In recent years, the effects of a problematic economy has combined with the accessibility of the Internet to encourage many people to search for alternate forms of income. A simple Google search will reveal a myriad of information, concerning how to create websites or pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns and attract traffic to those sites. The problem is that most of this advice is centered around attracting an overabundance of traffic, then hoping that a small percentage of that traffic converts to clicks. Luckily, there is a better way.
A/B testing can be used to create a more perfect website. When conducted properly, A/B testing can ensure that your website or PPC campaign actually encourages clicks. You can use A/B testing to compare different versions of your website or campaign. The testing will reveal which versions encourage the most clicks from the traffic that already exists. Why bother to attract more traffic if you are not getting everything you can from the traffic you already have?
A/B testing does really work. In one example Academy 123 was able to increase their conversions immensely through the power of A/B testing. One segment of their website almost doubled in conversion rate.
How To Properly Conduct A/B Testing
If you are convinced that A/B testing could help your PPC campaign, it's time to get started. The most important thing to remember is that A/B testing should only test one variable at a time. For example, you might test which size of ads produces the most conversions. However, you would not test two different colors of the ad at the same time. This would produce inconclusive results. You could never be sure which variable was causing the change in the rate of conversion. Was it the color or the size?
Decide which element to test. There are many different things that can be tested on a website. The size, color and shape of an ad may make a different in how many conversions it produces. Even the text within the ad may make a difference. The important thing is to choose one of these elements to test.
Create two different versions of the website or ad. The only way to test the element is to have two different versions to offer to visitors. The idea is that each visitor will randomly see one of the versions of the chosen element. The test is to find out which version causes the most conversions.
Find a way to randomize the content. There are a few different ways to do this. Google Website Optimizer offers a free online tool. You must have two separate versions of the page. The Google tool will randomly display the page to visitors and keep up with the statistics for each version. At the end of the testing period, the results are easily viewed with the Google tool. However, because this is a free tool, it might not offer the options that you need for your situation. Other tools may include fees, but may also include more options.
This randomization step is very important. Some may try to do this differently. They may put one version of the element on their site for a couple of weeks, then switch to a different version. This method may give skewed results. There is no way to know what other variables might be involved when displaying the different versions at different times. Be sure to offer both versions of the element during the same time frame.
View the results and use them. Sometimes the results of A/B testing might be very surprising. In your opinion, the element that produced the most clicks might be something that made your entire ad seem ugly. In that moment, you must decide whether to use the results and gain more conversions, even if you might not like the looks of the results.
A/B testing just scratch the surface of optimization and conversion improvement, you might also want to check "Optimizing Your Site With Multivariate Testing".
Jeff has been blogging and writing about SEO and Internet Marketing for several years now. He likes to share his knowledge and experience with others, and help them get the most out of their websites. Jeff is also a consultant and content contributor for Queens Homes.