A/B testing is like putting out two dishes at a dinner party; whichever is consumed the most is likely the tastiest. The same goes for web pages—the more popular version is likely the one most viewers will find the most attractive.
This guide will explore A/B testing strategies for improving website findability.
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing or split testing allows comparing two versions to see which is more effective. This helps determine which page design, layout, and content work best to improve website findability. Additionally, A/B testing allows you to improve the user experience on their website iteratively.
In addition to finding bugs or design issues, A/B testing can also help identify hidden problems. It’s a cost-effective and efficient way to ensure the best possible user experience.
For example, a company can use A/B testing to determine if there are any differences in user engagement when displaying a product description in two different formats.
How to effectively perform an A/B test
Step 1: Assess how your website is currently performing and create a hypothesis.
Start by looking at the analytics for your website to see what pages are performing well and what pages are not. Then create a hypothesis about why certain pages are performing better than others and what changes you could make to improve the performance of the lower-performing pages.
For example, you could hypothesize that the page design for one of the lower-performing pages is too busy, so you could test a simpler page design to improve user engagement.
Step 2: Create Variations: establish which website features you want to test. Create a control and a variant.
Once you have established which website features you want to test, create a control and a variant. The features you’ll want to test depend on what you’re trying to achieve. For example, optimizing an explainer video can help generate more website conversions, and updating information on an infographic will help to inform people about your product or services.
In this case, the control is the existing page design and the variant is an element of it. After the test is complete, compare the control and variant results. If the variant performs better, the changes should be implemented. If the control performs better, discard the variant and keep the existing page design.
For example, a website might measure user engagement regarding time spent on the page and clicking a button. If the variant page design results in a 10% increase in time spent on the page and a 20% increase in clicks on the button, then the variant page design should be implemented.
Step 3: Run the test with parameters; sample size, and time.
This will allow the website to measure more accurately if the variant page design improves user engagement. Additionally, setting parameters such as sample size and time will help ensure the test results are reliable.
For example, a valid parameter to set would be to have a sample size of at least 1,000 users and to run the test for a minimum of 7 days.
Step 4: Analyze and document the data, and determine how significant the difference must be to make a difference.
This will ensure that the results are reliable and that the sample size is large enough to identify meaningful trends. The 7-day period will also allow for enough data to be collected, providing a better understanding of the trends in the data. By setting a minimum percentage difference for A/B testing, the results will be more meaningful and provide a better understanding of the effectiveness of the tested changes.
For example, a minimum percentage difference of 5% should be set to ensure that the results are reliable and that the data measures the effects of the changes made.
Step 5: Determine if any changes are needed.
Review the data to identify any areas of improvement or alterations to be made to maximize the results of the A/B testing.
For example, if the results of the A/B testing show that one version of the website has higher conversion rates, the changes should be implemented on the entire website to maximize the results.
Five benefits of A/B testing
Improved user engagement
A/B testing enables you to identify which design changes are more effective for engagement. Test different designs and layouts to find the most successful clicks and conversions. This can help you optimize and build your website or app for better user engagement. For example, some website builders such as Shopify offers personalized pop-up marketing features to help increase user engagement.
For example, you could A/B test the placement of a “Subscribe” button on a website to see which position on the page results in the highest conversion rate.
Data-driven insights into how users interact with your website
By gathering data on how users interact with your website, you can better understand what works and what doesn’t. This will help you decide how to optimize your website or app for better user engagement.
For example, you can use A/B testing to compare different versions of the same page to see which performs better. You can also use data analytics to track user behavior and identify areas of improvement.
Reduced cart abandonment rate.
A/B testing helps you to identify which page design, text, images, or other elements work best to drive conversions. At the same time, data analytics can give you insights into why customers might be abandoning their carts. You can optimize your website by leveraging both tools to reduce the cart abandonment rate.
Increased conversion rates
By using A/B testing to find the most effective version of your website and analytics to identify where customers are dropping off in the checkout process, you can make changes to your website that make it easier for customers to complete their purchases. This leads to increased conversion rates and lower cart abandonment rates.
Increased website findability because of A/B testing
A/B testing helps identify which elements of your website are most effective in driving conversions. This allows you to find the most effective elements in driving conversions and optimizing the website accordingly.
For example, A/B testing can determine which version of a web page drives the most conversions – one with a large image or one with a more text-heavy layout.
A/B testing strategies to increase website findability
- Test meta descriptions and page titles to identify those with higher click-through rates. Meta descriptions and page titles are the first things a search engine will see, and they can significantly impact how often the page is clicked on. A/B testing allows you to compare different versions of the same page to see which one has the highest click-through rate and use that one as the final version. This can help increase website traffic and improve its visibility on the search engine results page. It also helps to ensure that the most appealing version of the content is displayed to potential viewers.
- Test page layouts to identify those with higher organic search result rankings. An attractive page layout can significantly improve search engine visibility and encourage potential viewers to engage with the content. This can be done by testing different combinations of keywords in titles, descriptions, and content and optimizing the page layout to ensure the most relevant information is displayed. Additionally, combining internal and external linking to the website can help improve its visibility on the search engine results page.
- Test landing page designs to see which page design produces the highest number of conversions. Landing page designs can be tested by tracking metrics like user engagement, time on page, and the number of conversions to determine which page design produces the best results.
- Test website videos and images to identify which content generates the most user engagement. Compare the performance of different designs, videos, and images to determine the most successful content. This allows you to maximize the user engagement and conversions of your website. For example, you can test two videos on the same page and compare the user engagement rate to determine the most successful video.
- Test different SEO processes to identify which has the highest organic findability. By testing different elements of your website, such as videos, content, and SEO processes, you can gain insights into which elements are most effective in engaging users and driving conversions. You can then use this data to optimize your website and ensure it performs at its best. For example, you can try different keyword combinations and track the clicks they receive to determine which are most successful in driving organic traffic.
An A/B test is an effective way to determine how your users respond to a content idea or design without disrupting their experiences or sending them unwanted surveys. It is always worth trying something new and letting the results speak for themselves.
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