Split testing or A/B testing requires plenty of heavy lifting at the start. Planning the test, setting it up, and executing it takes more time since you're taking an existing template of a page and splitting it into separate ones. This process requires a considerable investment of resources and involves risk. After all, you cannot just turn the test off when you're not getting the results you want, and split tests have real-world consequences to your page rankings.
It is why the pre-test analysis is vital, even if it takes a lot of time. It helps you anticipate how long you should run the test to reach statistical significance. Since it takes a lot of time and effort to pull off a split test, you have to be sure you need one before implementing it. Here are times when they make sense.
1. When You Are Redesigning Your Website
A website redesign is part and parcel of the online world. Website designs, however, can ruin conversion rates and slow down website traffic. Designers and developers are not as affected by redesigns as SEOs and CROs. For them, redesigns mean broken robots.txt files, lost linkbacks, 404s, and dozens of other things to clean up.
Still, redesigns are vital to keeping a brand alive, and businesses cannot do without them. Some types of redesigns require split or A/B testing. Do a test you change your website architecture or organization, when you rebrand or make any change to your landing pages or conversion funnel, or when you add or subtract significant numbers of pages.
2. When You Are Changing A Plugin Or A Feature
When you change a feature on your website, it is time to A/B test. This is especially true when you implement a change that affects how you process purchases or handle customer data. For example, if you change anything about your shopping cart, you have to test it. The shopping cart is a crucial part of your website, and it is one of the last places where a customer might bail. Any change you make to the shopping cart could produce a shift in conversions. Ensure you test your changes and zero in on how they might be changing your conversions. Test shopping cart services against each other and identify which one advances your conversion goals.
3. When You Are Testing Email Forms
Email signups are like shopping carts in that they are a linchpin for digital marketing campaigns. If you change your email providers, you have to do split testing on the landing page and capture form. Typically, email services provide custom signup pages. Some look great, but others need more work. If you're planning to change your email provider or forms, you must test various services first.
4. When You Are Changing Your Prices
One of the fastest ways to increase revenue is through conversion optimization. You can also raise revenue by raising your prices. However, raising your prices is risky. It could result in a faster increase in revenue, or it could produce a dip in your conversions. If you want to change your prices, you must test it first. You can do a simple A/B test on the two price points. There will always be bargain hunters and people who want to maximize their budget. However, some people might be willing to convert up until a specific price point. You would not know, though, unless you test it.
5. When You Need A 'Proof Of Concept'
For websites implementing changes that affect hundreds or thousands of pages, it is necessary to have a 'proof of concept' split test that shows these changes will bring good results. Changing a significant amount of pages at once can be unpredictable. If you do a split or A/B test, you can manage that unpredictability. Having split test results also mean you are more likely to get client buy-in.
Modifying a large site heavily dependent on organic, non-branded searches means being susceptible to changes in Google's volatile algorithm. Before changing anything on your website, you need to test it first, no matter the size of the change. You're looking for a modification that does not harm your rankings; this is not necessarily about improving rankings.
Success does not happen by accident. It is not enough to plan and execute an inbound marketing campaign. For you to succeed, you need to evaluate your efforts. Go beyond analyzing your traffic; conduct A/B or split tests of your email campaigns or your pages. When you do, you can have concrete proof that your efforts are driving conversions or signups.
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