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A/B Testing For Marketing – What is it? Why Use it?

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What is A/B Testing?

A/B Testing (split testing) is a concept introduced into the design paradigm to provide publishers with a way of experimenting with their content, and allow them to measure certain aspects of their content. A/B testing is very similar to conducting a scientific experiment, and is a great way to figure out what works for your content.

A/B Testing is for those who are serious about their content, and improving it. Many large corporations practice a “market test” to determine where to set their price points. This involves selling their product at multiple price points, and measuring how well it sells at those price points. This is essentially the same thing as A/B testing.

The Process of A/B Testing:

  • Define your hypothesis: For example, you wrote an article titled “Top Ten Advertising Networks for WordPress”, but you think it would be better to use the headline “Top Advertising Networks for WordPress Compared”. This is your hypothesis.
  • Compare Results: A/B testing allows you to compare two or more variations of content, and measure how they perform against the others. Using the previous example, we would determine how the first headline compared to the second one as far as session duration, conversion rate, and user behaviour.

It is important to know how your experience impacts user behaviour, so you can develop a process that works.

The Importance of A/B Testing for Marketing

Whether you are a website publisher, newspaper editor, or an advertiser, it is important to provide the best possible experience that drives the most revenue. A website publisher may want to know which elements to change on their website to improve conversion rate. This can be article titles, images, call to action, form design, and overall page design.

The publisher might have two completely different landing pages for a specific product, and wants to find out which design performs the best. This is where A/B testing comes into play.

There are many software and services out there to assist you with A/B testing. Typically, they will automate the process of serving your variations, and provide data and analytics tailored to your experiment.

It is recommended to make short, subtle changes one at a time to find out how to better improve your experience. This way, you can find exactly which changes made the most impact, and focus on the areas that matter most.

Is A/B Testing Expensive?

A/B Testing can be expensive if you go through a large testing company. I’ve seen a few that charge a rate of $50 for 1,000 visitors. Basically, if you have two variations to test, one would be served to 500 users, and the other variation would be served to the other 500. If you are selling a product this can be quite inexpensive compared to going with a consulting company.

For example, you could hire a consultant to audit your landing page. This will run you anywhere from $200-$5,000. So you can see where it would be beneficial to do some experiments yourself, and if you are serious about selling your product, $50 is a small price to pay for feedback on how two separate landing pages perform.

You can also do this manually, but it is recommended to use software designed for this purpose, and relatively cheaper than setting up multiple servers and relaying your traffic to different variations.

For advertisers, it is important to get people to click your ads. You need to constantly be redesigning your banner ads, descripts, and media to keep users engaged and interested. Many professional advertisers default to A/B testing when they design a new campaign. This helps determine:

  • Which marketing graphics grabs the most attention?
  • How to improve their text and descriptions
  • The best practices for marketing to their niche
  • Which audience works well with certain designs
Overall, A/B testing has become an essential part behind any successful marketing campaign in 2017. Understanding the fact that it cost some additional $$$ to make this happen but I believe it worth spending. We at Conversion Perk do A/B testing before running any full fledged PPC campaign at no additional cost. Feel free to drop us an email in case if you need more information on this.

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