If you’re in charge of your company’s digital marketing, you may be at a loss as to how to move forward. Your goals might include increased website traffic, higher conversion rates, a lower bounce rate, or a lower number of abandoned carts.
One task you can do that can help boost all of these goals is called A/B testing. Also called split testing, this is how you can test your marketing in order to hone your design, email copy, and call to action. This type of data collection can make all the difference.
What Is A/B testing?
When you do A/B testing on something like Facebook ads, you’re conducting an experiment. You split your audience and test variations of your copy or designs for your upcoming marketing campaign. When you look at the results, you’ll be able to discern which aspect performs better and which reaches your audience better. It sounds simple, but it can get complicated quickly if you’re disorganized, if you make incorrect assumptions based on your data, or if you don’t know how to read the data.
The important thing about A/B testing is that each company has a different audience, and your company might reach other customers, even between companies within your same field. The size of your company and your market strategy can also make a difference. If your company is small, you may be able to be more nimble and switch strategies more easily than other companies. If your company is large, you might have more money to throw at any given marketing campaign.
So How Does A/B Testing Work?
In simple terms, all you need to do is create two versions of the same content with a change to just one variable. You’ll show both of these versions to two similarly sized audiences and then analyze how that one variable affected their experience over a specific period of time.
An easy example is making the color of your call-to-action button on your website a different color. What if your “Contact us!” button is red instead of yellow? Both are attention-grabbing colors, but maybe one has an advantage over the other. This is a design test. Maybe you find over the course of a week or two that more people tend to click on the yellow button than the red one. That data can help you decide to use the color of that button that draws in more repeat customers, helps them set up a portal on your website, or helps them decide to contact you today.
Does Your Company Have a Facebook Profile?
If it doesn’t, it should. Facebook started in February 2004, and originally, only college students could join. As a result, most Facebook users today are within the 25–34 years demographic. As Facebook grew and dropped that college student requirement, many older people signed up, until nearly a third of Facebook’s audience is now 45 years old or older. Facebook also boasts over 2.89 billion monthly active users. Seventy percent of Facebook users check the site daily, so your targeted customers are there just waiting to see your Facebook ads.
Here are some tips when it comes to running A/B testing on your Facebook ads:
1. Identify Which Goal You Want to Achieve
If you’re only looking to increase your website traffic, you don’t want to focus on metrics that only measure your conversion rate. It can also be difficult to measure metrics if you are working on two at the same time, so especially when you’re starting off, it’s better to just work on one.
For instance, if you happen to test a Facebook ad that directs to your landing page at the same time you’re testing that same landing page, it will be extremely difficult to tell who came to you via the ad and who was browsing and just stumbled on your website and became a customer. Test the Facebook ad first and then test the landing page for the best results.
2. Pinpoint Your Audience
This may be something you’re already aware of, but for an A/B test on Facebook ads, the audience can be slightly different than usual. This new audience you’re going to target should be large enough to provide you with results that you can analyze, but it shouldn’t be the exact audience that your company already targets. If you’re already running a Facebook ad campaign, your results may be muddied if you pick the exact same audience for both.
3. Pick Only One Variable to Test
Your test results will be far more conclusive if you only choose one variable for testing. Even if you decide you eventually want to test many different variables, you should only do one at a time. This way, you’ll be able to determine how effective that one change is without confusing the data or combining information. After all, even simple and small details can make big differences, such as the color of a “Contact us!” button or different images in the same ad.
4. Find a Way to Stay Organized and Stick With It!
Using a testing tool is a good idea here since everything you’re going to test will be in the same place without you having to copy/paste info. There are plenty of places where you can find A/B testing tools—type it into a search engine and you’ll find many.
Google Analytics also lets you test up to 10 full versions of a single web page and sorts the information for you.
5. Select the Ideal Time Frame
You want to run your test for long enough that it can give you a substantial sample size, without running too long. All you have to do is see what kind of traffic you have now and then decide whether your results can happen in hours, days, or weeks.
Try not to let your test run for more than 30 days. That might be a little too long when you’re trying to achieve results.
For more advice on marketing for your company or for help A/B testing your Facebook ads, contact a professional marketing company that can help with the process. The team at InnoVision Marketing Group can help you get started today.