In this article we look at “A/B” or “Split” testing and explore the basics around what this is and some tips on how you can improve your A/B testing.
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing is not a new concept and has been used for a long time in offline marketing particularly with direct mail.
The aim of A/B testing is to compare two different versions of a page or a page element such as a heading, image or button in order to see which elements are engaging users to make them respond and to improve conversion rates.
A/B testing is also referred to as “Split testing” as the differences between the two pages are split or alternately served to different users.
Why use A/B testing?
Rather than debating with your colleagues about which call to action or button will increase the number of sales or conversions on your site, you can run a scientific test which will calculate the numbers for you. Often the results are surprising but the numbers don’t lie!
Advantages to A/B testing
- Low cost to deploy as requires only a simple change to an existing page
- It measures the actual behaviour of your customers under real-world conditions
- The process is not visible to most of your users
- Can solve internal debates about calls to action and design choices
Disadvantages to A/B testing
- More suited to high traffic sites
- Requires knowledge to setup the campaign and interpret the results
- In some cases results need to be gathered over a period of several months
- Is more suited to sites with clear measurable actions such as a newsletter sign up and actual sales
- You can only test two pages at a time unlike multivariate testing
Examples of A/B testing tools
We have come up with a brief list of companies that provide tools for A/B testing: