A/B Testing Overview - Instapage Marketing Guide

A/B Testing Overview

Last updated on August 18, 2017

Increasingly, today’s marketers are boosting conversion rates using a technique that experts say is one of the easiest and most effective for optimization: A/B testing.

This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know to begin improving your bottom line with A/B testing — including some of the biggest mistakes even regular practitioners make.

(Keep in mind, while we do our best to explain things simply to our readers without jargon, we’re not perfect. Sometimes industry lingo sneaks its way into our content. If you see any term you don’t understand, you can find a simple definition of it in the Instapage marketing dictionary).

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing is a method of gathering insight to aid in optimization. It involves testing an original design (A) against an alternate version of that design (B) to see which performs better. That original design is also known as “the control” and the alternate version is known as a “variation.”

A/B Testing Diagram

This guide will discuss A/B testing as it relates to landing page optimization, but you can use the method to compare and improve other web pages, emails, ads, and more.

What can I test?

It’s only natural to wonder which elements on a landing page you can test. While you shouldn’t simply pick from this list at random (you’ll see why later), it should give you an idea of testable elements that can make a difference in your conversion rate.

Consider testing:

  • Headlines
  • Page layout
  • Lead capture form length
  • Page length
  • Trust indicators
  • Calls to action
  • Media (e.g. a video vs. gif, or a hero shot vs. an infographic)

Just because you can test it, though, doesn’t mean you should. More on that in chapter 5.

Think you’re ready to start A/B testing? Let’s find out…