A-B-Cs of Testing

Posted On August 01st, 2014 by admin

A client of ours recently us how they could improve their web site conversion rates.  They wanted to know how to generate more business from their existing web site traffic.  The most effective and easiest method to do this esp. for small and medium businesses without a web analytics expert on staff is to do A-B Testing using Google Optimizer. It is fairly easy to set up and it's free.  The problem is that this tool is only as good as the amount of effort and thought that is put into its setup and use. So you need to consider proper design and assigning enough labor to setup and monitor the results.

The concept of A-B Testing which is really just multivariate testing with two options is to help you decide what combination of text, graphics, links, colors, layout and calls to action on a page produces the best ROI for you.  Hence it is critical to understand the concepts of A-B Testing before you start using the Website Optimizer wizard that comes as part of Google Webmaster tools.  We suggest you think of a web page having the following three features:  sections, variations and groupings. 

Sections would be comprised of one or more elements that you would like to test, such a graphic with description.  Variations are the different versions of the section that you want to test to see if there is a difference in web metrics of A versus B version, such as does the picture of the puppy dog vs the kitty cat, get more clicks and conversions on our pet products site.  Groups are sometimes called recipes or combination of the sections with their variations to test which one has the best response rates.  A web page can have many different groups depending on the extent of what you want to include in your testing.  This is why design is so important.  Rather than set up a test various combinations, first analyze your traffic, marketing, ppc and competitive web site data to formulate specific test hypotheses that to determine which factors are most important for improving conversions at your site with your visitors.