Split testing (also known as A/B testing, or multivariate testing) is the process of performing controlled experiments to display variations of something (typically a website landing page) to your audience.
How does A/B testing work?
Split-testing allows a website owner to test two different variants of a page, displaying different versions to users in a controlled experiment – all with the aim of establishing which version of the page is more successful to drive your business goals.
The change on the page can be a variety of different things – it could be the position of a call-to-action button, or the colour of a button, or a displayed image. For best practice there should only be one change implemented at any time during the testing, to ensure you can correctly track the feature which is having an effect.
Other ways you can split-test your site include:
– Layout. Moving images, texts and widgets around your page can have a huge difference in the interaction rate – particularly if an important part of your website is hidden below the page fold further down.
– Headings. Titles are the first pieces of content a user’s eye is drawn to, and can have a big impact on whether the user continues to read your landing page copy.
– User flow. Changing the steps a visitor must take to complete a purchase or enquiry can have a huge effect on the percentage of those who make it through to conversion. Is your checkout process too long? Or your selection filter too restricting? All these kind of features could be impacting your success rate.
What are the benefits of split-testing?
The main benefit of split-testing is that you can make huge conversion changes….very simply and at a relatively low cost. Just a few tweaks here and there to your website could see a massive spike in engagement and interaction. Companies can save themselves a lot of money (and time) by making their existing website more efficient, instead of starting again completely from scratch. This is also known as conversion rate optimisation.
Split-testing also allows you to discover insights about your users, and the way in which they react to your website. You may believe that your audience values a long and thorough sign-up process, but the truth might be that it’s putting off potential customers. To you, a call-to-action button might seem clear enough, but upon testing you may realise that your shoppers have been missing it as they scroll through your site. Your audience may respond to dynamic headlines, but not so well to lengthier, more informative ones. Split-testing allows you to build up these pieces of information that will inform future marketing and promotional activity.
Split-Testing Your Marketing Collateral
Split-testing applies not just to your website, but also to your broader marketing activity in general. You can split-test the advert copy in your paid media headlines to test audience engagements, and the calls-to-action within your advert text.
Audience personalities affect their buying habits. Some consumers are impulse buyers, whereas others take time to deliberate before purchase. By tweaking a call-to-action, from ‘book now’ or ‘buy now’ to ‘find out more’ or ‘learn more today’, you could see a huge increase in engagement. Split-testing these different types of CTA’s will ensure you’re catering for all different buyer types – you can then streamline your messaging based on your audience responses, once you’ve discovered which type of buying habits your market segment displays.
How can I run a split-test on my website or marketing?
There are several platforms that can help you implement controlled and accurate split-tests, allowing you to segment which versions of your website are displayed to visitors. To find the platform most suitable for you and get started, get in touch today.