A/B split testing allows you to test two versions of the same website to determine which site is most conducive for your company’s goals. If you are running an online marketing campaign, utilizing A/B testing is one of the best ways to break through the pitfalls of “group think” or inexperienced team members with the clarity of quantitative data analysis. Think of it in terms of the difference between testing a medical treatment with a focus group or with a clinical trial: like the clinical trial, A/B testing employs the scientific method of controlling variables to differentiate between the two variables in question.
1. You can test both variables concurrently
You could just use one version of your website for a given amount of time, switch the website, and then compare user data between the two, but this method fails to control for other variables (such as the time of year, the effectiveness of existing advertising, or market fluctuation). This means that the number produced will not reflect as clearly the difference between the two versions of the website, and may be complicated by the difference between user behavior at different points in time. A/B testing allows you to test both versions of the site at once by randomly assigning site visitors to one pool or another, ensuring that the data produced reflects information that is useful to your campaign.
2. You are creating your own data
There are many companies offering to evaluate your website and produce recommendations to improve it, but most of these companies “black box” their process. This means that they give you the product—the changed website—without letting you in on the logic and process by which that product was made. This, of course, is in their best interest, since if you had insights and expertise about how to improve your website without their input, they’d be out of a job. Unlike other website optimization services, A/B testing gives you not only the product, but the process as well, allowing you to build on the data you acquire to make smarter decisions about your website in the future.