A/B testing is the process of comparing two versions of something to figure out which one performs better. Simply put: it’s a way to take the guesswork out of marketing so that you can discover metrics that truly matter.
The marketing world is no stranger to A/B testing. It can be used to test landing pages, calls to action, headlines, or just about any other element of an ad campaign. It's important to measure your ad campaigns and understand how effective they are.
By testing two different versions of an ad campaign, you can clearly decipher which one drives more conversions and interactions from your audience. Looking at the marketing metrics for each version will show numeric information about the effectiveness of each tested piece.
4 Benefits of A/B Testing
1. Ease of Analysis
The best thing about A/B testing is that it provides an easy way to analyze effective elements of an ad campaign. A/B testing often provides a clear view of the “winner” and “loser” versions of whatever you’re testing. By implementing the “winner” element, you can optimize your ad campaign moving forward.
2. Improved Content Engagement
When using A/B testing, you’re gaining valuable information for the future. You can make smart and calculated decisions with the data gained. Using the results can help keep your audience engaged, and, thus, drive more conversions for your campaign.
3. Lower Bounce Rates
The last thing anyone wants is for visitors to immediately click off your site after clicking on an ad. If you notice visitors “bouncing,” you can use A/B testing to see what will reduce the bounce rates. Essentially, this can help keep viewers on your landing page longer.
4. Reduced Risk
A/B testing can be beneficial because it is not as risky as testing a completely different ad campaign. Rather, it hones in on specific elements and targets your resources for maximum efficiency. It is a great test to conduct before committing to any major changes.
How and When to A/B Test
It is often appropriate to conduct A/B testing when you have several unanswered questions regarding the landing page (or another campaign element) and its success. You may have questions such as “Why do I have such a high bounce rate?”, “What can I change in this ad campaign to create more conversions?”, or “Where do people lose interest in the campaign?” If you want to answer relevant questions like these, A/B testing typically will help you to obtain the correct answers.
Once you know when to start A/B testing, it’s then a matter of how to conduct the tests. Follow these suggested guidelines throughout the process of implementing A/B tests:
- First and foremost, you need to decide on one, simple aspect of the ad campaign that you want to change and determine the effects of. In each version of the tests, you can change one variable at a time and run them at the same time.
- Make sure that each test is given to an audience that is as diverse and random as possible. By doing so, your results are more accurate and useful because they include a wide variety of people.
- Finally, you should give your tests sufficient time to run, make sure to measure the results of the tests and make changes to your ad campaign based on that data.
If you try to test multiple aspects of a campaign at once, you will not have a clear path on what you should change. For example, you could A/B test the copy of a CTA, but do not also try to test the wording of the ad itself at the same time.
A/B testing is just one part of your overall B2B strategy – here’s how to put together the bigger picture.
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