To begin with, A/B testing is a testing of two versions of your page aimed to define which of them more effective persuades visitors to take a certain action offered by your website, such as signing up to the RSS or buying some item from your site. This approach allows you to optimize the landing pages incrementally and turn visitors into subscribers more effectively.
Moving to the procedure, first you have to get a good idea of your website’s current state to figure out what needs change. Luckily, there is a great number of various tools to let you tap into how users interact with your site.
Here are they.
- Analytics Tools
Web analytics should be your first helper. With the wealth of its tracked data you can always feel sure to find some answers there. Most websites get Google Analytics installed to have a rough idea about on-site visitors number even without any advanced tracking. Google Analytics is among the most helpful free analytics tools for today. Other analytic tools to try are Kissmetrics, Mixpanel and Canddi.
- Replay Tools
Replay tools let you view visitor sessions just as it was happening. Video replay tools provide you with a better idea of what it could be like for your visitors browsing your website’s various pages. Such tools as Mouseflow, Ghostrec, Crazyegg and Inspectlet also combine heatmaps and clickmaps showing you where visitors click most and how far they are scrolling down the page. It may give you a hint, for example, that visitors expect something from unclickable page elements, your value proposition is hidden or the CTA button is invisible.
- Survey Tools
The best way to learn user opinion is to ask them. Whereas analytics gives some quantitative feedback, Qualaroo, Webengage and other survey tools help to collect some qualitative feedback. It’s performed by asking visitors who meet certain criteria some question related to your page when they are right on it. Survey pop-ups allowing visitors to fill in with their own thoughts besides providing some ready answers usually give you honest user feedback to be filtered right into A/B tests.
- Live Chat Tools
Offering a chatting facility (by Olark, Zopim and other service providers) on your site lets the visitor contact you in case they hit some issue while browsing the site. For example, if a user can't find some information on the site or fails to arrange the demo, this live chat facility is to help them get quick answers provided by the customer service team in order to resolve this situation faster. What’s more important, such incidents can provide a good resource for the improvements you need to test in your next A/B tests.
- Combination of All
The internet abounds in case studies in which experts advocate multiple conflicting recommendations on item placing and button colors, but each website is different. That’s why best practices always need testing, first of all by means of conversion optimization which is all about better visitor understanding.
The usage of research tools for on-site user behavior analysis before tests are set up can show you the parts of site which need improvement. Analytics, heatmaps and clickmaps show how visitors interact with the site helping you decide on many more important issues. Live chat and surveys in turn let you get some real feedback from your visitors. This feedback is a way better than making changes based only on best practices and your gut feeling.