What is A/B testing?

This is Part 1 of a series about A/B testing.

As digital marketing evolve, savvy marketers increasingly leverage data-driven technology solutions to gather insights in order to shape strategy. You may have heard about A/B testing, and to many people, it sounds like a fancy buzzword rather than something tangible. Wonder no more, we’re here to demystify A/B testing for you.

What do you mean by A/B testing?

A/B testing has been around for many years. Broadly speaking, A/B testing means you’re testing two versions of the same thing with a specific variant for the purpose of seeing which version will get you better results. In the world of digital marketing, there are many things you can A/B test with: website content and layout, online conversion funnel, eCommerce transaction flow, email campaign, paid advertising on search and social etc.

How does it work?

An example of A/B testing could be testing out the ideal color of a CTA button on your website: your current conversion landing page may have the CTA button in a green color. What if you happened to read a research statistic that says red color gives the CTA button a heightened sense of urgency? You’re not sure if a red CTA button will actually influence your target audiences’ decision positively and increase your conversion. This is where a technology solution that supports website A/B testing will be very helpful.

With an A/B testing platform, such as Optimizely, you can create a new landing page with a red CTA button, and then split your site traffic evenly between the two versions of your landing page and observe the results. If one CTA color outperforms the other CTA color, you can then make an informed, data-driven decision on which color to use for the CTA button.

Optimizely AB testing illustration


Image from Optimizely. 

Now that you have a sense of what A/B testing on a website is, look out for our next post in the series where we’ll dive in to all the reasons why you should care about A/B testing.

In the meantime, if you have pressing questions about A/B testing, please feel free to contact us!


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