Measuring success in all aspects of your company is key to understanding and developing your business in order to achieve it’s goals and targets.
A/B testing is a method of experimenting with two possible options to see which one achieves the most desirable result. When applied to optimising your websites’ performance, it works a bit like this; Two variations of a webpage, A (master) and B (test), receive an equal split of all traffic coming on to the site. Measuring against a specific goal or set of goals, A/B testing software compares the conversion rates of the two to determine which version is the most effective.
This common method of testing is great for increasing performance and conversion rates. Here are a few reasons why you should consider using A/B testing on your company website.
Understand your audience
Knowing which types of content resonate best with your audience is not only useful for attracting new visitors to your website, but gives you a great insight into their interests that you can use to your advantage in other areas of your business.
Small changes add up
Consistent minor tweaks to your site that show small positive increases in conversions will all add up. Perhaps changing that blue button to a green one encourages a few more people to click on it? Maybe changing a typeface to something a little softer makes it more inviting to read? These little changes can really make an impact on your conversions and how long visitors stay on your site.
Your results may vary
Don’t always assume that an immediately positive outcome will continue to be the case. Visitor habits can be influenced by a variety of factors, including the time of day, the day of the week, even how much coffee they’ve drunk – so make sure that you run your tests for an appropriate amount of time in order to get a good average. This will give you that extra reassurance that the changes you implement are going to work consistently. We shouldn’t think of it as luck but… you never know, right?
Sharpen up your call-to-actions by testing which words and phrases really punch a hole through your visitors’ computer screen and grab their attention. Call-to-actions are extremely important when trying to increase conversion rates. If you can isolate the perfect one, you’re in business!
People have to be persuaded into clicking sign-up buttons. The buttons need to stand out, whilst keeping a level of professionalism and quality. Nobody wants to click something that’s too in-your-face. Choosing the correct colour, text, shape, size etc. of your buttons is something that A/B testing can really help you get the best of.
Bad stock photography[/caption]So you have an array of images on your site, but how do they impact your audience? Do they keep them engaged? See what happens when you try moving images or graphics into different positions. Do visitors prefer to see photos of real people rather than stock modeled shots? The imagery you use, and the context that it’s used in, will connect with your audience in different ways, and A/B testing allows you to understand which images work best for a particular scenario.
And finally, you’ve got your headlines. Debatably one of the most impactful features of your website. Try asking questions, suggesting or informing your audiences through your headlines. Every word counts, so try different variations in length. There’s no harm in trying as many different options as possible – in fact the more you try, the more likely you are to find that magic formula.
Hopefully you can see the impact A/B testing could have on your company website; take advantage of this method to make positive impacts on your conversion rates. There are lots of A/B testing services available that make it a doddle to implement, such as Optimizely and Visual Website Optimiser. There’s even a free tool built into Google Analytics called Content Experiments, so if you’re already an Analytics user (we should hope so too) then this is a great place to start.
Good luck with your testing!
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