Everyone loves a stat to prove a statement (thats 100% of people) so let’s starts there….

According to Econsultancy and Red Eyes Conversion Rate Optimisation report of 2013, A/B testing is the most popular method of increasing conversion rates. 52% of companies surveyed had employed this method to get users to complete more of their goals.



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For those of you unfamiliar with this method this is when you take an existing page of your website, create a variation of that page and direct a percentage of traffic to it, to test if it is more effective than the current page.

Some great examples of A/B testing can be found at whichtestwon.com.

Conversion Rate Optmisation: Measuring the Outcome

One of the great things about Conversion Rate Optimisation is the amount of actionable data that comes from different testing and analytical platforms.

A/B testing is a great example of this. You run a test and come up with a percentage of success (or sometimes failure!) by which you can measure your performance.

An issue with data is how to quantify your success and failure levels. So what if conversion rate is up, compared to what? What other factors could have affected this? Seasonality? Campaign targeting? Our conversion rate experts? The list goes on…

With A/B testing you may not have the historical data to make comparisons. Another issue is that your comparisons are affected by some other external factors as above.

Sense Check your testing

To create more comparative data you can test the natural variation of conversion rates for your test pages by running the exact same page against itself. This is known (by me) as an A/A test but really it’s a “Control” for your experiment.

A (very) simplified example would be:

1. Run an A/A test on your Home page:
Page A1 Conversion Rate = 2.5%
Page A2 Conversion Rate = 3%
Result = .5% Variance

2. Run an A/B Test on your Home Page
Page A Conversion Rate = 2.5%
Page B Conversion Rate = 2.8%
Result = No Winner

3. Run an A/B Test on Your Home Page
Page A Conversion Rate = 2.5%
Page B Conversion Rate = 6%
Result = Page B has smashed it.

A/A Testing gives you a benchmark of natural variation when doing an A/B test so that you can be confident in the results.

This also means that you can be more confident that your tests are having a real positive impact. Give yourself a well earned pat on the back.

If you do want to know more about conversion rate optimisation or about Silverbean’s CRO services,  please contact [email protected], or call (+44) 0191 406 1200.