Conversion Optimization – Part Four: How To Decide What To Test Next

How To Determine What To A/B Split Test NextRunning successful A/B split testing is about much more than just setting up one simple test. To get the most out of Conversion Optimization, you need to test often and test repeatedly. Remember -- your goal is to optimize your conversion rate. That simple-sounding goal has lots of dimensions and lots of possibilities. There really is no end to the kinds of tests (and "retests") you can run to be successful. In this next post in our series, I'll show you how to build successful testing sequences so you don't get stuck after implementing and reviewing each of your A/B split tests.

NOTE: This post is part of a complete series on Conversion Optimization. This series is intended for the beginner -- we'll start from ground zero and move our way through all of the aspects of a basic conversion rate optimization project.

Here's an overview of the posts in this series:

Part 1 = How To Choose What To Optimize
Part 2 = How To Create An A/B Split Test
Part 3 = How To Review The Results
Part 4 = How To Decide What To Test Next
Part 5 = How To Build An Optimization Plan

Why Do You Need To Continue A/B Testing?

The fact that A/B testing is never-ending can discourage a lot of people from the process. But before you go off into the "deep end" in your thinking about this, let me explain…

The purpose of A/B testing is to isolate just ONE element on your website, landing page, PPC ad -- or whatever you're ultimately testing -- so you can focus your results in that one place. The logic here is simple: If you isolate one element at a time, you can be much more objective and scientific in your conclusions.

But a Landing Page, for example, can have many elements you will need to isolate and test. We've reviewed a sample list of 10 or so different landing page elements in part two of this series. If you have 10 items on your landing page that you want to test, optimize, and improve, you're looking at 10 A/B tests at least. But if you're going to do a good job, you're looking at more like 20-30 total A/B split tests to arrive at a final version of your Landing Page that you can trust.

How To Sequence Your A/B Split Tests
There's really no scientific answer to the question, "Which elements should I test first, second, third, and so on?" The way you structure and sequence out your tests really is up to you. But here are my suggestions:

1. Make A List Of Everything
This is the best way to start. Get it all down on paper so you know what you're dealing with. Look at your landing page and just list out every single possible thing that you might want to test. It's ok to list things that you don't ultimately end up testing, just get it down.

2. Prioritize Your List
Then, start ranking these items in order of priority. List first the items you have a hunch will make the biggest difference in your Conversion Rate long-term. "Test the headline" is an example of something that would definitely take precedence over "Test the phone number."

3. Commit To Your List
Finally, just start moving through your A/B tests one-at-a-time. Trust that you'll get to every item on the list eventually, but spend as much time as possible on each test so you can give it a fair shake. The trick is to balance "Getting everything done on your list" against "Spending enough time on each test to get reliable data."

Split Testing Is An Iterative Process

Once you complete all of the testing on your list, you'll definitely want to start over. In fact, the better you get at A/B split testing and Conversion Rate Optimization, the more things you'll think of to test and the more testing you'll want to do. It truly is an iterative process because the work you do inspires more work for you to do.

What about you? How do you structure your split testing sequence? Leave your comment below.

Jason Clegg

Jason Clegg is the CEO & Founder of Convert With Content. He's on a MISSION to help small businesses convert tire-kickers into lifetime customers & raving fans with #ConvertWithContent marketing systems that work! His secret weapon is Infusionsoft.

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