5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Scared to Try A/B Testing
“Source:- Crazy Egg”
We want to focus on giving you actionable advice for what you can pay attention to, evaluate, and implement quickly to make sure you get the most out of Q4 and the remainder of 2019. Building on the video from our post on our session from the A/B Testing Summit, we wanted to feature the perspective of a brilliant partner on the value and opportunity around A/B Testing.
Recent studies into the causes of human fear suggest that many fears stem from irrationality – you think something will happen that is not statistically likely to happen.
This is why people are afraid to swim in the ocean, and also why people are afraid to start A/B testing. We’ve covered this at length over the past year; people are afraid to A/B Test and shouldn’t be. Simply agreeing to testing puts you in the top ⅓ of marketers around. So how can you overcome your fear and just start?
To help people overcome fears of A/B testing and to help people pursue the value opportunities that A/B testing presents, we have compiled a consoling list of reasons why there is nothing to fear!
1. A/B Testing Increases ROI
The data shows it clearly, people are scared to A/B test because of how much time and money they foresee it costing. People want to be reassured that their time and money will reap valuable insights… So what do I tell them? Your efforts will be rewarded.
2. You’ll Gain Trustworthy Data
If your organization doesn’t have an adequate measurement protocol in place, it’s very understandable that you would be scared of A/B testing. It’s important to be able to track KPI data before, during, and after testing, so that you can see the impact that an independent variable has upon dependent variables. Even if you’re tracking KPIs, some people are scared to trust that an A/B test will obtain enough data to allow them to make a statistically significant conclusion.
With A/B testing, the amount of data necessary to reach statistical significance can vary. If your website is only getting 100 visitors a day, you may only need data from 5-10 people. If you’re unsure of how to gauge statistical significance, you can utilize this online calculator, or consult a SEO team member.
Once you know how much data you need to obtain in order to conduct a successful A/B test, why not start? Over 71% of companies are running over two A/B tests per month, so your competition may already be a step ahead of you!
3. A/B Testing Doesn’t Hurt SEO
In the past, I have had clients try to tell me that they are scared to A/B test on their site because it could be detrimental to their SEO. Most understand the value of A/B testing, but don’t want to jeopardize their search rankings. A quick Google search like “website a/b testing risks seo” will reveal these worries are valid, though easily mitigated.
Two major SEO concerns associated with A/B testing are: website load speed, and cloaking. Website load speed is a metric that Google uses as the search engine ranks websites, and the faster a site loads, the higher a site ranks. Cloaking is when a website reveals itself to a search engine one way, but reveals itself to an audience another way. Search engines like Google tend to penalize websites that are using cloaking tactics to unethically improve their search rankings.
While both of these major SEO concerns sound scary, they can easily be solved with the same solution. To ensure that your website load speed isn’t significantly affected, and to ensure that Google doesn’t believe you to be cloaking, you just have to A/B test in increments or only changing one element at a time.
If you’re testing two web pages with significantly different design and content, it could not only confuse Google’s crawling bots, but also increase your website load speed.
4. Happy Executives, Happy Life
In any organization, there are people who have very strong opinions. This isn’t always a negative truth, but combative executives can limit what website content is able to be changed and what actions you can take to generate more leads as a marketer.
The best way to deal with combative executives is by providing them with an argument that they can’t dispute. Some executives aren’t familiar with the term ‘A/B testing,’ so you may need to politely educate them.
Once an executive is educated on the topic, enough to have a conversation about it, case studies and data can be your best ally as you try to show the true value of A/B testing.
5. Testing Ideas and Inspiration
No matter if an organization has been doing A/B testing for a long time or they have never A/B tested before, they often come to me with a lack of testing ideas. The organizations that have a lot of A/B experience feel as though they have tested everything possible, and the organizations that are new to the topic have no idea where to start!
To organizations that are new to A/B testing, I often direct them to the plethora of online A/B testing resources that can help them generate valuable testing ideas. If you’re interested in A/B testing procedure and process in general, see this Beginner’s Guide.
Finding a Starting Point with Heatmaps
Have you ever tried using heatmaps? Have you ever used scrollmaps, or user recordings?
These tools are helpful starting points to learning what elements might have the biggest impact on your website visitors.
Since you can see exactly where people are clicking, how far they’re scrolling, watch in real time as they navigate through you’re website, you’ll have a clear idea of which changes might move the needle.
Don’t Stop At Just One Option
What I tell experienced organizations is that while you may have tested a lot of different copy or many different designs, but you haven’t tested every option available.
Many of my clients will A/B test two different images in a slider, and then assume that the best of those two images must be the best image, without having tested others.
Just because A was better than B, it doesn’t mean that you can’t test A against C, or D, E, F. The beauty of testing is that there is always more to be tested, as website users are constantly changing.
A/B Testing Recap: What’s Next
New terms can be scary. The first time I heard the term ‘A/B testing,’ I actually thought it was a crazy science term. So if you’re scared to A/B test for any reason, don’t feel bad.
I have had many clients that were once scared to A/B test, but today, all of them are happy that they did.