How To Prioritize Your AB Testing Efforts
Using data driven decisions to guide you.
When it comes to conversion rate optimization, the first reaction is typically excitement. It is easy to jump in headfirst, start testing away, and make big changes that will add big value to your company. But it is important to have a structured way to begin your testing framework. How do you decide what pages to test? If the whole purpose of testing is to make data-driven decisions and grow intelligently, then the way to prioritize tests is simple—look at your data!
There are many key factors to consider before you decide what pages or funnels to test. The main ones are:
Most of the time, pages that have the most volume (home pages, or landing pages you send traffic to) will have the most potential for growth. They hold high potential because the more volume, the more significant changes in conversion rate will drive revenue. This is usually true, although the outcome may vary depending on the situation.
For example, take a case where you have two separate pages with two separate conversions. If page A has more volume, but a lower value per conversion, and Page B has lower volume, but a higher value per conversion, then depending on the values, one page may have more potential than the other. You can use this calculator to experiment with different examples.
Let’s look at an example:
In this example, the ecommerce situation shows that sometimes, the page with less volume can have a larger effect on your revenue (depending on the value of the sale). This is assuming that you can achieve similar lifts in both scenarios, which is hard to know for certain at the beginning, but if you start with a conservative target, this would be a good place to start.
Your Site’s Average Conversion Rate
This is a great way to get a pulse on your marketing efforts and get a baseline for comparison purposes. By determining an average conversion rate of your website, you can easily identify under performing and over-performing pages. This will allow you to locate where you should begin your efforts. In addition, by identifying your over-performing pages, you can gain insights and ideas regarding what to change on your under performing pages.
These are pages that are accomplishing your central business goals. Let’s say you are a lead generation company—your landing pages with forms should be a main concern for you. There is little reason to optimize a “Contact Us” page unless you really want to increase customer service calls!
Ease of Development
This is a big factor, depending on your website type and what is involved in your business. Let’s say you have a few different sales funnels. One sales funnel is simple and would require very little web development for optimization. The second funnel is more complicated and would require much more time. It would be wise to weigh the cost of development hours against the projected lift and revenue generation before attacking a complicated process.
Here’s an example:
These are the same statistics from the model above. Now, when development time is factored in, sales funnel 2 would be more profitable. This is an example on a low scale with small cost associations. In this exact example, you will get your money back quickly in a few months if the results held. However, if you are dealing with large-scale applications that cost tens of thousands of dollars to modify, then it would make sense to do a detailed cost analysis and profit analysis before starting such an endeavor.
Considering lead values may seem strange if you are running AdWords and your traffic is pretty consistent, but there are many different values to leads, and these differences matter. Let’s say you notice that form submission leads close at a 10% closing rate and inbound phone calls close at a 15% closing rate. You may want to consider optimizing your page to encourage users to call in rather than filling out the form.
In summary, it comes down to having excellent tracking in place and the proper business knowledge to make informed decisions on your AB testing platform. If you think of your decisions in terms of input and output, the entire process becomes simple! In the beginning, dealing with large volume pages where your conversions take place is a great place to start. However, once your funnels become more complicated and your business grows, then it is important to contemplate all of the factors that affect your revenue.
Elliot Alicea – Author
Co-Founder of Empirical360
Elliot is a Co-Founder of Empirical 360 and is extremely passionate about creating highly effective marketing campaigns. He places ROI above all else!
Shea Duncan – Contributor
Lead Content Producer
Shea is an expert content writer and is a classic literary nerd! She loves writing highly engaging content and has a knack for making it convert!