Why You Must Do A/B Testing!

Sep 2, 2011

Why You Must Do A/B Testing!

A/B Test for Free Teeth Whitening OfferThere are any number of ways to drive traffic to a web page. You can buy traffic through PPC advertising. You can build organic traffic through SEO. You can attract visitors with great content.

Defining the Goal of Your Web Page

But what you do with that traffic is what’s really important. Too many businesses fail to capitalize on their traffic because they haven’t defined the end goal of each and every page on their website! For most small and local businesses the goal of every web page should be to get a new customer either to call and make an appointment or come in and buy products / services. That’s it.

Once you’ve defined the goal you can begin to implement specific tactics to achieve it. The best way to succeed is to use the age-old direct marketing method known as A/B testing, split testing or bucket testing. While it may not seem intuitive at first, great marketers know that using metrics to define a control and then testing variables against that control is the simplest and most effective way to get customers, make sales and grow their business.

We are constantly applying this process to the websites and landing pages we develop for our clients when we run PPC campaigns. If you’re paying $2, $5 or even $10 per click you’d better know that for every 100 clicks you’ll be making more than the $200, $500 or $1,000 those clicks cost! The only way to achieve this is by testing, testing, testing.

Making a Compelling Offer

We test various offers. For instance, with our dental practice clients we’ve developed several offers that our metrics show time and again convert extremely well. These offers compel prospective patients to take a a single, specific action: schedule a dental appointment! For each of these offers we’ve defined control landing pages. And then we continually test variations of these landing pages by changing keywords, colors, offer terms, etc. in order to determine what elements will improve the control.

This process eliminates the element of emotion in deciding what colors, fonts, images, etc. to use on the web page: who really cares what their web page looks like if it successfully achieves the defined goal? This concept is very difficult to get clients to accept at first, but once the metrics begin to prove results most clients gladly accept that their web pages may not look the way THEY want them to look!

An A/B Landing Page Test Example: Free Teeth Whitening For Life

Below are examples of a two recent landing pages we’ve developed that will illustrate the A/B testing methodology. Both landing pages promote our Free Teeth Whitening For Life offer. The offer is time sensitive and motivates prospective patients to schedule an appointment with our dental practice clients. The offer is simple: Become a patient and you’ll receive teeth bleaching trays free of charge. Then, every time you visit the dentist’s office for a regular dental appointment you’ll receive free teeth whitening gels.

This offer has several impressive benefits for dental practices:

  • It is a compelling and time-sensitive offer
  • It promotes long term patient loyalty
  • It helps encourage regular recall appointments since patients want the gels and have to complete bi-annual recall appointments in order to receive gels
  • It gives our client a great differentiator and competitive advantage vs. most dental offices offering low-price-point one-time teeth whitening services
  • The conversion rate is very high with this offer. Patient acquisition costs typically run in the $150-per-patient range

A/B Test Offer Example: Free Teeth Whitening For Life

Purpose: Determine if dentistry-related keywords can improve Adwords quality scores to improve placement, reduce bid prices and increase conversion rates.

Hypothesis: The addition of keywords related to dentistry will reduce the cost-per-click and increase the conversion rate.

The Test: Run 2 pages for separate clients, the current control (without dental keywords) against a test page (with dental keywords inserted below the offer section of the page).

Example Control Page: Free Teeth Whitening offer page without dentistry-related keywords:


Example Test Page: Free Teeth Whitening offer page WITH dentistry-related keywords:


In a future post we’ll share with you the results of this test.

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