A large part of becoming a successful marketer is refining what you have already created. Everything a marketer creates can be improved upon, whether it’s a Google ad campaign, a landing page, or their social media strategy.
But the world of marketing is full of uncertainties and experiments. You shouldn’t just jump head-first into making a massive change to a campaign that is already doing decently, you need to test the waters. A/B testing is how to figure out if a specific change is a right decision to make. You can gather data, see results, and have evidence whether the change worked or not.
One of the best places to A/B test is your website. It’s easy to set up, and you can practically test every single element on your website. But with so many options, how do you know which parts of your website to focus on the most when it comes to A/B testing?
Pick Out Analytics Data That Lead to Results
When it comes to data, your website produces a lot of it. Nearly everything people do online is trackable, and it’s essential you are tracking what leads to your ideal end results, whether it’s gaining more traffic to earn ad revenue, or making a sale.
Typical data people focus on include:
- General traffic
- Bounce rate
- Call to action click-through rate
- Time on page/site
Don’t just look at this analytics though, finding others might also play a huge role in getting results. That could include tracking a person’s mouse while on your website with a heat map, keyword rankings, and more.
Once you’ve identified key analytics that leads to getting better results, that’s what you can start A/B testing. Try to improve those data sets on individual pages, then push overall improvements for the whole website.
A/B Testing Your Content
If content marketing plays a major role in your business, you need to find out how to utilize it best. A/B testing is how to take your content strategy to the next level.
Ever wanted to see if your audience responds better to video or written content? Instead of just producing a video and seeing the results, create both, and then A/B test it. Half your audience sees the video, the other half sees the written out version. As the test runs, monitor a variety of analytics, such as retention, bounce rate, general traffic and more. Often, you might see one data sets improve, while another suffers. For example, in the video version, you might see an increase in conversions from people who watch the entire video, but also a higher bounce rate from visitors who don’t want to watch it.
Other aspects of content that you can test should include titles, calls to action at the end, images, writing styles, even suggest reading sidebars next to a blog article. Just be sure to test each of these individually. You wouldn’t want your data influenced by multiple chances in one go.
Test Key Landing Pages
Not every page on your website is equally important. Key pages that lead to results, like sales or gaining leads, need to be as efficient as possible.
Everything about important landing pages needs to be fine-tuned and tweaked, meaning lots of A/B tests. A good way to start this process is to go with large changes and then get smaller over time. Those larger changes can influence smaller tweaks later on.
For example, one major change to determine early on is the type of content you want to utilize for the page. A video, written, or both can play a role in your landing pages effectiveness. Test out multiple formats of content to find what works best for you.
Once you have the big decisions made, you can start doing smaller tweaks. Things like a new call to action text or button color, removing links that could lead people away from the page, swapping out images, or smaller content changes are all things that could lead to increased page performance.
Trying Out Branding Changes
It’s likely that in the lifetime of your business, your branding is going to change and evolve. Making a poor branding choice, though, can cripple your business. Even swapping your website’s color pallet could confuse visitors and drive away people.
Before committing to a branding choice, run an A/B test against your current branding. Hopefully, the change won’t hurt your website, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Again, test each element over time. For one test, do a color palette swap. After that test is finished, do the logo change. Changing everything in one fell swoop and finding that people don’t like it, you won’t know what exactly they dislike. Do each part individually, and if you come across a change that doesn’t do well, go back to the drawing board.
Even smaller branding changes, like what kind of font to use, are simple but still important. The more tests you run, the more data you’ll have, and the better you’ll understand your audience.
Finding the Right Sales Phrasing
How you phrase something can make a world of difference depending on your target market. While the end product might not change, how you set it up can heavily impact your successes.
For example, let’s say you are offering a demo of your software product. You could offer it as a “Free Trial,” a “Demo,” a “30-Day Free Version,” or other synonym phrases. The end result is the same, but how it’s phrased makes a difference.
Test out multiple different sales phrases to see what works best. In this scenario, it might not just be pure numbers to pay attention to. Different markets will respond positively or negatively to each different phrases. A professional businessman might respond better to a demo over a free trial, while a mother at home might prefer a free trial.
The Power of Data
As you do more A/B tests, you’ll start to accumulate a stash of valuable data. Don’t just let that data inform a single choice of what you were testing, use it for future decisions, as well. This data can help improve current and future marketing decisions, customer support, and influence how your business is run as a whole.
For example, let’s say you find after several tests that producing answers to relevant questions in videos leads to better visitor retention. That information could be very valuable to your customer support team who are trying to figure out how to best build an FAQ section on the site.
Use data from A/B tests to help guide future choices, and you’re more likely to see better results time and time again.