A/B Testing Broken Down for Newbies

A/B testing is a common method marketers use to test ads and different methods of targeting specific visitor groups. It’s about using two or more options and testing to see which works better. You can apply it to practically any website or product. There are also a number of different software options for people who want to streamline their testing.

Let’s take a look at what it is and how it works.

What is it?

A/B testing is easy to understand on principle. The difficulty is understanding where you can begin applying it. Whilst there are lots of ways to use it, there are two primary options available to you:

  1. Style and design. This is where you test two versions of your website to see which one visitors like the best. For example, you could test between two different font types and two different headers. You can use it to determine the best location for buttons and which form of navigation bar is the most convenient.
  2. Communication style. You would use A/B testing for this when you’re unsure how to best connect with your customers. You may test the best time to send emails to your subscribers and the tone of voice you use in each email, to name just a few uses.

How to Use A/B Testing 

So you have an email list, your website, and your design ideas ready to test. Now you need to think about how you’re going to test and measure results. There are a number of software options available to you for this. Take a look at the list of the options we’ve compiled for you below.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics has a service called ‘Content Experiments’. This is the simplest free system available. As long as you have a basic knowledge of data analysis, you will be able to keep the costs of A/B testing down. Most small businesses carrying out basic testing will prefer this option.


Optimizely allows you to make single and multiple variable testing easy. It’s a platform that allows you to make changes to your site quickly and easily. It also comes with a number of analytics options that enables you to measure the number of clicks you’re getting and the number of conversions.

It comes with a 30-day trial. After this trial period has elapsed, it will cost $17 per month to keep using.

 Visual Website Optimizer

Virtual Website Optimizer (VWO) is a testing platform that allows you to create multiple versions of your website. You don’t need to know anything about HTML or any other coding languages to use this. VWO really comes into its own when it comes to multivariate testing. There are a range of additional features for better usability testing, as well. You’ll find this has an incredibly friendly user interface, too.

The one major drawback is the hefty price. It doesn’t come with a free trial and it costs $49 per month to use. For a lot of businesses, this will make it the wrong choice for them.


Unbounce uses an extremely narrow focus to make it a popular niche testing option. It applies exclusively to landing pages. Whilst it lacks breadth, it makes up for it in depth. You can easily test multiple landing pages and get clear analysis in a matter of minutes.

The problem is the $49 per month for this program. Again, this is a tool that most businesses won’t consider because it doesn’t provide comprehensive A/B testing outside of landing pages.

A/B testing is one of the most powerful tools that marketers have in the digital world. The tips and tools above provide a beginner everything they need to set up their first A/B tests, so get testing!


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