5 Helpful Tools To Improve Your Website A/B Testing

With the right A/B test­ing tools, you’ll be able to bet­ter under­stand who your audi­ence is and increase con­ver­sions across your site.

Zach Rozell By Zach Rozell from Sq1. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Being suc­cess­ful at A/B test­ing means hypoth­e­siz­ing poten­tial prob­lems on your site and test­ing these ideas. With the right tools, you’ll be able to bet­ter under­stand who your audi­ence is and increase con­ver­sions across your site. Remem­ber: the more hypothe­ses test­ed, the more suc­cess­es you will have.

A/B test­ing is a way to test mul­ti­ple ideas on your web­site and see which ideas increase con­ver­sion rates. A/B test­ing ideas can come from insights formed from track­ing users’ activ­i­ty across your site or sur­vey respons­es from your tar­get mar­ket.

In order to be suc­cess­ful at A/B test­ing, you must first find the fric­tion-caus­ing ele­ments. Then you must define the vis­i­tors’ con­cerns that are keep­ing your cus­tomers from con­vert­ing.

After defin­ing top site issues, cre­ate and test new hypothe­ses based on the data you uncov­er. You can use a num­ber of research meth­ods to pin­point prob­lem areas and test those areas to increase con­ver­sion rates.

Below is a sam­ple of help­ful tools.

1. Usability Studies

A usabil­i­ty study involves:

  • Recruit­ing study par­tic­i­pants to vis­it your web­site.
  • Pro­vid­ing par­tic­i­pants with a list of tasks.
  • Ask­ing for feed­back as the par­tic­i­pants nav­i­gate your web­site.
  • Record­ing the whole process for analy­sis.

Brands have been con­duct­ing tra­di­tion­al usabil­i­ty stud­ies since the 1990s and focus groups since the 1950s. How­ev­er, in recent years usabil­i­ty stud­ies have become more pop­u­lar through tech­nolo­gies like UserTesting.com.

UserTesting.com has tak­en the tra­di­tion­al mod­el of usabil­i­ty stud­ies and brought it to life in an online plat­form. The site allows you to recruit par­tic­i­pants and man­age your usabil­i­ty study videos; all while promis­ing to deliv­er your study results in 24 hours.

When con­duct­ing a usabil­i­ty study you should test the effec­tive­ness of your site by ask­ing the right ques­tions to the par­tic­i­pants on your site. You must be care­ful in how you struc­ture ques­tions and be sure you are keep­ing an eye on the behav­ior of your par­tic­i­pants.

To avoid lead­ing the user into an answer, the ques­tions must be writ­ten in a way that can’t be mis­in­ter­pret­ed as direc­tion. It’s also impor­tant not to hint at the answer you’re look­ing for since this, too, will skew the results.


2. Cart Abandonment Surveys

Cart aban­don­ment sur­veys allow you to tar­get site vis­i­tors who are show­ing intent to leave the page where they cur­rent­ly are. If you want to know why the exit rate is so high on your cart or check­out pages, the cart aban­don­ment sur­vey is the eas­i­est way to gain cus­tomer feed­back.

The answer for­mat can be mul­ti­ple choice or open answer. With this infor­ma­tion, you can grasp an under­stand­ing of the site usage, the types of vis­i­tors, the visitor’s mentality/mindset or the rea­sons for aban­don­ing the site dur­ing a cru­cial step.

Here’s an exam­ple of what a site sur­vey ques­tion looks like when a user is exposed to a sur­vey:

Survey Question

And the results for that spe­cif­ic ques­tion:

Survey results

3. Consumer Surveys

Mass con­sumer sur­vey tools, such as Google Con­sumer Sur­veys, allow you to tar­get the audi­ence by age, loca­tion, income, etc. This tool helps you gath­er data quick­ly by seg­ment­ing your sur­vey tar­get audi­ence and cre­at­ing a wide range of sur­veys that can be con­duct­ed though A/B tests, brand track­ing stud­ies, mar­ket trend analy­sis, con­cept devel­op­ment, prod­uct devel­op­ment, mar­ket design, and cam­paign mea­sure­ment.

As soon as you receive your results you also have mul­ti­ple ways to seg­ment sur­vey respons­es so you can quick­ly glean insights down to a seg­ment­ed demo­graph­ics lev­el.

For exam­ple, you may notice that con­sumers who live in rur­al areas have a high­er chance of own­ing a pet or that younger audi­ences are more open to mobile apps than your old­er audi­ence. The chart below shows Google Con­sumer Sur­veys’ var­i­ous options to fil­ter your sur­vey results.

Google Consumer Survey

4. Heat Maps

Heat maps reveal where your web­site vis­i­tors are most fre­quent­ly look­ing and click­ing. This infor­ma­tion will help you under­stand the eye path of the user and what attracts the most atten­tion.

Heat maps can be used in nav­i­ga­tion flow tests to ver­i­fy that the user is click­ing in the cor­rect spot on the page to con­tin­ue their path to pur­chase.

Heat map

5. Scroll Maps

Scroll maps are sim­i­lar to heat maps in that they indi­cate where the cus­tomers are scrolling to and spend­ing most of their time. This data usu­al­ly indi­cate what stands out to the cus­tomer and where infor­ma­tion needs to be moved.

Scroll maps

You Can Learn From Losing A/B Tests, Too

Not all test results from these stud­ies are going to be pos­i­tive. Yet, a neg­a­tive result doesn’t have to stay neg­a­tive.

Some of your best per­form­ing A/B tests could come from the insights gained from a los­ing test vari­a­tion. For exam­ple, you might notice that one of your head­lines does well while the oth­er one fails. The fail­ing head­line will teach you just as much about your audi­ence as the suc­cess­ful one.

Zach Rozell

Written by Zach Rozell

Digital Account Planner, Sq1

Zach Rozell is a member of the Digital Account Planning Team at Sq1, an agency that takes data and turns it into insights, action and results, generating impressive ROI for their clients. In addition to his work, he has a passion for traveling.

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