A/B Testing is easy, quick, and can provide a huge increase in conversions. So why doesn’t everybody do it?

AB Testing

AB Testing

AB testing is a closed book to many new Internet Marketers but some simple testing can have a HUGE impact on how much you benefit from your traffic.  Putting a little extra effort in to the layout of your page with A/B testing can see long lasting conversion benefits.

But first, for those of you who do no know what A/B testing is, let me explain!

Using the firefox example to the left, you have two different layouts that you want to use, but you need to know which page is best.  How do you decide?

Using an A/B testing tool such as Google Website Optimizer you can test different variations of a page on a single URL.  Say for instance you wanted to use a header in a different place, or put an image above or below some text.  Using an A/B testing tool you can track which version of a page is the most successful at converting your traffic.

Once you have tested for several hundred conversions you will usually have a clear winner in terms of site design, but A/B testing doesn’t stop there.

So if for example you found that an image above the text was more effective than an image below the text, you have learned something rather valuable.  But now you have the image in that location, maybe another image would give you a better conversion rate.

Every time you find a winner in AB testing you should take that winner, tweak it a little and create another A/B test.  Sometimes little changes won’t make a difference, but sometimes they will help you gain a few more percent conversions from the traffic to your site.

But now I have to ask, if A/B testing is so effective, why isn’t everybody doing it?

Well, there are a few reasons. Creating new page layouts and images can cost time and money. Likewise, tracking the campaign to see what is performing the best can take up quite a lot of your spare time too. Tracking the test is important, since you never know when a change can negatively affect your sales in a major way, in which case you will probably want to cancel that test earlier rather than later.

There is also the fact that for some people the time invested could be spent more profitably elsewhere.  If they could create a new site in the same time it takes to do a week or two of A/B Testing, they may double their sales, instead of getting say a 30% increase in sales.

Personally though, I do think A/B testing is always worth considering, and though you can make some changes based on Analytics data, you can find much clearer results in a single A/B test.