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A/B testing (sometimes called split testing) is comparing two versions of a web page to see which one performs better. You compare two web pages by showing the two variants (let's call them A and B) to similar visitors at the same time. The one that gives a better conversion rate, wins!
All websites on the web have a goal - a reason for them to exist
Every business website wants visitors converting from just visitors to something else. The rate at which a website is able to do this is its "conversion rate". Measuring the performance of a variation (A or B) means measuring the rate at which it converts visitors to goal achievers.
A/B testing allows you to make more out of your existing traffic. While the cost of acquiring paid traffic can be huge, the cost of increasing your conversions is minimal. To compare, a Small Business Plan of Visual Website Optimizer starts at $49. That's the cost of 5 to 10 Google Adwords clicks. The Return On Investment of A/B testing can be massive, as even small changes on a landing page or website can result in significant increases in leads generated, sales and revenue.
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Almost anything on your website that affects visitor behavior can be A/B tested.
Advanced tests can include pricing structures, sales promotions, free trial lengths, navigation and UX experiences, free or paid delivery, and more.
Google cleared the air on the SEO implications of A/B testing in their blog post titled " Website Testing And Google Search ". The important bits from that post are:
Cloaking - showing one set of content to humans, and a different set to Googlebot - is against our Webmaster Guidelines, whether you're running a test or not. Make sure that you're not deciding whether to serve the test, or which content variant to serve, based on user-agent. An example of this would be always serving the original content when you see the user-agent "Googlebot." Remember that infringing our Guidelines can get your site demoted or removed from Google search results - probably not the desired outcome of your test.
Use 302s, not 301s.
Only run the experiment as long as necessary
The amount of time required for a reliable test will vary depending on factors like your conversion rates, and how much traffic your website gets; a good testing tool should tell you when you've gathered enough data to draw a reliable conclusion. Once you've concluded the test, you should update your site with the desired content variation(s) and remove all elements of the test as soon as possible, such as alternate URLs or testing scripts and markup.
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The correct way to run an A/B testing experiment is to follow a scientific process. It includes the following steps:
Starting conversion optimization with Visual Website Optimizer is incredibly easy. Essentially, it is just four simple steps.
Load your website in the Visual Editor and create any changes using the simple point-and-click interface. Advanced users can even make CSS and JS code changes.
All A/B tests have goals whose conversion rate you want to increase. These goals can be straight forward (clicks on links, visits page) or could use advanced custom conversion code.
And that's it, your test is ready to go live. Reporting is real-time so you can start seeing reports as soon as visitors arrive on a live test.
Redesigning category webpage increases leads generated
Majestic Wines revamped their category page design to increase online enquiries for their Wedding services by 201%.
A/B testing between different pricing structures increases revenue by 114%
Server Density A/B tested between per unit and packaged pricing plans. The winning plan reduced free signups but increased the Average Order Value (AOV), and consequently revenue by 114%.
Redesign of ecommerce product page increases conversions
Conversion Optimization Agency Trinity Insight used Visual Website Optimizer to test a better version of the ecommerce product page. This led to a 111% increase in conversions.