What is Split Testing?

Also known as A/B Testing. This is basically running an experiment with the goal of determining which variables impact performance of a web site (and specifically, which variables result in higher performance). There can be many goals of a split test, but they generally involve increasing key metrics such as time on site, conversion rate, click rate, or ARPU.

This process gets its name because it generally involves splitting traffic to a specific page into multiple segments, with each group seeing a slightly different version of the page. Below is an example from WhichTestWon.com, a valuable resource for split testing ideas and inspiration:

Example of Split Testing in Action

In the example above, the differences between the two versions are minimal and not related to the site layout or design. Split testing can involve changes of very different magnitudes; in some cases, a single word may be changed, while in others the complete layout of the site is affected.

As a best practice, limit the number of variables you change in a split test. Changing too many factors at once will give you uncertain results; you won’t know which changes helped and which hurt.

Split Testing & Monetization

There are countless ways to use split testing to improve overall monetization. These include:

  • Testing ad styles, colors, and fonts (this can be done through AdSense Experiments)
  • Testing ad positioning and sizes (this can be done through services such as AdPushup)
  • Testing price points of paid membership products
  • Testing different affiliate marketing offers
  • Testing different display ad and affiliate networks
  • Test email layouts, subject lines, and split tests (platforms such as MailChimp offer this functionality)

Split Testing Tools

There are a number of tools designed to help site owners conduct scientific split tests. These include products intended to greatly simplify the process, enabling those with limited technical skills to set up different designs and run tests. Ten of these tools are highlighted in the resources below.

To many site owners, split testing seems like a process that is high complexity and low priority.

In reality, however, it can be pretty easy thanks to tools such as Optimizely and AdSense Experiments. Moreover, split testing has the potential to result in a meaningful increase in bottom line revenue for sites that are already generating significant traffic.

If you’re not sure where to begin testing, here is some advice for getting started:

  1. If you use AdSense, set up an Experiment using the dashboard and monitor the results.
  2. Sign up for one of the “dead simple” split testing apps highlighted below; there are low end tiers with very reasonable price points for each.
  3. Sign up for the WhichTestWon newsletter (also linked below) to start getting ideas for test implementations
  4. Identify your largest revenue stream, and set up a single split test

How to run a split testing

The reason for you to run the split test is obviously for data-driven so you could make improvements based on the data. 

  1. Look at your previous data

Data is very important. That’s why when you start to run a split test, you should take a look at your previous data and find the weak point that you want to improve. This will make you avoid to run a split test blindly. 

  1. Describe Specific Goal

Split testing should never be based on personal opinion or feeling. You should have a strong hypothesis and describe a specific goal, so in the end, you will know why you are seeing the result you are seeing. 

  1. Calculate your sample size

Before you come to the conclusion of your test, you’ll need to reach something called “ statistical significance “. it is the term referring to the number of the visitors on your web pages. It makes your split test result more valid.

  1. Make Improvement

After you get your split test result, you should make improvements based on data. By making some adjustments or eliminating some variables. If the result does not show any winner, you should go back to the first step.

Why you should run Split testing

Running split testing has many potential benefits, these include: 

  • Getting rid of uncertainty with data and eliminating guesswork
  • Learning how visitors actually respond and engage with your website
  • Gaining unexpected insights that can drive improvements
  •  Creating better and more effective content
  • Maximizing web traffic and visitor engagement
  • Improving revenue


FAQ

What is split testing?

Split testing is also known as A/B testing is a method of testing multiple versions against each other to see which variable or customizations performs better in the experiment.  

Why is split testing important?

In a split test, you compare several versions of your web pages so you could identify which one has a better engagement and conversion rate for your visitors. Different elements can include text, buttons, images, landing pages, and much more. 

When you should start A/B Testing (Split Testing)?  

You should always be split-testing with your product and landing pages, so you can see what performs the most. By understanding your website’s behavior you can increase conversions and make more sales. 

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