4 Website Elements That Need A/B Testing
:: By Larry Alton, @LarryAlton3 ::
In today’s Internet landscape, there’s no time for slowing down or settling. If your website isn’t constantly evolving to include new technology and satisfy changing demands, you’re missing out. Thankfully, though, you can improve your responsiveness in most areas by understanding and applying a single concept: A/B testing.
A/B Testing: Everywhere Around Us
Even as a marketer or business owner, you may be surprised to learn how pervasive A/B testing is in the modern marketplace. It’s everywhere – literally. You’d be hard-pressed to find a major company or corporation that desn’t use some form of A/B testing on its website or alongside its advertisements.
From the site copy you read to the colors you’re presented with on a PPC advertisement, what you see may be starkly different from what your peers are seeing. In fact, it probably is. You’ll never know it, because you’ve been conditioned to assume that everyone’s Internet experience is the same, but companies are watching to see how your response differs from those of others.
While it all sounds a little Big Brother-ish, this is more than some technology in a George Orwell novel: it’s the current and future state of successful businesses. As a website owner, are you testing everything that you possibly can?
Start A/B Testing These Components Today
If the answer to that question is, “I’m not sure,” you need to familiarize yourself with your options. Find a tool that allows you to incorporate simple A/B tests, and then focus on the following:
• Calls-to-action. Your CTA is the single most powerful element on a page (landing page or internal page). That’s why you can’t afford to take a chance. By testing two, three or even four different CTAs for each page, you can develop some insights into which styles work and which are ineffective, and generate more leads.
• Content length. Do your users prefer short-form basic content or long-form copy? This is something you won’t know unless you A/B test it. Many are surprised to learn that their visitors predominantly lean one way or the other. This can save you a lot of time and money when it comes to paying for the right amount of content.
• Colors. You have to be careful with your site’s color scheme. There’s a fine line between too boring and over-the-top. While everyone knows that it’s best to go with black text on a white background, what about the smaller elements and buttons on your site? What colors should they be? Watch this video for an interesting perspective on colors and how they relate to conversion rates, but ultimately, the onus is on you to see which colors elicit the best response from your visitors.
• Headlines. When it comes to blog posts and shareable content, headlines are a crucial component of success. Every piece of content you publish should have three or four different headline or title options included. The differences can be staggering.
By implementing A/B tests on your website, you can completely transform your pages. You’ll no longer be choosing elements and components based on personal beliefs or guesses. Instead, everything you implement on your website will be the result of calculated and careful analytics.
Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.