A/B testing or split testing is testing two variants of a web page for their functionality, content, or design to determine the more successful one with your website visitors. It involves showing the two variants to different site visitors and finding the one that drives more conversions.
For instance, for testing two different layouts for the same blog to know which one gets the higher number of reads. Or testing which color of Call- to- Action (CTA) button brings more subscriptions. Or for moving navigation elements around to see which alteration generates more sales.
What Can Be A/B Tested?
You can A/B test those website elements that can influence your customer behavior and conversion rate. For your website conversion, the funnel has a great impact on the success of your business. So, here is a list of the various elements that can be A/B tested.
- Landing pages
- Body copy
- Headline effectiveness
- Navigation organization
- Page layouts
- Subject line effectiveness
- Different offers/promotions
- The visual styling of a page
- Product imagery
- Product descriptions
- Content depth
- Website photography
- CTA copy and design
- Social proof
- New pricing strategy
- Media mentions
- And many more.
How to Enhance Customer Experience through A/B Testing?
Customer experience is the ultimate factor that influences sales and keeps your business going. A recent study by Forrester Consulting has reported that experience-led businesses have 1.7x higher customer retention rates, 1.6x higher brand awareness, 1.6x higher customer satisfaction rates, and 1.9x higher order values. So, businesses can no longer afford to overlook customer experience.
Here are some ways to enhance your customer experience through A/B testing.
Creating that first impression
The first impression is the best. Online businesses make their first impression with the first experience they give each customer. You can use A/B testing to know whether the first experience you are delivering is right.
For instance, if you are launching a lead generation form, you may conduct A/B testing experiments to understand users’ first experience with it. Whether they are happy to part with only their email id or some more information whether they would do it for free or only if you offer an incentive. And what kind of color, text, etc. work well to get them to click the CTA button.
For instance, Unbounce, a leading landing page building software, wanted to know whether its customers would prefer sharing their email address or tweet about one of its products. So, it decided to go for A/B testing.
It’s landing page variant A asked users to share their email id in exchange for an e-book. And variant B asked them to tweet in exchange for the same. The experiments found that users preferred the former for the email landing page generated a 24% increased conversion.
Boosting omnichannel sales
If your business uses omnichannel marketing, it is important to optimize and personalize your digital experience across different channels to boost sales. You need to know if they prefer a particular channel over the other and favor a brand-focused or incentive-driven message. A/B testing can help you with these.
For instance, HubSpot A/B tested the viability of two of its marketing mediums– in-app notifications and email for collecting reviews. It sent a message across both these channels telling users that since they were the month’s champion users, they would be given a $10 gift card in exchange for a review on the Capterra site.
Variant A had only a plain text email, variant B bore a certification template email, and variant C was an in-app notification.
The firm found that the emails surpassed in-app notifications in their mission by 1.4X. Their in-app pop-up notifications were mostly ignored. Only 10.3% of people who opened those left a review, whereas 24.9% of those who opened the email did it.
Knowing what converts
Providing good customer experience ultimately leads to conversion. You can know what attracts your users and the search engines, and thus improve SEO with ab testing. This will, in turn, help you make effective decisions to generate more conversions.
A major area for enhancing your customer experience is your landing page. You can try two variants of landing page copy to know which converts the best.
Csek Creative, a digital agency, and A/B tested the tagline on their homepage to decrease their bounce rates.
One version read, “Csek Creative is a Kelowna based digital agency that delivers the results that make business sense.” The other one, “Csek Creative is a digital agency that helps companies with their online and offline marketing needs.”
Since the second variant explained the services better, it generated an 8.2% increase in CTR than its counterpart. So, the company kept it on its new landing page copy.
Finding the visual appeal of site elements
Your site’s visuals matter a lot and include website imagery, product images, search bars, CTA buttons, etc. By A/B testing two variants of the element concerned, you can find the visually prominent variant that appeals to your users.
For instance, in its A/B testing for Performable, HubSpot found that the red color CTA outperformed the green one by 21%. And for Matthew Woodward, it found that blue links surpassed the pink and red ones in generating engagement and conversion rates.
Do remember that you should not go by other’s testing results. For none of these applies universally. So, carry out A/B tests for visual appeal on your site.
When Should You A/B Test?
Random A/B testing may waste a lot of time testing insignificant areas and overlooking the biggest growth drivers. Further, random testing of variables can also leave you confused as to which alterations have had the best influence. So, here is a short guideline to follow.
First, thoroughly analyze how customers behave on your site with the following website and market research tools.
- Analytics: Analytics tools help you identify your site’s CTR, most favored webpages, pages with high bounce rates, user journey paths, traffic sources, etc.
- Website Heatmaps: These data visualization tools tell you the exact areas in which your visitors scroll, click, and pause. You also get to know if they are getting distracted at any place and if they are trying to click any non-clickable item.
- User Interface testing: UI testing lets you view how your users navigate your site. This way, you can identify issues and the features you need to incorporate to rectify those.
- Web Surveys: Surveys let you directly ask users about their good and bad experiences with your site. Thus, you get an idea of how you can improve it.
After analyzing your customer behavior using these tools, you can derive hypotheses on enhancing the overall customer experience. And you can find the best solution from your hypotheses using A/B testing.
How Long Should You A/B Test?
A/B testing isn’t a one-time deal. Successful A/B testing involves testing improvements over and again till you obtain the best possible version. Each test should build upon the results of the previous tests. Such consistent and steadfast testing enables the continual enhancement of your overall website design to be in line with your consumer behavior and business goals. So, make A/B testing a permanent part of your customer retention strategies.
A/B testing can help you determine the more successful variant of your website concerning user behavior. This can enhance customer experience and increase conversion rates. You can A/B test all elements that can influence your visitor behavior and conversion rate. However, random A/B testing will only be a waste of time and effort.
So, you would need to determine which elements are worth testing. This can be done with the help of different tools like analytics, heatmaps, UI testing, etc. once you are assured with your choices, A/B test those to find success in your online business endeavors. Also, do not forget that repetitive A/B testing can enhance your overall site design to align with your user behavior and business goals.