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A|B Testing

What Is A/B Testing And How To Do It Effectively

Jaydene Booysen
5 min read

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In a constantly changing field like digital marketing, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the new strategies involved with improving the user experience. A/B testing, also known as split testing, refers to a randomized experimentation process wherein two or more versions of a variable (web page, page element, etc.) are shown to different segments of website visitors at the same time to determine which version leaves the maximum impact and drive business metrics to increase conversions, but more importantly, increase revenue. 

But how would you know which strategy should be implemented first? 

And from there, how would you measure results to see if your strategy is actually working and having a positive impact on your bottom line?

The best way to do this is through an A/B testing framework, a valuable ruleset all marketers should be familiar with. But if done incorrectly could give you wrong insights for your marketing strategy. 

This is why now more than ever, marketers need to understand the A/B testing process and how to do it effectively. 

What Is A/B Testing?

In simpler terms, A/B is a testing method that gives you valuable information about how your target audience behaves. 

You’re basically comparing two versions of the same thing with variances to them –  whether that be a campaign bidding strategy, email, text in an ad, or landing page headline to determine which version your target audience reacts better to. 

Marketers could use A/B testing to improve anything from micro-metrics like click-through-rates, traffic volumes to your homepage, and time-on-site to the bigger picture metrics like conversion rates and revenue. Even the smallest improvements can have an impact. 

Did you know that only 58% of marketers are using A/B testing as a method of conversion rate optimization. As a marketer, you continuously try to improve your conversion rates. A/B testing is the most used method for conversion rate optimization, according to recent A/B testing stats published by Marketing Charts.

Landing page test
Landing page test – Get Custom Pricing CTA Button – 91% confidence, 33% increase in conversion rate

Champions & Challengers

A/B testing relies heavily on statistics and data collected from champions and challengers. 

Challenges

A champion is the marketing asset you currently have running, also known as your “control”. You could think of this as “Version A.”

This is the controlled variant that you would test any theories you’d have against.

Champion

Champion variants are the “hypothesis” or variant of the same marketing asset that you’d want to test against your champion variant. You could think of this as “Version B.”

This is why it’s called A/B testing.

Unbounce example
Unbounce dashboard – Challenger shows an increase in conversion rate by 197% with 97.19% confidence

Setting Up Your A/B Test

  1. Set a goal
  1. Make sure tracking is in place
  1. Definite your “control” and “challenger”
  1. Create the variant
  1. Define your start time
  1. Gathering Data – How long should you run your A/B test?
  1. Analyzing your A/B testing results
  2. Connecting A/B test results back to your goal
Google ads A|B
Ad A/B testing result – 44.28% increase in CTR (93% confidence)


What can you A/B test?

Your website’s conversion funnel determines the fate of your business. Therefore, every piece of content that reaches your target audience via your website must be optimized to its maximum potential.

Copy

  • Headlines and subheadlines

A headline is practically the first thing that a visitor notices on a web page.Ensure they’re short, to-the-point, catchy, and convey your desired message in the first stance. Try A/B testing a few copies with different fonts and writing styles, and analyze which catches your visitors’ attention the most and compels them to convert. 

  • Body

The body or main textual content of your website should clearly state what the visitor is getting – what’s in store for them. It should also resonate with your page’s headline and subheadline. A well-written body can significantly increase the chances of turning your website into a conversion magnet. Pay extra detail too the writing style and formatting. 

  • Subject lines

Email subject lines directly impact open rates. If a subscriber doesn’t see anything they like, the email will likely wind up in their trash bin. Try questions versus statements, test power words against one another, and consider using subject lines with and without emojis. 

Design and layout

Along with the copy, the page’s design and layout include images (product images, offer images, etc.) and videos (product videos, demo videos, advertisements, etc.). Your product page should answer all of your visitor’s questions without confusing them and without getting cluttered, so provide clear information; Highlight customer reviews; Write simple content; Create a sense of urgency.

Navigation

Make sure you have a clear plan for your website’s structure and how different pages will be linked to each other and react within that structure. Do you want to skill your navigation game ? Some helpful tips would be

  • To match visitor expectations by placing your navigation bar in standard places to make your website easier to use.
  • Make your website’s navigation predictable by keeping similarly themed content in the same bucket or in related buckets to reduce your visitor’s cognitive load. 
  • Creating a fluid, easy-to-navigate website by keeping its structure simple, predictable, and matching your visitors’ expectations. 

Forms

Forms are mediums through which prospective customers get in touch with you. They become even more important if they are part of your purchase funnel. You can figure out which style works for your audience the best by using research tools/methods like form analysis to determine the problem area in your form and work towards optimizing it.

Facebook example 1
Church based ad creative – $5.49 CPA and a 16.99 ROAS (converting 70% better with 95% confidence)
Facebook example 2
Original ad creative – $11.90 CPA with a 5.66 ROAS

CTA (Call-to-action)

A/B testing enables you to test different CTA copies, their placement across the web page, toy with their size and color scheme, and so on. Such experimentation helps understand which variation has the potential to get the most conversions.

Social Proof 

Social proof may take the form of recommendations and reviews from experts of the particular fields, from celebrities and customers themselves, or can come as testimonials, media mentions, awards and badges, certificates, and so on. 

Content depth

Some website visitors prefer reading long-form content pieces that extensively cover even the minutest of details. Meanwhile, many others just like to skim through the page and deep dive only into the topics that are most relevant to them. In which category does your target audience fall

Google ads example 2
Past 30 Days of search query data that had at least 1 conversion from non-brand campaigns

Here at Centrasyte, we’re always finding the “next big needle mover”, and A/B testing allows us not only to think of creative ways to test but also to draw conclusions from those tests backed by data we collect.  

We do this with all of our clients and it’s produced amazing results.

The data you collect from iterating on your A/B tests over and over again can be applied to other marketing channels for your business to produce similar results. 

 

If you’ve read this far you should have a better understanding of how A/B testing works and how you could do it effectively to improve performance and your bottom line. 

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