A/B testing Guide for beginners- concepts you should know
A/B testing or some might even call it as A/B/n testing is a way to test the performance level of the changes we do on our site. We perform a large number of changes on our site without even without thinking how these changes would perform in terms of the conversion rates. A/B testing is a way that will tell you about the impact of the changes you perform on your site. The impacts are studied in term of the changes in conversion rates.
What actually happens in a A/B testing?
In a A/B/n testing, we create two or more version of the same element on the site(say the landing page). These versions are slightly different from each other. The differences could be a change in layout, change in color of the CTA button, or any kind of design, navigation, or structural change. We deploy these two different versions of the same element to the different audiences and study how these two versions differ with each other in terms of the conversion rate.
How the two versions differ from each other?
Two versions differ a slightly from each other. Out of these two adaptations, one is kept as it was before and other versions (s) are deployed with the changes (not drastic changes, just a slight tweak). The version which is kept as it was before is called as control or original page while the version(s) which is deployed with the changes is called as treatment or variation page.
Why should I spend my money and effort on A/B testing ?
There are certain times when a company faces a condition when its website is simply not converting anymore. The conversion rates are directly dependent on the user experience and impulse of your users. If the website is not able to gain the proper attention, it means it is lagging somewhere in its UX that has everything to do with your UI. An attempt for conversion optimization of such websites would want you to perform certain modifications and optimizations keeping in mind your goal is to increase the conversion rates.
When it comes to the design optimization of your website you have a varied number of choices for the changes, but is really tricky to say which design option would suit the conversion optimization and which you need to avoid. Even with the competent A/B testing tools, it is very tough to decide. However, it is only through A/B testing you can get close enough to a precise solution. The comparison between the control and variation pages would help you decide which version would be more suitable for positive conversion rates.
What are A/B testing tools?
An A/B testing tool is a software program that automates the each and every step of your testing procedure. An A/B testing can be done manually, but it will take a lot of time and effort to actually perform an error-free A/B testing manually. You will have to create the variations, and manually calculate the conversions, and that would be a tough task to perform manually. Therefore the whole process of a A/B testing is smartly automated using an A/B testing tool. These tools have all the resources that you would need in the whole process. From design tools, dashboard for reporting to inbuilt statistical calculators. The most important are the control panel from which all the test and experiments are controlled. The dashboards also provide the interface to see the test reports in the graphical format with all the graphs and comparisons.
What can you test ?
An A/B testing tool allows the user to test each and every web element on the site. whether it’s an email template, CTA button, landing page, homepage, page layout or even the headlines. A/B testing tools cannot only be used as a testing tool but also a tool to create converting web design. These tools are real-time systems that have certain relativity with the time and calculations.
For example, You have created some compelling headlines for your homepage and you are confused which one to keep as the final. You can simply deploy A/B testing to check which headline give the most of the conversions.
Get yourself prepared for the A/B testing
As a beginner, you don’t have to worry regarding the complexity of the whole A/B testing procedure . You have to just follow some basic guidelines and modest operand, and you are good to go with your A/B testing project.
1. Ask yourself, what are the changes you want on your website?- You don’t need to behave like a rocket scientist. Just ask the basic questions to yourself.
- Why do you want to perform a A/B testing?
- What are your target elements?
- For how long you want to perform the A/B testing?
2. Research about the present performance of the site- It is very important to perform a research about how the current elements are performing on the site. For this, you can utilize a heat map tool that will provide a graphical report about the user interaction with your site in the form of heat maps generated by scrolls, clicks, mouse hovers by the users.
3. Create a hypothesis about your process- If you are ready to roll with the A/B testing, then you must be having some certain views about the changes you want to perform on your site. These changes, according to your hypothesis, are perfect for improving the conversion rate of your site. These are the certain hypothesis you have to make because you have to later test your hypothesis against the control version (original/current) of the elements.
You are now aware of what is a A/B testing and how it helps in conversion optimization of your website. We also got to know about how a A/B testing tool can automate the whole task. You just need to choose an A/B testing tool for your project and start the test on your site. Each and every A/B testing tool has its own way of installation and configuration on your site. I would suggest the MockingFish tool for you as a beginner, as it is easier to install, configure and use on your site. Most of all, as a beginner it is not recommended to spend on the paid A/B testing tools. MockingFish is a free A/B testing tool which is also bundled with the free heat map tool to make your testing easier and pocket-friendly.