You may have heard of A/B Testing or Split Testing to improve your website's optimization, but is A/B Testing, really? A/B testing is when you actually send 50% of your web traffic randomly to one variation of your website, and 50% of your web traffic randomly to the "original" version of your website, to test which works better. You can set up your A/B test to see which one either converts more eCommerce customers, generates more leads, or even keeps people on your site longest.
We recommend setting up an A/B test to either prove or disprove some kind of other theory based on data.
For example, our 2018 data download, says that websites with an Autoslider in the main hero area don't work well at engaging web traffic. They have higher bounce rates (a bad thing) than sites that don't have an Autoslider.
But you should test theory from industry baseline data to get your own real data, and it's easier than you think. For more on setting up an A/B test, click here.
So, now that you understand a little more about what A/B Testing your website is (because you've seen this post - the million dollar question is lingering in your brain - how do I determine a variant page design to test against my original?
It's actually simpler than you might think, and YES, it's based on data! We typically conduct a competitive analysis to determine a variant page to test against. For example, you should take your top five competitors and run them through a tool called SimilarWeb.com (even the free version works).
You'll see who has the best bounce rate, and who keeps traffic on their site the longest, based on their homepage design.
Look for commonalities in design layouts among the top performers, and use these commonalities to layout your variant design. Examples are explained in this video!
This type of A/B Testing Strategy is even more important for and drives more immediate results for eCommerce websites.
A quick recap of the steps is in the video below.
Thanks for reading, watching and listening, and have a great day!
Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.