The Internet has empowered marketers to test, track and tailor digital campaigns now more than ever before. The problem is, very few marketers are actually taking full advantage of the testing and tracking techniques that will allow them to improve their online performance.
Thankfully, A/B testing is an amazingly powerful way to harness the full effectiveness of your web pages. This test involves experimenting with two variations or two versions of an element in a web page, landing page, email, or ad to see which one performs better. In other words, AB testing is an experiment that uses data to determine the best performing variation.
While A/B testing can seem daunting at first, AdWords has helped make the process as easy as ABC. Find out how you can start improving the performance of your marketing initiatives with these 6 simple steps:
6 Steps to a Stellar A/B Test
You may know right off the bat which web pages are under performing, or you may be launching a new campaign and new landing page. Either way, it’s important to collect all the data you can as possible in order to find places for improvement. When looking at previous materials for your new A/B test, look for things such as low conversion rate, high bounce or drop off rate, as well as the places users frequent to see what elements may be keeping them engaged.
Now that you know what needs improvement, you need to identify actionable goals to achieve with your A/B test. Are you hoping to simply increase web page traffic or do you want to increase your conversion rate? Do you want more email subscribers or offer downloads? Setting specific goals for your campaigns will provide you with better results to analyze at the end.
What changes or results do you expect to see happen from these tests? Once you’ve identified a goal you can begin generating A/B testing ideas and hypotheses for why you think they will be better than the current version.
The variations you create will be the elements that vary between each version. This may involve changing the color of a button, sprucing up the copy, swapping the order of elements on the page, hiding navigation elements, or something entirely custom. Remember to keep the data and goals you’ve collected in mind when creating your variations.
Run Experiments and Analyze Results
Now that your experiment is complete, it’s time to analyze the results. Look at the difference between how the two versions performed and whether or not there was a statistically significant result between the two.
The Next Step
Like any new marketing initiative, the hard work actually starts once the campaign ends. Use the results you find and see if you can apply tactics from the experiment on other pages of your site and continue iterating on the experiment to improve your results.