Posted to Mitch Holt's blog on January 7th, 2013

Website Conversion Testing: The Marriage of Science and Creativity

Why you should do A/B testing and immediately take the guesswork out of your webpage design changes

CEO Ted thinks a red “Ask Our Experts” button in the header of his company’s website will result in more leads; Marketing Director Tina thinks a green “Get a Quote” button will do the trick; and Marketing Specialist Mona thinks the current blue “Contact Us” button is the best option, and nothing should be changed.


All valid points, varying degrees of power within the company. So who wins?

Well, the CEO, obviously.

But what if I told you that you could take the guesswork out of your company’s design changes and put all three of these button ideas into the ring together? Or that you no longer need to pay a developer to make design changes and not see the results you thought you would? Or that one person with more power doesn’t have to make the call without having results to back it up?

The remedy to these problems is A/B testing.

A/B testing sends part of your traffic to one version of a page, and part of your traffic to another version of the same page, and allows you to see which version maximizes interest and engagement on a website.

  • Using the above example, you set up an A/B test so that 33% of the time, the red “Ask our Experts” button appears when a visitor hits your site, 33% of the time, the green “Get a Quote” button appears, and the rest of the time, the current blue “Contact Us” button appears.
  • Because your website traffic is in its annual seasonal dip, you decide to run the test longer in order to get more data for your test -- eight weeks instead of four.
  • You set up the conversion goals to be calculated during this test in your A/B testing tool (clicking the header button, I would guess), and you’re ready to go.
  • After eight weeks, the results are in.

     1,611 clicks
         1,193 clicks

     942 clicks

     
  • Marketing Director Tina wins with the green “Get a Quote” button!
     

Why should you start doing A/B testing on your website?

1. It is an easy, data-centric way to determine which variations will improve the performance of your website.
2. It takes the decision-making pressure off your team (and cuts down on design arguments!) and lets the testing platform do the work.
3. It allows you make design changes with confidence because you know without a shadow of a doubt which version of your webpage is more effective. If someone has a valid idea, test it!

We believe that a company should never stop A/B testing on its website and improving its performance. That’s why we have A/B tests running at any given moment for most of our clients. It’s a great way to take the traffic you attract and ensuring that it results in more leads for your brand.

Happy testing!