A/B Testing Tips: 4 Ways to Optimize for Conversions

By Mindy Sabel, Digital Optimization Project Manager View Comments

AB_Testing_Cover_Photo.jpgWhether you’re a seasoned digital strategist or just dipping your toes into A/B testing, you’ve likely come to love the optimization benefits that testing tools provide. In fact, I’d even say that a solid testing program is the key to successful digital marketing and strategic site improvements. It drives better business decisions by helping to decide where your dollars will have the highest impact.

That’s why you should use these critical tips when planning your testing roadmap to get the most exciting, high-impact results:

1. Think Mobile First

While some of us still think about the user experience in terms of the large, open spaces afforded by desktops, it's important to adapt our mindsets to smaller screens and finger taps versus mouse clicks. Mobile optimization has proven to be a goldmine for many companies. Why? Because mobile users are often the most significant drivers of sales metrics, with a high propensity to convert. 

Take advantage of this by A/B testing for a mobile user experience that’s as seamless as possible. Even the simplest layout tweaks can show a significant lift in conversions. If your website is responsive, you must think mobile first.

2. Analyze and Prophesize

Digital analytics are the foundation of any A/B testing program. Dig into your data to find optimization opportunities and forecast projections for A/B test wins. You can come up with high-impact ideas that are data-driven by:

  • Analyzing path flows to identify pages with high drop-off rates
  • Calculating your revenue or conversion lifts based on current metrics for site elements
  • Using calculated revenue data to project an expected annual lift for each test idea
  • Including other data sources like usability testing, engagement metrics, and customer feedback to support your hypothesis and round out your analysis

Harnessing robust analytics data and projections will help you ground expectations, improve your lead generation strategy, prioritize tests for your roadmap, and gain stakeholder support. Who wouldn’t want that?

3. Iterate, Iterate, Iterate

Are your ideas growing in scope by leaps and bounds? Did your A/B test plan start with a content idea, only to morph into a layout change and complete re-imagination of the user experience? Are you using an Agile framework?

Optimization is exciting and we often get carried away with ambitious improvement ideas. But to run a tight A/B testing ship, it’s important to pace ourselves by launching clean tests and building on those learnings by quickly iterating on them.

Draft a long-term roadmap but be prepared to adapt and iterate based on test results – not subjective conceptions. Let the data be the guiding force for your optimization plan.

4. Clean and Simple Wins the Race

Technology offers us so many options for complex test ideas and executions. That means tests with heavy personalization and custom functionality can be challenging to launch and have high lead times, which can frustrate stakeholders.

While we shouldn’t abandon those tests—we don’t want to shy away from projects with a high Level of Effort (LOE)—it’s important to ensure that large-scale A/B testing projects don’t overshadow less complex, higher-impact tests to be done on a routine basis. It may seem elementary, or frankly boring, to launch yet another CTA test, content swap, or color change, but simple A/B tests can lead to the most significant results.

Most importantly, just keep testing! Evangelize the benefits of A/B testing within your company to help gauge the success or potential pitfalls of any site change. Communicate results to the entire team to keep the ideas coming in, and the tests churning out. Lastly, keep your eye on the impact, and may the best user experience win!

Do you have an A/B Testing tip that I missed? Share your idea by dropping a comment below.

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Posted in: Digital Marketing