A/B testing is one of the most critical exercises you can perform on your website. Take a look at the most successful websites around the world. They perform thousands of A/B tests on them in order to achieve conversion rates. In fact, every single element of the site and page needs to be optimized to convert, and this means that every element needs to be A/B-tested.
In fact, statistics show that around 71% of all companies around the world perform A/B testing on their site two or more times a month, with 60% of those companies agreeing that it is a vital component of the marketing strategy that contributes to the site’s success. Microsoft Bing, for example, runs over 1,000 A/B tests a month and has reported that its revenue per search increased 10 percent to 25 percent each year due to A/B testing.
So, just what is A/B testing, and how can you start using it to optimize your site for higher conversion rates? We took a look at the concept, looking specifically at content, keywords, and how conducting keyword research can optimize your conversion rates.
Unpacking A/B Testing
Let’s kick off with what A/B testing is. It is essentially a method that allows two different versions of various elements on the website to be presented to users and visitors to gauge the user experience of each. It is a controlled experiment, also known as split-testing that provides data-backed information about how various elements are performing on your site.
Say, for example, you are adding a new call-to-action to your landing page or product page. You will want to ensure that the CTA is optimized enough for the visitor to actually click on it. Is it the right color, size, shape, and does it have the right copy?
By A/B-testing it, you can put up two different versions of it and test to see which one generates the most clicks. By doing this with every element, you can ensure that your whole site is fully optimized to generate the highest conversions.
So Where Does Keyword Research Come In?
As with those CTAs and images, you will need to conduct regular testing on your copy to ensure that it is not only highly effective in converting your visitors to buyers, but also to heighten your SEO rankings. Remember, Google regularly scrapes your site to ascertain where you need to be ranked in the search results. They will pick up keywords that are repeated regularly on your site and rank you according to those.
So, say you are a pet food and accessory retailer, for example. You will want to be ranked for keywords like ‘pet food”, “dog food”, “cat food.” And this is where keyword research comes in. By conducting regular keyword research, you can ensure that your site is continuously updated with the latest ranking keywords and guarantee that you are actually being seen by your potential customers.
Competitive keyword research also assists advertisers to find out which keywords their competitors are bidding on for their paid ads. This will ensure that your PPC advertising is actually generating traffic to your site. This aside, you can use it to know what your competitors are using to outrank them and know what the current trends are.
Take a look at how websites adapted their landing page copy for the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers started changing their search terms and in order for sites to remain relevant, they changed up their copy on their landing pages to cater to it. Getting the proper research done is the difference between success and failure, so if you’re not feeling secure enough in your expertise, make sure you hire keyword research services to help you reach the top.
Optimizing Keywords with the Goal of Increasing the Conversion Rate
The end goal of keyword research is essential to increase your traffic and heighten your conversion rates. So, spending time testing these keywords is essential to the ultimate ranking of your site. You might be wondering just what you need to test.
Create this checklist for yourself:
- URLs. Your URL will need the keyword in it for it to appear in the search. It will also make it easier for Google to know where to rank the specific URL, whether it be product pages or blog posts.
- Title Tags. This is by far the most important element to include the keyword, especially for pages like articles and product pages.
- H1 and H2 Headings. The H1 heading should somewhat match the title tag, while the H2 can offer variations. But in order to get these totally SEO friendly, A/B testing the variations will improve your ranking of the page.
- Image Text. Not only do images improve the user experience, but Google also scrapes the descriptions to know where to rank them. Remember, your customer could be searching for your particular product through the “image” search option on Google, and you want it ranked as high on that page as possible.
- External Links. These help search engines understand how your landing page is related to other pages on the web. So take some time with the research of these to rank your site accordingly.
- Call-to-Actions. As mentioned before, A/B testing your CTAs are key to them converting your customer. The copy in the CTA should convince your customer to want to click on it, so make sure you test variations to see what comes out on top.
- All sales copy and product descriptions. Not only do these need to have their specific keywords included, but the copy itself needs to be descriptive and convincing enough to sell the product to the customer. Make sure you test all of your new descriptions before settling on the final copy.
What You Should Watch Out For
In order to run a successful A/B test, you will need to launch version A first and wait for it to actually be indexed by Google. You will need the traffic to start coming to the site, so keep monitoring your analytics and when you see traffic start peaking, you can start your test.
It is important to know that your version B should not be indexed, however. Yes, your customers need to be seeing either one of the versions, but the search engines should not. The reason for this is that search engines will see this as duplicate content, and you will be penalized for it. You will also be at risk of confusing the search engines with differing keywords and will index the wrong page. So, make sure your version B does not get indexed.
This might seem like a lot of time and resource-consuming work. Creating two versions of something, especially the URLs, headings and titles may seem like it will take ages to do. When you get it right, however, the ROI will far outweigh the effort and time that went into it. You will also only need to do it once for some of your pages and follow it up with regular checks to see whether the page is ranking as it should. So, spend some time on it, and start reaping the rewards.