A/B testing, also called split testing, is a simple yet highly effective way to determine which designs produce optimal results. By removing the guesswork and applying a scientific approach, A/B testing gives you quantitative data from which you can make decisions about the layout and design of your website. Visitors to your website are shown multiple versions of a page and the statistics reveal which options convert. No more “gut decisions” that may or may not be true, A/B testing allows users to literally show you what they prefer.

We all know that one of the best ways to guarantee future success is to study what’s worked in the past. Using A/B testing for webpage optimization is a fast and accurate way to determine what’s working for the people visiting your site. Whether you’re hoping to increase downloads, sign-ups, purchases or user interaction, taking a measured approach and analyzing the data will reveal the clearest path to success.

What happens during A/B testing?

An A/B test compares two different features on a web page and discovers which produces the best results. Version A is called “the control” while Version B is “the variable.” A/B testing works best when you begin the experiment knowing exactly what you’re looking for. In this example, let’s imagine you’re an up-and-coming author and want to see how you can increase the amount of downloads of your latest book.

On your sales page you have a green button that says, “Buy Now!” but you’re wondering if a different color might work better. Version A, or the control, stays green while in Version B you test the color blue.

As each of these tests run, every visitor to your website is shown either Version A or Version B. Our software makes sure an equal amount of visitors are shown each option and measures which button has the most impact. After a predetermined amount of time, you check back to see which version is doing better. Out of 100 page views, nearly 5% clicked on the blue button and downloaded your book while only 1.3% clicked on the green.

Now armed with that information, you start another split test focusing on the efficacy of your button text. Version A (in a blue button, remember!) says “Buy Now!” while Version B reads “Special Offer!” You soon discover that for best results and highest books sales, you should stick with a blue “Buy Now!” button. Your users just told you exactly how to sell to them and you’re on your way to the bestsellers list!

The applications of A/B testing are nearly limitless. By zeroing in on what works, you can discard what doesn’t, and watch your site flourish.