What is the purpose of A/B testing? It can help you address shortcomings in the user experience on your Website. By testing numerous page elements, you can mend holes and ensure better business conversion. But while doing so, you need to ensure that it does not hurt your SEO position.
In doing A/B testing, you also have to keep emerging trends in mind. By remembering these trends and implementing the key test principles, you can ensure best test results and achieve a positive outcome for the long term.
Key Trends in Mobile A/B Testing
There have recently been have seen a number of innovations and new approaches to A/B testing. Here is a look at few of the most important trends in A/B testing:
Testing for mobile: With the proliferation of mobile devices and interfaces, every business wants to ensure that its site remains mobile-friendly. By conducting A/B testing, you can easily assess the mobile friendliness and responsive capability of your Website. Furthermore, A/B testing can help you check the behavior of your users and guide your interface design accordingly.
Personalized Web experience: A/B testing tools also give you the capability to run tests for offering personalized elements with your Website. Tailored content for different individual users based on robust analytics can help your business gain a stronger hold on users. With A/B testing, you can easily assess how these personalized elements work for different users.
Dynamic testing: A/B testing has the dynamic capability of testing with numerous variants. By testing different versions of an app, you can gradually leave behind the losers and fine tune your app with the winning elements.
Testing the emotional responses of visitors: Visitor activities portray different emotional states and corresponding responses. For instance, frantic mouse movement often says that users are not finding the elements they are looking for. A/B testing allows you change the locations of on-page elements and find out how users react to them.
Key Principles for Mobile A/B Testing
These trends apart, there are certainly tested and tried methods and principles that work best with A/B testing. Here are some key A/B testing principles:
Run a test when it is necessary: Why run a test when it can achieve no visible result? A/B testing is effective only when it can deliver a significant outcome. So, run a test as long as it can deliver significant data. As soon as the gathered data supports a combination that works for your app, get rid of all other probabilities.
Use 302s instead of 301s: At the time of conducting an A/B test, it is the original URL the user will land on before being redirected to a new URL. To redirect users, always use 302 or a temporary kind of redirect instead of the 301 redirect. Using the latter can hurt your SEO effort as it signals to Google that the original page has been removed.
Always test two designs: When subjecting your Website to A/B testing, always test two designs of the Website, the original and a new site design. You can easily get the figures corresponding to business conversion, engagement, etc.
Make use of segmentation before or after the test: Segmentation is important in A/B testing because all Website visitors are not same. While many of them are your customers, there are also prospects and others who are just discovering your brand. All of them behave differently, and so you need to address this variety with segmentation. Segmentation in A/B testing has two types, pre-test and post-test segmentation.
- Pre-test segmentation: You divide your customers into segments before starting the test to define their characteristics and behaviors when browsing your products online.
- Post-test segmentation: The post-test segmentation is about segmenting your visitors as per the insights provided by the A/B testing.
A/B testing should not be a hindrance to SEO: A/B testing covers many Website elements, including call-to-action buttons, text links and color scheme. But if design changes interfere with the organic page elements, it can have a negative impact on search engine rankings. So, while doing A/B testing, you need to ensure you are not causing a hindrance to search engine ranking for the page.
So, how can you test pages without causing any problem for your search ranking? For starters, you should only test the pages that aren’t performing well. Avoid making too many changes to pages that are performing well and have good traffic. In this way, you can prevent loss of your traffic and search engine leads.
Stay clear of cloaking: Cloaking is basically a black-hat SEO technique that shows a version of your Website to traffic different from the one shown to your search engine crawler. When conducting A/B testing, never ever implement this technique, as it can have dangerous results on your search engine optimization efforts. Always use one version of all your pages for search engines and traffic.
When conducting A/B testing, you need to take your SEO team into confidence and make a joint plan to reap the greatest benefits while interfering with SEO as little as possible. Your testing efforts cannot be blind to all the SEO efforts drawing traffic to your pages.
Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO at Nimblechapps, a fast-growing iOS game development and smartwatch app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lure him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.