So you have designed your website, and its looks awesome! You have left no stone unturned while designing and developing it. The layout, the color scheme, the images- everything is perfect. The UI of the website looks great but hold on for a minute! The UI of the website appeals to you, but how can one take a judgement of how it will appeal to others? Especially how it will influence and attract your potential visitors?
Or maybe you are confused about choosing the right font or the right theme? Maybe your call-to-actions buttons are positioned at the wrong location? Or maybe you have three or more positions of these call-to-action buttons in your mind? But which one will work the best? And how can one decide and derive the best solution for all these UI issues?
The one and only answer for all the questions mentioned above is A/B testing.
A/B testing is a simple but very effective tool for finding out what works for your website and what doesn’t.
What does it do and how does it do it?
As uncomplicated as it sounds, A/B testing can provide relevant statistics and valuable insights to improve your website’s traffic and user retention rate. One has to prepare two different versions of the same website which differ in their key UI elements. You can also test parameters like-
- Headlines and their font.
- Amount of text on one page. (lengthy or short)
- Special or promotional offers of the product or service
- Images and their size
- Testimonials and awards
- Literally every button on the page!
The first one is the original version and the other is the sample version. Then both the versions are put up for user review and choice. The one which gets better response and more traffic wins. It is as simple as that. And that’s not all. You can prepare multiple versions of the website by varying different parameters and optimise your website. For example, the first version has a sign-up button located on the top right corner with bold text. And in the second version, the same sign-up button is placed at the bottom right corner with white text. So which one will turn out to be most influential on the users? What will grab their attention? Find out using this tool.
This method is proving to be very successful as it provides us actual data about the response of the users. What makes a website unique from others? That is the fundamental question in UI of web design. Is the layout? Or the typography? Or the stunning images? Or is it because of the brilliant style guide implemented in it? Well, now you can actually test it and discover which factors catches the most attention. With the help of A/B testing, you can focus on removing the useless elements and improve the good ones.
Even Google has approved this method of testing but it has provided guidelines on how to perform it. They are-
- Cloaking absolutely not allowed– Cloaking means showing one website to the user and showing an inconsistent version to the Google bot. That is very bad for SEO. This can cause the removal of your website from Google search results. Avoid that.
- Use a temporary redirect– Always use a 302 redirect instead of a permanent 301 redirect. This will indicate that the url of your testing page is a provisional one.
- Update the original site as soon as possible– After finishing the tests, update the site with the relevant changes. Dont keep the temporary version hanging for too long.
Here are some interesting results of A/B testing-
- About 64% of users preferred mortgage application websites having no video clips because these videos were placed at the wrong position.
- Around 35% of the visitors favoured websites having testimonials and reviews in it.
After all, it is rightly said- What gets measured, gets managed. So, we can definitely conclude that A/B testing is next thing in web analytics and testing website performance. If you want to test your website for the same then Google Optimize is the right start for you. Go ahead and try it.