The Value of A/B Testing
October 26, 2017
Have you ever wondered how you can make improvements to your website, email blasts, or paid search ads and see if your changes truly make a difference? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could compare two or more versions of your online content and measure metrics like conversions, bounce rates, and overall engagement?
If you’re looking to improve your next email campaign or just want to make continual improvements to your online presence, A/B Testing might be right for you.
What Is A/B Testing?
A/B Testing is a common method for measuring the performance of two or more digital mediums. Simply put, it involves setting up multiple versions of either a webpage, email, or paid ad, and releasing it to an audience.
For example, if you’re thinking of rebranding your website and are curious to see how your visitors will react to the new layout, logos, and content, you can use A/B Testing to measure the performance of your original site against a new landing page. Through a detailed analysis using tracking tools like Google Analytics and other dashboards, you can measure bounce rates, page views, and other key metrics that will help you improve your overall user-experience.
From this analysis, you can determine which methods are best for improving your mediums and make an informed decision moving forward. Saving you time, money, and unnecessary headaches.
Benefits of A/B Testing
Some of you may be skeptical of whether or not A/B Testing is right for you. The benefit of A/B Testing is that you don’t need an advanced degree in web development or programming to get the benefits of running a test.
Whether you’re the marketing coordinator for your company or just looking for a way to test and measure different changes to your website, running a test is easier than you think. In the section below on “How to Set Up Testing”, I’ll show you just how easy it can be and start you off on the right foot.
How do you know if your new emailed newsletter will be more successful than your last? How do you know if rearranging content on your website will lead to higher conversion rates among visitors? In basic terms, A/B Testing takes the guesswork out of making the improvements to your digital efforts and provides you with measurable results for your changes.
In the past, many website owners and digital marketers arbitrarily made changes to their content in hopes of seeing an improvement in their analytics dashboard. With A/B Testing you can view quantifiable metrics and know if your efforts are making an improvement or if you need to rethink your strategy.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Climbing to the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) isn’t easy. Every day industry professionals and passionate bloggers try to uncover valuable SEO insights that will give them an advantage over their competitors.
Implementing new content-driven SEO tactics and deciding how to best optimize your website can be a challenge. Whether you want to improve the user-experience of your site to make it more mobile friendly or are curious if a new layout will help you generate leads, A/B Testing is for you.
How to Set Up Your Test
Depending on what specific medium you want to test, there are several methods you can use to get started. For websites, you can launch two separate versions of your website or page and use Canonical Tags (rel=”canonical”) to redirect Google Bots back to your original version.
This will allow visitors to view the new content/layout of your website and redirect search engines crawlers and bots to your original page/site. Doing this, you can still pull in information from your new page to your Google Analytics dashboard and keep the original rankings of your website.
If you’re looking to test a new email format or content for your newsletter, you can simply create a new draft for your content on your hosting platform. Once the new draft is created, you can make your necessary adjustments to the content, layout, and other features.
When you have everything looking the way you want, you can release your new content to a portion of your audience and watch the results. Most hosting platforms like MailChimp and Active Campaign will give you all the necessary metrics you need to determine if your new changes improve open rates, click-through rates, and even overall performance.
If Price-Per-Click Ads are your preference, A/B Testing can help you there too! Google AdWords does a great job of analyzing ad performance and also gives you tips and tricks for improving your Quality Score. If you’re wondering if a new Display or Search ad will perform better than previous ads, you can easily make adjustments and get a detailed list of results.
A/B Testing is one of the easiest ways to make improvements to your digital marketing efforts. Whether you want to try something new and creative with your website or you’re looking to make a stronger impact with your company newsletter, A/B Testing can help you make the most of your efforts.
Wondering if your next web design or email will be the next big thing? Do something VIG!