When you were in school, testing was a way for teachers to know how well they were doing. They evaluated your knowledge of a specific subject to gauge their effectiveness at teaching it. You thought those days were over, right? Unfortunately not, testing is still the best way to know how well something works and what changes influence people the most.
Inbound marketing is about targeting the right people with the right content to get the right results. Scenarios like A/B testing allow you to gauge the effectiveness of a web design to see what has the most impact. Business-to-business marketing is challenging and A/B tests provide clarity. It’s that simple. Consider eight reasons why you need to A/B test your B2B website.
1. You Need Feedback from the Right People
Marketing to consumers in straightforward: you work one-on-one with the person who is doing the buying. B2B communication is more diluted. The person you make the deal with is not always the same person using the website. With A/B testing, you get an opinion directly from the end user. That person may not be making all the decisions, but when it comes to website design, that is who you want to please.
2. Conversions are the End Game
You can be the guru of design or the master of marketing, but, in the end, all that matters is conversions. You need to know what design strategy leads to the most conversions. The only true way to do that is with an A/B multi-variant test. Testing provides data so you know exactly what version of the site is optimized to create the best user experience and the most conversions.
3. A/B Testing Helps Define Traffic Statistics
Even a small change on a landing page can have a dramatic effect, but it is hard to recognize without testing. For example, let’s say you change the meta tags on the business home page to include location demographics. Suddenly, there is a slight increase in unique visitors. That metric might not mean much by itself, but if you A/B test the website using multiple variants of location tags, you see certain ones influence that number.
Using A/B testing to understand web statistics is a strategy relied on by some of the biggest companies in the world. In 2011, Google conducted over 7,000 A/B tests.
4. Expand Other Marketing Assets
A/B testing allows you to see how your different marketing assets work together to increase brand awareness within the B2B community. For example, what if you were to match the headline on your new website with the tagline on a directory listing or ad? How will that affect your click-through rates? Does it have to be the headline or can you sync body copy with an ad to get the same results? A/B testing your B2B website provides insight beyond just your web pages.
5. Proof that Different Design Elements Work
One case study showed that something as innocuous as a red button increased conversations by 53%. A/B testing helps you define how the different design qualities of your website work, so you are not always trying to guess. The marriage of A/B testing and metrics allows you to tweak the different design elements on your pages until you find the most engaging combination.
6. Is Change Really Necessary?
You know what they say about building a better mouse trap. This is especially true for B2B businesses, because clients tend to rely on consistency and a change may directly affect their bottom line. A/B testing allows you to make subtle changes, measure their impact compared to different variations and then make the less traumatic choice.
7. Find Innovative Strategies
A/B testing isn’t just about web design. Sometimes, the change you make is to add a new program to your website, maybe one for VIP partners or B2B clients that purchase under a specific label. By creating a test for a new program, you can measure how effective it is with the right clients; how it impacts other clients and whether it is something you can convert into a long-term inbound marketing plan. You can use it to test different shipping companies or measure the impact of a discount program, for instances.
A/B testing allows you to segment your web page visitors to create more plans to create conversions, too. With pre-test segmentation, you run a test only for a specific type website visitor, such as a prospective client, and see how a new strategy works for that targeted group.
8. Find Answers to Puzzling Questions
Are you wondering why the bounce rate for a web page suddenly doubled? What can you do to lower the bounce rate? This is the very heart of A/B testing. You develop a question, create a hypothesis and then test it. Maybe if you add more links to the page in question, you can reduce the bounce rate.
Once you have a hypothesis, you set up an A/B test using your current page design and a new one with more links and try to prove your theory. Mystery solved with one simple test.
Ultimately, A/B testing is about perpetual forward motion, because without it, your website becomes stagnant and out-of-date. Before you know it, your marketing strategy fails to engage business clients and sales drop. By A/B testing your B2B website, you stay at the top of your industry and build better relationships.