AB Testing is not just any other testing procedure for landing pages. High tech marketers and business experts use A/B testing to know their visitors’ behavioral patterns and hence to improve the conversion rate of their landing pages. AB testing for landing pages are not as popular as the term internet marketing or social media marketing because people simply don’t know what A/B testing is, how to use it and how they can benefit from it. After reading this post, I can assure you that you will face no hesitation and obstruction in performing A/B tests in landing pages.
So what exactly AB testing is? As the name implies, you create two different variations of the same page, A and B. Wait for the traffic to land in both the variations. Calculate the metric quantities such as conversion rate, bounce rate, sales etc. of both the variations. The variation providing a higher value is the winner; let’s say B is the winner. Make B your new A and continue the series to find the best variation. It’s as simple as that.
In the previous post of this guide, I have written about the different testing elements of the landing page such as:
- Landing page headline
- Call to action
- Sales copy or product descriptions
Search Engine Factor
The traffic on your sales landing page comes from many ways, one of which is search engines. Therefore, it is required to create SEO landing pages to rank high in search engines. With high ranks, you get high search engine traffic.
We know that we have to test two different versions of a single page, A and B. You have to set a particular threshold of traffic in each of these pages to calculate your metrics. Doing this provides equal opportunities for both the variations. For example, I have set a threshold of 2000. This means, I will calculate the metrics only after each of the variation has got 2000 visitors.
For this, both the variations should be search engine optimized. A/B testing is done to find the effectiveness of your SEO landing pages. Therefore, your task is to search engine optimize both the variations, so that both of them rank high in search engines.
Now What To Do?
Launch version A and hold back version B. The logical question that arises is why we can’t simultaneously test both the variations. There are two answers for it:
1. Keyword cannibalization:
You have two live URL’s on the same topic. Also the keyword in both the variations will be same. This confuses the search engines. It is not able to determine which landing page to index and which one to ignore. Now, what happens is, it arbitrarily chooses any landing page variation and divert traffic to it. This damages your SEO efforts on other variation. Know more about keyword cannibalization.
2. Duplicate content issues:
The content in both the variations would be very similar. Hence it causes duplicate content issues.
A critical part in AB testing for landing pages is to wait after launching your first SEO landing page, which in this case is A. We will have to wait for the page to get indexed by search engine crawlers. The reason for this is to make sure that you have got your threshold traffic which you need to analyze your results. Once page A has received its traffic, call back page A and launch page B.
The above method was a way of testing two different versions separately. After variation A is tested, you test variation B. But there’s also another way in which you can test them simultaneously. Live both the pages, but make sure only one of them (A) gets indexed by search engines. Here are some ways of doing it:
- Apply a “no index” tag to the landing page B. This will instruct search engines to not to index landing page B.
- Apply canonical reference to landing page A in the landing B head. This will tell the search engines that version A is the original one.
- Mention landing page B in your robots.txt file.
Testing With Tools
1. Replacing TheElements To Be Tested:
If you are testing a single element on the web page, let’s say – the sign up button, you need to create different versions of that button in your HTML. Start the AB testing for landing pages in your tool. This tool will randomly replace the original element with the testing element in the page, before displaying it to the visitor.
2. Redirect URL:
If you want to test two entirely different versions of the same page – say a red theme v/s a green theme, you will need to create and upload a new page in your website. You need to create two different URL’s for two different pages. The tool will randomly redirect visitors to one of your alternate URLs.
Once you have got enough traffic on both the variations, you can calculate the metrics to find the efficiency. Continuously test your variations by eliminating one from the picture and including a new variation to test with the old one.
If you are looking for a step by step process to optimize the conversion rate of your website, you can visit our Conversion Rate Optimization Guide to turn your visitors into customers. Please feel free to leave any comment you have in your mind.