B testing a vital marketing method to execute. 

Here is the list of content that needs to be A/B tested: 

  • Webpages (landing pages, structure, CTA, etc.)  
  • Email and newsletters 
  • Social media posts 
  • Navigation
  • Online ads and campaigns 
  • Blogs titles

You can also use A/B testing tools to evaluate the ideal content length. In conclusion, you can split test anything your targeted audience interacts with from your business. The more you use A/B testing tools, the better insights you will have to make better business future decisions. 

 

Also read: What to Test to Quality Assure Your Shopify Store?

Reasons to Use A/B Testing Tools 

 

 

Over the past few years, businesses have discovered that online data is crucial for decision-making. Be it a product, service, or online content, an ecommerce business is all about providing value to your customers. Yet, analyzing the value of your marketing efforts can be a significant challenge. 

A/B testing can be a great tool to reduce potential risks from happening. In addition, it allows you to target your resources and marketing campaigns to the audience, most likely to deliver maximum sales profit and ROI.

However, with the help of A/B testing tools, you can store, analyze data, and execute actionable insights. Here is why your business needs to use A/B testing tools:

1. Better User Engagement 

A/B testing is a holistic approach to improving the quality of content on your website. A/B testing aims to improve and adjust the content on your site for better user traffic and engagement. 

For example, you can test the color of a layout on your webpage or mobile application and analyze which color has greater impact and leads to more engagement. With the help of A/B testing tools, you can understand and see which one is performing better and keep it in your process. 

2. Reduced Bounce Rates

Investing your resources, time, and energy in building pages for your website only to end up with a poor bounce rate can be discouraging. There can be various reasons why the website has a high bounce rate, such as poor layout, mismatched color coordination, complex interface, and much more. 

Using A/B testing tools, you get the metrics that guide you on how to optimize your site. These metrics help you highlight the high engagement areas and address the bounce rate pages so you can make improvements to them. Testing methods can reduce the bounce rate and increase the attention span of the targeted audience. 

3. Ease of Analysis 

The best outcome of A/B testing is that it allows businesses to analyze real-time and accurate data results. When A/B testing tools interpret the data, it’s easy to decide the ‘winner’ and ‘loser’ based on simple metrics. 

4. Higher Conversion Rates 

With the A/B testing tools, a business learns what content (e.g., blogs, guides, newsletters, etc.) is most likely to increase traffic. A/B testing is an effective marketing tactic to determine what your business’s target audience prefers and expects. 

You can test out different elements, and user experience approaches through A/B testing tools to summarize what’s better. For example, the A/B testing may change the phrase of the “Contact us” button from “Contact Us” to “Contact Us Now!” and then give you a comparison overview of which one leads to more clicks and visitor traffic. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Conduct A/B Testing

 

 

A/B testing tools are trickier to handle. One way to make sure they’re executed successfully is to modify only one element of each variable from the test. For example, you can use a different headline and URL but upload the same image. To determine which changes are best to be kept, try to test one element at a time. 

To perform A/B testing, follow these steps: 

Step # 01: Define Your Testing Goal

Like every marketing strategy, A/B testing should also be conducted with well-defined goals. You need to have an end goal and a metric to determine the outcome of your test. It will help you choose which variable can contribute to growing your business online.

Your testing goal can be anything. For example, there could be several conversion rates against the income course of your business. 

Step # 02: Segment Your Audience 

No one controls who sees their online content and who doesn’t. However, you can easily manage and segment your audience with content like CTAs, products, and emails. The A/B testing tools utilize automation software that splits traffic for two different versions. 

Step # 03: Decide the Time Frame

The time duration you decide for how long to run a particular A/B test depends on the level of traffic your website or advertisement gets. The ideal timeframe for one A/B test is one to two weeks. 

Step # 04: Measure Your Results 

There are many ways to evaluate how specific content on your website performs. For instance, click rate, engagement, bounce rate, visit time, and conversion rate are some standard metrics. All you have to do is choose two metrics that complement best with your main objective and analyze which element performs better. 

Types of A/B Testing for Different Purposes 

The priority of every online business should be delivering a better user experience. In this section, we will explore three types of A/B testing tools. They are: 

 

 

1. Split URL Testing 

It’s common for people to confuse the Split URL testing with the A/B testing. However, both aren’t the same. The main focus of split URL testing is to optimize your website by testing its different variations hosted on multiple URLs. 

The A/B testing is performed to address the front-end changes of your website. On the contrary, split URL testing is used to make remarkable changes and adjustments to your existing webpage. 

By performing split URL testing, you get an opportunity to: 

  • Create and test multiple variables of your site on different URLs 
  • Analyze different methods and changes such as redesign, template, and layout of your website 
  • Comparison of two web pages hosted on different URL

 

2. Multivariate Testing 

Multivariate testing (MVT) is a systematic experiment that tests variations of multiple pages to determine which variable combinations perform best out of these arrangements. It’s a complex testing strategy commonly used in advanced marketing, website structure, and product development. Multivariate testing can also be used to test out PPC ads.

Here are some benefits of doing multivariate testing: 

  • First, it allows you to predict the expectation and preferences of customers through behavior analysis. 
  • The metrics from multivariate testing help you utilize and channel poor-performing areas by making necessary improvements. 
  • Unliked A/B testing, multivariate testing allows you to test out different and multiple combinations of elements to have an overall result. 

 

3. Multi-page Testing 

As the name implies, multi-page testing allows you to test out a particular element across different web pages. The benefit of multi-page testing are: 

  • Enables you to deliver a consistent user experience 
  • Allows you to implement similar changes on multiple pages 

There are two approaches to performing multi-page testing:

Funnel Multipage Testing 

In this multi-page testing, you can combine all the web pages of your sales funnel and develop a varying version of each to test them. 

Classic Multi-Page Testing 

You can test how the addition or elimination of a particular element, such as the CTA button, testimonials, customer service chat, etc., can influence the conversion rate across the entire sales funnel 

Mistakes to Avoid in A/B Testing 

 

 

A/B testing is one of the most powerful and effective marketing tactics to boost the conversion rate of online businesses. However, some common mistakes can often be neglected that can hinder the effectiveness of A/B testing. To have your conversion rates skyrocket, avoid the mentioned-below mistakes: 

Split Testing the Wrong Page

The common mistake every marketer makes is using the A/B testing tools to test the wrong web pages. You invest your resources, time, and effort in A/B testing; make sure you have selected the web page that is most likely to make a remarkable contribution to your conversion rate. The ideal web pages to optimize are: 

  • Home page 
  • Blog page
  • About page
  • Contact page 
  • Product page 

Testing for Wrong Time Duration 

Every A/B test runs for a specific time to gain statistical significance and objective. If your trial has run out for far too long or you called it off earlier, it can result in inaccurate data and poor results. Therefore, it’s essential to set up a time duration that allows your test to run depending on key factors such as existing traffic and engagement to expected traffic and engagement. 

Split Testing Multiple Elements 

While split testing multiple elements all at once might save your time and resources, they may generate wrong insights for your business. Split testing multiple elements refers to testing one item of a web page against a different version of a similar item. 

Using Wrong Traffic 

To generate accurate results from your A/B testing, getting the right traffic is important. In easier words, you have to test your marketing campaigns with optimal people to gain valuable outcomes. 

You can easily complete the split test quickly if you have increased traffic on your site due to sales. However, if there is inconsistent traffic, it might take more time.

So, it’s crucial to split your audience in the right amount. Using an automatic split traffic tool is better to avoid getting incorrect results. 

Invalid Hypothesis 

The hypothesis formulates the stepping stone of A/B testing. If your marketing team has curated invalid or insufficient theory that lacks credible data and information, your whole A/B testing process will likely fall. Ensure you have addressed the necessary aspects, including; what needs to be changed, why it should change, the expected result, etc. 

Changing Parameters Mid-Test 

Another biggest blunder you can make in A/B testing is changing its setup during the process. For example, you might have decided to increase web traffic or alter your split testing objectives. Whatever the reason, if you want to adjust or change something in the A/B testing, it’s best to restart it from scratch. 

Final Thoughts

A/B testing tools are powerful optimization tactics to improve the user experience. Gaining valuable insights about user preferences and altering your business to customer feedback is like a walk-on-ice yet robust management tool. From product development to web UI designs, you can test any element of your online business through A/B testing. 

With little dedication and knowledge of A/B testing, you can mitigate many potential risks from your online business. In addition, the insights and data generated by A/B testing contribute to your business’s long-term success. 

 

Also read: 10 Must-Haves to Create a Winning User Flow on a Website. A Checklist You Want to Bookmark