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A/B testing – What is it and what should I do with it?

Kirjoitettu 01.02.17
Esseen kirjoittaja: Jon-Erik Talvio
Kirjapisteet: 2
Kirja: A/B Testing
Kirjan kirjoittaja: Dan Siroker & Pete Koomen
Kategoriat: 1. Oppiminen

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Source: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/ab-testing-what-should-i-do-jon-erik-talvio?trk=prof-post

A/B testing, what a fancy term! Really it is just comparing two little bit different webpages and seeing which one actually works better in the real environment. Usually the rate of testing is 50% of visitors see Version A and 50% of the visitors see Version B. A/B testing is used in the field of website development to be exact – the webpage optimization part. No more guessing, just pure data!

The test works in any webpage where you want to increase action done by the visitor. For example, you want more visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, or maybe you want more visitors to try your free trial. When it comes down to the human mind, really small changes have significant results on the recipient. Even small changes as the color of the button ”Donate” or just a change in the text ”Donate” to ”Support Haiti”. Support Haiti text is actually a real case scenario where The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund was established during the 2010 Haiti earthquake. What they had, was a really clean and simple webpage just to donate for the fund. They had a donation form and at the end of the form there was ”Submit” button. They did A/B Testing and changed the text to Support Haiti. The impact was huge, the dollars per page view rose by several dollars. Just by changing Submit to Support Haiti. Imagine what this kind of testing could do to your eCommerce site or Newsletter

So how can I start A/B Testing?

1st thing to do!

First you have to decide if you want to do it yourself or if you want to make this easier with tools like Optimizely. If you do want to do it yourself and spend some time and learning to understand your customers please take a look what Google has to offer for you: Google Optimize.

These two tools are great to start with, of course there is other tools and you might have heard already of other, better tools. Try to google up A/B Testing to find out more!

2nd thing to do!

Ask yourself, what is the main purpose of this webpage. Is it to gather email from the visitor? Is it to sell a product? Is it to click on some button? The goal of A/B Testing has to be 100% clear, otherwise it really comes down to just random changes around the page.

So 2nd thing you want to do is to make clear what I want to achieve with this page.

3rd thing to do!

3rd thing is to decide how long do you want to measure this? How long does it take you to get enough data to be clear how did this affect? If your website is super crowded then this testing might take a week but if you have little visitors then you might give it more time to get more results.

4th step

Go Online! Start with something small, change the place of an image or change the image itself to completely different. Or change the colors of the website theme. Give it a week and compare the results. Which version of pages got more those email addresses from the visitors? A or B? Once you have a clear vision, which one was more productive publish that. Now take the new version of the page and change again something small, and see the results. If it’s negative then obviously don’t use it! Always use the original version as the version A and then little different one as a version B. At the end of the year your website might look very different where it began.


A/B Testing is understanding your visitors. It is also very interesting in my opinion to see how something so small as a capital letters or small letters effect on people. No webpage is perfect and everyone should take some time to run A/B Testing in websites AND why not also emails?

If the topic itself left the interest, there is thousands of articles of A/B Testing in Google! Go and research, enjoy it!

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