How can AB testing help a business convert online sales?

If you own a website here in Australia, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a blog or you’re selling a product or service. In order to get the best conversion funnel and gain the best successes, it’s essential that you start AB testing – otherwise you could be missing out on essential revenue.

If you’re new to AB testing, though, you might be a little apprehensive as to how this marketing tool can be used to help your company. Well, worry not, as whether you’re an AB testing novice or looking to further improve your marketing strategy, here’s everything you need to know:

What is AB testing?

When it comes to digital marketing for your business, you’re looking for a good CRO (conversion rate optimisation). That’s because, just because your website might look attractive and you know that you’re selling the best homemade items Australia has to offer, if you’re not converting website visits into sales, then none of it really matters.

Which is where AB testing comes in, as with this method two versions of your website will exist with just one key difference between the two versions. For instance, this could be a different photograph, colour or something like a differentiation in page headings.

When visiting your website, 50% of people will be directed to one version and the other half to the other version. From there, your AB testing will take note of data such as which group of people would spend the most amount of time on your page or how many of those visited ended up in a sale.

Is AB testing important for SEO?

To stand out from your Australian competitors, we all know that SEO is essential for getting people on to your website – but does AB testing help with your SEO success? Well, when you use an AB testing company, you will be working to implement the best user experience for your visitors. Which is something that Google is very keen on.

So, take for instance, your website load times. During your AB testing you may wish to test one site with a lot of graphics or interactions, while the other version has less. Although your graphics might look very pleasing to the eye, they may cause longer loading times that can be annoying to visitors.

Indeed, Google uses speed as one of its determining factors for placing your site in its rankings, so it’s well worth working together with your AB testing and SEO as they can work very well together.

Is AB testing the same as split testing?

It’s common for split testing and AB testing to get confused, particularly as they are somewhat similar. However, when it comes to AB testing, you are far more likely to improve your CRO rates, as this type of testing is far more detailed.

That’s because, while AB testing will look at specific areas of your website, such as the colour of a subscribe box, split testing will instead test two entirely different website designs. Which means you’ll only get an overall picture of how potential customers like your site. AB testing will allow you to really pinpoint what it is on your website that encourages people to hang around and/or buy something.

using AB testing to help a business convert online sales
Photo: Burst, Pexels.

Should AB testing be a one-time marketing practice

While some marketers will tell you that you only need one round of AB testing, experts in the area like Convincely, will advise that you should be constantly testing and retesting elements on your website in order to keep up with marketing trends and consumer preferences.

To do this, your AB testing platform will have what are known as champions and challengers. A champion is some things – such as a particular article or webpage – that has done well in the past. Yet, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be tested, instead a challenger will be used with one key variation.

If your champion still outperforms your challenger, you will keep that champion and continue to create challengers until you find something that outperforms the original. That way, your website is constantly improving and hopefully leading to more online sales and/or page views.

Which elements of your website should you be testing?

When you first start AB testing, it’s likely that you’re going to want to focus on elements that could have the most impact on how successful your website is. Which is why it’s important to test the most impactful areas of your site first. After all, it’s unlikely that just swapping out a few words on your ‘About Us’ page is going to boost sales incredibly.

Instead, to get you started, these should be your top areas for AB testing:

CTA (Call to Actions)

If you have someone on your website that’s made it all the way through a blog or page, you’re going to want a CTA button that encourages people to convert. Here AB testing can be used to test different button styles, colours and fonts, as well as what wording works the best. Just remember to only make one change at a time.

Email subjects and headlines

A headline on a webpage or a subject on an email are incredibly important, as if it doesn’t intrigue or inspire your chosen audience, they just won’t click on it.

Level of content

It’s important that any content on your site is suitable for your target audience. Just think, if you’re posting very in-depth content full of jargon but aiming it at novices, then you’re unlikely to keep those readers.

No matter what size your website or online shop is, if you’re looking to build on your marketing strategy, looking into AB testing is highly recommended. Just think, in just a short amount of time, your CRO could be far better than you could ever have imagined.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world. You can contact Mike here.
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