Today's blog post touches on a randomised experiment known as 'A/B Testing' and what benefits it can have when integrated in to a long-term digital marketing strategy. It's a technique that has been used on the internet for the best part of the last 13/14 years. These types of tests were being used long before the internet existed and were more commonly known as 'Split Tests' and 'Bucket Tests'.
This is part 1 of a 2 part blog post on the topic.
In this part we will look at what A/B testing is, and some of the approaches used to test which variant creates a better result.
In a nutshell, what is A/B Testing?
A/B Testing is primarily used for promotional email marketing campaigns, online adverts and website design.
A/B Testing is the process of running a simultaneous experiment between two or more pages to see which performs or converts the best. Despite the name A/B testing, the experiment can be conducted on as many pages as desired.
Once you have decided which sections of a page you wish to test (Images, call to action, headline, title, video, text content, layout) you can create new versions or variations of your page to enter in to the experiment.
By monitoring the results, you will quickly see which pages create better results.
What type of variants can I test and how to go about it?
Below we will discuss the most common variants used for A/B testing:
Colour - Colour has the largest impact on influence over all elements. Looking into colour psychology can really help impact your designs.
Images - Good high-quality pictures can make the world of a difference.
Icons - Designers take note, icons, like images can make a big difference in results. Making icons more inviting and visually attractive can dramatically increase the volume of hits.
Language - Obviously words are very important when trying to persuade people to invest in your product / service. Experiment with different versions of key paragraphs and monitor results so you can fine tune.
Volume of content - This is a big one too. Be cautious with over loading content. Too much text can be very off-putting and steer people away from the site. Make sure you have a clear, concise content strategy to work from.
Price - For some products & services, showing the price can be immediately off-putting. You will see a variety of different results depending on what stage of the checkout process you test and how you reveal the price.
Offers - Everyone likes offers. There are unlimited ways in which you can use offers to increase sales, click through's or any other result you are hoping for.
Layout - Make sure your paragraphs and images have space to breath. Condensed, squashed content makes for very unattractive layouts.
Calls to action - A strong call to action can make the world of difference when trying to get a visitor to complete a goal conversion. You need to make sure these are clear and constantly visible. You may want to test where it is best placed on a page to maximise results.
Safety Certificates - Comfort and peace of mind are a big persuader when parting with money. A simple SSL or certificate of excellence can provide the confidence required to invest in a product / service.
There are of course many more variants that can be tested. The above are some of the most-common and will provide you an idea of how A/B testing is used to create better marketing campaign results. At the end of the day, it's as simple as understanding that human's are subliminally attracted & motivated by colours, shapes, messages and layouts and the better an understanding you have on how these affect your product / service, the more you can take advantage and reap the rewards.
In the second part, we will look at some lesser known approaches that in specific circumstances have increased click through rates by up to 300% as well as looking at some surprising results that would seemingly defy logic.
The rule with A/B testing like in many other areas of life is………. Don't make assumptions, data is your friend. Stay tuned for part two.
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