A/B Testing is when we run simultaneous experiments between two or more pages to see which one (or more) converts to better results. Although it’s called A/B, it can be performed with multiple pages.
All you need to do is create different variants of the page you want to run the experiment on (e.g. reduce number of form fields, change layout of elements, change CTAs, etc.) and split incoming traffic evenly between the different variations. Once you have collected sufficient data (i.e. statistical significance), you can decide which variant performs best and should be kept.
Since growth hacking is all about running experiments to optimise the entire customer journey, running A/B tests play a crucial role in identifying what works best for your company and what doesn’t work.
In A/B testing, you have two sets of web pages, banners, email subject lines, etc. and test them against each other. Typically, the one that’s being used currently is version A (called control) and version B is the new one to be tested. You divide the traffic between those two variations and compare their performance based on the success metric you decided to use for the experiment.
if you want to compare whether the number of form fields on your signup page makes a difference, the metric to look at is your conversion rate:
What elements to experiment with?
What you choose to test depends on what your data tells you (both qualitative and quantitative). E.g. the problem could be that your visitors don’t understand:
- Your value proposition
- What you want them to do (unclear CTA)
- ….and much more
The elements that are most commonly tested are:
- Headlines and/or value propositions
- Images on pages and landing pages
- Call to action: words, size, colors, where it’s placed, etc
- Layout and style of the webpage
- Forms length
- Layout of product page elements
A Few Examples of A/B Testing
In the below example, the winning version (second image) changed the two-line headline into a one-line headline plus a sub-head. This increased the sign up rate by 38%.
Use of images
Using a picture of a person instead of an icon doubled the conversion rate. Scientific research says that we are usually attracted to images with people, subconsciously, especially of babies and smiling females.
Call to action
Small changes in your CTA can make quite a significant difference. In the below example, the CTR increased by 90% just by replacing “your” with “my”.
Online shops usually deal with a lot of people quitting their checkout due to many forms and pages. An A/B Test might detect that and it can prove to you that a single page checkout can work better than a multi-page check-out process.
Ask as little as you can and be direct on your forms. If you ask like a paragraph, the reader will feel compelled to fill all the blank spaces – giving you exactly what you need.
Layout of product page elements
Adding trust elements such as a customer review widget can significantly increase your conversion rate, in the below example by 36.73%.
Learn to use your tools
There are many different tools and resources that might help you while you’re A/B Testing. Here are a few of our preferred ones:
- Google Website Optimizer: It’s free and it’s from the most-known search website ever known, but it still misses a few features. Good to start!
- A/Bingo: Requires programming and integration in code for Ruby on Rails developers.
- Unbounce and Performable: Landing-page creators with integrated A/B testing.
- Which Test Won?: A game where you guess what variation won in an A/B Test
- Tips for A/B Testing: Get some tips, tricks and ideas for your next A/B Test
- A/B Ideafox: a good search engine for A/B test and many case studies.
- ABTests.com: a place to share and check some A/B test results out there