A/B testing is one of the most useful tools in digital marketing in the modern age. Even though this nifty technique has been around for a long time, there are many aspects of it that remain obscure. This is partly because A/B testing itself, and the ways that it can be used change and evolve so frequently that it can be easy to lose track of what one can accomplish with it.
As we’ll discuss in this blog, the real beauty of A/B testing is that it can be done for almost anything. From website designs to email templates, there’s a whole number of ways businesses use A/B testing to improve results and conversions. But it’s also important to remember that for all the benefits it provides if done correctly, there’s a lot of damage A/B testing can do if done incorrectly as well.
We’ll discuss all of these nuances and more regarding A/B testing in our blog. So let’s dive in with the basics of this interesting concept in more detail.
A/B Testing: The Basics
A/B testing is also known as split testing because it involves splitting variants to test on different audiences. Let’s take a closer look at what A/B testing looks like, how it is used by businesses in today and how you can do it more effectively.
1.What is A/B Testing?
The name “A/B Testing” stems from the very nature of the testing process – development of two variants, A and B, that can be tested against each other to understand which variant performs better and why.
A/B testing takes place by creating two variants of any desired marketing aspect, whether it is website pages, online ads, emails, blog titles, ad copies, ad designs, or CTAs and showing each variant to a different audience.
The beauty of A/B testing is that businesses today use it for almost everything, and the results are clear and easy to understand. As a result, the more A/B testing that you do, the more likely you are to find variations of web pages and blog titles that resonate with your audience and lead to more conversion
2.When is A/B Testing Used?
The beauty of A/B testing is that it can be used any time and for any purpose. So the short answer to the question “When should you do A/B testing?” is all the time. But more realistically, the answer has to be “whenever you can” since an A/B test has a lot of moving parts. That’s why it’s never easy to implement A/B testing because the tracking and the monitoring makes it difficult to carry out all the time.
There are some times, however, when an A/B test is almost unavoidable. This is mostly when you’re launching a new ad campaign, setting up a new webpage, starting a new email series or even creating new blog posts. A/B testing allows critical factors to be analyzed and the most successful versions to be selected. This practice is needed whenever you’re launching anything that takes up budget or directly impacts brand image.
3.How to Do A/B Testing Effectively?
This is the next question when it comes to the basics of A/B testing. Keep in mind the perfect way to execute A/B testing depends on what you’re trying to accomplish but there are some fundamentals that you can always follow, like:
- Dividing your audience equally and randomly so there is no distortion in the results. Usually marketing automation software can be used for this purpose so that the audience is divided fairly.
- Choosing just one variable to focus on so that the results are clear and easily understandable. You can run multiple A/B tests simultaneously but always be sure to test one single variable in each test.
- Letting tests run for a significant amount of time so that the results are actionable and accurate. A common fault in A/B testing is deciding too quickly on the results when more time could reveal another conclusion.
- Testing versions simultaneously to see real time comparison between the original and the variant.
Now that you’re familiar with what A/B testing is, when to use it and how to do it effectively, let’s take a look at why you should do it and the benefits you can achieve.
The Benefits of A/B Testing
Here’s a list of things that you can improve for your business with A/B testing.
1.Improved Content Performance
Content is everywhere whether its webpages, apps, ads or blogs. And how your content performs determines, in large parts, how your business performs. With A/B testing, you can easily filter what works for your audience and what doesn’t.
Imagine you write a blog and can’t decide on which headline will resonate better with the target audience. An A/B test will reveal the headline that performs better and as a result your content will rank higher on search engines. This will provide authenticity to your website and inspire confidence in your content.
The beauty of A/B testing is that you can use it for any type of content be it ad copy, webpage content or blog posts headline. Frequent A/B testing can not only help content rank higher but also engage users, which brings us to –
2.Better User Engagement
Because the purpose of A/B testing is to ensure that users end up seeing the very best version of your content/design, that means improved user engagement is a direct benefit of repeated A/B testing.
Imagine you need to run ads for your e-commerce site on Facebook. A/B testing the ads will show which ad copy and ad graphic performs best with the audience. As users see more refined versions of the ad, they are more likely to click on the ad and end up making a purchase from the site, thereby improving user engagement.
3.Higher Conversion Rates
As a result of better user engagement, you’ll begin to experience higher conversion rates. That’s because the more engaged the users are, the more likely they are to take the desired action in the conversion funnel.
In fact, studies have shown that the industry average for successful conversion from A/B tests is between 12% and 15%. This shows that testing variants is essentially an effective way to get users to move through the conversion funnel.
4.Easier Testing with Less Opportunity Cost
Usually, changing website design or an ad copy with significant budget allocated to it can be quite risky and expensive. Not all businesses have the financial capacity to undertake a major change in website design or overhaul a complete advertising strategy only for it to fail.
This is where A/B testing comes in handy and allows businesses to enact major changes without facing the risk of lost opportunity cost. Since A/B tests allow simultaneous testing of multiple variations so businesses can make changes and test them out without having to commit to any one idea fully. This minimizes risk and reduces opportunity cost.
5.Convertible to Multivariate Testing
As we mentioned earlier, A/B testing is about testing out one variable at a time. Want to test ad performance? Start by testing an ad copy variation. Or maybe test the ad design variation.
However, the benefit of A/B testing is that it can be converted to multivariate testing in an instant. While A/B testing only deals with one variable at a time, multivariate testing allows testing of multiple variables simultaneously.
So if you want to test ad performance, you can easily test multiple variables such as ad copy, ad design and CTA text all in one. This would constitute a multivariate test and would reduce the amount of simultaneous testing required for each individual variable.
Finally, A/B testing allows for actionable results. This means that business owners and data analysts can easily interpret the results of an A/B test to see which variant performed better.
They can then test the winning variant against new variants, and keep on utilizing the best variant in each test. This allows businesses to quickly and efficiently improve the performance of their variables since the best variable is utilized in the next test.
All the while, the users get to see content or graphics that they respond to. As a result, A/B testing helps provide actionable insights that can be used to improve performance continuously.
Clearly, there are a lot of benefits to A/B testing but only if businesses are able to utilize this technique correctly. By following the steps described in this blog, you can get started with A/B testing and even use tools like Google Optimize to set up your own A/B tests.
Conduct Effective A/B Testing with Accurate Digital Solutions
Accurate Digital Solutions has helped dozens of companies get the most out of their digital marketing strategies. We are expert in executing the whole array of digital marketing services from start to finish. So contact us if you want to conduct effective A/B testing for your business.