SEO, SMO, CRO, CTR – all of these involve continual testing. You’re never “done,” and that’s a good thing because you can continually inspect your website to ensure optimal visibility and conversion. Most CRO experts prefer A/B testing over multi-variant testing. Marketer Lance Loveday explains, “A/B testing harnesses the power of large changes, not just tweaking colors or headlines.” In other words, instead of testing thousands of variants, you test one at a time and make the biggest impact. How do you conduct your own A/B testing?
Essentially, A/B testing is simply comparing two versions of a page element to see which is more effective. For instance, you may try one version of call to action text for a period of several weeks or even months, depending on your traffic. Then, you change your CTA and track that. At the end of that trial period, you compare your conversion data.
You can DIY it by tracking visitors and conversions with Google Analytics or you can choose to use a testing tool, such as VisualWebsiteOptimizer.com or Optimizely.com. The latter option allows you to create and launch multiple versions without coding and tracking results. The point of A/B testing is that you take a look at a single factor. Some examples:
- The placement of your “Buy Now,” “Register” or other action button.
- Optional vs. required registration.
- Having an email security seal for email forms.
- Different versions of headers, value props, etc.
The results of A/B testing help you make immediate decisions; call to action #1 converts better. That’s a clear change that you can make. Other times, the results are a little more hazy or inconclusive. In this case, you can move on and test another factor and return to the inconclusive test another time. If it is not making a clear impact on CRO, you can afford to turn your attention to other matters.
Website owners should continually conduct A/B testing to determine what factors play into conversion. Reduced bounce rates and more calls to action completed are on the way!