How A/B testing can eliminate the guesswork from your next ad campaign

How A/B testing can eliminate the guesswork from your next ad campaign

3KC-ab-testing-graphicStop guessing with your money!

Nobody likes second-guessing himself or herself, especially not when money and the success of your business are involved. Do you stay up late wondering if last year’s ad campaign would have done better if you offered a money back guarantee instead of free shipping? Would that banner on your website generate more sales if you went with the green button instead of the red? Instead of wondering, you can know for sure. Take the guesswork out of your next ad campaign or landing page with A/B testing.

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing is a process of running performance tests on your websites to see which colors, offers, calls to action, etc. work the best. Instead of guessing and hoping, do a round of A/B testing to gather measurable data on which color scheme, headline, or offer generates the best conversion rates.

For example, you can’t decide if a red or green “Buy Now” button would work better on your landing page. You would try the green button first for a set period of time and measure your results. Next, you would try the red button for the same period of time and see which button performs better. At the end of the trials, you would have concrete evidence of which button color works better for selling your product. No more gut feelings or guesswork!

How to do your own A/B testing

For A/B testing to work, you do have to replace guesswork with a systematic approach. There are several things to keep in mind in order to get accurate results from your test. The first is that all other variables on the website must remain constant. Going back to the button color example, everything else on the landing pages being tested must be the same. The only element that changes should be the color of the button. Changing other parts of the page like the wording on the button or the design of the page would throw off your results. For instance, if you changed both the color of the button and the headline and got better results, how would you know if it was the button color or the new headline that caused the improvement?

The second point to remember is that you must track everything. A/B testing would be meaningless if you did not measure your results. Install Google Analytics on your website, so you can track changes in web traffic. If one aspect of the testing affects your web traffic, it’s definitely worth noting. If you receive phone calls or emails as a result of your ad campaign, there are still ways to track the source of those contacts. Including instructions to mention a certain offer code in the email would allow you to track which offers generated which emails. For phone calls or walk-in visits, be sure top ask how the customer heard about you.

The third thing to remember is to keep an open mind. Many factors affect human behavior, and there’s no way to know which color, or headline, or special offer will bring in the best results. The wording of a call to action or the submit button has been known to raise or lower conversions. Even changing your forms can have an effect. Forms with fewer required fields tend to convert better than long and detailed ones. Since you can’t predict what people will do, test as many aspects of your campaign as possible.

Furthermore, different tactics work for different industries and audiences. The landing page that works for an established accounting firm isn’t going to work for a trendy clothing retailer. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for getting better results from a landing page. A red button does not always perform better than a green button, contrary to what some people will tell you. Do your own testing in order to discover what appeals to your customers the most.

One last thing to keep in mind is that you need the volume of traffic to justify your testing. A low volume site will be much harder to test and will require a longer time period for testing. Testing different options on different time periods may also affect the results; the ideal way to test is split A/B testing. There are several tools available that allow you to do simultaneous split A/B testing – directing your traffic to two different options within the same time period.

Ask us how we can help! 3 Keys can work with you to develop a unique message that represents your brand, and a design that conveys that message to your customers. Contact us today to get started!

By | 2013-08-05T15:35:25+00:00 August 5th, 2013|Marketing, Web solutions|0 Comments

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