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A/B testing, more than just comparing.

If you don’t A/B test your content regularly, chances are you’re missing out on a lot of money.
But what is A/B testing and how does it work? In this blog post, we explain it to you from A to Z.

What’s covered:

  • What is A/B testing in digital marketing and how does it work?
  • Why do you need to do A/B testing?
  • The importance of A/B testing in SEO.
  • Is A/B testing the same as split testing?
  • What elements work best with A/B testing?

What is A/B testing in digital marketing and how does it work?

A/B testing is a process where you start comparing two versions of a Web page, e-mail or other marketing tool. In each version, you adjust only one element each time. For example, say you’re doing an A/B test for an e-mail where you want to test which one gets opened the most based on the subject line. You then send out two emails with exactly the same content, but adjust only the subject line each time. After your emails are sent, you can start analyzing them: which email has the best CTR, open ratio, etc. ?

Why do you need to do A/B testing?

Creating a website or setting up an e-mail marketing campaign is only the first step. Once you have your website, you want to know if it contributes anything to selling your products or services. With A/B testing, you can find out which words, phrases, images, videos or other elements work best. Even the smallest change can have a huge impact on conversion rates.

The importance of A/B testing in SEO.

A/B testing can have a serious impact on your SEO. But how?
Take your page load time, for example. In an A/B test, you can determine what small changes might impact your page load time. A faster website can increase your conversion rate by as much as 7%.

So in what way does that load time affect SEO? Well, website speed is one of Google’s ranking factors. Indeed, the search engine wants to create a fast and pleasant search experience for its users. So it rewards pages with faster load times with better placement in search results.

Is A/B testing the same as split testing?

A/B testing and split testing are often confused with each other, when they are actually two different types of testing. In A/B testing, you adjust only one element – for example, a CTA, banner or an image – while in split testing, you actually compare two different designs.

What elements work best with A/B testing?

Some elements have more impact on conversions than others. Changing one word, in the body of your email for example, will not make a big difference in your conversion and click-through rates.

You are often limited in your time. Therefore, spend your energy on the elements that have the most impact on your web page or other marketing tool. But what things should you focus on first? Below you get an overview of the elements that have the greatest impact.

Headlines and copywriting

The headline is the first thing visitors see when they land on your page. If the headline doesn’t grab immediate attention, it’s definitely not going to stick with visitors. Other ways of copywriting can also have a big impact on conversions, such as the text you use on your call-to-action button.

Test different text lengths and ways to persuade. Does your audience succumb to the hard sell? Or do they need a gentle approach? Testing, testing and more testing!

Call to actions

Your call to actions tell visitors what action to take at that moment. It should entice the reader to take you up on your offer because it contains too much value to resist.

Even changing a single word in your call to action can impact your conversions. Other character properties such as background and text color, contrast, size and shape have a big impact on your results.

But beware! Don’t change more than one aspect during an A/B test. If you want to test the shape, don’t adjust the color at the same time. That way you can’t figure out which part made the most difference.

Images and videos

A picture often says more than a thousand words. It’s a cliché, but in this case it really is. Make sure what you display is qualitative and relevant, but also catches the eye of your visitor.

Subject lines

The subject line of an email has a direct impact on your open rate. If the recipient sees something they don’t like, the e-mail will eventually end up with the rest of the spam or trash.

Research has shown that the average open ratio can range from 25 to 47 percent. Even if you’re above average, half of your recipients won’t even open your email. So don’t be too critical of yourself here.

Product descriptions

In e-commerce, short product descriptions work best. Visitors want simple content that gives them a clear overview of exactly what the product or service entails. Do you have a complex product that needs a little more explanation? Test slightly longer and shorter texts and see what exactly has the most impact.

Email Marketing

Running an A/B test on emails is not that difficult. One half of your recipients send you version A and the other version B. Again, the smallest changes can make a big difference.


A/B testing is one of the most powerful ways to find out what really works. Jump into this carefully and consider the various options.

More questions? We are happy to help you!
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