A/B Testing Checklist

Introduction :

What comes to our mind when we refer to something termed as 'a/b testing'? A bit tricky right!!

Well, a/b testing is a test methodology associated with CRO(conversion rate optimisation) testing. CRO testing is a way to analyse the conversion rate on a website, that is, the extent to which users visiting a website are interested in the subject displayed.

A/B testing can be thought of as a guess work coupled with amalgamating few empirical facts about the behaviour of users. But to ensure that the test results produce the best results then one must focus on the observed facts. The technique demands a keen observation and patience on part of the tester.

Before talking about checklist, let us understand few concepts to understand the relevance of A/B testing.

  • Call to Action - This term implies a user's response to an object/user interface on the website that leads to conversion. For instance a user may click on 'Buy Now', 'sign up' or 'download app'. These can be termed as different "Calls to Action" for an action is performed on a user click.
  • Conversion Funnel - A funnel is a pathway. So in the context of user conversion, the pathway or funnel can be like this - home page->search results->product page->checkout.

To begin with checklist, A/B testing requires an efficient planning by analysing the section of a webpage that attracts maximum number of users that may lead to conversion. A/B testing takes one version of any element and compares it with another version of the same element.

The conversion rate may be measured in terms of signing up for email newsletter, creating account, making a purchase, download an app etc.

The major emphasis is to understand a user's perspective and analyse behaviour. For instance, a company offers a wide range of options for books, having various categories - thriller, history, literature, science, philosophy etc. A visitor may be interested in that product line.

Checklist for A/B Testing :

The following checklist enlists the points that are important from the performance perspective.

Here is a macro view of a checklist :

  • Measuring website performance - Begin with splits tests. We must be aware of the number of unique visitors visiting our site, the top pages, amount of time spent by them, the channels that contribute to conversion and so on.
  • Understand behaviour of visitors - Analyse what captures the visitors attention, most.
  • Define website goals - Well owning a website has a purpose. One should be clear with the ultimate goals about the website. The purpose it serves or is designed for. Like if we wish to sell more products or want more and more subscribers etc.
  • Devise a strategy to track the goals - Now the task is to keep a track or record of the goals defined. For instance we want more and more sellers then our sale strategy must attract more number of users, or if we want more and more subscribers for regular feeds then we must make it compulsory for the user to register on the site.
  • Creating hypothesis - This step is to assess as to how we may improve something by making amendments to the existing criteria.
  • Test all possible content - Each component is important whether it is the font, layout, or images. The idea is to check both static and dynamic content.
  • Test the complete conversion funnel.
  • Optimize navigation - It is to check how a navigation link responds when a user clicks on the same. For eg. My profile, settings, my account etc.
  • Test site functionality - This is about search within the site, that is, search result display, search result filtering, search metadata, checkout process, shipping options etc. check the underlying algorithm that triggers each action.
  • Behavioural targeting - Offer the customers with a personalised view of the products they search for based on geographical location, adding items to cart, product details etc.
  • Integrate with all major third party web analytics solution.

The next checklist is design oriented. The following points enlists the points from a creative perspective.

Checklist for Landing page :

  • Use of clear headlines to convey a clear and concise message to the visitors viewing the site.
  • Action buttons are visibly clear and is clickable. It must convey a clear message to the user about the next consecutive step to be taken.
  • Emphasise on the matter and avoid providing too much details to avoid confusion.
  • A major feature of design is the colour that is being used on the site. A website's homepage must not be too colourful yet catchy.
  • A user is attracted to a site based on their goodwill. Therefore, efforts should be made to disseminate the statistics about the rate of conversion of the website.

To improve the performance of the website or to ensure efficiency is met, then testing criteria must abide by few guidelines :

  • If a page has multiple sections that can possibly turn into conversions, then it is ideal to add an action button in each section.
  • Prepare a catchy headline that is self-explanatory about the matter of the website.
  • Clear and detailed explanation about the items.
  • Preparing forms. Yes the best way to analyse the type of visitors visiting our website, it is important to record their information and feed it into our database. A form must authenticate every unique visitor whether they are registered on the site or not, and those who are already registered can provide their valuable feedback regarding the site.

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Conversion rate optimisation is an important aspect from a business perspective as it generates revenue and builds a market value at the same time. It is a noteworthy fact to make the customers feel elated and valuable as they are an asset for any business's growth prospect.

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