What Is A/B Testing, and Why Do We Do It?

by cj Advertising | April 16, 2013

When cj’s Interactive team builds a website, it’s up to our UX specialist to make it visually appealing, user friendly, and built to convert. A/B testing helps us achieve this goal.

What Is A/B Testing?

To perform A/B tests, we review user habits from heatmapping and Google Analytics to identify the most active areas of a client’s website. Using that data, we create two versions of select website pages, such as the homepage or various subpages. Each version may contain a different design, color scheme, content strategy, call to action, video placement, or other distinguishing feature.

How Does it Work?

Some users see the “A” version of select pages, while others see the “B” version. By using Web browser cookies, we can make sure that each user will only see the version of the website that he or she visited first.

After collecting Google Analytics and heatmapping data on both versions for several months, we determine which version is the most effective at converting users. After reporting our findings, we take the “winning” version live.

Why Do We Do It?

Our A/B test findings have led to many effective changes on the homepages and forms on various clients’ websites by:

  • removing state selection and other required dropdown menus,
  • using certain colors on form buttons to encourage submissions,
  • placing icons in forms to help guide users as they fill out information,
  • optimizing timing of click-to-chat popups,
  • and much more.

Getting the Results You Want

A/B testing is a little known practice with big results. In fact, it’s used to refine the websites of many major companies, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix.

By continuing to incorporate A/B testing in new websites—along with using it to improve existing websites—we work towards maximizing conversions and enhancing users’ experiences.

For more information about A/B testing, please contact your Client Services representative.