It’s safe to say in the field of digital marketing, things may not work out as planned. Determining what went wrong can be nearly impossible without anything to compare your strategies against. A/B testing is the easiest and most optimal way to analyze multiple aspects of your marketing strategy. If you don’t utilize A/B testing for pages or ads you’d like to improve, then you’re missing out. While A/B testing is beneficial, it’s also a double-edged sword. Here’s how you can stay safe during A/B testing.
Make a Plan
We all love it when a plan comes together. A/B testing requires a clear, rock solid plan. Once the plan gets going, you have to stick to it. This is where the other edge of the sword might prick you. You’ll be tempted to shy away from the plan or view the results early before the entire test period ends. Before you sabotage your plan, remember that your test needs to have a steady foundation. It requires two pages or ads to run simultaneously with one being the “control” and the other taking the role of a variable. By viewing results early or making changes to your variable during the set testing period, you’ve substantially tarnished your results without realizing it. It might be tempting to adjust your variables, but stay strong.
Handle Traffic Fluctuations
Many things can trip you up during A/B testing. You want to focus on the web traffic gathered by your pages or ads. When A/B testing, make sure the traffic is split evenly. Uneven traffic from one version of your ad wouldn’t bring beneficial results. Google offers multiple A/B testing optimizations to add to your strategies.
The ratio of the traffic isn’t the only thing that might differ during the test period. Seasons could also impact anyone viewing your ads or pages. The A/B test that your ran during the winter most likely won’t tell you much about what to do when summer rolls around. Humans can be fickle. Users could be naturally curious about something that your variant ad presents or be turned off and continue to show more interest in the control ad. There’s also a chance that some of your traffic could be bots crawling through search engines. Generally, bots won’t skew your data in an A/B test. As long as you remember that traffic will always naturally fluctuate, you’ll be safe from the other end of the sword.
Use Your Head
We know you’re smart. You know you’re smart, but try not to make assumptions. Use logic and think carefully about why you’re conducting each test. Things you should take into consideration are:
- What are my short and long-term goals for this test?
- When did I run this test and is there anything special about the time of year?
- Should I run another test with a different variable?
By asking these questions, you’ll be on your way to conducting a safe and sound A/B test.
Although conducting your own test will give you an invaluable sense of accomplishment, it may be in your best interest to entrust these tests to an experienced digital marketing company. At Market My Market, we’ve conducted a multitude of A/B tests with different strategies and goals. Don’t be afraid to contact us to receive a free quote!