4 Reasons To Start A/B Testing Your Website Today

I often hear the same question asked at least once a month: “When is the right time to conduct an A/B Test?” 

And every month, my answer is always the same: NOW.

That doesn't stop retorts ranging from the nervousness (e.g. "We're relaunching a new website!") to the the usual suspects (e.g. “We’re heading into our busy season.”)

But, my response to that is even more resounding: It's an even BETTER time!

If you're not getting better, you're getting worse. And in the web experience community that translates to the mantra of Always Be Testing. Even large entities function with this mindset -- rumors have always swirled that Amazon.com is constantly running some sort of test -- if by some chance they aren’t, they should be.

Below are some of the common “can’t test” rebuttals I receive, with my own retraction of my own offered.

  1. We’re launching a new website design : Why launch a new design to 100% of your audience? Did you conduct usability studies before deciding on this direction? Are you absolutely positive this is the best design? Why not load balance (if it’s a full site) or AB Test the page to ensure the design does not have unintended consequences?
  2. We’re heading into our busy season : The more visitors to your test page the more statistically significant the answer can be. Additionally, what if your test variation performs BETTER than what you have now? You’re missing out on conversions at the best time of the year!
  3. We just don’t have the staff : Many testing platforms make it easy to set up tests in a matter of minutes and after some initial implementation some tests can be done sans development effort. Additionally, an analyst can evaluate and remove non-performing variations with the click of a button.
  4. Our pages convert really well already : Sure, at some point you’ll probably hit a point of diminishing returns on variations, but that point is far from near. Complacency is your biggest enemy.

Does the form work better on the left or right? Image or no image? What font is best? A lot of copy or no copy? Red or blue buttons? Two-step process or one? Dynamic content based on entry path or generic? The list goes on. If you don’t have solid answers to any of the above questions than perhaps your pages could convert even better.

The list could go on and on (and on), but the point I am trying to get across here is that you need to follow the mantra Always Be Testing. It’s easy to do, does not cost much for smaller tests and can yield large conversion gains for very minimal ROI. 

So, instead of putting money into yet another advertising vehicle, try working with an Information Architecture expert and implement some AB Testing strategies. The ROI gains will far exceed that of many advertising campaigns and you’ll be the company rock star for months to come!

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