A / B Testing

In this type of split testing, two variants of a system or two versions of a website are compared with each other. The purpose of an A/B test is to show which of the different versions is more likely to show the user the desired behavior on the website.

A/B testing tools are among the most important tools in online marketing. They are also used in areas such as software development or web design.

How do the tests work?

For an A/B test, the target group is divided into two random groups - this is a prerequisite for such a test to be conducted.

The test object (in online marketing often the website or an app) is provided in two possible types that differ only in a single component. In this way, different user reactions can be precisely traced back to the component in question.

Relevant reactions for marketing are, for example, orders, contacting, or registrations via CtA buttons.

Therefore, the goals of A/B testing are to increase conversion rates and provide a better website experience.

A/B tests only deliver meaningful results if the group of test subjects is large enough. In addition, a hypothesis or an expected result must be defined in advance for the test to be valid.

Example hypothesis would be: 

"The object under test already causes the intended reaction in the customer. An innovation would lead to confusion."

The test checks whether the hypothesis is true.

The result of an A/B test can also be that none of the variants stands out. This can happen if the changes to the design were not concise enough, the test was too short, or the change did not affect user behavior.

What do I need for an A/B test?

Depending on the scenario, different test tools are recommended. With email marketing tools, newsletters and circulars can be tested for their effectiveness. Here, criteria are defined at the beginning on which to test. The result then shows which variant should be used for further marketing measures.

For A/B testing on a WordPress website, there are numerous plugins that support market research and evaluate data directly.

What else needs to be considered in an A/B test?

Anyone who integrates an A/B test on their website must approach this with caution so that the SEO measures dont get nullified. This is also the reason why the alternative website version of the A/B test should be indexed by search engine robots.

If the indexing is set to cookies, this can lead to worse rankings. Sometimes the cookies and the alternative page are hosted on different URLs. In this case, only the original version is indexed.

However, this method leads to duplicate content. It is better to use the rel=canonical link attribute. However, this only works if the test page and the cookie page are hosted at the same URL. For this, the similar page content must both be properly integrated.

When is an A/B test worth it?

In most cases, meaningful AB tests can hardly be implemented manually. A/B testing tools are needed here, which in turn incur certain costs. Of course, the creation and adaptation of various elements also takes up working time. It is therefore important to weigh up in advance whether a test makes sense.

Successful marketing campaigns usually include several measures to increase conversions. Here, the A/B test should only be the beginning of a series of measurements and tests. If you are not prepared to employ a marketing agency for a longer period of time, you will not benefit from A/B tests alone. Only with enough time, money and a sufficient database (10,000 visitors/ 1,000 conversions have statistical significance) is an investment in A/B testing worthwhile. 

In search engine optimization, you can get meaningful results by applying an A/B test for the user experience. Conclusions can be drawn from this for the content strategy. The evaluation enables an assessment of content and usability.

What details does an A/B test include?

Basically, an A/B test can be used for all marketing measures. For example, this method is used for newsletter campaigns, landing pages or social media ads. It is important to limit yourself to one test element per run. Examples of content and design elements that are suitable for this type of test are: 

  • Images on the landing page
  • Form of address (Voice of Speech)
  • Text of a social media ad 
  • Product images in webshop
  • Navigation design

Are you planning a new advertising campaign or even a relaunch and need help from professionals? We as a SEO and Content Agency support you during the whole process.

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