Five Ways You Can Improve Your A/B Testing

Written by Alex Harris

There are a lot of confusing terms to keep track of when it comes to managing your business, especially when it comes to the online aspect of it. Whether you are trying to increase your conversion optimization rate or simply want to increase the traffic on your website, there is a lot of information to keep track of when it comes to online marketing strategies.

Improve Your A/B Multivariate Testing

One of the best ways to maximize your marketing strategies is to take advantage of A/B testing. However, you can easily make mistakes that will render your results completely worthless if you aren’t careful, so be sure to follow these guidelines when you’re conducting A/B and multivariate testing.

Make Sure The Sample Size Is Correct

Too often do people conduct a test with a small sample size and conclude the wrong type of conclusions from the results. If you examine a single focus group and then take the results and apply it to your customer base as a whole, you are making dangerous assumptions. You will want to take your time when doing your testing and will most certainly want to make sure you have an adequate sample size that will give you results that better represent the entirety of your consumer base.

Do Your Testing For An Appropriate Amount Of Time

One mistake many marketers make is conducting A/B testing that is either too long or short. You can significantly alter your results by doing this, which is why you will want to make sure you pick the appropriate duration for your testing. You’ll need to consider a number of variables, as each business is different. You should never test during the holidays (unless that is your overall goal), as that can significantly skew your results. However, in a recent interview with A/B testing company Optimizely, Cara mentioned it may be good to test specific campaigns on special days like Black Friday.

Depending on what your goals are, you will want to conduct your testing over a period that is fairly standard within your industry. This can be anywhere from a week to a month, just as long as there aren’t any irregularities. If you need more help figuring out the right length for your multivariate testing, you can check out this helpful A/B duration calculator.

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When I saw Peep Laja at the CTA Conference, he said you need at least 250 sales on each side of your A/B test. Peep Laja is one of the smartest conversion experts I know. You should check out his conversion optimization blog. While I agree with him on this 250 number for lead generation and opt-ins. I think you can reach A/B testing statistical significance with 100 conversions on each side of an ecommerce revenue and conversion rate test.

AB testing statistical significance w/ 100 sales on each side
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Check Your Results On A Regular Basis

Many multivariate testing programs allow you to input what you want to test for and then just sit back and let the program do all the work. However, this can be dangerous and if the program is not properly monitored, the entire testing process can be disrupted. You need to regularly check the testing results in order to see everything is running smoothly, especially if the program is reliant on control codes. Checking every now and then can save you a significant amount of hassle in the long run, so be sure to make the effort!

Dig Deep

Not only will you want to regularly check your results, but once you have gathered everything you want, you should analyze the results thoroughly. You shouldn’t take all of the information at face value and should examine your findings from multiple perspectives in order to find out as much as you can. Remember, just because the results tell you one thing, doesn’t mean there isn’t anything else to find out by digging a little deeper.

Use A/B Testing On Things That Matter

A/B testing is an excellent way to determine which marketing campaigns are more effective and can help you figure out which portions of your website are more likely to turn visitors into actual customers. But don’t use multivariate testing for small things like figuring out which font or type set is better, as you will essentially be wasting your time, as well as the potential of A/B testing.

Remember, the results you get from A/B testing will only be as good as the methodology that you use when conducting the testing itself. That is why following these key guidelines will help you minimize mistakes and maximum results. By taking the appropriate amount of time, checking your results regularly, and thoroughly examining what you find, you will be guaranteed to get results that will not only be meaningful, but will also significantly aid you when it comes to creating marketing campaigns.

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