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Written by Finn Ruijter, 19 March 2020

Getting started with A/B testing? Increase your conversions with Google Optimize

In the online world, competition is fierce. In addition, visitor behavior is constantly changing. By using A/B testing, you can be sure you are not leaving any conversion opportunities unexploited. But how do you get started with A/B testing? In this blog post, you’ll find out.

What is an A/B test?

An A/B test or split test is a test where you pit two variations of a Web page (or specific parts of a page) against each other to see which one is most effective. You dish up the unmodified version of your page, variant A, to a group we call the control group. The modified version is then called variant B. (You could also add variants C, D, and so on.)

The versions receive visitors one at a time to achieve a representative comparison, and after a certain period of time you evaluate the results.

By always building on the most successful variant of two tested pages (or parts of them), you incrementally increase the page’s conversion rate. An A/B test is therefore an indispensable marketing tool for those seeking online success. As specialists in converting websites, we deploy A/B testing regularly.

How does an A/B test work?

An A/B test starts with a hypothesis: an assumption you have, based on statistics from Google Analytics, or inspired by a blog post about online marketing. For example, you may suspect that an orange call-to-action button is going to lead to more clicks than your current, blue button.

Then you determine how long you will test this. It is advisable to take the same time period for each test. If you choose a week, test from Monday to Sunday, for example. If visits to your website are seasonal, avoid the weeks with large peaks or troughs in visitor numbers. At 2manydots, the starting point of a test is at least one month.

After configuring and activating an A/B test, visitors alternately get to see a variant of your website. The first visitor sees version A, the second visitor sees version B, the third visitor sees version A and so on.

It is important that in an A/B test, you only test one small change, such as the color of a button or a particular headline above a text. If you test more items simultaneously, then the difference in conversion cannot be directly linked to a specific adjustment.

At the end of the experiment, you see the statistics for the control group, compared with the statistics for the variant(s). You will then see to what extent your hypothesis was correct and what direction you should take in terms of UX design or content.

B1fb54a5 7271 4f7d 96af 5e6175877626. Getting started with a/b testing? Increase your conversions with google optimize

Available tools for A/B testing

There seem to be more and more tools for running A/B tests. They range from free to a hefty monthly fee, and the bells and whistles vary greatly among themselves. We won’t go very deep into these tools in this article, but we will briefly mention some of them for completeness:

  • One of the best known tools is
    Optimizely
    . It is used by large organizations and has a price tag to match. Optimizely lets you run tests based on cookies, on demographics and location. You can also test with it on iOS and Android.

  • VWO
    is another popular tool for A/B testing. Short for Visual Website Optimizer, this is a very user-friendly tool with a friendlier price. For smaller companies, this is an attractive option.

  • Crazy Egg
    is an A/B testing tool that also allows you to create heatmaps. The price tag grows with the number of visitors you have.

  • Google Optimize
    is a free tool with, as we have come to expect from Google, many features. This tool is perfect for those who want to take their first steps in A/B testing.

In this blog post, we focus on the latter tool: Google Optimize. You’ll learn what this tool can do and why it lends itself so well to WordPress sites.

Why choose Google Optimize?

Google Optimize is low-threshold on the one hand due to the fact that this tool is free. There is also a premium version for enterprise-sized organizations: Optimize 360. In the early stages, the free version will certainly suffice because it allows you to run up to five experiments simultaneously.

On the other hand, this free A/B software can be overwhelming because it has a huge number of features, which in turn requires technical knowledge. In any case, the integration with Google Analytics is pleasant; with one simple click of the mouse, you hang your A/B test on an Analytics objective.

Automatic reporting

After starting your experiment, Google automatically dishes out variants of your website to visitors. You don’t have to do anything for it, so now you can sit back – or spend your time on other marketing work. When Google Optimize sees that a representative number of visitors passed the test, you’ll get a report in your mailbox.

Outsource your A/B testing

This blog post is a brief introduction to Google Optimize. As mentioned, there are many options and you can totally indulge your inner nerd on this. If you don’t have the technical knowledge for this or lack the time, then your A/B testing is in good hands with 2manydots.

At any given time, we run multiple A/B tests for our clients, which are essential to the optimization process of delivered websites. Want to know more? Contactus for a 20-minute call.