A/B testing: it's not just for landing pages! We are firm believers in ABT- Always Be Testing. Optimization without analytics is just a shot in the dark so make sure you A/B testing everything.
"One accurate measurement is worth more than a thousand expert opinions" - Admiral Grace Hopper
We have spent the past few weeks highlighting the many sides of the A/B testing conundrum. We've looked at the decision to test corporate websites versus targeted landing pages, noted the top three things for a data analyst to consider before A/B testing, and looked at how marketers can use A/B testing to help create customized personalization for website visitors.
Just like David Letterman, here at Nonlinear we love a good top 10 list, so here are the top 10 reasons to A/B test everything you publish on you website:
10. Learn about your audience
Statistical results from tests can inform a marketing team about what type of audience is reading and interacting with their content, which may sound familiar if you recently read our post on A/B testing and persona analysis. By using tests on all content, the authors can gain more insight into their customers and what they are looking for.
9. Enhance content
A/B and multivariate tests can be used to determine which content is working and which content isn't. This allows authors to log back into their CMS and tweak their content to better target their audiences. The test results can influence authors deciding on the direction of new content, as well as when optimizing existing content and page components.
8. Small changes can have a big impact
With a relatively low amount of effort invested in small changes to content copy or page components, organizations can see a big impact through increased conversions and expanded knowledge of their customer base - particularly if you're testing a high-traffic page (like, say... your homepage). This will encourage marketing teams to begin A/B testing on their content more frequently because it takes less time to do so.
7. Tests don't have to be perfect every time
Experimentation is key! In order to learn, you will have to fail. Marketing teams should invest less time in being perfect and instead spend incremental efforts on building quick and continuously improving tests. Teams do not need to be held up creating content based on data from the perfect A/B test, but instead should spend their effort on creating more awesome content. Even if the team doesn't achieve the optimal solution on the first try, the content improves with each learning experience.
If your organization is employing software that enables personalization and customized content based on personas, A/B testing can help in determining which content will most appeal to the various audiences that visit your site. The right content shown to the correct subset of visitors can be the catalyst for optimal conversion. On the flip side, presenting a disjointed message that targets the wrong audience or trying "one size fits all" content might discourage conversions.
5. Drive investment
All organizations are looking at where to invest that next dollar. Data gathered via A/B testing can provide important intel that can be used as part of this decision. Would a face lift to your site yield the most results? Or perhaps focusing on more mobile-friendly content is the way to go. A/B testing can tell you. Equally important, if not more so, it can tell you when something you're doing isn't working out. The ability to walk away from a bad decision before it really costs you is key in today’s fast moving market.
4. Small increase in conversion rate has large impact on baseline
One of the primary reasons for A/B testing is to determine ways to improve conversion rates. By ensuring these tests are in place on all content, the marketing team increases their ability to learn how to increase conversion rates, even in small increments. These slightly increasing conversion rates across all content will yield an aggregate impact on total conversions.
3. Keeping pace with market
A/B testing gives you fast feedback about what your evolving user base is responding to today; just as important is the insight gained into what isn't working. The "fail fast, fail often" mantra that has been adopted by startups is quickly becoming the norm for all organizations, and A/B testing can help in achieving this goal.
2. Return on investment
One of the most attractive features of A/B testing is its low cost and the ease with which tests can be initiated. There are many free tools available to support your efforts, including a host of applications provided by companies like Google or Optimizely. Even the larger software programs that require more initial investment show cost-efficient benefits from A/B testing
1. You can't predict results
Socrates said: "All I know is that I know nothing." Controlled experiments prove that even experts cannot predict results. Listening to your customers is a far more effective strategy than taking wild guesses providing perfect content for conversion.