A/B Testing…?!

What A/B testing is.

A/B testing is the way you can compare two websites or mobile apps against each other in order to find out which one executes better (Optimizely, 2015). A/B testing is also known as bucket testing or split testing. It is used to improve your conversion rates by using data and statistics to validate new designs changes. A/B testing is an expression or phrase used for non-specific experimentation which sole purpose is to test a theory and produce statistics (Martin, 2015)



Running an A/B test that compares a variation against a current experience, allows you to ask focused questions about changes to your website or app, and after that collect data about the impact of that change. In order to sustain your business you have to be able to literally read and understand the customers which are visiting your website or app every day (McMillen, J., 2014).

How does It work?

You simply take the screen of a webpage or app and create a second version of the same page. The change could be something small, just one button or it could be something substantial such as new design on the entire page. Then your traffic is shown on the original page and also on the second version, which is with the changes.


When customer enters your webpage or app and has been served by the control (original page) or variation (modified page), then their experience of engagement is recorded, measured and analysed through statistical engines (Kohavi, 2009). After that you can have a clear view whether the changes that were made have any effect or not.


Why you should use A/B Testing?

This testing allows you to make changes to what the customer experiences when visiting your website and at the same time allows you to collect data on the results of the implemented changes. For example, a business wants to increase its sales volume by implementing a new landing page. In order to achieve such a goal, the particular business has to use A/B testing when changing headline, adding call-to-action buttons or a completely new layout. By testing each new component individually, the business is going to have clear view of which change works best.  A/B testing could also be used if there is a new product, which is about to be launched.

Some ideas for A/B testing.

Below I’m going to list some ideas of how to start A/B testing, but the testing itself depends on the industry your business belongs to. For example, a media company wants to increase the time the reader spends on their website and expand their articles with social sharing. In order to achieve its aim, the business has to test variations on: Email sign-up, suggested content and button for social media sharing.

Travel companies would have to make other changes such as faster and a more reliable booking process. The company needs to test variation of: home page, search results of the page or the way the service is presented to the customer.

A/B testing tools

There are a number of A/B testing tools available out there such as Google Analytics, KISSmetrics, Unbounce and so on.

In my previous blog I have mentioned Google Analytics, but now im going to emphasise on KISSmetrics, which In my opinion offers a pretty good and flexible service. KISSmetrics is a well know testing tool which highlights the human side of data. The testing data is attached to people who engage with your website and are monitored throughout the time spent on your website (KISSmetrics, 2014). KISSmetrics allows you to keep a constant track of what is happening from the beginning to the end of the communication funnel. But not everything is ideal, there are pros and cons.


The advantages are: very flexible reporting data options, simple to use software, can track data to real people, the funnel-based data is highly accurate and not at least work well with other paid or free softwares.

The disadvantages are: KISSmetrics is low power in comparison with other testing tools, its highly costly, more specific data requires a more in depth learning abilities.

Overall the A/B testing have a positive impact on your website or app, but bear in mind there are several disadvantages. A/B testing may lead to losing some conversions due to the experiment. This means that you could lose sign-ups in order to experiment with a bad variation and if you repeat the process with a worse variation than the control, you may end with substantial loss of your sign-ups. Another disadvantage is that things change with the time. In A/B testing you receive only quantitative data, it just tells you the better one of two given options, but we also need qualitative data, which tells you how to make a better change just given one option (Zuupy, 2011). Also NEVER test the control first and then the variation, you MUST do both at the same time, otherwise you will end up with inaccurate data.

Zuupy.com, 2011, The Disadvantages of A/B Testing, [Online], Available at: https://zuupy.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/the-disadvantages-of-ab-testing/. (Accessed 8th of May 2016).

McMilen, J., 2014, How To Chose The Right Testing Software For Your Business [Online]  Available at: https://blog.crazyegg.com/2014/06/25/best-testing-software/. (Accessed 8th of May 2016).

Optimizely, 2015, A/B Testing, [Online] Available at: https://www.optimizely.com/ab-testing/. (Accessed 8th of May 2016)

KISSmetrics, 2016, Supercharge Your Testing With The New Kissmetrics A/B Test Report, [Online] Available at: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/kissmetrics-ab-test-report/. (Accessed 8th of May 2016).

Martin, E. J. (2015). The ABCs OF A/B TESTING. EContent, 38(7), 12-17.

Kohavi, R., Longbotham, D., Sommerfield, and Henne, R., (2009)  “Controlled experiments on the web: survey and practical guide,” Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 140-181.


Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is an amazing way to drive traffic to your website, but could become let’s say out of control if you are not careful. By out of control I refer to the fact that it could become very expensive and at the same time not serve its purpose. You could make such a mistake if your AdWords for example are too broad and not specific. Marketers pay for search engines to do text advertisement in respond to keywords, but these keywords could be generic (computer) and branded (Apple Mac) (Rutz & Bucklin 2011).

There are number of tips that we should use to make sure we get what we pain for. Let me share some of the bang on tips with you guys.

  1. Understand how AdWords work:

The first thing you have to do is literally understand how the AdWords work and more specifically how Keywords work. Google AdWords tool is the ideal place to discover keywords in your industry. This tool is very good, BUT is leading you to keywords which are very broad and not particularly effective. The keywords you should look for are the ones your customers are looking for and best describes your business. Therefore, you are looking for so called ‘long tail keywords’, which means that the words are long and more specific and added up together they make up most of the search-driven traffic. According to (Internet Advertising Bureau UK (iab), 2016), AdWords takes approximately 60% of all paid advertising, which is leading us to the notion that it does work.


In the example shown above, the term ‘how to get out of debt’ is a ‘head’ keyword which means that it has been searched very often. But here you are aiming for more specific words, which are searched less, but better exemplifies a long tail keywords. Most of the businesses make the mistake to purchase ‘head’ keywords and spend tremendous amounts of money and at the same time reduce your ROI substantially. The best source of keywords could be your own website or maybe a customer survey, which is going to navigate you to what the customers are interested and looking for.

  1. Knowing what paid Ads are available.

As a beginning you should know some of the most popular paid advertising such as:

Display/Banner Ads- Display or also called Banner ads are the first thing that appears in our mind when it comes to advertising due to the fact that they are so visibly noticeable. The use of such an Ads is very wide spread, but used for targeting customers which are not looking for a particular thing at that particular moment. This means that if you read your online newspaper, but encounter an advert about cars you can use and click on the banner which is going to lead you to a landing page which more information.



Text Ads- Text Ads are the ads, which we see as soon as we go to the primary Google or other Search engine. These ads are not as expensive as others and targets customers which are looking for something specific. Text Ads could be very successful, but it depends on keyword research and A/B testing.

Google AdWords- These type of ads are one of the most used by businesses. They can be looked at as a merge between display and text ads. The Google AdWords will generate a better return on your investment if you use them for a longer period of time and at the same time you are going to be rewarded by Google with better ‘quality scores’.


Here we come to the question, Why not Bing or Yahoo ads? You are right, they offer the same service, but some businesses state that they don’t bring the same amount of traffic, therefore most of the businesses prefer Google AdWords.

Facebook – LinkedIn- Using social media as a way of advertising has increased in recent years. This type of advertising include banners and text and are preferred due to the fact that you can target the customer’s preference, demographics and location.


3. Time to Track Your Progress 

If you can’t see the progress of your advertising what is the point of having it ? One of the advantages of the online advertising is that you can track everything. Google Analytics is a necessity and also another good thing about it is that it is free and easy to install.


Once you get to know how Google Analytics work, you should create a customized URL for each of your advertisements and this will help you monitor your ads performance. This type of tracking is vital in order to track which clicks have been converted into genuine leads or long-term subscribers.


There are a number of disadvantages when it comes to paid advertising. Such a disadvantage is when you get high volume of traffic through your website, but do not have any sales or subscriptions due to the fact that this traffic comes from unreliable sources (. These are people paid to surf the internet.

Another disadvantage in paid advertising is due to its efficiency is the competition, which can drive the price per click in excess of £10 for commonly used phrases.




Rutz, O., & Bucklin, R., 2011 From Generic to Branded: A Model of Spillover in Paid Search Advertising. Journal of Marketing Research (JMR). Vol. 48 Issue 1, p87-102.

Gyatham, A., 2015, 5 Disadvantages of Paid Traffic (PPC Traffic), [Online]                                                            Available at: http://www.shoutmeloud.com/paid-traffic-disadvantages.html. (Accessed 8th of May 2016).

Internet Advertising Bureau UK, 2016, Digital Adspen, [Online]                                                                                Available at: http://www.iabuk.net/research/digital-adspend. (Accessed 8th of May 2016).

Kissmetrics, 2016, 5 Things You Must Do Before Jumping Into Paid Internet Advertising, [Online]                Available at: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/paid-internet-advertising/. (Accessed 6th May 2016).