Online business or the brick-n-mortar stores has website. You already have an existing website delivering modest traffic and you want to find what if I changed my website or some elements of website? Will it impact traffic to my website or the conversion rate? And if yes then how? Will the traffic/conversion rate be more than current rate or less?
To find out these answers, there is a very simple method followed, some call it scientific but there is not much science involved in it. Consider an example, in case of child, a mother knows that her child likes sandwich. Every day she packs his lunchbox with two Jam & Cheese sandwich, now she want to know, what if she packs Vegetable sandwich. Will her child eat? So as they say, mother knows it all, she packs lunchbox with one Jam & Cheese S/W and one Vegetable S/W. When the child returns back home, if she finds Vegetable S/W left in the box, she will come to know that only Jam Cheese is preferred and not vegetables. This same methodology or the experiment is applied to large number of children, to find out the eating preferences of particular age of children. This method is used widely in Marketing as depending on the results, marketing campaigns are formulated and even redesigned.
Coming back to Website, same sandwich concept is applied and it is called as A/B Testing. Statistician call it “Hypothesis Testing” …but let us stick to our “Sandwich Testing”. Thus the aim of A/B testing is same for website to find out what will be the outcome, if I made some changes in my website? And I want to know the result of the outcome because depending on the result I will optimize my site with new changes, as I cannot afford to lose the quantity and quality of my traffic. Here A and B are nothing but variant A and variant B – Jam & Cheese S/W and Vegetable S/W. It is one of the easiest way to increase traffic to your website, increase in ROI, and ultimately increase in conversion rates. It also updates us about what our viewers like and make us understand our audience better.
Above picture shows A/B testing. Variant A is tested against variant B.
Consider your existing website element as variant A and new website element as variant B.
Based on the customer data, you split the online traffic in to two, one set of the customers will be able to continue experiencing variant A and other set will experience variant B.
After splitting, your job is to observe and monitor the customer behavior where the change is introduced i.e. variant B and find out whether it yields increase in conversion rate?
Such experiments can be carried out on various number of customer sets, depending on how much you want to fine tune your results. Based on that findings, you can gradually shift your existing site to the changes introduced.
A/B testing in not only limited to websites. Other communications mode where it is applied are
- Marketing Emails
- Internet Marketing (PPC/AdWords/Banners)
What elements are tested?
- Subject Titles/ Headings – size, colour, fonts, and content
- Product Descriptions – content, images, videos, text
- Call to Action Buttons – examples buy now, sign up today, enrol today etc.… their colours and sizes.
- Colour schemes – pages colour schemes and its content, fonts and colour of the content.
- Page layouts
- Company Logo
- Social Media buttons
- Offers & Discounts
Conversion rates is not only in terms of revenue generated but it is measurable entity which measures the changes brought in your website or any other communication channels. For e.g.
- Increase in website traffic
- Amount of time spent on the site
- Click on banners, PPC or AdWords
- Newsletter Signup
- Contact details of customers from the website
- And of course Sales.
Thus, A/B testing is the tool to measure the changes that you bring in your marketing campaigns and how does it affect you in terms of conversion rates. It is a simple method having immense capacity to give you insights of what changes to bring to your marketing campaigns.
Generally there are various free tools available like from Google, but Digital Marketing Services like Yodigi does it for you and it does very efficiently keeping in mind different variants.