The 6-Part Recipe For Conversion Optimization With A/B Testing

Post written by Aruna Gnanasekaran
On Friday, October 24th, 2014

“One accurate measurement is worth more than a thousand expert opinions.”
– Admiral Grace Hopper

If you don’t already use A/B testing to optimize your company’s website and convert more leads, you should definitely consider it. The color of a submit button has the potential to affect your business’s bottom line. If you use the optimal color, text, layout, and wording, more website visitors will convert to leads, eventually purchase, and even share news about your products.

The key is to let data, not hunches, drive your decisions.

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing, or split testing, is the process of comparing the performance of two or more variations of something on your website to see which is better. A/B testing allows you to collect real time data from your website visitors and make manageable, incremental improvements to your website, without any major risks. Over time, these kinds of changes can significantly increase the profitability of your business’s online presence.

For example, you could test which font color in your Facebook like button results in more clicks:

AB Testing

After creating Variations A and B, you should split your website traffic to two separate pages, each with one of the variations. The button that gets the most clicks earns the position on your site.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the task. It sounds like a lot to accomplish if you don’t have a background in web development, but there are many site and plugins that do the heavy lifting for you and are easy to use.

A/B Testing Top Tips

Be sure to follow these best practices to avoid collecting erroneous data. Great data will inspire you to make informed changes to your site that your potential customers will love.

  1. Have enough traffic before A/B testing. The larger your sample size the more accurate your data. If you get 15 visitors per month on your site, the results of A/B testing are not going to be statistically relevant. By the same token, you don’t have to wait until you have 10,000 monthly visitors to start. (Here is a sample size calculator if you’re comfortable with statistics and interested in a definite number.)
  2. Run the test for long enough. It takes time to collect great data. Any amount of time between a week and a month is reasonable. Depending on how much traffic your site gets, this should be enough time to get enough views.
  3. Have a plan and document the details. You’ll thank yourself months from now, when you want to look back on your first few experiments to remind yourself of the results or to be sure you’re not performing redundant tests. Record what you’re testing, the goal of the test (called KPI), and which variation you think will perform best.
  4. Have a control group and a test group. If you want to improve an existing CTA, don’t create and test two new versions of it at once. Keep the original as your “control” and test one new version with just one change (e.g. button color or font).
  5. Don’t use too many variations at once. If you create variations A through E and test them all at once, you will not be able to squeeze any meaning out of the data. Keep it simple, especially if you’ve just begun A/B testing. Once you have a significant amount of traffic, you can create more than two variations per test.
  6. Feel free to combine A/B testing with other methods of improving your pages (e.g. Crazy Egg).

For WordPress sites that engage in inbound marketing, definitely check out WordPress Calls to Action, WordPress Landing Pages, and WordPress Leads. These tools have built-in, easy to use A/B testing capabilities and work synergistically to boost your inbound marketing efforts.

Helpful Resources

If you are wondering how to improve the copy on your website to increase conversion in general, read these copywriting tips: Breaking Down Words That Convert.

About the Author:
Aruna is a West Coast transplant currently living in Boston. She is an Inbound Marketer, content creator, and tea enthusiast who believes in the potential of inbound marketing to level the playing field for startups and small businesses.

Signup and get started with Inbound Now

Sign Up for Free


[gravityform id="3" name="Popup Form" title="false" description="false" ajax="true"]