A/B Split Testing for Dummies

ab split testing for dummies

A/B split testing is like that magical spark between two people who have fallen for each other – irrevocably, but this time it’s an abstract object that turns first-time visitors into lifelong customers of a web business. With A/B testing, it’s all about the results. It doesn’t matter if it was love at first sight between your website and its visitor or maybe it’s something that developed over time. What matters is that the final outcome remains the same, and you’re able to achieve your objective through A/B testing.

Use A/B Split Testing When It’s Time for Change

Your regular routine for managing your website likely involves the following activities.

  • Update your website content
  • Update your readers about the latest additions to your website
  • Create a campaign for new products and services
  • Monitor your campaign and modify accordingly

Overall, that’s quite a good setup you have. To start with, it shows that you are aware of how important it is for every website to have fresh content at all times. You also know that it’s important to be proactive when letting your target market know about any changes in your website or about any new products or services you’re launching. It’s good as well that you’re making sure to monitor the results of your campaign.

However, when all’s said and done, the numbers you end up with are just not as satisfactory. Your sales simply don’t do justice to all the hard work you’ve expended. Where did you go wrong? That is something A/B testing can definitely answer for you.

no sales on ebay

There are several reasons why you must change certain aspects of your website – including those which used to be the very reason you were able to enjoy high profit margins in the past.

  • Target market – Their preferences constantly change or evolve, and your website must adapt to such changes.
  • Competition – If there’s something that your competition is doing better than you then you need to figure out how to turn things around.
  • Industry – New regulations or trends may affect how your business in general is perceived. A change in the overall design and target for your website may be called for to address such changes.
  • Economy – Financial constraints on you and your market may eventually require you to look for more cost-efficient marketing strategies to rely on.

Understanding how such factors affect the overall performance of your website will ensure that you take each step involved in A/B testing procedures seriously.

Related Post: Conversion Optimization – 5 Seriously Simple Steps

How to Perform A/B Split Testing

A/B tests are first and foremost characterized by the features listed below.

  • They can only test two versions of a singular component while all other components must remain the same.
  • They must be conducted at the same time. There are software tools you can use for random subjects to see different versions of your website without causing any adverse impact on their overall experience while visiting your site.
  • They require use of additional tools for interpreting and analyzing resulting data. These tools determine up to what extent data from A/B tests may be interpreted.

ab test coversion rate

To illustrate by example, let’s say that you have a website which has a high click out rate but averages only a fraction of website hits per month. With A/B testing, you can determine what about your homepage you should change to increase website traffic. 

Horizontal versus Vertical Layouts

It may be a simple change, but it can affect a user’s overall perception of your website. Even if your products are still arranged according to popularity or price average, the presentation of your products would still differ.

For this type of A/B test, a six-week period will likely be sufficient for accumulating data. Other types of A/B tests may require more or less time. It depends on what type of component you are testing for effectiveness.

Use the Best Available tools!
Data can be interpreted in various ways, but this will ultimately depend on what additional tools you’d be using. The best tools should provide key comparisons between the two layouts based on the following premises.
  • Confidence index – This is the customer’s overall confidence rate in relation to what your business is offering.
  • Conversion rate – This refers to the percentage of which the visitors of your website have been converted into actual customers or those who have made verified payments for your products or services.
  • Conversion rate error – This is the margin of error in relation to the conversion rate provided by the program.
  • Uplift – This reflects the overall effectiveness of the component you are measuring via A/B testing.

How important do you think A/B split testing is in sales conversion?

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About the Author: Ruben Corbo is a freelance writer that writes about technology, gaming, music, and online marketing especially topics about A/B split testing and how to run multivariate tests. You can read more information on Maxymiser’s A/B and split testing guide for a better understanding on how it works. Ruben is also an avid gamer and music composer for short films and other visual arts.


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