What is A/B Testing : Easy to Understand Explanation and Guide

What is A/B testing? Why is it important for website design and optimization? Let’s find out together. Viva One Digital is here to provide everything you should know about A/B testing for you with simplest and understandable explanations.


In this article you will find: 


What is A/B testing?

A/B testing is the method used to compare two versions of elements usually on websites and applications to find the best solution for the website in order to maximize the wanted results. The A/B testing experiment is when each version of the website, usually the current version and the new version is shown to the site visitors randomly, then the data from the site visitors’ behavior will be analysed and used to determine which version is the winner or perform better to reach the set goal.

A/B testing Split testing

Why should we do A/B testing?

A/B testing helps you confirm the great result without having to guess and risk having an underperforming site every time you want to update, make changes, or add new features, pages, and campaigns. A/B testing helps guarantee that whatever you plan to put on the website will bring satisfying results back to you.

Apart from that, it also helps ensure that your website will provide the best possible experience for the site visitors by solving their pain points. This is because A/B testing allows you to have the best website design solutions for layouts, call-to-actions, and more.

Moreover, A/B testing will help increase the ROI or return of investment. The A/B testing allows you to gain more sales or more conversions from the existing traffic with the better version of the website decided by A/B testing. A/B testing maximizes the results that you could get from the current visitors without having to invest to attract more traffic and visitors.

What could be A/B tested?

A/B testing can be used to determine elements on the websites including copies, designs and layouts, navigations, and more. Let’s look into these aspects to see what should be tested for the best website performance.

Copy

Copy covers everything related to the text contents of the website. 

Headlines and Subheadlines

The first copy that most people see is the headlines. You could A/B test the word choices as well as fonts, colors, and styles of the headlines to see which one attracts more visitors. 

Body

The body is the main text or content of the website. A/B testing for the body can determine the best content writing style, structure and layout, as well as the font and style used to present the content.

Email Subject Lines

A/B testing is very beneficial for email marketing since the attractive email subject lines will encourage more people to open and read the email, leading to more successful email marketing campaigns.

Call-to-Actions

Call-to-Actions are the important elements that encourage and push the site visitors to take wanted actions such as sign up, subscribe, buy products, or make a donation. These call-to-actions need to be tested to find out which word choice, colors, sizes, and fonts make the site visitors feel the urge to take that action right away.

Design and Layout

Design and layout should be tested to see which versions are more understandable, more attractive, and create more emotion and urge to make a purchase or any desired actions. Design and layout is all about designs, colors, as well as the placements of each element on the website such as buttons, icons, media, and texts. This also includes the usability of the website for all users across all devices as well.

A/B testing Split testing

Navigation

Navigation is directly related to user experience, it controls how easy can the visitors travel from page to page on the website. It is how you structure the website, how you link each page together, as well as how the menu bar and other navigation elements are included in the website. It should be tested to find the best way to structure the website and how to present the navigation bar.

Process of A/B testing

To conduct an A/B testing, follow these framework steps: 

  1. Collecting Data

Get your website audit or analyze to find which parts or elements are currently underperforming. Find the spots on your website that need a little push to make them work better and bring better results to your website. You can start by looking for web pages with low conversion and low traffic. Also, look at the pages with high conversion rate and traffic as good examples as well, so you know what your customers like.

  1. Identifying Goals

 The next step is to set the goals. You need a clear goal of what you want to achieve from making changes to the website. It could be as simple as having the visitors click any button, sign up, or purchase products. Setting a clear goal will help you in having visible and satisfying results at the end. When you do not have a clear goal, you will try to fix everything at the same time which might not be the best strategy for A/B testing.

  1. Generating Hypothesis

Generate hypotheses of how the new version of the website elements will perform better than the other ones. 

  1. Creating Variations

Use A/B test tools to create the variants, which is to create A and B versions of the website for the test. This part is like generating ideas for new designs, new layouts, or new colors. However, these designs will need to follow the hypotheses you made.

  1. Experimenting

This stage is when you present two versions of the website to site visitors randomly. The interactions made by the site visitors of both website versions will be collected, measured, and compared to determine the performance of each version of the website or as they call the variants.

  1. Analyzing Results 

Once the experiment is done and all the needed data is collected, we will analyze the results to find out which version works better in order to use that model to improve the website performance further. Look at the statistics to see if there is a significant difference or not. Keep coming up with new hypotheses and run the experiment to find the satisfying results you are wishing for.

A/B testing Split testing
A-B comparison. Split testing isometric concept. Vector illustration.

Recommended tools for A/B testing

There are many A/B testing tools available for you to choose from both free and paid software. We picked out a few options for you today.

  1. Google Analytics and Google Optimize

Offer a free version for you to use with the best data collecting and A/B testing solutions. However, the free version does not have a lot of features compared to other options below.

  1. Optimizely

Allow you to A/B test as well as multi page testing with visual editors. You will be able to see the changes of the two versions in comparison.

  1. VWO

VWO provides many features including A/B testing, multivariate testing, split URL testing, visual editor, and more. The pricing is more affordable compared to Optimizely. 

  1. Zoho PageSense

Zoho PageSense is very adorable starting at $17 per month while providing a lot of features including A/B testing, split URL testing, visual editor, and heatmap.

Final Thoughts

A/B testing can help you guarantee the great result of your hard work without risking any bad effect of making any changes to the website. It is very beneficial for the website and business since it can help bring more sales and increase the conversion rate on the website. Remember to set clear goals and design the new versions with that goal in mind.

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