Why isn’t A/B Testing the Cat’s Meow?

A/B Test, Doritos

As I began reading into A/B testing, there seemed to be much confusion as to what it is, how it works, and if it can be beneficial or not. However there were very few, if any talking about why A/B hasn’t taken us by storm yet. First off, before I get yelled at for not explaining what A/B testing is and how it does work let me do so;

A/B testing means presenting different versions of your site (by way of changing the font, format, word choice, pictures, etc.) to random visitors in order to find a clear winner among the alternatives. It is used in order to find out which appearance will entice visitors to your end goal, most being a sale. Because we can track almost anything anyone is doing, we most certainly are able to divulge into the data and determine at what points visitors lost interest or gave up.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way let me explain on the topic at hand. Why is A/B testing taking so long to catch on? A simple query search on Google will tell you that people don’t understand it, or that they don’t realize how it can benefit them. But I just explained what it is and the value it brings in a simple paragraph with only two sentences (I’ll be it possibly run-ons) so those both can’t be true. Perhaps it is lack of awareness, yet everywhere I turn some new article is being posted on why it can benefit you with 10 examples or how it has worked. I believe that is a lack education on how A/B testing works. Many people know what A/B testing is and want to get going on it but don’t know where to start. They believe that the IT guy or the marketing team, is probably the best person to implement it because you might be changing the site, but that is false. Within just a few minutes you can be running any sort of A/B test of your site, getting the results of the studies as soon as possible.

A few great A/B sites that I have found work well are:

Visual Website Optimizer: http://visualwebsiteoptimizer.com/
Very easy to work with. It takes your existing web page and allows you to move, edit, delete, etc. content on your page in order to try out different appearances. I believe that you can also have more than one different page so it’s more like an A/B/C/D/E…. page.

unbounce: http://unbounce.com/
Is around the same sort as Visual Website Optimizer but is priced better for larger companies taking in more than 10,000 unique hits a month.

webtrends: http://webtrends.com/
Being about the same as the rest, webtrends uses a single line of JavaScript to start working toward a solution. What’s nice is that you can optimize across your campaign making way for tests within emails, social sites, and digital advertising.

So hopefully by passing the educational buck onto these sites they will take the reins and hook you up with a sweet A/B test.

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