Improving Your Website with A/B Testing

January 16, 2014
by Conor Treacy

    StartNow_BigRedSEOAt Big Red SEO, our web design and SEO experts know that building a website isn’t a once and done deal. If we’re being honest with ourselves, the process is a painstaking one that requires ongoing experimentation to get a handle on what works and what doesn’t for end user experience. What can be especially frustrating for web designers is figuring out one rule that works well, then finding soon after that it doesn’t work anymore. Unfortunately there’s no way around this—people are constantly changing, so our methods have to change too.

    Rhetorical Question Alert!

    With all these necessary tweaks happening all the time, is there a surefire way to determine if a change you’re making is for the better?

    You bet there is! It’s called A/B testing, or sometimes split testing. This is a fairly simple process where you make two web pages, essentially identical but with one difference, and track which of the two pages performs better. For any business owner with a stake in web marketing, A/B testing should be a regular part of your routine, as constant improvement is the name of the game.

    Which Page Elements Should I Test?

    You can test any element on any page if you have an inkling that it’s not performing to its full potential, but here are the most common page features that are wise to subject to regular testing:

    • Call-to-Action Buttons: It makes sense to start here, as this is one of the pivotal moments in a user’s visit to your site. You should experiment with changes in color, size, and button location. There is no “best color” to use, only an optimal color based on the page’s context. For instance, if your page’s color palette is primarily green, try using a red button to make it stand out. As far as size goes, bigger buttons garner more attention (up to a point, no giant buttons because they’re annoying) and as a general rule you don’t want your call-to-action button to be lost among a bunch of others.
    • Headlines: You want your headline to be interesting, accurate, and do real work toward selling your product. Besides experimentation with technical aspects like color and size, you should also test changes in the value proposition of your headline to see what works best.
    • Page Copy: This is a tricky area as there’s no right or wrong answer for how detailed or sparse your text should be. It depends on the product you’re selling. For example, if you find that your copy is effective in pulling traffic but not closing sales, you may not have given visitors enough detail about your product to make a purchase decision. In cases like this, you can experiment with different copy lengths, say a couple of sentences, a paragraph, and two paragraph variables.

    Setting up a regular schedule of A/B testing is a great way to manage and stay on top of your marketing strategy and make sure that all your efforts are paying off. Here at Big Red SEO, our web design and SEO team knows that the worst thing you can do is find something that works and then rest on your laurels, because factors can change in the blink of an eye. You want to stay ahead of shifting trends, not react to changes after they happen, which is precisely what A/B testing allows you to do.

    Contact Big Red SEO Today at (402) 522-6468!

    At Big Red SEO, a leading web design and SEO company in Omaha, Nebraska, our team of content creation developers knows how important it is to stay ahead of the pack with your inbound marketing strategies. Adaptability is the name of the game in this business, and we specialize in helping our clients develop personalized strategies that take them to the top of search engine rankings! If you need help coming up with an inbound marketing plan, give us a call today at (402) 522-6468!

    Conor Treacy


    Conor Treacy has been in the SEO game since the mid-90's when SEO hadn't yet come into full fruition. He spends most of his days performing website audits, reading and writing SEO blogs and industry related material. The rest of his time is consumed with correcting people on their invalid and blackhat ways. The SEO world has changed in recent years, there's a lot of disinformation on the web!