What You Need to Know About A/B/n Testing

A/B/n Testing

The internet world is ever changing, as is the technology upon which it is accessed. Smart phones are everywhere and are becoming more like mobile computers than ever in the past. These trends can be hard to keep up with and they can change fairly often, leaving many who are involved with some aspect of technology administration or promotion to be tasked with trying to keep up.

If you or your business relies on a webpage, it is vital that you stay ahead of the trends in the world of technology. You need to keep up or you have the potential to lose traffic and thus, lose a sale, customer, or return viewer. Because many online businesses and page’s strive for more traffic, they need to understand the ways in which their page should react, could react, and where it needs updated for the consumer. Unfortunately, many avoid this understanding by either making rapid changes without thought or by leaving a page the same.

It is here that the importance of A/B/n testing is highlighted. If you have an established page online for years, for a few months, or are thinking of starting one, the importance of this analysis cannot be understated. Yet, many outside of marketing teams and technological companies do not fully understand this concept, what it means, and why it is important. In order to provide this base level understanding, the following delves deeper into this process and its importance to your page’s success. Not only will it help you today but it can help to ensure success in the future as well.

What is A/B/n Testing?

A/B/n testing is a type of research that is done through a comparative approach to research. It involves the use of three different versions of the same item—in this case a webpage—to see how they perform against one another. For instance, in terms of the previously mentioned website, three different versions would be utilized to see how traffic performs. One of these versions would be considered the control, usually the webpage in its current form.

This type of testing is a way of looking at a page in three different ways and can help move beyond the status quo. It can also be a bit expensive and confusing if a page administrator does not know and understand how to do it correctly. But, the value in this type of testing can be beyond great for the website and, therefore, it should be performed accordingly. But why?

When to Do A/B/n Testing?

When it comes to the internet and creating a stamp on the web world, it is likely that you may feel rushed. Quickness may seem like a way to get ahead of the pack and compete with similar pages in your genre. The truth is that quickness is a part of the technological game, from staying up on the latest trends to understanding the ways that your consumer or traffic acts. But, rushing often leads to problems and lack of congruency between what is wanted and what actually ends upon the screens. For that reason, there are several times when a business should utilize the controlled testing of an A/B/n type to ensure that they are getting success and exactly what they and exactly what they want from their webpages.

1. A New Page

If you are in the initial stages of placing a page online, chances are that you are confused about some design choices and some placement of items. This is natural and can be frustrating if you simply cannot decide. You may feel like you have to rush and make a choice before you are ready. This can result in tremendous loss of quality in your webpage and hurt traffic simply because you do not know what will work best. Especially if you are just starting out, the decisions can be very hurtful to your initial impression on the internet space. It is not the case that you should rush as a newbie and also highlights why A/B/n testing is so crucial.

A/B/n testing allows you to essentially test three pages at one time. You can see what performs well and what does not. You can also garner feedback based upon the actions and conversion rates of your consumers and potential consumers as live A/B/n testing allows. For that reason, when you are in the initial steps of going live with your webpage, this type of research is vital.

2. Updates

When you are releasing new updates to a page, you want to make sure they flow and work. This is especially important because you are changing what your audience already knows. For instance, if you have an established page with a dedicated following or web traffic group, then, changes can greatly impact how they feel. They may love it or they may hate it based upon what you do and how you do it.

In A/B/n testing, you will get vital feedback on the changes and alterations that you made. This will allow you to decide what to keep and what to let go of in the process. Sometimes your best updates or what you think are best, do not translate to the consumer. As such, you can lose individuals in the process and may never gain that traffic back. On the contrary, you may find that your audience loves the changes and appreciates what you did to make their trip to your page easier. The results can be as unpredictable as human behavior often is and that is why it is important to test before you change.

3. New Devices

You may be hearing about new technologies on the market that seem to be consuming your traffic or others time. This can be an exciting opportunity to revamp a website in terms of a particular device. For instance, how your page looks on a phone does not necessarily translate to an iPad or a computer. This can cause several issues in ease of use and how individuals look at your page. For that reason, you do not want to just change without testing first and once again highlights the need for research.

A/B/n testing allows you to try these different pages and how they are viewed on a particular device. For instance, A/B/n testing can be used for phone, iPad, computer, or all of the above. Research goes a long way in ensuring that you want is what individuals see and if you want to look up to date and relevant, you need to do this whenever you are unleashing your page for a new platform.

Why Should A/B/n Testing Be Utilized?

To simply say that something should be done without putting the value of this action behind it is not to create a clear picture. In fact, it disregards the whole purpose of explanation. For that reason, here are outlined a few of the tangible reasons why a company page, business, or personal page should care about utilizing an A/B/n test of their webpage or potential site.

1. Relevance

A/B/n testing is more than just an exercise in webpage improvement. It sends a message to your users that you care, whether they expressly know it or not. With qualified and comprehensive testing—as well as the updates that derive from this process—you are telling your web traffic that you are staying relevant to today’s trends. This is vital in today’s market and internet world because it is showing that you are not only up on the latest trends, but that you are staying relevant. Therefore, this is a benefit of the money put into A/B/n testing and why the ROI is worth it.

2. Ahead of the Competition

Your webpage is inevitably fighting for space in the internet world. This becomes especially true if you are an ecommerce site. Your site is striving to get the most from its traffic and if you are not staying relevant to the consumer and potential consumer, you are likely to get loss in the fray. For instance, if another individual’s page or business’s site is making changes as needed and responding to client’s needs, then, they are likely to see that traffic return. If you are staying stagnant, you will likely lose to the competition an especially important problem for those that run an ecommerce site driven by profits and profitability.

3. Reputational Value

Another reason that you want to utilize A/B/n testing is because it says that you have a reputation and that you care about it. You may wonder what exactly having a responsive page would do in this arena but allow for explanation. Your reputation is based upon your activity online if you are present there, maybe not in full but at least in part. If your page makes it difficult to utilize across different platforms, your stock is likely to fall. This is because you are making it more difficult on the consumer and that feels less than appealing to them. Traffic wants to be eased into a page and find it even easier to use. If you do the A/B/n tests cross-platform, you are showing that you do care.

Who Can Do The Tests?

Now that the vital nature of testing is explained, it is important to assess who can do it for you. Chances are that you do not have someone in house that is well versed in this arena, even if you have a technological team. The nuances of testing can become great and it is a specialized field, as much as it is valuable to your webpage’s success. For that reason, individuals need to find a quality and well researched company that can deliver on what they promise.

1. Experience

One of the most important things that you want to evaluate when choosing a third party administrator for your page’s testing is that they actually know what they are doing. Throwing a page out there, even in a tested environment, if not done correctly can hurt your reputation instantaneously. Inexperience can also mean that the information and feedback you need to make changes is something that will not be facilitated to the fullest potential. Therefore, look for an A/B/n testing company that is well versed in the nuances of this type of research.

2. Understands You

You will also want to locate an A/B/n testing company that knows and understands what you are trying to achieve, not what someone else is. That is to say that your end goal with changes may differ greatly from the competition or even from a similar page. If you feel that you are not being heard, chances are you are right and this can severely undercut the value in the process. Be sure to share what you want and also that your company is taking the time and effort necessary to make those changes.

3. Comprehensive

The testing process is only as valuable as the knowledge that it brings you. You want to know and understand the results rather than have them funneled to you through cryptic insider talk that leaves more than enough to be desired. If you are hiring a third party do the testing, chances are—like most—you are not well versed the technologies and jargon that is associated with this process. Your results should not require that you have this knowledge. Rather, it should be broken down into tangible, digestible bits of information that you can actually use. If not, there is no point in even doing the testing.

4. Results Driven

If you are doing testing, you want results. That is a fact, and a qualified company will take this into consideration when providing your results. Not only will they tell you what works and what doesn’t but the results of their A/B/n testing should also highlight what you can do differently. These recommendations from experienced and quality professionals in the field are ultimately why you go to them for help. If a provider is not willing to do this for you, then, you may want to think your choice in testing help.