SEO or A/B Testing-Which is Best?

It’s inevitable. After I build a website and the client is enjoys the rewards of increased business, they start thinking about trying to increase sales even more? while that’s what they’re thinking, the question they usually ask is “What would you suggest I do to get more customers”?  This is a fair question, and I applaud any business owner who is looking for ways to improve their business, however I do think that the question is approached with the wrong premise. The premise is:

Get more customers = get more revenue = the best thing I can do

If the ultimate goal is to get more revenue then  acquiring customers is not a bad idea, but I think there might be a more efficient way to get to the goal. My solution would look something like…

Increase customer conversion rate = get more revenue + get more return customers = the best thing you can do

Enter A/B testing

A/B testing is a randomized experiment with two variants, A and B, which are the control and test in the experiment. In a nut shell, if you want to find out which headline or button color leads to more conversions, then A/B testing is for you.

I am not going to get into the nuts and bolts of A/B testing –I’ll save that for another post–so this is why I recommend it over SEO (in most cases).

If each customer spends $10, and if you have a conversion rate of 1%, then for each 100 customers you will get $10. If you improve your SEO and you get 1000 customers then you get $100. You can keep adding customers, and you will get money, but it’s not going to make you rich.

With A/B testing, the idea is to test different items that might help your customers see why they need your product.  Different text, headlines, colors, buttons, images, positions, incentives…the list is endless.  Right now I am running a test on a website to see how many seconds I should delay a popup to decrease the bounce rate.

If you were to find 3 items to increase the conversion rate 1% each, to 4% total, then suddenly you get $40 per 100 customers and $400 per 1000 customers for the same amount of work.

Once you increase the conversion rate then anything you do with SEO is going to have an even greater impact. Advertising will have a greater return for your money. Email marketing will be more effective. The sky will be bluer and the grass greener. You get the picture.

The Take-Away

A/B testing isn’t for everyone, such as websites that don’t have any meaningful traffic, and it does involve analyzation and programming.

If you use Google analytics then you can use the A/B testing called “Content Experiments” that’s offered for free. If you don’t have Google Analytics then most other services are expensive.

If you are not sure where to start then ask people to critique your site and come up with a few idea. Just moving Add to Cart buttons around, changing their colors, text or size can make a difference.

Look at competitors websites for things you think they are doing better and find a way of testing those ideas on your site.

Of course, if you need help then visit Servator Design to learn how we can assist you in growing your business.

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