July 11th, 2016
In an article published in 2015, Forbes magazine reported that roughly 90% of all startups fail within the first year. As a business owner, your goals (among many) is to run a profitable, successful and approachable company.With your mind split between many responsibilities, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the day-to-day and not focus on one of the most visible revenue driving centers for your business, your website. In this post, you’ll be learning a little more about the rules behind A/B testing, one of the many ways to increase the revenue you derive from your website.
Your website can be optimized for an increase in e-commerce, lead generation, and other online conversions. It’s all about understanding the way your website works. That understanding will help guide you with tweaks to calls-to-actions, design layout, and onsite copy, which may prove more effective for converting existing traffic onsite.
This is where A/B testing plays an important role. A/B tests allow you to test two slightly different versions of the same page to see which performs better. By split testing two pages, you can test a multitude of variables such as color, call-to-action, copy, and overall page layout to better understand what converts your site’s users. This is done by splitting traffic between the two pages and analyzing conversions and sessions to formulate the conversion rate.
It’s important to insure that you follow best practices and use an analytical mind. One misstep or overreach of interpreted data can dramatically alter your conversions. This can lead to a loss in revenue, leads or other conversion that directly affect your business’ bottom line.
Here a few rules to use A/B tests to drive your conversions:
The first things you should think about before starting an A/B test is the outcome. What would you like to accomplish by testing the control against its variation?
For example, Injinji wanted to drive the sales of their performance toe socks. To meet these goals, we looked at their sales funnel and determined that sessions were abandoned when a user reached the checkout page. By looking at the elements on page and understanding where clicks are distributed, you can determine any elements that you may wish to change to drive those sales.
By following the on-page elements and identifying your goal, you can create a testable hypothesis. A hypothesis — or educated guess about how something works — is formulated by the action and goal. If I do “X”, then “Y” will occur. This format will force you to look at customer interactions on site and how best to address them.
Without this step, testing becomes an aimless activity, which does not offer a return on your investment. To avoid wasting time, resources and money, be sure to formulate a hypothesis when you’re A/B testing.
As you’re starting an A/B test, it’s important to gage the usage of your site and the completions of macro/micro conversions onsite. If your site’s brand new, you may need to build up your web traffic via SEO, PPC or other inbound strategies to ensure that you have a significant amount of traffic to convert. Without adequate conversions or traffic to the site, tests can drag on for over a year. The best way to gage your traffic is look at your analytics data to find the total number of monthly sessions and goal conversions. More traffic and conversions lead to shorter testing periods, which also uses less resources and money.
While shorter tests means quicker turnaround, they can also lead to unreliable data. Ending a test too soon with too little conversions can produce results that are most likely “too good to be true.” On the flip side, running a test for too long can create gaps in your data due to external variables, which are out of your control.
When planning your testing, make sure to test for anywhere from five to thirty days. Running tests any shorter or longer will likely lead to the problems mentioned above.
Following these two insights to A/B testing can do wonders for your conversions. The example mentioned earlier, Injinji, saw a 965% increase of revenue generated from the site. To properly optimize for conversions, you must understand your goals and create a hypothesis, which can be tested for those goals. It’s also important to understand the needs of your site by analyzing your data in Google analytics. By following these two tips you can expect in-depth testing, which helps drive sales and revenue.
Author Bio: Ray Martinez is an Analytics Manager for Main Path Marketing. He has an analytical mind coupled with the creativity of an artist. His belief in small wins leading to bigger goals and aptitude for continued education and professional development drive his creative process every day. Ray’s experience includes managing web development resources, client relationships and the execution of SEO strategy.
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