What is A/B Testing and Why Should You Care?

Okay, so you’ve got a website. Congratulations! It’s probably covered in good stuff like buttons, words and pictures. It’s also probably converting some visitors into paying customers, but you want it to turn more visitors into customers. It’s a fair assumption, no?  

To do that you might redesign your website, move certain elements or rewrite your copy to be more appealing to people who land on your page. The results might even look great to your eye, but you’re only one person. How do you know the changes you’re making are going to result in a positive change on your website, instead of simply maintaining or – gasp – reducing conversion rates?

The answer, friends, is A/B testing.

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing, sometimes known as split or bucket testing, is a method for comparing two versions of the same website. Borrowing a little from clinical studies, A/B testing is effectively an experiment where half of the people who visit your website are shown the old version (known as the control page), whilst the other half are shown your shiny, new version.

By comparing the analytics from both A and B, you can see exactly what’s working and what isn’t.

Best of all, A/B testing works equally well regardless of the changes you make on your website. It could be anything from moving a button to a complete, front to back redesign – any change works equally as well with A/B testing.

Why should you care?

If the advantage of A/B testing isn’t immediately obvious, allow us to spell it out – A/B testing can be astonishingly effective.

Because software like Google Analytics allow you to track where and how your customers interact with your website, you can see the effects of your changes. Whether you’re trying to encourage customers to download a free eBook, take a class or buy a boat, A/B testing can help you achieve your goals.

It’s not just webpages which can benefit from A/B testing either, you can apply the method to almost anything. Think how much your business could benefit from more effective email blasts, or how much business you could generate from more compelling advertising.

It’s just a handful of ways in which A/B testing can bring meaningful improvements to your website without calling in focus groups or relying on intuition alone.

Using a mixture of A/B testing and conversion optimisation, Site Reach were recently able to reduce bounce rates on a customers landing page from 72% to 29% in just two months, increasing sales by a remarkable 32% in the process.

Even the subtlest change can make a big difference so if you would like to know more feel free to get in touch for a chat.