A/B Testing: The Answer to High Traffic, No Conversions
Many people attempting to earn online mistakenly believe that their ultimate goal is to have consistently high traffic for their website. Although that it is certainly a critical objective, what they fail to realize is that high traffic is just the beginning. What the true ultimate goal for those earning online is to convert traffic into sales. If that is not happening to your website, then you need to start seriously thinking about what you are doing wrong. Perhaps A/B testing may help.
A/B Testing: The Mechanics
Because of its deceptively simple framework, A/B testing is often erroneously assumed as inadequate for generating relevant website statistics. In truth, the very simplicity of A/B testing is what makes this testing method quite effective.
For this testing method to work, you need to focus on the following elements.
What do you want to know?
It’s always important to have a goal – and you need to be as precise as you can in defining it. In this case, it is not merely enough to say that you want higher conversions. If your website currently has a sales conversion rate of 2%, will you be satisfied if your conversion rate increases by another 2%? Obviously, that won’t even be close to making you break even.
Before you even think about what you should start testing on your website, you first need to establish your objectives. How high a sales conversion rate do you require in order to start enjoying profit? In some cases, you may also have to entertain substantial changes to your website. How much change are you comfortable in accepting? Also, what if the changes that have to be implemented will require cash infusion? This is likely if, for instance, it turns out that your website requires use of a new shopping cart system. How much are you willing to spend as well? Taking these concerns into account will help you identify the best types of A/B tests you can perform right away.
What are you going to test?
Something that differentiates A/B testing from other testing methods is its scope. It can only test one variation at a time. If you wish to test the homepage of your website, you need to break it down into its most basic components. Your website banner, for instance, can be further broken down into several elements such as its size, position or layout, and the image you are using. Be as specific as you can.
Also, you typically compare the present version versus the potential new version you are thinking of adapting. If you are choosing between three variations, you need to test it one at a time against the existing version.
How do you plan on evaluating the data your tests have generated?
But first you need to consider the ideal duration for the test. A few days or even a few weeks may not be enough for you to enjoy a clear and comprehensive view of your market. Upon determining how long your test should last, you can then proceed to determining the best tools to use for evaluating your data.
Evaluation tools are provided for free by various companies. Even Google has such tools for you to use and they are fairly effective for most types of A/B tests. You need to invest time in researching what these tools are as well as what they are best used for. Only if these tools still prove insufficient in providing the best analyses should you seriously consider buying paid evaluation software instead.
Focus on implementation and monitoring.
Once your analyses have revealed the best variations to adapt to your website, you should immediately work on its implementation. Take the time to monitor your results. Again, you must make sure that you are monitoring your results for the proper amount of time. If something wrong does appear, it could mean that you have failed to take additional factors into account while conducting A/B testing.
Ruben Corbo is a freelance writer and writes for a number of online marketing websites including those that help online businesses improve A/B testing techniques to increase sales conversions. When Ruben is not writing, he’s producing or composing music for short films or other visual arts.