A/B testing is extremely common today—it’s rare if a growth team isn’t using some sort of testing somewhere in their growth efforts. Most often, though, we see teams leveraging A/B testing features that are already a part of SaaS tools they’re already using.
Tools like Intercom, Mixpanel and all sorts of CMS platforms have tools baked in that make it easy to A/B test messaging, content, etc., which is awesome—it’s a really exciting time to be in growth because tooling has democratized the ability to do previously complex things like testing.
If testing isn’t a built-in feature, though, things can start to get tricky. We’ve worked with people who are incredible at running all sorts of testing, even at scale, but if they had to test a button color from scratch, they couldn’t. It’s not that they don’t know how the process should work, it’s that the complexity of the process isn’t as ‘hidden.’
The good news is that you don’t need a fancy or expensive program to get started with A/B testing—and you don’t need to have programming skills. Google has made it relatively simple and painless to ramp up your testing and optimization efforts with free, relatively easy-to-use software. In fact, we’ve used the suite of tools we talk about in this post for all sorts of clients, ranging from startup to the enterprise.
Let’s demystify A/B testing and walk through an incredibly practical example that you can easily replicate.
The first thing you need to get started kicking off your A/B testing program is to have Google Analytics running on your website.
Don’t have it this already? Not a problem. Check out this guide on how to get your analytics code set up.
If you already have this, excellent. First step done.
Next, let’s set up Google Optimize. Here is a tutorial from Google on the best practices for setting up your new A/B testing environment.
Important note: You must have a Google Analytics account prior to setting up Google Optimize.
Okay, we have a Google Analytics and Optimize account. Excellent. Let’s start testing.
We look for small changes that yield big results. What can you add or remove to a page to determine if that increases your conversions or not? Need help brainstorming what to test, we are here to help.
For this test, we will test the difference between a white button and a yellow button on our site. We recommend testing individual, incremental changes, rather than testing radical variations.
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Eric was formerly CMO of The Iron Yard, which at its peak was the largest coding school in the world. There he grew the business 10x in less than 2 years by building out a data-driven acquisition practice and full-funnel attribution models across a dozen software systems. He is also a consistent lecturer in MBA programs and sought-after speaker on growth topics.
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