What is AB-Testing?
By comparing two website versions (A and B) and minor changes are made every time, AB-testing offers webmasters a chance to refine their website bit by bit. Analysis by profiling analytics follows this, and the more optimistic version is decided.
Application examples for A/B testing
A/B testing is used to measure the success of two different versions of a website. This can be applied in various areas.
Testing of a new web design
You will figure out whether users like the latest web design over the old one while a new template is being created. In terms of which edition consumers prefer best, the two distinct concept variants are placed online and checked.
Testing of improved features
A/B split checking can be used to test if the interface guidance and functionality have been modified or new functionality (such as filters, search function, purchasing agent, price comparison function) are added. It is also possible to find and repair operating errors.
Testing the conversion rate of landing pages
If a site operator is not sure whether the full conversion capacity of a landing page is utilized, they may bring another landing page up, which is designed differently, and therefore figure out which one results in a better conversion rate. A/B monitoring may assess the influence of photographs and videos, the arrangement of communication forms, the volume of text, or special discounts.
How it works
If changes are made to a web page, traffic can be impacted automatically. It can significantly affect both the duration of stay and bounce rate. A/B research allows for a steady shift, where progress is often kept in view, because the numbers don’t always reflect a positive impact.
The incoming traffic is divided while doing A/B research and a part of the stream of users is redirected from the initial page and directed to a changed page. This partitioning is carried out randomly and without the consent of the customer.
Finally, you can decide whether version A or version B is leading to the performance you want.
Depending on the goal of the website operator, by clicking on a banner or subscribing to a newsletter, progress may be perceived to be an increase in the conversion rate.
It is important to test all versions concurrently in A/B testing, such that, for instance, one visitor gets to see version A, the next visitor gets version B, and so on, alternately.
There is a chance of falsification if versions alternate hourly, monthly, or after a specified number of visitors. Not only the web page itself, but also external forms of interference depend on how often people access a web page and their desire to buy.
There is a variation in terms of the actual time and day, whether it is during the work week or on the weekend, whether it is morning, midday, or evening, and whether the clients have stopped working for the day or are still working.
Via A/B checking, any adjustments may be compared subjectively. A specific person’s point of view frequently varies from the general view of the target audience. The needs of the target audience should be weighed when optimizing a website.
With appropriate tools, checking can be quickly done. The initiative is minimal and does not require any professional skills.
The analysis of the research outcomes is definitive. The update of the website can be performed directly after the A/B testing.
This tool is also suitable for sites with only a few visitors a day.
A/B Checking is only useful if the modifications can be monitored. It is difficult to determine the exact reason for progress in the study if several parts are tested. To make several changes to a website, a number of tests are needed.
Since there will only be one winner in A/B testing and that will be the version that gets pursued further, half of the information is always lost automatically.
If you test the next two versions, the question remains, how the conversion rate would have changed if the discarded version would have been adjusted based on the most recent test.
Radical changes that are undone a short time later can confuse existing customers. Therefore, A/B testing should always be carried out only with new visitors.
In order to gain really conclusive information, it should be statistically significant. That can take quite some time, especially for smaller websites with only a few visitors or conversions.
A/B testing providers
There are a variety of tool providers through which you can perform A/B testing:
- Optimizely: Easy to use system suitable for SMEs as well as for large companies with WYSIWYG editor and test results in a real-time, 30-day trial, then 14 Euros for up to 2,000 visitors ( Bronze), additional packages for higher needs.
- Google Content Tests: free offer from Google (formerly Google Website Optimizer), part of Google Analytics, compared with other services, however, less intuitive facilities and fewer options.
- Kameleoon: Easy installation within minutes, intuitive operation thanks to a WYSIWYG editor with simple or extended reporting, minimal loading times, Freemium account up to 2,500 visitors per month, payable packages QuickStart (up to 65,000 visitors), Standard (for 200,000 visitors), Premium (300,000 visitors).
- Visual Website Optimizer: Easy to use tool with WYSIWYG editor, numerous additional functions such as heat and click maps, easy installation, 30-day free trial up to 1,000 visitors, after that five packets between 10,000 and 300,000 visitors ($49 – $729).
In addition to that, there are more expensive solutions such as Adobe Omniture, HP Optimost or Sitespect, which could be useful for large companies.