A/B testing is a process of two versions of a web page. It is applicable in various apps too. It is clear that it is done so that the performance of both of them can be analyzed.
It requires a proper statistical analysis to measure the actual performance with standard performance. Some experts’ term it as split testing and some others call it as bucket testing. This test can also be applied to check the performance of an app.
How does A/B Testing work?
The person who is performing an A/B test is asked to take any webpage. He has to then create another version of it. The second page will be a bit different in terms of heading, font or anything else. It can also be a completely different version of the original page. Then some of the audience is driven into the original page and the rest others are taken into the other one.
The engagement of the audience on both pages is tracked. The data so collected is analyzed and compared through a statistical engine. The conclusions are drawn on the basis of the experience so derived. It can be favorable, unfavorable or neutral.
A Need of A/B Test:
A/B testing is very helpful for individuals, web owners, and companies. They can actually control user experiences while collecting data.
Initially, they can have their own assumptions. They will be drawn on the basis of the comparing test. Later on, they can be improved by taking corrective measures. Many experts prefer using AB testing to continually improve a given experience. Many more people use it to improve their conversion rate over time.
Many B2B technology companies apply A/B test to improve their sales lead quality. They also try to increase their volume from campaign landing pages. This method is known for introducing changes to the user experience.
It is done to optimize the user to get the desired results. Many firms have successfully made their marketing campaign more effective with the help of this test. Various marketers create multiple versions to achieve the desired outcome.
This test is also applied by product developers and designers. They do so to showcase new features or changes to a user. They convert their visitors into customers with the help of this test. They reduce their cost of production to great extent. It can be said that A/B testing can be used by everyone.
Various Steps Which Happen in A/B test:
1. The collection of data:
To apply the A/B test, one needs to gather the data first. One should begin with the site or app which generally gets good traffic. Later on, it can be compared with the site or app which fails to attract the audience.
2. The identification of goals:
The next step is to know what is required to be achieved. For instance conversion rate, bounce rates etc. The goals will always be higher than what has been achieved by the original page.
Goals can be anything. It need not always be something great. Sometimes just an impact on the layout or design of the page can be checked.
3. Making assumptions:
One has to perform intellectual thinking while applying A/B test. The assumption will be that the newer version of the page will be better than the older one. The person has to prioritize and on the basis of which implementation will happen.
4. The difference in both versions:
One thing to be noted over here is that there should be variation in both of the pages. The differences can be created in either design or layout or font or any other thing. Now various A/B testing tools have an entered into the market. They offer features to make changes easily.
5. The experimentation happens:
This is the most important step in the whole of A/B testing. It shows the result of what has been applied until now. Now the person has to wait and let the users participate. Their interaction with the page will be analyzed and conclusions will be drawn.
6. The conclusions are drawn:
Once the users have interacted with the website their performance is analyzed. It shows the difference which happens in both of the versions. If the original version gives better results, then the website is going in the right direction. But if the newer version gives better results, it means that it’s time for a change.
The elements of the A/B test:
Though anyone can perform A/B test, not everything needs to be given attention. Some specific elements are there which affect every webpage. Every website owner should definitely focus on those factors. Given below are factors which are needed to be focused:
1. Headlines of the website:
The headlines refer to the topic which is shown on the webpage. It is the first thing which a user sees while surfing the site. So if the website is failing to attract the users, this might be one of the reason. A/B test should be applied to it.
2. Call to action:
Call to action or CTA is used to tell the user what the website wants him to do. Experts say that even a change in one word affects the conversion rate very soon. It includes a change in the color of the button or text. It also includes font size and color.
3. The images of the website:
Images also play a major role in attracting traffic. It is not possible to reach out to every single customer. That’s why images are inserted in the website. A/B test should be performed on various images to check which one gives positive results.
4. The length of the content:
Some users love to get the content which is relevant and precise. Some other users love to get lengthy content on topics. The website owner needs to know what kind of content his users love to read. A/B test should definitely be applied to the content of the website.
5. The information related to the product:
The product description needs to be unique in order to grab more and more attention. Some consumers prefer to read simple and brief descriptions. Some others love to know the exciting features of the product. A/B test helps in knowing what kind of description the user loves.
6. The online review of the website:
While surfing the site users prefer to go through the reviews of the website. They get directly affected by what is written in the comment section. It is suggested to show social proof on various pages of the website. Some specific pages are landing pages, product pages, and other marketing pages. A/B test helps in driving the user by taking his control.
Importance of statistics in A/B test:
A/B testing is nothing but a statistics-based process. It is a sort of statistical hypothesis testing in which comparison and analysis take place. The website owner has to make some assumptions while creating the newer version of the original page. The relationship between both of the versions is created. After the A/B test is performed, the performance is analyzed and conclusions are drawn.
The website owner has to predict which version will work in a better way. Then the data so gathered is checked to see the extent to which the prediction is right. There should be a statistically significant relationship between the prediction and the conclusion.
It is obvious that there will be a difference in both of the pages. The variation happens because of the changes made in the newer version.
The thing worth remembering is that there should be a statistically significant improvement in the second page. In short A/B test is a type of statistical hypothesis testing.
It can be said that proper statistical analysis helps the user to know the performance of the website. The website can take the required steps to improve the online visibility of the website. They can drive the traffic by having control over it.
The Best A/B testing tools:
Given below are some of the best A/B testing tools. They are known to benefit the website owner a lot. They are:
Unbounce is known to help various owners in building and publishing their landing pages. It is loved by experts because of it’s friendly, easy to use interface.
It has the ability to tweak the page in any way. Even its working is very clear and so people find it simple to use. Users can drag images, text, video, maps, and many other things.
It has an amazing feature which is called drag-and-drop tool. Various marketers can design many variations of the page. The different version is used from time to time to constantly improve the performance.
VWO is known to be one of the easiest tools of A/B testing. It is used to change the headlines of the website. One can re-design buttons, images and many other elements in a website. It also allows the user to create multiple variations of the website. It ends up by improving the rate of traffic on the website.
People use it to have a check on revenue, signups, clicks etc. Some firms have experienced a good statistical analysis of their conversion goals.
VWO successfully works on every device. Users can use it across mobile, tablet and desktop websites as well. The best thing is that it is just a one-time installation.
3. Five Second Test:
As the name suggests it analyses the website and its newer version in only 5 seconds. It does that by analyzing the most important elements of the website. This tool is generally used to test the brand message.
It tells what users like the most and the least on the website. It allows various tests which can be performed on regular basis. Those tests are clicked test, preference test, flow test etc.
It is said to be a simpler one as compared to other tools. It allows easy uploading of an image. To apply the test one needs to set up the test. The URL gets generated which needs to be shared along with the instruction of the test.
4. Google Analytics Experiments:
Google Analytics ‘Experiments’ allows the user to organize multiple tests regularly to compare the performance of different web pages. It is also popular as the complete A/B testing platform.
It uses Google multi-armed bandit approach to analyze the results. The website owner can split the test up to 10 full versions. These versions are of one same page. Each of the tests is sent to the user with a different URL.
The performance of various versions is then tested on the basis of all tests. One can study the performance of the webpage by taking a random sample of users.
5. Convert Experiment:
Convert Experiment is recommended by experts and professionals. It is because of its multivariate testing and tracking feature. It provides multi-domain A/B for testing.
It permits the user to edit the content by using the WYSIWYG editor. It permits the user to have an easy style sheet editing. This sheet is responsible for dynamic content experiments.
Many people mistake to change many things in one A/B test. This may not give true results. So it will be better to do minor changes so that actual performance can be analyzed. A/B can be applied to the following factors:
1. To know the impact on headlines and sub-headlines.
2. To know the impact on links, images, and text.
3. To know the impact on content, call to action text and call to action button.
4. To know the impact on social proof, media mentions, and feedbacks.