Top Tips to Get Your AB Testing Right

May 20, 2018

Petroleum Industry

One of the most famous quotes in advertising is one which says that it is almost impossible to track down the effectiveness of an advertising dollar is proving to be untrue because of new digital technologies. AB testing makes it possible to instantly analyze which two versions of a website or ad copy perform better. Using statistical analysis, a marketer can analyze which variation performs better for a given conversion goal. AB testing takes out the guesswork out of website optimization and marketing promotions and focuses on informed decision making backed by data. However, it depends on how a marketer uses the AB testing tool. Testing anything and everything without any set protocols may not yield ideal results.

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Here are some tips to help you with your AB testing:

Run AB tests only as long as necessary

AB test is fruitful when it achieves statistical significance, which implies that the results didn’t occur by mere coincidence. The amount of time taken to reach statistical significance depends on a number of samples obtained. If you gather enough data to support statistical significance, you should stop the test and implement the winning variable. Running it for too long results in a lost opportunity.

Avoid testing if it conflicts with SEO

It may be tempting to test everything on a website from CTA buttons, text, to banner images. Doing so alters the H1s, body text, or other ranking factors, which can have a negative impact on your site’s SEO. One of the best practices to perform such AB testing is to test it out on underperforming pages and subsequently scale those changes to higher-value pages. Testing it out directly on high-value pages may lead to lost conversions and rankings.

Get rid of old test pages

Once an effective version of the page is identified with AB testing, it becomes essential to update the original page and erase all digital signs of the failed versions. It will confuse the Google bots when it tries to find one version at a later point in time. It is essential to use 301 redirects to bring back the winning page to ensure Google doesn’t index the failed version.

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Don’t AB test SEO campaigns

AB testing allows you to test virtually everything. Marketers might be tempted to test on-page ranking factors to increase conversions. However, it is not possible to test on-page SEO factors, as Google bot cannot split its visitors into two versions. Google bot will see the pages as duplicates and throw one out of the index and in the worst-case penalize one page. As a result, it is advisable not to test the ranking factors for an AB test.

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