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A/B Testing for conversion optimization: how to do it right!

Lindsey Visser
geplaatst op 21-05-2017

“Should’t we start with A/B testing, that is good for your conversion optimization!” is what every manager says these days. Good for them! Apparently they are following the latest online marketing trends. And yes, A/B testing can be a very useful tool when used properly. Now you have a tough task ahead: how do you explain this to him?

Spilberg to the rescue! Read this article, and you know exactly what you should ask him to find out if he really needs A/B testing.

Conversion optimization = A/B testing?

While surfing the web you find many articles on A/B testing. Most of these articles make it seem like A/B testing is the only way to optimize your website. We even found some articles where they use conversion optimization and A/B testing interchangeably. None of that is true. Conversion optimization is a goal: you want more conversions on your website. A/B testing is nothing more than a tool that can be used to optimize the conversions on your website.  

You need enough conversions on your site to optimize

“You need enough users to do a good A/B test” is a well-known phrase. But when it comes to conversion optimization that might not be the key. A user doesn’t always mean a conversion, so you can only test for conversion optimization when you have enough conversions. A good rule of thumb is 1000 conversions.

Do you have a website with less conversions? No problem, you can still test big changes on a page level. But for small changes to finetune your website the results can get unreliable.

Never do an A/B test without good research

There is a simple formula you can use for conversion optimization:

Conversion optimization = research + implementation and testing

But a simple formula doesn’t mean a simple execution. Testing alone doesn’t optimize your website. That might seem as clear as water to you, but just look at the manager at the beginning of this article: for him it really wasn’t that clear.

An important part of conversion optimization is research. Some things can easily be solved with due diligence and some good old thinking. To keep it simple, the following aspects are important for a (conversion) optimized website:

  1. Is your website functional? Does it behave the way it should? In all browsers and on all devices?
  2. Is your website accessible? Can people on mobile devices do payments and/or use the contact form?
  3. How fast is your website? A slow website is a real no-go, no matter how pretty the design is.
  4. Is your website intuitive? Can people find what they need? Where does the customer journey end? Following the customer journey is the easiest way to optimize your site. Some minor changes can really keep the visitors on your page.
  5. Is your website convincing? Did you write good copy? Without a clear call to action consumers tend to do nothing at all.

Did you do the all the research? Good! Now you know exactly how to improve your website. Now it’s time to decide if A/B testing has a place in the finetuning of these pages.

A tip from your favorite sidekick: don’t test button colors. Having a color that pops is usually enough.