How to Plan Your A/B Tests

21/03/17

Brazilians who use A/B tests already know the expression “um teste nunca perde” (a test never loses). This phrase became popular as professionals started experiencing the benefits of testing instead of guessing. After all, an A/B test is a lab where we can apply ideas and concepts to confirm the response of the site’s audience according to each version (A or B) that presents better navigation results. In other words, the conversion rate growth we all work for.

Advantages of planning

It says that a test never loses because even the B version has a better conversion result and usability, we can measure the performance to extract valuable insights from even the smallest tests.

That being said, the main advantage of planning your A / B tests is to be able to increase assertiveness. That way, we’ve been able to eliminate “gimmicks” and tackle the weaknesses that are separating your site from the conversion path. Developing marketing strategies without understanding the way your customer thinks and navigates is as good as flying blind.

What is the best way to plan my A/B tests?

  1. Usability Analysis

First of all, you must get familiar with the behavior of users who are accessing the website. Based on this navigation, we will be able to identify where the barriers to success are. Having done that, we’ll already have a better understanding of the process to plan assertive solutions.

A good way to analyze this behavior is heat maps, which show user’s’ mouse movement and what they are interested in clicking. We can also take into account browsing videos that record how users react to the usability of the site, thus facilitating the view of what features are working well within it.

  1. Heuristic analysis

Some say the grass is always greener on the other side. With this in mind, another common method is the heuristic analysis: an inside team navigating within the competitors’ websites and searching for solutions such as best navigation flows, concepts and trends, functionalities, etc.

For this type of analysis, remember that not everything that works for one site will work for the other, given the profile of the user that is browsing.

  1. Analysis of Google Analytics (GA)

With GA we have a strategic view of the behavior of website visitors. For example: from which devices do they access: desktop, smartphone or tablet? More than that, what are the sources of traffic: paid media, organic, direct, reference, social media? Another advantage is to check the main pages where abandonment occurs, as well as the possibility of determining your audience’s persona.

Do these methods work for any device?

They do. However, we should take a more critical look when talking about mobile devices: the increase in the number of hits does not imply an automatic growth in the conversion rate.

In the same way that the public that accesses via desktop is different from the one of mobile, we need to understand the profile of both Android and iOS users, analyzing several variables such as purchasing power vs average ticket of the site, so we can define which strategy will make more sense to them.

Regardless of the device, it is important to understand user behavior to avoid escape routes and navigation problems.

The increase in conversion rate depends on a suitably planned test run with a strategic partner well aligned with the brand’s goals. If your site shows any of these signs, we invite you to know the CRO services offered by Pmweb.

Article written in collaboration with Thamires Amaral.