19 Mar How to beat your competition online with A/B testing
A/B testing, otherwise known as split testing, involves a randomized test in which half of a website’s visitors see a control (A) for a certain site element, and the other half see a differing variable (B) of that element. It is important to note that A/B testing is a live experiment, and for some time (Until deciding to and testing), the webmaster must be very vigilant about monitoring and comparing the different versions.
How does it work?
Say that a website selling shoes wants to redesign pages and is not sure which color to go with for a button to select flip-flops. During the A/B testing period, some visitors will see a yellow button and the other visitors will see a light green button. Whichever button color gets more clicks is the color the website will permanently apply to its flip-flop buttons.
A/B Testing can show which particular online content or color scheme is more likely to garner conversions and pique human interest. This is also a way to check the functionality and user-friendliness of a website by pinpointing the areas that need some attention. A/B testing can ultimately increase website traffic and visibility. Essentially, it is a pretty easy way to maximize SEO value and improve the overall success of the website.
Added bonus: it probably saves some time and disagreements among coworkers.
What should you split test?
While any given website can test whatever floats its boat, there are some key items that have shown to be extremely beneficial in terms of SEO after undergoing A/B testing. Testing components like
- calls to action
- sales funnels
- button text
…are almost certain to increase conversion rate!
Why should you split test?
In SEO terms, A/B testing hugely contributes to conversion rate optimization (CRO) and an improved user experience (UX). A/B testing can easily take a website from good to great by increasing conversion rates over time and guiding users to the preferred workflow. What are people expecting and what might they find easiest (might differ from webmaster expectations)?
Simplistically, A/B testing provides consumer feedback without any forms or surveys. Website visitors have been no idea if they are participating in A/B testing.
After running some tests and implementing the results, a website can see a huge boost in conversion rates, visitor interest and engagement. Data-driven decisions are key to good website strategy. Crush the competition!
How to start running A/B tests:
Now that you know what A/B testing means and the undeniably awesome things it can do to enhance your website and SEO value, it’s time to get started by using these tools. Optimizely, VWO, Hotjar or Google Optimize will take you straight to the top!
(Yes it might cost some money, but if you are already spending money to develop a website, why not get the most bang for your buck?)
As SEOs ourselves, in the original audit we provide clients, we give a visual and technical audit. We use usertesting.com to get feedback. It’s important to understand why customers leave or buy. Think, for example, that in a brick and mortar store you can visually see what people are doing and how they are behaving. We want you to be able to see this for your site in the same informative way.
Here’s a quick example of a split test we ran: We ran one type of page from December 1-31 (orange line) and ran another page from January 1 – 31 (blue line). The main change we did was to optimize the navigation bar to include more sub-categories, which gave Google more specific pages to index. As you can see, the results were positive: more sessions, pages per session and more transactions!
Interested in starting an A/B testing strategy for your website?
Get in touch with our team of SEO pros today: Contact us!