What We Discover When We Use A/B Testing for Conversion Rate Optimization

Aug 17, 2023   |   Clock Icon 8 min read

Nearly every element of our agency’s marketing approach is informed in some way by data. One of the main ways we test theories and tactics is through A/B testing to get the types of comparative data that can tell us how to get the greatest returns from our campaigns. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is essentially a strategy built on testing, with A/B testing offering some of the simplest and most informative data that we need to turn good website pages into lead generating conversion points. Here are some of the insights we’ve uncovered when conducting A/B tests to improve conversion rate optimization for clients and partners.

The types of valuable insights we get from A/B testing for Conversion Rate Optimization

Beyond just determining the winner between two versions of a webpage, we are learning more about what is important to our audience segments, which informs our overall messaging strategy for those respective groups. We also learn how to best position our clients’ products and services to showcase the true value they offer, which helps us create messaging that resonates with the right groups at the right points in their purchase process. As we build more data to create better bottom of funnel experiences, we’re learning how to better target top of funnel traffic to make ad spends more efficient and marketing more effective.

Understanding user preferences to personalize your marketing

One of the primary benefits of A/B testing is the ability to understand user preferences. By testing different elements such as headlines, images, or call-to-action buttons, marketers can get a clearer picture of what resonates with their audience. This knowledge is invaluable in tailoring content and design to better suit user preferences.

Identifying high-performing elements to amplify what’s working

Through A/B testing, marketers can pinpoint which elements on a webpage or app drive the most conversions. Whether it's a particular color scheme, a specific placement of a button, or a certain type of content, understanding which elements work best can significantly improve conversion rates.

Uncovering pain points to offer your product or service as a real solution

A/B testing can also help identify areas of friction or pain points in the user journey. For instance, if a particular step in the checkout process consistently underperforms in tests, it might indicate that users find it confusing or cumbersome.

Data-driven decisions lead to more accurate forecasting and better results

In the digital age, making decisions based on gut feelings is no longer viable. A/B testing provides concrete data on user interactions, allowing businesses to make informed decisions about design, content, and overall strategy.

Optimizing ad spend

For businesses investing in paid advertising, A/B testing can be a game-changer. By testing different ad creatives or landing pages, marketers can determine which versions yield the best ROI, ensuring that ad spend is optimized.

Enhancing User Experience (UX)

A positive user experience is crucial for retaining customers and driving conversions. A/B testing provides insights into how users interact with a site or app, offering clues on how to enhance UX.

Informing broader marketing strategies

The insights gained from A/B testing can also inform broader digital marketing strategies. For instance, understanding which call-to-action drives the most conversions can influence email marketing campaigns or social media strategies.

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An example of our results A/B testing CRO

A healthcare provider specializing in orthopedic and physical therapy services asked us to help them attract more local traffic and better track those people that became patients. Despite being a prominent brand with a vast network of physicians and clinics, they struggled with website governance and local search visibility.

The healthcare provider's marketing initiatives were decentralized due to their presence across three regions in Virginia. They lacked a unified owner for their website and marketing strategies, resulting in limited local search visibility. Additionally, their on-site open scheduling system didn't integrate with Google Analytics, making it challenging to track patient appointment bookings.

We conducted a conversion rate optimization review to identify why an increase in relevant traffic hadn’t led to a corresponding increase in conversions. The CRO review revealed some quick and easy changes that made an immediate impact. For example, simply changing the color of the appointment buttons on mobile helped new patient appointment conversion rates for organic traffic jump from 1.5% to 2.15%. Here’s a quick overview of our CRO A/B testing process, and how we get to the information we need to create positive results like this.

Technical SEO audit

All our analysts appreciate the importance of a strong technical foundation, so we began this campaign with an SEO audit. This is a fundamental step in our conversion rate optimization best practices, as it helps us identify and rectify any underlying issues that could hamper future success.

What to consider when A/B testing CRO for Local SEO

When our focus shifted to local SEO, we began meticulously managing Google My Business and Bing Places listings for each location and physician. This is a crucial aspect of CRO A/B testing: we always ensure that each listing is optimized for maximum visibility. There are subtle (and not so subtle) differences in audiences for every location, and testing to identify how those unique audiences best convert ensures each page is successful.

Detailed event tracking provides more opportunities to test

By setting up event tracking across each stage of the conversion funnel, we could see data on user interactions that led to conversions, such as clicking on appointment buttons and selecting specific doctors. That type of clarity helps build client and leadership trust in our approaches, so we now include as many data points as we can throughout the sales funnel as part of our conversion rate optimization best practices.

Following the implementation of these best practices, the healthcare provider witnessed a significant 45.7% YOY increase in traffic from organic local listings. The data from our CRO A/B testing provided valuable insights into user behavior, shedding light on potential drop-off points in the conversion funnel.

This result exemplifies the power of employing conversion rate optimization best practices. Our conversion rate optimization experts continue to use these tactics to optimize their clients’ strategies, enhancing user experience to get better results.

CRO A/B testing action items for your business

Based on the things we’ve learned from case studies like this one, here are some of the conversion rate optimization best practices we recommend for our clients, and for you:

Evaluate your platforms

Not all advertising platforms will be suitable for your business. Regularly assess the effectiveness of your chosen platforms to ensure that you are matching the way audiences engage with content.

Focus on service lines

Shift from brand-centric campaigns to those that highlight your services or products. Vary the primary values of those services and products in your content to see which messages or benefits resonate most with audiences.

Optimize ad copy and creative

Regularly test and tweak your ad copy and visuals to resonate with your target audience.

Target precisely

Testing only works if you know how to test! Poor management can lead to bad data, which leads to bad decisions. Use defined data handling procedures to refine your audience targeting, and focus on demographics, job titles, and other relevant criteria.

Set clear goals

Establish clear, measurable objectives for your campaigns that are inclusive of all stakeholder agendas. This is especially important with A/B testing, which is essentially a “this or that” exercise to determine the best of two options, so keep it simple.

Collaborate with experts

Consider partnering with conversion rate optimization experts like the digital marketing analysts at Workshop Digital to enhance your strategies and achieve better results. We do this every day, so we have well-established processes that help us set up and implement A/B testing for CRO quickly and efficiently.

Start testing your website today to increase conversions

You’ll be confident in your strategy and recommendations, because A/B testing is a proven component of conversion rate optimization best practices. These CRO A/B testing approaches are just some of the ways that you can identify and update your website to bring in more business. Reach out to Workshop Digital today - our conversion rate optimization experts will assess your goals and create a custom approach for your business.