Isn’t your impressive, fully SEO-compliant website getting the traffic you want? Worse, have your sales or lead conversions dropped from previous levels? As nightmarish as it sounds, it can happen to the best of us. You want to improve SERP ratings and ROI for your company website without spending a fortune. An introduction to SEO A / B Split Testing is the answer.
Here is a statistic for you. Former US President Barack Obama received $ 60 million for his campaign through A / B testing alone. Whether for testing mobile apps or monitoring landing page performance, digital marketers choose A / B split testing as the most effective testing method.
So here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about A / B split testing and why it’s critical to your business growth:
What is a / B testing?
In simple terms, A / B testing is a method of checking how your current web page compares to a modified version of the same page that is displayed to different groups of randomly selected users.
How are A / B tests performed?
To do an A / B test (also called a bucket test), select a web page and create a second modified version of it. Editing can be as simple as a cosmetic variation like color matching or incorporating video content. Or it could mean a complete overhaul of the website.
Half of your traffic will show up on the original “control page” while the other half will show up as a “test” variant. Data analysis is used to assess the engagement of both groups with the two sides and their experiences are recorded. These statistics show whether the changes have had a positive or negative effect on the user experience and engagement.
Who Needs A / B Testing?
For most websites, and especially for mobile apps, A / B testing is an ongoing testing process. Companies like ecommerce, which rely heavily on providing improved UI / UX to drive traffic, need to constantly test and update their pages.
For B2B operations, A / B testing is an effective way to fix vulnerabilities on your website. The recorded data from the mapping of UI / UX can identify the areas where they are losing sales contacts. Based on this data, the company can change its CTA or landing page content or even the overall navigation of its website or mobile app.
This type of tailored user experience can have a significant impact on traffic and ultimately lead to more conversions.
What can you do A / B testing?
Ideally, all content found on a business website or app can be A / B tested, including the following:
Headings and sub-headings
A memorable headline is one of the first things a user reads on a website or app. Make sure the headline is short and self-explanatory. It’s a good idea to test A / B different font sizes, styles, and colors to see what works best. Sometimes style elements outweigh us and companies use hard-to-read fonts and lose leads.
The main body of your webpage content should be clear and concise and relate to the page heading. It should aim to answer the key questions concisely. A / B testing here can show if your content is in the right tone to resonate with users and drive conversions.
Formatting your content in subheadings also improves readability. A targeted answer to a question can also help you achieve the coveted spot of a featured snippet and further improve your SERP rankings.
Formulation for PPC advertisements
You can see a significant improvement in your click-through rates (CTR) by changing the wording of your PPC ads. Simple tweaks in your ad text can double your CTR.
Email subject lines
What you put in the subject line of your email has a direct impact on whether it will be opened or not. 58% of businesses use A / B testing on their email, experimenting with variations like text, punctuation, and emojis.
CTA buttons and placement
80% of companies use A / B testing for their call-to-action buttons (CTA). This is exactly where leads become conversions. So it’s not an exaggeration to say that CTAs are the most important elements of your page or app and need to be thoroughly A / B tested. Use different sizes and placements for your CTA banners to see what attracts users the most. Find innovative options like a Dial by Name CTA for that extra boost.
A well-structured, easy-to-navigate website or app screen increases user interaction. A / B test your website to make sure navigation is smooth and meets user expectations. A good website planning template will help get this started right away. A fluid user experience drives traffic to your website and increases your chances of conversion.
This list is by no means exhaustive and includes several other elements including meta titles and descriptions, landing pages, and URL structures.
How to do an A / B split test
The basics for running an A / B split test are simple:
- Research Pages to Test – Do a thorough research to identify the areas that need tweaking first. Use data analytics to identify pages with high abandonment rates. Your work begins here.
- Set a Goal – Set a clearly defined goal or outcome for the testing process. An example would be an increase in email subscriptions
- Hypothesizing – After you’ve set a goal, hypothesize why the variable in your A / B testing method might produce better results for your ROI. Prioritize the method based on its impact and ease of implementation.
- Create Variations – Make the necessary change to the variant. These can be simple tweaks such as the placement of fonts and images on your website or app, or more extensive structural changes for improved navigation.
- Run the experiment – run your experiment and wait for the results. At this point, all visitors to your website will be randomly directed to the control or variant page. Your user experience is tracked and recorded.
- At the end of the experiment, evaluate the results – the data analysis shows how the two versions fared and indicates differences in performance.
- Automate where you can – many tools such as cloud RPA are available to companies looking to streamline and optimize such processes.
What are the challenges of A / B testing?
A / B testing is not a foolproof way to guarantee an overnight traffic or conversion boost. Interestingly, only 1 out of 8 SEO A / B tests gives real results. There are several reasons for this, including:
- Choosing the wrong pages to test – It is a waste of time and resources to test pages that are not affecting conversions. Instead, focus on the most visited pages like your home page, product area, and contact page.
- Testing Too Many Items at One Time – It is not a good idea to test too many items at once. This is simply because you don’t know what caused a change. Preferably stick to changing an element on an app or website and testing it with the control version. The continuous integration of changes to the variant can prove to be a hindrance.
- Test with the Right Traffic – Getting the right amount of traffic is important to run your test. Remember, if you have a significant influx of website visitors, your test can be completed sooner.
A / B split testing plays an important role in improving your AMP and SEO strategy. Whether you are an ecommerce, B2B, or B2C company, you need to constantly review and update your existing websites and mobile apps to provide the best user experience and UX.
Track user interaction to find out what’s working and what’s not. With A / B testing, you can optimize your SEO strategy and go much further.