Technology April 24, 2015 Last updated April 23rd, 2015 2,017 Reads share

Increasing Conversions with A/B Testing: The Complete Guide

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A/B testing is a high impact and cost effective way to test changes made to your web page in comparison with the existing design and figure out which one offers more effective results. This method will validate how a new design or a change to an existing element of your webpage is affecting your conversion rate before even actually making the change to the webpage.

Testing takes the guess work out of the website optimization and enables you to take data based decision. By calculating the impact that the changes have on your site stats such as sign-ups downloads, purchases or any particular action, it can be ensured that the changes made a positive impact. A/B testing allows the visitors to choose from two versions of the same page and lets them choose which one is the best. Constantly testing and optimizing your site can increase the revenue, leads, sales and hence the conversion.

Here you can find out more about the importance of a/b testing your designs.

Let us imagine a company that runs an e-commerce business. The main goal of the company is to sell more products and increase their revenue. So there are a few elements that can be tested for better optimization.

A. Page elements that can be A/B Tested

#1. Headlines

The headline on the page is quite important for your website, it should be the first element that you should be testing. For example take this mortgage calculators landing page; it clearly mentions the presence of an online mortgage calculator and that too with a catchy line to hold on the visitor’s attention.

mortgage caculator


#2. Add to Cart/ Buy now button

The Buy Now button or Add to Cart button is one of the most important features of any e-commerce site. The psychology of colour and the words are very important. This is an important aspect of your business strategy.

action button

#3. Number of fields in a Form

If your page is offering a form then be sure to make it as short as possible. People are quite intolerant about excessive form fields. One more thing that needs to be kept in mind is the number of required fields. Make only those fields mandatory which are absolutely needed or which can be filled in less time or with less patience.

#4. Page layout

It is advisable to test the layout of your entire page. You can test the placement of social media and action buttons. A test can prove the worth or correct placing for these buttons. Take a look at page layout for a better understanding of it.

#5. Main body text

The text in the main body is designed to convince visitors. So, carrying out A/B testing on the text size, font, font colour etc will validate if it affects your conversion rates.

#6. Navigation paths

It is quite important to test items from your navigation bar. But be sure to experiment with the placement on the page to test whether showing it is of any use or not.

B. Simple A/B tests that can help in increasing your conversion rates

#1. Credit card vs. No credit card

If you run a website that requires user to pay to register or even use a free trial then think again. Some websites requiring credit cards even to start a free trial, has been shown to discourage visitors. The research has shown that if you ask for a credit card upfront, even while registering for a free trial, people are discouraged but if you ask for it after the free trials are over, a simple A/B test will show higher conversion rate.

live chat#2. Adding a Live chat support

More people visit your site than people who buy from your site. The reason for not purchasing may vary and in most cases it is that they are not able to make a decision by themselves. To overcome this and increase your conversion rate you can add a try me or ask me type live chat support, where visitors can ask questions about the product. And if you are going to add a live chat please be sure to keep someone at bay to answer their question or else the whole thing can backfire.

Placement strategy#3. Placement strategy for your action buttons

People talk about the importance of text or colour of the action buttons like Buy now or Add to Cart but very few people choose to share the data. As you would have already figured it out placement or location is everything in online business. the same is true for the action buttons and their position on your website. A/B test them to see where to place them and how to place them to get more conversion. The theory is the more attractive and prominent the button is, more and more visitors will be clicking on it.

#4. Use trust symbols

Most of the visitors on your site rely on the trust symbols to determine if you are reliable or not. Most people take trust symbols for granted and this can help in increasing sales. The risk of testing a trust symbol is quite rare and it never has decreased any conversion rates. For example, putting a VeriSign symbol on the page helps in increasing the number of people who feels more confident in providing their personal information. Moreover adding symbols to the payment page also makes your visitors more confident on your site and proceed to the payment more easily. This looks quite small but this can result in a huge surge in conversion rates.

trust symbols
All in the box

A/B testing is something that needs to be practiced regularly. As you don’t stop working on the SEO of your site the same goes for A/B testing. Optimize your website by using A/B testing and you will notice a significant increase in the conversion rates.

Before you jump to A/B test everything on your website; make a roadmap. This will help you in reducing the time and effort you will be using during the testing. A proper roadmap will improve your website’s conversion rate and enhances user experience. Be sure to document all the data and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for each test that you run. By using these documents you will be able to measure the effectiveness of your A/B testing.

Images: Author’s Own


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Kuldeep Bisht

Kuldeep Bisht

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