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The Noob’s Guide to A/B Testing

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A/B Testing, which is also known as Split Testing, is an optimization method which helps websites to boost conversion rate. By offering two alternative content/design options to the users at the same time, a marketer can analyze the results and study the on-site user behavior. Accordingly the best design, UI elements and content can be opted.

A/B Testing – Example

Consider this. You create two versions of your webpage both with modified design and content. Let us call the versions “A” and “B”. You let some visitors visit the “A” version of your website and some the “B” version of the website. Once this is over, you compile the results and see which version of your webpage yields more conversions.

The results of your A/B testing will let you know which design, content or UI elements you should stick with. They will let you know which UI elements the visitors engaged with and will also help you study the visitors’ overall on-site behavior.

AB Testing Diagram

Where can I use A/B testing?

Apart from using A/B Testing to increase conversion rate of a website, you can use this testing method in many areas. For instance, you could try it with a Registration page or an E-mail Newsletter.

If your “A” registration page gets you more conversions than “B”, you can stick with the format of the “A” page. Similar is the case with an E-mail newsletter.
So, in hindsight, there are no restrictions limiting the usage of A/B Testing. Use it wherever you see fit.

Few more examples:

• Headline – Testing the effectiveness of headlines. The headlines capture the attention of your user and hence, it is a good idea to test them and choose the one that proves to be more effective.

• Call to action Text – An interesting A/B test revealed that “You can follow me here on Twitter – Link” resulted in 200% better conversion rate than a normal “Follow me – Link”. So, your call to action text matters. You can test different sets of texts for effectiveness.

• Images – Images play a vital role in the A/B testing procedure. Make sure that your designs have two completely different images with a different color tone if possible. Images have the power to change user behavior but it’s difficult to predict the outcome. So, A/B testing is the way to go.

• Offers – For instance try a ‘50% off’ offer in one page and a ‘Buy 1 Get 1 free’ offer in the other page. Although these are almost similar offers, you can find how they attract people and drive them to make purchase decision.

How do I implement A/B test? What are the tools that I can use?

A/B Testing has become increasingly popular these days and hence, a whole lot of tools are available.

The main thing you want from the tool is this – it should deliver one version of your webpage/register page/E-mail to one user and the other version to another user. Google Analytics Content Experiments previously known as Google Website Optimizer is a fantastic tool which will do this.
Wingify, and SiteSpect are some other A/B Testing tools that you can use.

Few Points to Remember:

• Do not carryout the test for a long period – Conduct and wrap up the test before the users get accustomed to your design.

• Run the test simultaneously – If you don’t test the two designs simultaneously, the results may not be appropriate due to the varying influence of external factors at different points of time. For instance, the demand for your product might be high when you test design B which might influence the volume of traffic and conversion rate.

• Don’t confuse repeat visitors – Make sure that if a visitor comes back to your site, he sees the same design that he saw during his first visit. If not, he may get confused and that might question the credibility of your website. So, make sure to show the same design to repeat visitors.

• Run your test for an optimal period of time – Optimal period of test time (neither too short, nor too long) reduces the influence of short-term external factors.

A successful A/B testing helps you to boost the conversion rate of your website.

Would you like to get an A/B testing done for your website? Get in touch with our Internet marketing consultant on +91 8826 175930 or mail us at

Author: Sriram Ilango

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