To attract customers, online marketing must include quality web content that adds value. On top of that, there are many elements to the design of a web page that can have a direct effect on the click-through and conversion rates.
The question is how to determine which design is best. The answer lies in split testing, also called A/B testing. It is about tweaking website design to maximize conversion rates. Even small changes can produce significantly more leads, sales and business revenue.
Why Should You Split Test?
Split testing or A/B testing means comparing two versions of the same web page to see which performs better. The two variants, A and B, are exposed to a similar audience at the same time. Whichever variant produces the best conversion rate is the one to go for.
You may well be pleased with your current conversion rate, but isn’t it worth split testing to determine what works even better? Even small changes in page layout and design can mean a significant increase in leads, sales and revenue.
In fact, split testing should be a regular part of your online marketing efforts. While this may not be financially feasible with paid advertising, the cost of A/B testing to increase organic traffic is minimal.
Design Elements to Test
Put yourself in the place of a visitor to your website. Anything that affects visitor actions and reactions should be tested. This includes:
- headlines and sub-headlines
- text copy, font and color
- call-to-action text and buttons
- testimonials, awards and accreditations
- social proof.
Page layout is vital. Visitors will respond differently depending on the positioning of the elements on the page. Web designers need to consider other aspects like color schemes, font size and blank space around text, images and call-to-action buttons.
The A/B Split Testing Process
The process of split testing should be approached in a scientific way.
- Use a tool like Google Analytics to determine the metrics of your site and understand your visitors’ behavior. This may include click-through, bounce and conversion rates.
- Decide which element of your website you want to test.
- Calculate the number of visitors you will need in order to conduct a conclusive analysis of the results.
- Create two versions of that element – A and B.
- Run the A/B split test and measure the response.
- Analyze the data to draw conclusions.
Advantages of Split Testing
- Testing design is easy. There’s no rocket science or magic formula to this part; just decide how many versions you want to test and then split the traffic among them.
- Testing implementation is simple. There are many software packages that facilitate A/B testing.
- Ease of analysis. A few well chosen and straightforward statistical tests will determine the result. You may very well have existing web analytics tools that can collect and analyze the data.
- Flexibility in defining the test variables. You may be able to compare a range of variables in one test instead of several tests.
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