A few years back, tech evangelists were preaching that having a unique website or app was the key to success. And for the most part, they were right. In the old Internet paradigm, people needed to find their niche, which would ultimately pave their way to success. 
 
The early www years were an age of pioneers, where the Internet as we know it today was being invented. Website and apps owners had a plethora of ideas, and they were testing everything with their own businesses. It was a zero-sum A/B test game on an industry-wide scale.   
 
Now, we live in an age of disruptors. Entrepreneurs and visionaries are finding fresh concepts to tackle old businesses. They are breaking and bending the rules, and are rewarded for it with new tech empires. 
 
Today, UX design, UI, and the business itself are not just about being unique or breaking free from patterns. It is about simplicity and solving users’ problems in as few steps as possible. In essence, it is about optimization and personalization.  
 
Finding answers fast to fulfill the need for instant gratification is now the go-to standard for having a  well-conceptualized, implemented, and executed user experience. 
 
So where does A/B testing comes into play? By leveraging A/B testing, analysts can compare two versions of a digital property and see which is performing better. 
 
Different users from different segments are selected at random and are shown different versions of the website/app. Consequently, statistical data is analyzed to determine which version is best to reach target-conversion goals. 
 

When Should You A/B Test?

 
The primary goal of A/B testing tools is to implement proper bucketing and distribute variations correctly to get representative samples of your traffic. 
 
Building a strong testing process is something that’s very important to do because every business needs to understand how to gain beneficial insights from their data.
 
First and foremost, A/B tests are relatively low in cost and have an extremely high rate of producing beneficial insights. Every company with a digital presence should constantly A/B test their properties for possible areas of improvement. 
 
User behavior is not constant. On the contrary, it is forever changing, and successful websites adapt alongside it. 
 
For  A/B tests, companies need to think in terms of opportunity cost. It is true they will spend a part of the budget to conduct a series of tests, but the benefits will almost always outweigh the cost. 
 
If a company wants to increase website traffic, have a lower bounce rate, decrease cart abandonment, or maybe increase their conversion rate, A/B testing is the answer.  Technically, A/B testing is the question that needs to be asked to get representative statistical data to formulate an answer, but let’s keep moving forward.. 
 
Generally, companies want all of their KPIs to go up with every test. It is important to monitor all impact derived from the experiments but only focus on one primary metric.
 
A/B tests can be used to continually improve experiences or goals. Organizations should perform A/B tests regularly before implementing any change to their digital property. This will drastically reduce the guesswork, which will consequently save the company from a lot of financial headaches with failed product launches, feature updates, UX redesigns, or UI updates. 
 

What Should You A/B Test?

 
When it comes to what you need to test, there is no limit. What you test only depends on your goals. 
 
First, you need to clearly define what you want to accomplish with the test. If you aim for a higher conversion rate, you can test different CTAs with different colors and texts in different locations on the page. 
 
If your goal is to increase traffic to your website, then testing different titles, visuals, or descriptions should land you the best combination. For example, if the website you’re testing is a blog or news publication, two pages with two different titles might attract different audiences. You can test which title is more suited for your conversion goals.
 
For online retailers, you can optimize your shipping cart abandonment rate by tackling different product photos, check-out page designs, or choosing different locations to place items on the store.
 
For any site or app, you can test colors, locations, texts, anchors, CTAs, form content, page arrangement, fonts, font-size, and the list can go on forever. 
 

Summary

 
A/B testing is an excellent way to test any changes in your digital experiences, but it is just the beginning of gaining the insights your organization needs. 
 
If you need help getting started with building a testing plan, check out our eBook: How to Build a Strong Optimization Practice
 
Building a testing plan can seem like a lengthy process, but this step-by-step guide breaks it down for you so you’ll get a better understanding of your data and create more successful digital experiences.
 

About the author

Sebastian Stan

Sebastian is a journalist and digital strategist with years of experience in the news industry, social media, content creation and management, and digital analytics.

New eBook Release: A Guide to User Journey Analysis

Related Articles