The world is currently in the digital age, where failing to set up a site for your business on the World Wide Web would be foolish. The Internet has become more powerful than most people think.
Most of your prospective clients probably do a quick search about your company before hiring you or buying your products. If they don’t find you online, then they might move instead to other firms who offer similar goods and services because of their positive reviews online.
After making your move to go online, the next step is to make sure your site is set up and optimized for conversion, and the first step in the optimization process is to do some testing.
What A/B Testing Is
There are several testing methods available that can serve your purpose. Two of the most commonly used are A/B testing and multivariate testing. They’re similar in the sense that different versions of a certain element are varied and then presented to your site visitors simultaneously. The option that converts better is then used in the final version. The main difference is that only one component is varied in A/B testing, while any number of components can be changed in multivariate testing.
Since only one element is varied in A/B testing, the exact cause of the varied response you get from each version can be readily determined. If you don’t find this information particularly relevant or useful, then you can run multivariate tests instead since you will be able to come up with an optimized site in a shorter amount of time.
A/B Testing for Retailers
Here’s an example of how A/B testing is of particular use if you manage an online store. To advertise your sale section, you could choose to display a banner which features selected items, along with the word “Sale!” or show a banner that reads “On Sale Now for a Limited Time Only!” without any images.
The banner that got more clicks or led to more sales is then used for the final version of the site or for sales that the store will be holding in the future.
How to Set Up an A/B Test
Another reason why A/B tests are so popular is that they’re relatively easy to conduct. This is thanks to the availability of software and applications that take care of the technical end of the tests.
List down elements to test. Set up a small team to do this step with you. Bring up your website and look through every detail that can use some improvement, then arrange the items on your list according to priority.
Design variations for the chosen elements. Create two versions for the element on your list that has the highest priority. Make your A/B tests count by making the variations as distinct as possible.
Run the test for the specified period of time. Most tests are run for several weeks, based on the number of visitors your site has. You can run the test with the use of tools like Google’s Website Optimizer, which is a free service that’s being offered by Google. It’s a bit limited due to its nature, so you might want to get premium software or services to get more options for your tests.
Analyze results and implemented changes. Once the test is done, analyze your results. Implement the version that got the best results on your actual website. After that, it’s time to run more A/B tests on the other elements that you listed down earlier to continue improving and optimizing your website.
About the Author: Ruben Corbo is a freelancer writer which specializes in different topics including technology, online marketing with A/B Testing and Product Recommendation Engines, music, art, and motivation. When Ruben is not writing he is producing and composing music for short films and other forms of visual arts.