How to Create an A/B Testing Plan That Works
New websites or landing pages are an exciting opportunity, but they often carry a sense of dread. Once a new page has been created, you still need to extensively to use A/B testing tool before it can go live.
A/B testing is a more significant process than ever before because of the wide variety of browsers and different devices. There is a huge potential for glitches across different platforms. As more people use their smartphones and tablets to surf the Web, you need to consider mobile experience and test your site across different devices.
Split testing is time consuming, which causes many marketers to limit how much they do it. In fact, only 44 percent of companies use testing software, according to Marketo. Even worse, some marketers avoid testing because they think they already know the answers. This attitude can prevent you from gaining meaningful insights about your website.
In addition, a haphazard approach to testing can skew the results and cause you to make poor choices that decrease conversions.
Here are some tips on making the most of split testing on your website:
1. Test What Matters Most
Testing can take a lot of time, but this is especially true when you focus on every single metric instead of just the most important ones. In email marketing, companies typically focus on opens and clicks, but this doesn't have much bearing on the end goal.
Ultimately, you want your emails to cause recipients to convert. It's the same with your website. You need to focus on the objective of each landing page and design more relevant tests.
Making specific goals helps you create the right tests.
2. Test Over Time
A/B testing will be very stressful if you leave it until the last minute. One of the biggest misconceptions about split testing is that it will produce immediate results. Focusing on these numbers can cause you to overlook a significant portion of your audience.
It may be more beneficial to test over time because it will provide better insights.
This is especially true for business-to-business marketing efforts because leads will be at different stages of the sales cycle.
3. Consider Data Science
In many cases, the results of A/B tests are wrong, which is why marketers may make changes that aren't effective, Econsultancy stated. The reason for this is because the results are often random, and there are often slight variations each time the test is run.
While this may seem like a case against A/B testing, applying some concepts of data science can help you see better results. Using statistics in your tests can help you get more accurate results. You can enter specific data points into an A/B calculator and it will tell you how many tests you need to run.
The conversion percentage is a good place to start, even if it is an estimate. However, the lower your conversion rate is, the more tests you will need to conduct.
4. Be Patient
As tempting as it is to run a few tests and make your page live, you can't rush through A/B testing, especially if you're making a significant investment in a new website.
It's crucial to stick to the same A and B variables in the test without making major changes, or you may impact the results.
To get statistically accurate results, you need to conduct many with a large sample size.
5. Know Your Audience
Testing on the front end can improve results. To make the most of A/B testing, you need to have a firm understanding of what you're testing and who you're testing for before you get started, Smashing Magazine said.
What devices does the majority of your audience own? Be sure to consider different combinations of browsers and operating systems across similar devices as well.
How tech-savvy are they? You can guess this based on demographics, devices and what your website promotes. For example, if you cater to an older audience, it may be beneficial to focus on the navigation elements of the page.
Knowing your audience's preferences and needs can help you create a more effective website experience.
In addition, this information helps you break separate tests into more manageable segments. When testing functionality, you know which devices and browsers to focus on. Connection speeds can provide an indication of performance.
Knowing which social media apps your customers use enables you to include interface elements that allow them to easily share content. Splitting A/B tests into different groups like this can make the process more efficient and reduce some of the hassle.
6. Be as Specific as Possible
When bugs inevitably occur during tests, you need to be as specific as possible to describe the problem. Multiple glitches should each get their own report rather than being combined into one.
You need to detail each step you took that led to the problem. It may help to consider what result you wanted when the problem occurred.
Specific information can help developers make fixes.
7. Have a Vision
It's easy to stray from what you wanted the website to look like when testing reveals the design isn't effective.
However, having a planned layout and guidelines for acceptable changes before you start testing can ensure the project stays on track.
In addition, having a visual representation can help you stay consistent between different browsers and devices.