What is AB testing? And How to Use it in Business?

AB Testing

Also known as split testing and bucket testing, it refers to the method where two different versions of a web page are compared to figure out which works best. Data and statistics are used to evaluate design changes and enhance conversion rates.

This is a great tool which can help assess promotional or marketing strategies adopted by a business. In order to be successful, A/B testing has to be planned in detail and executed the right way.

How It Works

Every website serves a purpose such as selling a product or seeking subscriptions. The rate at which a website manages to convert its visitors into something more is known as the ‘conversion rate’. By introducing a variation and comparing the original version with the new one, you can gauge the engagement of visitors to each of these. This data is then analyzed to determine if the variation has impacted positively, negatively, or to no effect.

Why Should You Use It

This is a great way of understanding user experiences and improving them. The data gathered in this manner can help you come up with effective marketing strategies. Testing regularly can help you get a grip on what works and what doesn’t.

Here are some possible benefits:

  • Testing ad copy can help understand which version is the most clicked
  • Product developers and designers can use this to show the effect of new features
  • User experiences can be optimized for desired outcomes

The Process

Dividing the entire process into detailed steps can help you understand the process better and speed it up as well.

  • Gather Data: The first step involves the collection of data where the analytics will help you pinpoint where to start optimizing. Start with high traffic areas and seek pages with low conversion rates and high drop-off rates.
  • Set Goals: These goals will point the way towards assessing if the variation has been successful or not. A goal can be getting the user to click a specific button, purchase products, or sign up for e-mails.
  • Arrive at Hypothesis: Once the goals are decided, it’s time to come up with a game plan. Draw up A/B testing plans and list why they are better than the existing version. Also, write down your expectations from each of these and its ease or difficulty.
  • Draft the Variations: Take the help of A/B testing software to make the desired changes on the website or mobile app. It might have to do with color, changing the order of elements on a page, or something similar. If the software has a feature that permits you to visualize these changes before finalizing, then use that.
  • Start the Experiment: Initiate the experiment and await the responses of your visitors. The assignment to control or variation versions is random. But their interaction with each of these will be measured, counted, and evaluated.
  • Run an Analysis: Once you have all the results, it’s time to analyze them. The A/B testing software will be able to assist you with this and give you details of how the two versions did.

If the results indicate that the variation was well-received, you can use this to improve other pages too. But, if the result is unfavorable, learn from it and think of a new hypothesis to start over with.

Things to Test

Almost everything on a website, especially those related to visitor behavior, can be tested in this manner. Some commonly tested variables are:

  • Headlines
  • Sub Heads
  • Paragraph Text
  • Testimonials
  • Links
  • Images or Graphics
  • Landing Pages
  • Call to Action Button

Pricing structures, sales promotions, and other aspects can all be part of advanced testing.

Samples of A/B Testing

The strategies of A/B testing, its implementation, and its effectiveness will differ depending on the industry. Here are some examples:

  • Media: The purpose of a media company is likely to increase its readership/viewership and get their audience to spend more time on the website. Here, variations can be considered in recommended content, buttons that enable sharing on social media, and e-mail sign-up options.
  • Travel Agency: The goal here would be to ensure a spike in a number of successful travel bookings or revenue from associated sources. Navigation tools, search results, and the presentation of ancillary products are all available for variations.
  • E-commerce Retailers: The target here would be to boost sales or increase checkouts. Variations can be put on homepage promotions and navigation tools.
  • Technology Firms: Their goals are likely to aim at the creation of high-quality leads for their sales team, increase free trials, and call-to-action.

Quite a few well-known companies have utilized A/B testing to optimize their performance. More than one variable can be tested at any given time. However, it might not be easy to test more than one at a time without any professional help.

Overall, use split testing to identify what is working and what is not. Keep testing your copy, graphics, and web pages all the time.


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