What Elements to A/B Test on Your Website?

What elements to A/B test on your website?

Although it’s common knowledge that A/B testing can help online stores achieve better user engagement and revenue, newer marketers might find themselves wondering what to A/B test first. 

When your business starts getting high volumes of website traffic, you’ll get the itch to start running tests and seeing if what you’ve been doing up to this point can’t be done better. But if you attempt to split test everything at once, you’ll compromise your results.

Even if you have access to a great A/B testing platform that can produce statistically significant results, you still need to know which elements you should focus on optimizing.

In this article, we’ll explore the following crucial question: “What are the top 3-6 elements we can A/B test that will prove effective in increasing our sales?” 

Once you know what to test, the rest is easy!

The basics before you start A/B testing

A/B testing is just one part of the larger task of conversion rate optimization, which marketers use to create the best possible user experience for website visitors. Marketing strategies that attempt to create a reliable sales pipeline will lead to better results than simply focusing on one marketing campaign or another.

Before you start A/B testing, you should conduct thorough research into both your target audience and your status quo website performance. 

Use your Google Analytics account to take a look at the conversion rate you’re achieving on specific web pages (like your landing pages and homepage) and among different customer segments. Understanding what leads to the user behavior you observe will help you to conduct A/B testing correctly on the right pages and elements.

Additionally, it’ll be easier for you to choose which test hypotheses you should investigate once you start running A/B tests. Since you can simultaneously test multiple variables, such as how much time users spend on your site or click-through rate as well as conversion rate, you need to choose the right metrics to track.

What elements to A/B test?

Now that you know the basics, let’s take a look at the top 6 elements you should A/B test on your website and check out some testing strategies for each of these elements. 

1. Your headline

Why is it important?

Headlines on ecommerce websites need to instantly grab your website visitor’s attention and effectively explain how your products or services can benefit them. An ineffective headline can hinder your marketing efforts, so it’s essential to make data-backed decisions about the most effective headline for your site.

Your headline is your first (and often last) chance to connect with your target audience. The question you’re trying to ask during an A/B test is, “which headline resonates most?”

What should you test?

The most important test will be the actual copy you use as your headline. We’d recommend brainstorming 15-20 different versions of, for instance, a landing page headline and then picking your three favorites to split test.

You can also include the following variations in your testing program:

  • Text size: large headlines vs. medium size vs. small
  • Color: visibility of your headline compared to the background
Test based on multiple metrics to find the version of your landing page or landing pages with the best test results and conversion rates

2. Your CTA (call-to-action)

Why is it important?

Calls-to-action help move your website visitors from one stage of the customer journey to the next. 

Since your call-to-action is arguably the second most important part of your sales pages, it’s essential to test all elements related to it.

What should you test?

There are never-ending tips and tricks for A/B testing calls-to-action. The most important aspects of a CTA that you’ll want to test are:

  • The copy used on the button and any related sub-text
  • The color contrast of the background section, text, and button from the rest of the site
  • Placement of the call-to-action (left, right, above the fold, at the end of the page, in the center, etc.)

Start with testing the copy and then move on to testing the color, button size, placement and so on.

3. Your pricing copy

Why is it important?

How you price your products and/or services (and how you frame that pricing) is a crucial component of your success in ecommerce. 

There are many different ideas about how to price your offerings from different marketing strategies. As a very simple example, you could ask yourself, “are we trying to create a sense of luxury or compete on price?” 

But remember, it’s impossible to tell what’s going to lead the most customers to your checkout page if you don’t collect data on it!

Until you start A/B testing, you’re just following best practices without knowing for sure what will work best on your site.

What should you test?

Just like testing ad copy, you should try out different versions of your pricing in order to see what leads to the most desirable user behavior.

Here are some split tests you can perform to find out how to achieve positive results on your product pages:

  • Higher prices vs. lower prices
  • Trial offers vs. money back guarantees
  • Limited subscription plans vs. many subscription plans
  • Highlighting only the most crucial features/benefits vs. showing an exhaustive list

You can also A/B test the visual aspects of your pricing information, such as the size font you use to display the price, the color, and the copy on the “Buy” button.

Top 6 web elements to A/B test on your website

4. Long vs. short page length

Why is it important?

If you’ve been reading marketing blogs for a while, you’ll have noticed that there are mixed opinions about short vs. long-form copy. 

The truth is that long, scroll-happy sales pages work well for some audiences, but others will prefer a simple page like Dropbox’s, which just features a video and a download button.

Using A/B testing software to gauge visitor behavior on different versions of an entire page can be useful for figuring out how your audience responds to different styles of content.

What should you test?

Here, you should use multi-page testing to see which type of page your audience prefers. Create a few different versions of an existing page: 

  • one that contains every bit of convincing copy you and your team can muster; 
  • one that’s shorter but still contains important elements like testimonials, customer logos, pricing, and benefits; and 
  • one that’s very short and contains just enough information about the product to grab interest and deliver your call-to-action.

You may also want to test multiple variations of each page type, switching the order of elements or logos for testimonials.

Since you’re driving traffic to multiple pages, it can take a little bit longer to gather enough data to achieve statistical significance and accurate results. Make sure the test concludes after you’ve collected enough visitor data, not before.

5. Video vs. image vs. text

Why is it important?

Marketers have had mixed results in testing whether video is more effective than no video at all. Some argue that it’s a distraction while others say it helps get the point across faster. And then there are some that say nothing outperforms text, while others say that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Once again, an A/B testing program is the ideal way to figure out for sure what approach works best for a particular page on your website.

What should you test?

Test pages that use each of the approaches below to see how much traffic proceeds to the next stage of the customer journey:

  • Basic text: Explain the benefits of your product and why your prospect should sign up
  • Video: Showcase the awesomeness of your product in an engaging way
  • Image: Use high-quality images to show off your products

6. Images

Why is it important?

The images on your webpage are often the first thing a visitor’s eyes gravitate toward. That’s why you want to be strategic when choosing images, which means answering questions like: 

  • Should you use stock photos or invest in professional photos? 
  • Should your product photos show people using your product or just the product itself floating on a white background? 
  • Should you avoid using any photos at all and instead rely on your brand colors and/or illustrations?

What should you test?

A/B test variations of the same page with different types of images to see what your target audience prefers.

An easier way to run A/B tests

​​Running A/B tests manually can be a laborious, time-consuming task. It involves brainstorming new ideas, setting up tests, ongoing monitoring, data collection, and subsequent analysis.

Handling multiple tests at the same time can become overwhelming, and as your business expands, scaling up your testing efforts can become nearly impossible.

However, there’s a silver lining: thanks to the new advancement of AI, you can bid farewell to these labor-intensive tasks and automate 99% of the process!  

With OptiMonk’s Smart A/B Testing tool, you can effortlessly conduct multiple A/B tests simultaneously on various elements of your webpage. The beauty of it all is that you retain control over which tests to run, and our AI seamlessly manages the execution process.

Interested in fully automated, AI-powered A/B testing? Sign up for a demo now!

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What is A/B testing?

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method used in marketing to compare two versions of something, typically a webpage, offer, or email subject line, to determine which one performs better in terms of user engagement or conversion rates.

It involves dividing a sample of users into two groups, exposing one group to version A and the other to version B, and then analyzing the data to see which version yields more favorable results. A/B testing helps organizations make data-driven decisions to optimize their offerings and improve user experiences.

What is the difference between A/B testing and multivariate testing?

A/B testing and multivariate testing are both methods used to optimize digital content, but they differ in their approach:

  • A/B testing: In A/B testing, two versions of a webpage or element (A and B) are compared, and only one element is changed at a time. It’s ideal for testing small, binary changes like button colors or headlines. A/B testing is simpler to set up and analyze.
  • Multivariate testing: Multivariate testing involves testing multiple variations of different elements simultaneously on a single webpage. It’s suitable for complex optimizations where you want to understand how various elements interact, such as changing headlines, images, and button placement. Multivariate testing is more complex to set up and analyze than A/B testing.

In summary, A/B testing is for simpler, binary changes, while multivariate testing is for more complex, simultaneous changes involving multiple elements.

Is it worth running multiple A/B tests on the same web page?

Running multiple A/B tests on the same web page can be valuable if you have different hypotheses or if you’re optimizing various elements of the page.

However, if you want to generate accurate results and achieve statistically significant results, you need to keep your sample size in mind. If you only have a small sample size, you won’t be able to generate reliable data—no matter how much A/B testing you conduct.

Wrapping up

Even on a single landing page, the number of elements you can test is endless. However, you need to make sure that your process gives you a chance to properly analyze your test results and make changes. After you pin down the basics, you can come up with a plan for future tests that will keep improving your site.

Running tests on one set of element variations at a time is often a better idea than running one huge multivariate test. This approach ensures more statistical confidence so you’re not left wondering if it was change X or Y that made the test a success.