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Monetizing Your Website by A/B Testing

September 28th, 2012 - Filed under Web Development

The competition in the world of online entrepreneurship is, indeed, a tough one. As more and more online stores and companies come into business, the more difficult and tricky it gets to maintain your pool of customers, let alone, add new clients to your base. But then again, there are always ways to go about this for the wise and resourceful online business executives. One of which is to use the available tools in order to make your website a smashing success and lure more of your target market into availing your products and services.

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In this regard, one of the most useful and efficient tools which is widely used nowadays is the A/B Split Testing. In fact, this technique has been around for some time. But just the same, it has proven itself to be no less than powerful through the years.
(Image Source: Smashingmagazine.com)

What is A/B Testing?

But before you jump into the bandwagon and carry out your own A/B Testing for your website, it is imperative that you understand the entire process first. There are certain rules that must be followed in order to carry out this process sufficiently and efficiently.

One thing you must know about A/B Testing is that it is very scientific. It is meticulous. It can also be tedious, the level of which will be largely dependent on what you will test and how many factors you will test.

A/B Testing is basically a tool for testing consumer behavior given certain circumstances. That is why it is essential for behavioral targeting which is a popular method nowadays.

How is A/B Testing Carried Out?

Just as the name suggests, A/B testing involves two options; to be more precise about it, two versions. This can be applied for emails, personal messages, or web page appearance. In this case, two versions will be shown to the customers who will be picked randomly so that the test results will not be marred with bias or prejudice.

A certain group or number of individuals will receive certain versions of the webpage or factor to be tested. But the difference here is, only one element will be tweaked in the two versions; all the rest are the same.

The main reason for this is isolation. One element is isolated so that the changes in the behavior or reaction of the test subjects or target market can only be attributed to one cause. In this way, this method is accurate.

It is also important to keep in mind that it is imperative to maintain the website in accordance to the testing factors so that every time an internet user visits the particular website, the latter will look exactly like how it should be for the experiment.

A/B Testing for Increasing Conversion

The fact is, A/B Testing has been proven to be a highly effective means to increase and improve the conversion rate of a website. Time and again, A/B testing results yield great benefits for the online entrepreneur because the former allows behavioral targeting which is important for the achievement of desired results.

Utilizing A/B Testing Results for the Benefit of Your Company

There are various ways to use and maximize the results that you got from your A/B Testing. But just the same, you can be assured that all these lead to the end goal of monetizing your website and increasing your sales and profits.

Understanding Behavior
For one, you can use the results to understand the behavior of your target market. And if you know how your website visitors and potential clients act, you will be in a better position to scheme tactics and strategies that will eventually make them patronize your products, services and brand. This is actually one of the main reasons why online entrepreneurs use A/B Testing.

Through this process, you can be one or several steps ahead. You can then plan and gear the direction of the business and its clients to your advantage.

Identify Strong and Weak Points
This is important for the improvements or modifications for the betterment of your website and sales. Say for instance you have been seeing a trend of plummeting sales and conversions, you may be able to tell what element causes that through the help of A/B Testing. Then you can make the appropriate actions to improve this weakness.

On the other hand, you can also build on the strong points. You can keep them and even find ways to make them more effective.

Challenge Assumptions
Finally, you can use A/B Testing to finally put an end to the gray areas in your website and the way it is handled. Here, you can challenge the assumptions and see the truth behind them. This way, you can get rid of the bad ones and bank on the good ones.

Final Pointers

One Element at a Time
First of all, you should keep in mind that you should make tweaks one at a time. This is the very core of A/B Testing. You should be able to establish a baseline. This is the normal or current version of your existing website. This is the controlled group against which you will measure the results.

Then you will introduce the change or modification to another version. It is important to do it one change at a time because otherwise, you may not be able to accurately point out which specific element cause the change in your target market or test subject.

Prepare for the Unexpected
You should never assume the results that you will get. Introducing a small change like changing the color of a font in the website can result in drastic changes. This is an experiment. You will not know what you will get until it finally arrives.

Be Methodological and Careful
You have to keep in mind that this is a scientific test. it is not something artistic, nor intuitive. Although it can come off as pretty simple, the fact is, it can be tedious. At the same time, you have to keep an open mind while sticking to the rules and principles of the experiment. It is only by doing this will you be able to get sufficient and reliable results.

Guest Author: Ruben Corbo

Ruben Corbo is a freelance writer that writes about technology, gaming, music, and online marketing especially topics about A/B split testing and how to run multivariate tests. You can read more information on Maxymiser’s AB Testing guide for a better understanding on how it works. Ruben is also an avid gamer and music composer for short films and other visual arts.

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