“New year, new me!” You hear it every January. And while some resolutions don’t last longer than a few days, the same shouldn’t be said for your new year business strategy.
What resolution should you be making? The answer is simple: website A/B testing.
A well-defined website A/B testing plan helps you successfully reach your business objectives, improve lead generation on your website, make data-informed decisions, and ultimately increase sales.
Regardless of your company’s nature or offerings — B2B or B2C, products or services — you can utilize A/B testing to find out more about your target audiences and make improvements to reach them more effectively.
The Benefits of A/B Testing
When developing your new year marketing campaigns, the A/B testing you run can significantly improve your website. The best part is that it’s simple to execute, offers tremendous returns, and helps your team learn critical lessons.
Several other benefits of A/B testing include:
- Improved customer engagement: A/B testing assists you in modifying your content that generates interaction by analyzing test results and using them to inform future decisions. After running the A/B test, you may determine the best and preserve that variation. Testing one change at a time will reveal which changes affected user behavior and which did not. Updating the experience with “winning” improvements will enhance the overall user experience, eventually optimizing it for success.
- Lower bounce rate: The rate at which visitors arrive on your page and leave without visiting any further pages on your website is your bounce rate. Their chances of converting increase with the more pages they visit. See how the various factors impact your bounce rate when you conduct your landing page A/B tests, and consider them when selecting a winner.
- Reduced cart abandonment: Seventy percent of people who buy online leave with products still in their shopping carts, known as “shopping cart abandonment.” This abandonment rate can be decreased by experimenting with different product images, checkout page layouts, and even where shipping prices are displayed.
- Increased revenue: To boost sales, many firms develop fresh deals, goods, and services. However, making the most of the traffic you already have is much more efficient, as it takes some effort and money to produce new, high-quality traffic. Without creating new offers, you may enhance conversions on your sales pages by employing website A/B testing to raise revenue.
How to A/B-Test Your Way to Success
Several crucial factors should be considered when it comes to when and how you conduct A/B testing for different aspects of your website or marketing strategy. But the most important thing to consider in your new year business strategy is which aspects of your website impact your overall goals.
Knowing this helps you prioritize and execute A/B tests with the most substantial potential to boost your website’s performance. For example, a B2B website might conduct more tests to optimize for lead generation, so this marketer might focus on A/B-testing the site’s calls to action (CTA) for gated assets. On the other hand, a retail website might run more tests on “buy” button copy or color to boost purchases.
Lukas Vermeer, director of experimentation at Booking.com, explains that despite his vast experience in business that spans two decades, the journey of refinement never ends. As such, the practice of A/B testing is indispensable, extending well beyond the new year, as it empowers businesses to continually evolve their website optimization strategies.
Here are some steps you can take to conduct your A/B test and monitor the results:
1. Identify key performance indicators (KPIs).
Define the essential indicators that fit your website’s objectives. These indicators might include conversion rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, or revenue generated. Knowing which metrics you’re focused on improving will help you pinpoint your testing goals and testing plan.
2. Set testing goals.
Based on your KPIs, you should set specific and measurable goals for each A/B test — whether they are to increase conversion rates, user engagement, or user experience. Then make note of which KPIs will indicate whether you’re reaching those goals.
3. Establish a testing plan.
Create a testing strategy that specifies which elements and locations of your website you want to test. These tests should be prioritized based on their prospective impact and practicality.
The KPIs you choose will help you determine which elements of your site to test. For example, if the conversion rate is your top KPI, you might start by choosing a landing page to test and trying different button colors. Then, after you’ve tested that, you might try A/B-testing two variations of button copy. Then, once that test is complete, you might A/B-test the form to see whether form length has an impact on conversion.
The options are nearly endless, but knowing which KPI you’re trying to improve and testing related elements one at a time can help you pinpoint what changes are actually moving the needle.
4. Monitor continuously.
Using web analytics tools, continuously monitor your website’s performance and user activity. Review the data regularly to find trends, patterns, and improvement areas. To figure out which versions worked better in accomplishing your predetermined goals, examine the results of A/B tests. Pay attention to statistically significant differences and avoid making assumptions based on a limited sample size.
5. Implement what works best.
The winning variation should be the new default when a test variation surpasses the control group and the findings are statistically significant. To ensure lasting impact, keep an eye on its performance over time.
6. Record learnings.
Keep detailed records of the outcomes of your A/B testing, noting what worked, what didn’t, and why. Document your observations and insights from each test because they can guide your testing tactics in the future.
Ultimately, you can continuously modify your new year marketing campaigns, respond to changing market dynamics, and deliver a better user experience by adopting a systematic and data-driven approach to A/B testing and making it an intrinsic part of your website optimization strategy.
What Should You Be A/B-Testing on Your Website?
Most A/B testing focuses on features that play a role in conversions. That’s why it’s regarded as a critical component of conversion rate optimization (CRO).
If you’re ready to take charge of your website optimization strategy, here are some elements you could A/B-test on your website:
- CTA button color: Test different colors for your call-to-action buttons to see which attracts more clicks and conversions.
- CTA button text: Experiment with different CTA button texts to determine which wording resonates better with your audience.
- Headlines: Test variations of headlines on key landing pages to assess which ones grab visitors’ attention and encourage them to stay on your site.
- Images: A/B-test different images or graphics to see which ones engage users and communicate your message more effectively.
- Form fields: Modify the number of fields or their order in lead generation forms to increase submissions.
- Form button text: Test different text on the form submission button to make it more compelling and action-oriented.
- Pricing and discounts: If applicable, experiment with different pricing structures or discount offers to determine which drives more sales.
- Navigation menus: Test the order and labels of navigation menu items to improve user experience and make it easier for visitors to find what they want.
- Product descriptions: A/B-test product descriptions to highlight different product features or benefits and see which variants lead to more conversions.
- Testimonials and reviews: Showcase customer testimonials or reviews on product pages to build trust and credibility.
- Social proof elements: Test the impact of trust badges, certification logos, or social media follower counts on user trust and conversion rates.
- Checkout process: Optimize the checkout process by testing different steps or layouts to reduce cart abandonment rates.
- Shipping and delivery messaging: Experiment with shipping and delivery messaging variations to set clear customer expectations.
- Exit-intent pop-ups: Test different exit-intent pop-up messages or offers to reduce bounce rates and capture leads before visitors leave your site.
- Content length: Experiment with different content lengths on blog posts or landing pages to determine the ideal length for engagement and conversions.
- Newsletter signup forms: If you have a newsletter, test the design and placement of signup forms to boost subscriptions.
- Search bar placement: A/B-test the placement of the search bar to make it more accessible to users looking for specific content or products.
- Page titles and meta descriptions: Experiment with different titles and meta descriptions to improve search engine results and click-through rates.
But remember: Only A/B-test one element at a time. If you test multiple variables at once, it’s much more difficult to pinpoint which changes are actually having an impact.
Other Types of Tests for Your New Year Marketing Strategy
It’s important to understand that website A/B testing by itself is insufficient for online success. To provide a flawless and bug-free user experience, performing additional website testing is equally crucial, as it helps develop confidence in the digital sphere.
Let’s take a look at the specific aspects of your site you should be testing in addition to your A/B tests:
- Website load speed: Check the loading speed of your website for SEO purposes, especially on mobile devices. Slow-loading pages can result in greater bounce rates and lower user satisfaction. Google considers page speed a ranking component, so minimizing load times can help you rank higher in search engines. Improve load times by optimizing pictures, reducing code, and utilizing browser caching.
- User experience (UX): Determine whether there are any navigation flaws, unclear layouts, or broken links. Ensure the website is simple to use and that critical information is easily accessible.
- Mobile responsiveness: Check to ensure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly. Its appearance and operation should be tested on various mobile devices and screen sizes. Because many consumers access websites via smartphones, mobile optimization is critical.
- Conversion funnel: Examine and test the conversion funnel on your website, whether it’s for sales, lead generation, or other intended actions. Identify and optimize any bottlenecks or areas of friction in the funnel for a more seamless user journey.
- Security and privacy: Check if your website has strong security measures, such as SSL certificates for data encryption. You can demonstrate your dedication to user privacy and data protection through clear privacy policies and compliance with relevant requirements.
- Local SEO optimization: If you have a physical location or serve certain geographic locations, ensure your local SEO approach is effective. Test your local listings, enhance your Google My Business accounts, and gather customer feedback.
- Site search feature: Evaluate the performance of your website’s search feature. Make it easy for users to find the products or information they want. To improve the search experience, use auto-suggestions and filters.
- Accessibility: Make sure your website is accessible to people with impairments. Test for accessibility standards compliance (e.g., WCAG) and make necessary adjustments to ensure an inclusive user experience.
A/B testing can be highly effective for consistently increasing conversion rates. It opens the gate to more successful, revenue-generating campaigns by assisting you in determining what works and what doesn’t.
Developing a strategy that makes sense for your business is the key to successful A/B testing. Fortunately, you can make modifications that will benefit your site by reviewing your website performance regularly. Rather than waiting for the new year, take the initiative today, focus on website A/B testing, and ultimately get closer to your business objectives.