I tell my clients all the time to never, ever run marketing campaigns or make massive changes to their website all at the same time. Before you try a new marketing tactic or make major changes to your website you need to test your hypothesis first. See, not everything works for every company. Email newsletters may not be something your customers want, although it may work well for other companies.
Because of this, I suggest you try everything on a smaller scale and A/B test almost everything you do. You can A/B test almost anything you want having to do with your website and marketing strategy. In this post I’m going to discuss the various areas you can A/B test and what that test data can tell you about your business, products, company and customers. So, let’s get into it.
You can A/B test the user experience on your website. How easily are customers moving through your website? Can they find what they’re looking for? Are your ads leading them to the appropriate webpage on your site? Once they are on your site, can they get everything they need within 1 – 2 clicks? If the answer to these questions is no, you may want to A/B test your landing pages, user journey, happy path and even internal search.
Reduced Bounce Rates
Your bounce rate is the number of sessions that resulted in only one pageview or event per session. So if a customer comes to your website and visits your homepage, but then leaves your website without clicking anywhere else on the site — that would be considered a bounce. You want visitors to move throughout your entire site and consume your content. If they aren’t doing that, then you have a problem.
How can A/B testing help with this? You can make incremental changes to your pages (one-by-one) and test out the placement of images, text, buttons, videos, and other elements on the page. By running these tests, you can keep a close eye on your bounce rate to see which changes lowered that rate.
Increased Conversion Rates
If you see a drop in your conversions or your conversions are where you want them to be, you can use A/B testing to test out your landing pages, products pages, checkout process and shopping cart. This is especially useful if you have a large cart abandonment issue on your website.
By running an A/B test on something like your checkout process, you can easily move elements around and/or shorten the process to see if customers will complete their purchase with less steps. There are so many places you can test the process and identify ways to increase those conversion rates.
The key to good A/B testing is slow and steady. Everything on your website and in your marketing strategy is testable. But you want to run one test at a time. If you run multiple tests or make too many changes per test, you won’t know which change positively or negatively affected your key performance indicator.
When you run an A/B test, be sure you’re running it long enough to capture real data. You’ll want to rush the process, but A/B testing cannot be rushed. Depending on the test, you may want to run it for anywhere from 7 – 30 days. As you setup your A/B test, make certain you have a way to measure the success or failure of the test. Whether that be sessions, pageviews, bounce rate, engagement rate, etc.