A/B Split Testing 101

While obtaining traffic to your website is crucial, it is often what you do with the traffic when it arrives that is the most important thing. Would you rather be a site that has 100,000 visitors but only has 5 people taking action or a site with just 100 hits but with 45 of these people taking action. It is the action that is important for websites and if you are looking to effectively market your business, testing is crucial to make sure that you are making the most of your chance to persuade users to take action.

This is where A/B split testing comes into its own. Businesses can use A/B testing for:
• Website conversion pages
• Online advertising
Pay Per Click advertising
Email marketing campaigns

Proper testing of split pages can be utilised to get a better return of conversion across the many strands of digital marketing.

Making money online is the name of the game for many people and it often involves creating sales pages and setting up opt-in forms. There is often a need to build a relationship over the long-term that will help to create the situation where consumers want to buy from you. Split testing in an integral part of the process where you optimise your site to persuade people to take action.

Basically, A/B split testing is all about testing one style or version of a page against another. It is possible to compare and contrast in many ways, all depending on what you want to achieve. It may be sales, it may be opt-ins, or it may be links to another page. However, you should always have a goal in mind to help you make a comparison. You then test your two pages and the page that performs the best with respect to your goal is the one that becomes your lead page. You can carry out this form of testing continuously in order to ensure you are always utilising the best style of page or you can decide to settle with what you have.

A split test should be a simple process
The name of the test is all about testing page A against page B. It is likely that you don’t want too many changes between your pages. After all, if there are many different issues which are different, you will find it difficult to know what the reason for the different uptake is.

It could be something simple like a banner graphic, the heading, the title, the offer or even the formatting of the page. If all other things are equal, notable differences and changes in the outcomes can be attributed to the aspect that has been changed.

If you are keen to make multiple changes to a page and then compare them, it would be a multivariate split test. This is a far more complex process but there is a range of software available to help you make these changes and then record the outcomes. If you are just starting off, it makes sense to stick to A/B split testing before you are comfortable with carrying out this sort of work.

There is of course software available for A/B testing and most businesses will be delighted to know that there is a reliable free option from Google. You should search for Google Website Optimiser, which is a very simple process. There is a wizard set-up process so even if you don’t have many web skills, you should find it straightforward to set your page up for testing.

Like most things in life, and especially when promoting your business, the simpler the better. If you are intrigued by split testing, keep it simple so you can tell what changes really have an impact. Sometimes it may come down to a colour choice or the wording of your heading. The margin between success and failure is often very slim, so make sure that you give yourself the best possible chance of knowing what is best for your business and website.

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