Why A/B Testing Matters For Your New Start Up

Don’t let conversions let you down. A proper conversion optimization strategy should be part of every new business venture. After all, web traffic is what keeps money flowing in – and you need to learn how to take advantage of that traffic with a site that converts. A website that isn’t properly optimized wastes valuable leads. To start optimizing, conduct a series of targeted optimization tests to find out more about your users and their behaviors. Here is how to approach A/B testing for your new website, venture, or online store.

What makes for a good test?

What can you test? Well theoretically, everything – but you don’t want to waste your time testing things that have little value to you. Focus on testing the parts of your website that will most impact conversions.

  • A good A/B test for tests a feature or item that has commercial value, can be changed, and is likely to yield significant results. This could be a call to action button, a product page design, or an online signup form.
  • You can isolate items into individual A/B tests, or simply test a completely new page layout against the old design (less images, more images, different design etc).
  • Be specific about what you are testing. Have a hypothesis – be ready to be proved wrong, but don’t start testing without a clear hypothesis of what you expect will happen.
  • Isolate any potential external factors from your analysis. Don’t get cause and correlation mixed up.
  • Be ruthless with your analysis and ask for second opinions from the experts if you’re not sure.

How to run good tests

You can either run tests in-house with your web team, or ask a conversion rate optimization scientist to take over the testing for you. Either way, there is loads of great testing software out there which makes testing easy and measurable (the real challenge will be actually knowing what to do with the data).

  • Using external testing software like Optimizely can really help you save time.There are loads of different software options and platforms out there – both custom and corporate. Speak to a conversion specialist to see what they would recommend for you.
  • Don’t forget to run an A/A test first to check whether the testing software and environment are set up correctly.
  • Make sure that you are testing a viable number of users and that the traffic isn’t being referred from a single source as this might skew the data.
  • Test users at different times of the day.

What can you test?

There is no point in testing things that won’t make any difference to your sales. Don’t just test for the sake of testing.

To know what to test, you need to go back to the user journey and analyze where moments of indecision might creep in. What might be holding someone back from making a purchase or getting in touch? Use your buyer persona insights to guide your optimization strategy.

  • Test your value proposition. Remember that by definition a value proposition is about your customers – not you. Your value proposition may include a heading, body copy and images or graphics – mix it all up and switch out elements to see how people react.
  • Call to action buttons are always great ones to test – see whether different colors or language make a difference to clicks or engagement.
  • Landing pages or pages that are designed to sell – are they doing their job? Experiment with improved visuals and long vs. short copy.
  • The checkout process – can you refine the language you are using? What about the icons? This is a key moment in the user journey that you will want to get absolutely right. Aim for a seamless checkout with no snags or usability issues.

Capitalize on your brand startup status

When you first open for business, you have a finite period of time where you can make a big difference to your business’s overall structure and user-experience as you learn how users are finding your new venture. Use these early days to your advantage and be open to changes, tweaks, and refinements post-launch.

  • Know that no website is going to be great, if users aren’t finding it easy to use. Listen to their problems and queries through all the available channels (site search, analytics, customer service, social media, usability testing), and react accordingly.
  • Investing in ecommerce? Why not build an online store fast and then divert budget into promotion, testing and conversion rate optimization instead? Running a new business venture online and can’t wait to launch? Here is why WordPress might be the answer for you.
  • Don’t spend ages on a web build if it isn’t necessary for your brand. You will get more for your money out from targeted optimization efforts. Have a flexible attitude to web development and factor in testing and optimization into your launch strategy.
  • Users will be forgiving during the early days as your brand settles in, but don’t let teething problems mar your brand reputation.

Startup strategy & conversions

Online business is intimately linked to conversions – you need to learn how to make the most out of your traffic by converting leads faster and better.

  • Most conversion problems exist because of a fundamental misalignment between users and the page that is presented to them. Rather than just testing the site within a closed ecosystem, remember to open your eyes and ears to what your customers are actually saying. Scouting forums and social media is a great place to start if you are starting to feel a disconnect between your store and your buyer persona.
  • Even a small uplift in conversions can make a big difference to sales figures – don’t be fooled by the small percentages. When it comes to the ‘ideal conversion rate’, it’s hard to give a universal value as this changes from niche to niche, but generally anything in the double figures is considered very good; single figures can also be healthy for some!

What A/B tests do you think your startup should be running? Share your startup conversion rate optimization challenges with us!

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