What is your ultimate goal? Your ultimate goal, as a website owner, or an e-commerce store owner, is to BOOST conversions. This is because higher conversion rates often yield higher profits for your business.
But, according to this report released by Econsultancy, only a handful of marketers (28%) is satisfied with the conversion rates on their website. And, if you’re reading this post, I’m pretty sure you also fall in the same pack of “unsatisfied” people.
And, the only way to boost conversion rate is by…
Optimising your website traffic.
The fastest, easiest, and better way to optimise your website traffic without spending a dime is by…
Running A/B tests on your website!
What is A/B testing, anyway? It’s a simple test where you compare two versions of the same piece of content (email, landing pages, or your call-to-action button) to two similar sized audiences to quickly figure out which delivers better conversions.
The best thing about A/B testing is that you can run it in a number of ways. Plus, they’re simple and easy to run.
If you’re one of those “clueless” marketers who desperately need more conversions rates, then, this guide is for you.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through 6 simple steps Unbounce follow whenever they run A/B tests on their website. Why Unbounce? Unbounce is the leading source in A/B testing, and they have executed over 1,000 of A/B tests in just about everything on the web. They have also released an easy to read an ebook on the subject.
Note: You won’t always find the gold, but in case you miss one, you can always move on using this helpful chart released by Unbounce.
Using these exact simple steps, you can optimise just about anything – offers, headlines, images, hyperlinks, navigation bar, landing pages, call-to-actions (login and sign up buttons, for e.g.).
So, let’s get started with step #1:
Step #1: Find out exactly “what” you want to test.
The best thing about A/B tests is that you can test just about anything – from smaller things like the “colour” of a call-to-action button to something bigger like the redesigned landing page.
And, when you get incredible results after changing several elements on your landing page, you have to give credit to all the elements – not the individual elements. For example, if you’re testing two versions of your landing pages, and you changed its button colour, added extra fields in the form, changed the copy headline, and included a nice looking image, you cannot give credit to the headline of a copy for that landing page’s success. You’ll have to give credit to all those four elements.
(Image source: Padi Code)
Step #2: Find out “why” (goals) you want to test.
One simple “rookie” mistake you can make that can hurt your bottom line is to become eager to run your A/B tests after this initial step. Stay where you are, my friend. You need to dig a little deeper and figure out why you’re conducting the A/B tests in the first place. By doing so, you’ll know exactly what you’re after. Maybe, you want to check how a simple headline change can boost people reading the rest of the content, or want to check if people will click more than twice on the headline.
Dig a little deeper and figure out why you’re conducting the A/B tests in the first place. (Image source: United Digital Designers)
Step #3: Create different versions to your control (original) page
The control page is simply the “original” version of your landing page or your call-to-action buttons. All other versions will include the changes that you’re trying to test against the “original” version.
For, example, the “original” version could be a green button on your landing page. The “different” version could be something different – let’s say a big yellow call to action button.
(Image credit: OptinMonster)
Step #4: Run A/B test
Now that you know what and why you’re going to test, now it’s time to create the content for A/B testing. For instance, you might want to create a “blue” button as the version B of your landing page.
Did you notice that the only difference between the two landing page is the colour of the call to action button? The headline, copy, and the images used are the same. This way, you’ll actually test whether the colour of the call to action button actually generated more clicks.
The form that receives more clicks will be the winner after A/B testing. (Image source: Solutions Wide)
Then, all that remains to do is plug these two elements in your A/B testing software. If you’re using HubSpot customer, you can follow these instructions provided here.
Step #5: Promote the winner
If you want to see an incredible result through A/B tests, you’ll have to promote your content, a lot. If it’s landing page you’re testing, you’ll promote it across your social media profile. Or, if it’s your email, you’ll have to send it to a large email list.
Here’s a little secret you can try: you can run several PPC ads on your blog posts links to get as many people as possible to check out your test.
Run several PPC ads on your blog posts links to get as many people as possible to check out your test. (Image source: Cluster Interactive)
And, if you’re running your A/B test for a particular audience, make sure you tailor your promotions to that specific group only. If you want to figure out if Facebook users will appreciate if you post something (a free offer) on your landing page, don’t go and promote your A/B test content on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest. Don’t promote your content through email, too. Just promote it on Facebook… and wait.
Keep waiting until your test content delivers significant results that’ll mean anything for you.
Once you’ve found the significance, you can quickly tell if the “new” version of your content is more effective than the “original” one.
In case you didn’t find any significant result: keep on waiting. Take up to 30 days so that you’ll get enough traffic to your content page that’ll yield a significant result for you.
Even, after 30 days, you don’t get a significant result to determine the success of the A/B test results, then move on to another experiment. The test probably won’t bring any significant boost in your conversion rates.
Step #6: Repeat and rinse
Now, that you’ve gathered all the significant data to determine whether the “new” version of your content will bring better result or not, you’re done!
No, I was just kidding, bucko. Yes, you may have finished your A/B test, but that doesn’t mean you go out and check out your favourite show on the TV.
There are still so many other things you can test.
For example, if you were testing call-to-action button, you can try to place it on a different place on your content page and see if changing this little thing can actually boost click through on your page.
(Image source: Econsultancy)
Or, if you’re absolutely not sure of your A/B test result (perhaps, you ran it during a holiday where you got a floodgate of traffic – but that’s not how your traffic actually behaves), then run your A/B test again. This time, make sure you’re not running it again on a holiday.
If you execute A/B test like this, you can quickly achieve better conversion rates – and satisfy yourself, your boss, or even a struggling colleague.
And, here are few hacks you can copy that yielded an incredible result for others:
You can use two magical words (“It’s free) on your content page to boost your conversions by up to 28%.
Sometimes, it just takes one little change to receive a boost in CTR by 161 percent.
Aweber made these changes on their landing page and quadruple their opt-in rate.
The form below boosted conversions by 25 to 40%.
The “new” version on the right boosted conversions by a whopping 25-40%. (Image source: LukeW)
Remember: If you just had to take one key tip from this guide, it would be this: test just about everything on your landing page, emails, or ads. Don’t leave anything, because you never know what small change may bring significant result.
Over to you: Do you have any A/B testing success stories to share with us? If you have one, go ahead and share it in the comment section below.