The unique benefit of Digital is its inherent measurability.
If you had to describe the unique benefit of digital technology, the main aspect that sets it apart from other sales and marketing strategies, what would you choose? It’s measurability for most.
The importance of digital technologies and techniques lies in the fact that they are data-driven. Unlike conventional advertisement strategies, such as billboards and television, you can easily measure the return on investment of a digital campaign. Being able to analyze this data will help you to recognise the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign. Being able to translate these observations into action will help you to refine the campaign’s efficiency and optimize its effectiveness.
Irrespective of your budget or overall goals, evaluation and testing is a crucial component of the successful optimisation of your digital marketing campaign and its accompanying conversion rate. Interestingly, just 52 percent of businesses are checking their website landing pages to find ways to boost conversions.
This blog post will provide you with a detailed overview of the practice of A/B testing and how you can effectively apply it in a variety of contexts to optimize your digital marketing and ensure continued success.
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing (also known as split testing) is the act of comparing two versions of the landing page to evaluate the desires of your target audience depending on which version is performing better. Based on the results of your A/B test, you can then make changes to maximize conversion rates.
A/B testing includes taking two different samples of the audience (A and B!) of which you can view two separate versions of the web page. The success of the A/B test depends primarily on the size of the samples you want to take. The larger the sample size, the more confident you will be in the knowledge you have learned from your test. In other words, if you want to use five people for your survey, and three choose a specific web page, you cannot presume that their selection serves as a clear enough indicator of the tastes of your wider audience.
More certainty and stability comes with larger sample sizes, as the results of the A/B test get closer and closer to accurately reflecting the tastes of the audience. This ensures that you can be confident that the improvements you make to your websites are as constructive as possible.
Why should you use A/B testing?
The first step in any successful digital campaign is to set high-level goals that serve as the basis for evaluating that campaign. More often than not, the company will point to driving more traffic to its website as its primary goal.
A seasoned digital marketer would understand the value of using analytical methods to evaluate the efficiency of their organization’s website. But what happens next? Your company will enjoy a high amount of traffic to its website on a regular basis, but if it does not convert, it is effectively redundant.
A/B testing gives you insights that allow you to capitalize on your traffic and avoid making potentially costly mistakes. For instance, before you run a display ad campaign that guides users to a product page on your website, running an A/B test on that product page and implementing the insights would give you the best chance to convert users without wasting money on fruitless clicks. Summary-A/B testing will help you optimize ROI, reduce costs and increase the number of quality leads produced and close sales. However, amid these concrete, easy-to-achieve advantages, only 22 percent of companies are happy with their conversion rates, which indicates that the practice of A/B testing is sorely overlooked.
What can you A/B test?
While reference has been made to the use of A/B tests for landing pages, they can be used to optimize a variety of different elements within a page.
A/B testing is especially useful from a content perspective, as it can have a huge impact on SEO. The more relevant the content of a web page is to the needs and desires of the user, the higher the search engine ranks. The higher the page ranks in the search engine, the more likely the user is to click on it and if the user lands on your website, you will immediately have a valuable opportunity to convert it. This means that strategic A/B research can not only make the most of existing web traffic, it can also create new traffic.
The text-based elements that you can look at and optimize for the A/B test on your website include:
- Headings and Subheadings
- Calls-To-Action [Text and Button]
- The contents above, close, and below the fold
- Text placement, such as pricing, promotions, and testimonials
It is important to remember that too many A/B tests should be avoided at the same time, as this can create uncertainty when it comes to determining which variations have improved and to what degree.
Test one change per page at a time and you will be able to quickly assess which changes have had an effect on your conversion rate. Slowly but gradually, you will make a variety of positive improvements to your A/B tests to create the ideal, converting user experience.
What is the A/B testing process?
You can perform the A/B test in a few simple steps:
- Collect data: using analytics tools will help you determine which specific areas of your website should be tested by A/B. For a more granular insight, you could use a heat map to find out how users are or are not using your website to provide a solid starting point.
- Create two variations: whether you change the text of the button, re-word the product description, or change the color of the banner image, the changes you decide to make should always be underpinned by a strong justification. Simply put, if someone asks you why you have made a specific change, you should be able to respond confidently.
- Start the A/B test: your test should be run for approximately 3 to 4 weeks with a large sample size in order to obtain realistic, representative results. Visitors to your website will be randomly directed to one of the two landing page variations.
- Evaluate its effectiveness: perhaps the most critical aspect of the evaluation process as it helps you to incorporate what you have learned from the test results in order to make meaningful improvements.
There is an abundance of A/B testing software available to help you set up, run and measure tests. Be sure to explore a few options to find the one that best suits your organization’s needs. It’s a small but powerful investment that will eventually increase your profit margins, particularly when you realize that for every 92 dollars spent attracting customers, only 1 dollar is spent converting them!
If you have had any interesting encounters with A/B research, we do love to hear about your tests and success stories in the comments section below!