A/B Testing: Where do You Start?

Good Marketer know that it’s not just about what exists on a website right now. It’s about what can be changed to make it better – from a conversion perspective, or a user experience perspective, or both. A great way to get to the “better” is through A/B testing, and with tons of software solutions and methodologies out there today, there’s really no excuse not to.

But where to begin? There are many starting points, and at Delphic we start by identifying three main areas of a webpage that most significantly impact the conversion. Here are three examples:

CTAs

What is that ideal combination of words that will make your user convert at the best possible rate? Truth is, no one knows at first. Copywriters take their best guess, Marketers tweak, Clients approve – and from there, it’s a matter of measurement. So, pit one Call-to-Action up against another as frequently as you can to make sure you’re optimizing as best you can. If a simple headline test like “Join Us Now” vs. “Sign Up Today” yields a significant difference in conversion rates, you’d want to know that, right? Let the data make the decision for you on which CTA to use!

Visuals

Just how much does imagery impact things? Probably more than you think – after all, when was the last time you bought an unwashed car? Or changed your mind on eating at a restaurant because it looked “dirty” on the outside? Appearances matter, especially in our culture.

Our testing shows that visuals often do affect conversion rates; knowing this, we often set up A/B Display ad tests. In fact, whenever you have a Display campaign, try to include room for A/B testing out of the gate – that way you can gain learnings from the minute your campaign launches and be on your way to becoming a more agile marketer.

Anywhere an image exists on a webpage or an offsite piece of creative is an opportunity to test – like humans vs. product images or males vs. females (does your audience convert on a smiling man or a smiling woman? What does the data say?). Sometimes you can even test images vs. no images. The possibilities are pretty boundless as long as you stay within branding guidelines (and even there, sometimes it’s a good idea to test that boundary so that you can really see what your audience reacts to).

Forms

This is a no-brainer because it’s the place where the conversion actually happens. Take the time to make sure the form is optimized as well as it can be, because sometimes small tweaks can result in huge gains in conversions. Button colors, button copy (like Submit vs. Get Started or Contact Us vs. Sign Up) and button styles (like bold text vs. normal text) can all be easily mixed into your testing regimen so that you’re continually enhancing that user experience. Number of fields, placement of fields, and number of steps in a form are all great things to test, too. The form is one of the most important aspects of a lead generation website, so don’t just set it and forget it.

These are three of many, many things you can A/B test. It’s important to define what you should focus on for each test (otherwise you run the risk of “testing everything” with no clear path to what wins and what should be done about it). Get started with these areas and let the data tell you that magic combination of amazing user experience and maximum conversions to maximize your marketing results. Happy testing!

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