“Follow your gut”is a conventional statement almost all of us have come across in our routine lives. And while it may hold true in some situations, however, it is important to realize that your gut can often lead you straight into non-optimal, unfavorable situations– situations that you need  to steer clear of when running a business! When making any decision for your business, relying on logic and analyses is a wiser and more beneficial decision. Even seemingly simple decisions such as deciding between two layouts for your website can have a big impact. One such method to help you make informed, logical decisions is the process of AB Testing, which is a phenomenon of split testing. 

Essentially, the process of AB testing requires you to create two versions, version A and version B, of one piece of content with changes to one single variable that you are unsure about. You then divide your audience equally and enable half of them to view version A while the other half views version B. You then analyze the way the audiences engage and perform with the versions to determine which would be optimal for you to implement. 

Why Conduct AB Tests?

AB Tests hold multitudes of benefits, depending upon what you are testing. In any case, however, an AB test reveals the preference of your consumers by analyzing their engagement on your website. It then enables you to optimize your website in such a way that maximizes conversions, sales, customer retention while eliminating the wasted resources that you would otherwise spend on experimenting on the basis of your gut feelings. 

How to Conduct AB Tests?

Before you begin the AB test, there are certain steps you need to take to ensure efficacy. 

1. Identify the Independent Variable

During the process of optimizing your website, you will come to face various uncertainties and therefore will want to test a wide range of variables. It is important, however, that you pick out one testing variable, also called the independent variable, for each AB test that you conduct. Picking one variable and measuring its performance enables you to be certain about how that particular variable affects the site visitors. 

2. Define your Goal

target arrow people around desk

Next, you need to identify which metric to focus on. You may measure various metrics for each test, however, it is effective to set one primary metric as your goal; this will be your dependent variable. Defining your main goal before conducting the test has proven to be most effective as it allows you to streamline your hypothesis and your focus. 

3. Set up your ‘Control’

Setting up a ‘control group’ is essential to prove the accuracy of any experiment or test, which is why it is important to create one for your AB test as well. After identifying your independent and dependent variables along with the desired outcome, you now need to create an unaltered version of the webpage– or the webpage as it exists already. This will be your ‘control’. 

4. Split your Traffic

magnifying glass on audience

At this stage, you need to split your audience into random and equal groups to derive conclusive results. For instance, you could divide your website traffic into two groups, where one would view version A of the web page and the other would see version B. 

5. Decide the Significance of the Results

You now need to decide how significant your results need to be to justify choosing one variation over the other. For example, how drastically different do the results of version A have to be from version B in order for you to pick A, or vice versa?  

6. Implementation of the Winner

man holding winner cup

After you have successfully conducted the AB test and have a version that reveals results that are statistically better than the other– you have a winner. This version can now be implemented in order to maximize your conversion rate and optimize your website. However, if neither version turns out to be statistically better than the other then the test is inconclusive as the tested variable has no impact on the results. You can conduct this test repeatedly, switching out independent variables with each turn. 

Which Tools to Use? 

The digital landscape is laden with effective AB testing  tools that you can utilize. 

  • Google Analytics– It offers one of the best data collection and AB testing solutions. Most of its features and the aspects that you require are offered free of cost. Enterprise brands, however, may want to sign up for Google Analytics 360 Suite which then opens doors to even more features. 
  • OptimizelyThis is one of the leading CRO platforms in the marketing industry and offers far more options with AB testing. Your brand cannot outgrow this platform as long as your conversion optimization is in progress
  • VWOIf you are looking for a simple tool with a straightforward platform then VWO is the way to go.In terms of features, it is in direct competition with Optimizely as it provides some features that Optimizely doesn’t, and vice versa. So you can pick the platform based on which set of features you require.
  • Adobe TargetIt essentially is an enterprise personalization platform that offers AB testing as a standard. It also provides you with automated personalisation and app optimisation based on your consumer data.
  • AB TastyIt is a reasonably priced and intuitive AB testing platform and offers other features as well. It offers the usual testing methods along with an interesting funnel testing feature that allows you to experiment with changes that run across various pages. 

There is no denying thet AB testing is essential for the growth of your marketing strategy, and consequently, your business. Need help optimizing your strategy? Mountainise is at your service!