Increasing Conversions With Continuous A/B Testing

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Conversion-optimization can be a tough nut to crack. The Internet abounds with countless examples and case studies of the strategies undertaken to improve conversion rates. However, there are no one-size-fits-all techniques. These strategies have arisen out of that individual or entity’s testing and studies, but the only way to know if they will work for your website is by testing them yourself. Every individual or entity trying to enhance conversion rates on their website has to objectively evaluate the pain points, suggest improvements and test their impact.

What is A/B testing?

Before we get into the linkage between continuous A/B testing and conversion optimization, let’s understand what A/B testing is.

A/B testing is a method of testing a change to a website and measuring responsiveness to it. The change is tested by creating two versions of the website. Half of the web traffic will be directed to one version of the website and the other half will be directed to the version with the variation. Then the response of visitors can be assessed.

When we talk about conversions specifically, conversion elements of the website can be varied for the purpose of testing and the version which leads to higher conversions can be preferred. It is often tricky to identify the elements to test. A good rule is to pick one element to test at a time and not run tests on multiple items at the same time. Testing multiple items at a time makes it difficult to determine which factor was responsible for the conversion and to what extent.

This is why it is important to run A/B tests on a continuous basis. A website should be monitored and improved constantly.

Continuous A/B testing to increase conversions

A/B testing can be used to improve conversion rates on your website in the following ways:

         Call To Action (CTA) buttons – CTA buttons call on visitors to your website to take an action. Every website will have different CTA buttons, depending on what the website aims to get a person to do. Examples of CTA buttons are download now, get a free trial, subscribe, etc. You can test the size, color and positioning of your CTA button. Perhaps you hypothesize that having a larger CTA button or coloring the CTA a certain shade will result in more conversions. After that, you can test power words versus action words with regard to the CTA button text. Some power words, in descending order of success, are free, you, now and new. Some action words, in descending order of success, are signup, register, download, click, try and buy. Test all the CTA buttons on your website in this way.

         Headlines and subheadings – If your headlines are not worded well, visitors will not bother reading the content on your webpage. Conversion rates are obviously impacted in a big way. Further, visitors could miss your value proposition completely if your headline is not eye-catching enough to make them sit up and take notice. It makes sense to use A/B testing to consider the impact of variations in headings and subheadings. Along with conversions, you can also test the length of time visitors stay engaged. If one headline results in a longer period of time spent by a visitor on average, this positively affects conversion rates.

         Checkout procedure – This point is particularly applicable to e-commerce websites. Using A/B testing to improve the layout of your checkout page can minimize cart abandonment occurrences and thereby improve conversions. For instance, you may observe that even by offering coupons, customers tend to go off in search of the coupon codes and end up not making their purchase. Use A/B testing to see what happens when codes are provided or hyperlinked on the checkout page. Another element to check is conversions in a single step versus multiple-step checkout.

         Imaging – There are a wide number of images to choose from your website. How do you decide what kind of imaging makes your website the most eye-catching? A/B testing can help. Try on various ones to see which ones lead to greater engagement, longer time spent on the website and, as a result, higher conversions. For example, you may test the image of a human being and that of a landscape to see which yields better results. If you find the human image is more successful, you may test your hypothesis that the image of a human smiling would do better than a serious expression. Run tests on a continuous basis to reach the optimum imaging for high conversion rates.

         Colours – Colours have a huge impact on our view of the world and how we understand things. This also holds true for how people view your website. Use A/B testing to test the effects of colours in every aspect of your websites such as the backdrop, the menus, and the CTA buttons. For example, you may test the effect of a green CTA button against a red CTA button. We are programmed to associate green with the signal to go and red with stopping. You may theorize that a green CTA button would result in higher conversions than a red.

         E-mails – A/B testing is not just done for websites. It can also be used for e-mails since e-mails also form a platform for conversions. You can test elements like CTA buttons, colours, images and headlines in e-mails too. But there are other factors you can test too such as subject lines and word count. You can evaluate if the certain wording in the e-mail subject line results in the higher likelihood of opening the e-mail. After this, you can go further by checking what kind of content results in the higher likelihood of visiting the website. With regard to word count, you may theorize that a lower word count with higher concentrations of imaging leads to greater conversions. Do not limit yourself when it comes to testing. Test every single aspect of your e-mail.

A/B testing should be a constant in your marketing strategy, as it is one of the most effective ways to increase conversions. You can think outside the box with A/B testing. Once you have tested an element, move on to the next one and then the next and so on. After you have tested every single aspect, significant time could have passed between now and your first test. So, what now? Begin again.



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TechFond - Latest Technology | Analysis | Enterprise | Startups | Product Reviews | How Tos: Increasing Conversions With Continuous A/B Testing
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