How A/B testing can revolutionise your mobile site performance


Digital Performance

A/B testing is one of the most important tools in a marketers toolkit. It’s a form of optimisation in which a small element is changed to test the effect that this has on the audience. It’s used on websites, mobile sites and apps to pinpoint the best design to capture and convert an audience. Changes can be anything from headline text, calls to action, button colours, images and more. They’re the parts of the website that some people don’t realise can make a huge difference to the way your visitors use your site. 

A/B testing starts with data. Once the site has been live for a few months, we see how customers react to the design in place. With a set of control data in place, take a look at your site’s performance and consider what you believe needs to change. Are the click throughs from a certain page low? Are you getting the number of conversions you are hoping for? 

A mistake that some companies make is to start moving a bunch of levers around without clear planning upfront for what they're trying to optimize—and what will be impacted by those changes

Dan Siroker - A/B Testing: The Most Powerful Way to Turn Clicks Into Customers,

The next step is to consider the journey to this step and what could be affecting the decision making process here. If there’s a button to press, is it noticeable enough? What is the call to action you’re using? 

Choose one element and decide how you feel it could be improved. It’s important to only change one thing so you know exactly which element has made the difference. Using your A/B testing software, set up your test with variables against your current design as a control. Allow the test to run for a specified amount of time; we would recommend up to four weeks. Then it’s time to see which version your audience preferred. If there is a clear winner, that the decision made for you by data. 

A/B testing should be something any business is running on both a desktop and a mobile site, but we have found that there is even more value to be found with a mobile site A/B test. Desktop sites have been a standard offering for years, but the mobile revolution is more recent. Where there are standard best practices, case studies and research to base design decisions on for desktop, mobile remains a world where designers and marketers are still working out the rules.

This goes for everything from button size, navigation layout and content. There are case studies and data that says that mobile sites should have minimised content, hence the rise of video content in the world of marketing. Nevertheless, there are mobile sites on the internet getting thousands of hits with long form content. It’s for this reason that we suggest an A/B split test of contested factors such of this on mobile. 

Providing an optimal mobile experience is the right thing to do not only from a conversion perspective, but supports the Search Engine Optimisation of your website. Google now operates under a Mobile First Index – this means that the way your website appears on a mobile device is directly affecting how you appear in the search results. A bad experience, high bounce rates or a poor mobile layout will lead to lower rankings. It’s for this reason that we also recommend testing things like button and text size to ensure that your site is working for the audience that’s using it.

The benefit of an A/B test is that it leaves nothing up to opinion. The best choice is laid out with a percentage – even if you find that your initial designs are more effective, you now have that information to prove that you are doing the best thing for your business. Take what you’ve learned and apply it to your future strategies. 

Zinc are experienced CRO specialists.

We’re here to help pinpoint the best opportunities for improvement and track the effects they have. If you’re interested in gaining an unprecedented insight into the way your site affects conversions, speak to us today.

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