What is A/B split testing?

DSM Digital School of marketing - A/B split testing

The term ‘A/B testing’ (which is also known as split testing or bucket testing) is a methodology employed to compare two versions of a webpage or app against each other in order to ascertain which one performs better. A/B testing is ultimately an experiment where two or more variations of a page are displayed to users at random. Then, statistical analysis is used in order to determine which variation performs better for a given conversion goal.

What type of data does A/B testing allow you to gather?

Performing an A/B test that directly makes a comparison between one variation and a current experience allows you to ask focused questions about alterations to your website or app. Once this change has been effected, A/B testing then allows you to collect data about the impact of that change.

Putting together a website or email marketing campaign is the first step in digital marketing. Once you have a website in place, you’ll want to know if it assist with, or hinders, sales. A/B testing allows you to know what words, phrases, images, videos, testimonials as well as other elements which work best. Even the easiest changes can influence conversion rates.

In one test which was conducted, a red CTA button outperformed a green one by 21%. This is based on 2 000 page visits. If such a minor change can get people to click, you’ll want to know what other elements of your page might have an impact on conversions, traffic, and other metrics.

A/B testing takes the presumptions out of website optimisation. It enables data-informed decisions that shift business conversations from “we think” to “we know.” By evaluating the impact that changes have on your metrics, you can ensure that every change on your website produces positive results.

Methods of A/B Testing

There are a number of ways in which you can carry out A/B testing. Here are two fantastic how-to guides on the best way to carry out this type of comparative testing.

User Experience Test

If you want to see whether moving a certain call-to-action (CTA) button to the top of your homepage – instead of keeping it in the sidebar – will improve its click through rate you can A/B test this theory. In order to carry this out, create another, alternative web page which reflects that CTA placement change. The existing website design – or the “control” – is Version A. Version B is the “challenger”. When you’ve set these pages up, test these two versions by showing each of them to a predetermined number of site visitors. Ideally, the percentage of visitors seeing either version is the same.

Design Test

If you want to ascertain whether changing the colour of your CTA button can increase its clickthrough rate, to A/B test this theory, design an alternative CTA button with a different button colour that leads to the same landing page as the control. For instance, if you usually use a red call-to-action button in your digital marketing content, and the green variation receives more clicks after your A/B test, this could merit changing the default color of your call-to-action buttons to green from now on.

Benefits of A/B Testing

There are several benefits to A/B testing. Here are a few of these:

  • Increased Website Traffic: Testing different blog post or webpage titles can change the number of people who click on that hyperlinked title to get to your website. This can increase website traffic as a result.
  • Higher Conversion Rate: Testing different locations, colours, or even anchor text on your CTAs can change the number of people who click these CTAs to get to a landing page. This can increase the number of people who fill out forms on your website, submit their contact info to you, and “convert” into a lead.
  • Lower Bounce Rate: If your website visitors leave (or “bounce”) quickly after visiting your website, testing different blog post introductions, fonts, or feature images can reduce this bounce rate and retain more visitors.
  • Lower Cart Abandonment: Ecommerce businesses see between 40 and 75% of customers leave their website with items in their shopping cart. This is known as “shopping cart abandonment.” Testing different product photos, check-out page designs, and even where shipping costs are displayed can lower this abandonment rate.

A/B testing is an extremely powerful tool in a digital marketer’s arsenal as this process helps them to test the effectiveness of the various campaigns that they put together.

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