A/B Testing – How hedging your bets can win you business
When designing a website there are a lot of choices to be made; colours, layouts, typography, images and wording are arranged by you and your designer to get your message just right. For a business owner there can often be a lot of uncertainty about these decisions, about what choices are going to resonate with your audience.
One way of getting around the confusion is to test. An A/B or split test on your website is simply a way of letting 2 ideas compete against each other, for example…
Let’s say you run an online shoe shop and you want to get more people to click to view your men’s shoes department. Currently to get to this department people click on a pair of brown brogues. With an A/B test we could configure the site to show 50% of the visitors the original brogue and the other half a new button, say we show these people a running shoe. Then using Google Analytics we can observe which button gets clicked on the most. Over time you will be able to see what works best and incrementally improve your website so more and more of your audience is getting to the right place.
Don’t let the name mislead you, an A/B test doesn’t have to be just limited to 2 options you can simultaneously allow many options to compete. The trick is, for the most reliable test, to change 1 thing at a time, whether that be the colour of a button, the wording of a headline or placement of your call to action. If you test 2 pages that are radically different against each other you might struggle to see what it was about the winning page that made it successful.
These kinds of tests are really versatile and can be incredibly powerful, you can run a one off test on your site’s navigation design or work to create a strategy to improve your site gradually, piece by piece. If you think you might benefit from A/B testing on your website then get in touch and we can discuss your plans.