A / B Testing: The Most Powerful Way to Turn Clicks Into Customers

A / B Testing: The Most Powerful Way to Turn Clicks Into Customers

Language: English

Pages: 208

ISBN: 1118792416

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


How Your Business Can Use the Science That Helped Win the White House

The average conversion rate—the rate at which visitors convert into customers—across the web is only 2%. That means it's likely that 98% of visitors to your website won't end up converting into customers.

What's the solution? A/B testing.

A/B testing is the simple idea of showing several different versions of a web page to live traffic, and then measuring the effect each version has on visitors. Using A/B testing, companies can improve the effectiveness of their marketing and user experience and, in doing so, can sometimes double or triple their conversion rates. Testing has been fundamental in driving the success of Google, Amazon, Netflix, and other top tech companies. Even Barack Obama and Mitt Romney had dedicated teams A/B testing their campaign websites during the 2012 Presidential race.

In the past, marketing teams were unable to unleash the power of A/B testing because it required costly engineering and IT resources. Today, a new generation of technology that enables marketers to run A/B tests without depending on engineers is emerging and quickly becoming one of the most powerful tools for making data-driven decisions.

Authors Dan Siroker and Pete Koomen are cofounders of Optimizely, the leading A/B testing platform used by more than 5,000 organizations across the world. A/B Testing: The Most Powerful Way to Turn Clicks Into Customers offers best practices and lessons learned from more than 300,000 experiments run by Optimizely customers. You'll learn:

  • What to test
  • How to choose the testing solution that's right for your organization
  • How to assemble an A/B testing dream team
  • How to create personalized experiences for every visitor
  • And much more

Marketers and web professionals will become obsolete if they don't embrace a data-driven approach to decision making. This book shows you how, no matter your technical expertise.

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We've found that most companies don't decide to suddenly build a testing tool from scratch without an engineering team that's closely tied to the process. A homegrown testing tool is usually something that organizations add on to an already established data-gathering and analytics machine. Building an in-house solution requires substantial engineering effort, so it's rare for small companies with limited engineering resources to pursue this path. Typically only larger teams with specialized

fruit on various sections of the site. Hopping around like this is great for quick wins that prove value early on. However, you want to spend the next couple of months concentrating your optimization efforts on a specific area or areas of your site. This approach leads to richer, more valuable test results. It's absolutely fine to use the first month to test a product detail page one day, a landing page another day, and the “About” page the next. But over the next couple months, you want to pick

addition to the key macro-conversion goals, it's important to track a wide range of goals to get a holistic sense of how the new site design performs. In just about every metric we measured, the new site was a clear winner against the old one. After running the test on new visitors for just over a month, we were confidently able to declare a winner and push the new site live to all visitors. Most of our thoughts about what our original site lacked were proven true (Figures 10.1 through 10.8).

generates more questions than it answers, so your first test can lead to a whole litany of follow-up tests. If you treat each test as a part of a continuous cycle of testing and learning, like the cycle in Figure A-1.1, then follow-up tests (and higher conversions) will come naturally. Figure A-1.1 The iterative testing loop. Here are 60 ideas for things to test on your website today to get you started. Calls to Action Your website exists for visitors to take action: reading,

experiment using Optimizely on the ABC Family homepage. The page (shown in Figure 3.2) displayed a large promotion for a television show you might be interested in. After looking through their search logs, however, the Disney digital team discovered that a lot of people were searching for the exact titles of shows and specific episodes. Instead of taking the incremental approach (e.g., by tweaking the promo image, or rotating the featured show), the team decided to reevaluate their entire

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