So… you’ve been tracking the success of your web pages using Google Analytics and you’re disappointed in your bounce and conversion rates.
Wait. What did I hear you mumble?
You have NOT been collecting data and analyzing it to determine the success of your site?
Leave this blog now. Go to your room. Sit at your desk and think about what you’ve been doing! March! No stopping in the kitchen to get Cheez-Its or chocolate either.
I over-reacted. Long day. Sit down for a minute. Let’s talk. I really want what’s best for you.
Bounce and conversion rates
Let’s back up a little. You know what a bounce rate is, right? The amount of time someone spends on each page of your site before they leave? Ok. Ok. Don’t roll your eyes at me.
What about conversion rate? I’m asking because you might not have the most detailed or helpful info, ok?
Google Support defines conversion like this:
A completed activity, online or offline, that is important to the success of your business. Examples include a completed sign-up for your email newsletter (a Goal conversion) and a purchase (a transaction, sometimes called an e-commerce conversion).
A conversion can be a macro conversion or a micro conversion. A macro conversion is typically a completed purchase transaction. In contrast, a micro conversion is a completed activity, such as an email signup, that indicates that the user is moving towards a macro conversion.
Bounce and conversion rates lend insight into what your site users are doing each time they visit your site.
Collect data first
You can’t know what your bounce and conversion rates are without collecting data from your users.
Luckily, you can use the wonderful, free tool that is Google Analytics to collect information about and track the behavior of your site users. Learn more about Analytics. If you used WordPress to design your website, you can enable Google Analytics there. If you’d like to dive into the deep end to understand how Analytics works, try this site.
Once you’ve collected abundant data, you can see how long your visitors are hanging around (that bounce rate). According to MonsterInsights, another WordPress Plugin, these are typical bounce rates:
- 80%+ is very bad
- 70 – 80% is poor
- 50 – 70% is average
- 30 – 50% is excellent
- 20% or below is likely a tracking error
Determining successful conversion rates is a bit trickier. To do this, you’ll need to study your data carefully to understand your customers and what you really want them to do. A/B testing can help you do this and refine your goals.
What is AB Testing?
When you aren’t seeing the rates you like or getting the boost from your bottom line from your site that you expect, then it’s time to take action. That’s where A/B testing comes in.
A/B Testing involves randomly sending your users two different versions of a web page (yup an “A” and a “B”) and then tracking each choice to see which version is more successful at achieving your goals (e.g., reduced bounce rate or improved conversion rates).
A/B testing can help you: understand your customers better, make targeted choices about how to modify your site and get a better return on your existing web traffic.
Making AB Testing work
See, this is why I made you endure the mom lecture about collecting data.
You can now use all of that data to now make smart choices about what to present your users for each testing option. Perhaps your preliminary Google Analytics data reveals your customers seem to spend more time on pages with more images. You can test whether or not that is true by sending some visitors an image-dense home page and others a text intensive page.
Many experts agree it is okay to test more than one variable at a time (such as font choice or wording), it matters most what your customers reactions are. In fact, it’s a great idea to run several A/B tests, gradually honing user choices as you progress.
Things to test include headlines, call-to-action buttons and copy. Check out this article full of A/B testing examples for more ideas.
You can make your testing as simple or complex as you like. Thankfully, there are a lot of helpful tools available to do all most of the analytical heavy lifting. We’ll cover those in a moment.
If you want to get your statistical nerd on, (and who doesn’t once in a while?), this Harvard Business Review site is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the mathematics of A/B testing choice probabilities.
One of the best free tools to help with A/B testing is Google Optimize—a custom A/B testing and personalization tool. It fully integrates with Google Analytics.
You can get it by logging into your Google Analytics account, then navigating to Behavior > Experiments.
Alternatively, you can navigate directly to Google Optimize and click “Sign up for Free.”
Paid versions of this tool can help you run more complex tests on your site called multivariate testing as well.
Simple Page Tester
Simple Page Tester is available for use with WordPress. The free version allows you to quickly run A/B testing with any page on your site without editing code. The paid version is, of course, more powerful and can help you track and analyze conversion rates.
Leadpages conversion platform is a paid service that helps users build websites as well as analyze existing web pages and conduct A/B or Split Testing. Available widgets and tools can help you analyze your conversion rates. Leadpages fully integrates with Google Analytics and WordPress as well. Check it out for a14-day free trial.
If you’re thinking about changing your site theme or building a new site, it’s worth noting available theme options. Some WordPress Themes, such as Divi, have A/B Testing built right in. Sublime Creations can help you choose a beautiful and functional theme to support all your A/B Testing needs.
We’d love to hear from you and we won’t lecture you in person. Sublime Creations is an eco-friendly company that specializes in website consultation, design and personalized training catering to local and small businesses, individuals, start-ups, and entrepreneurs.
Feel free to contact us online or call (720) 443-1407 to schedule your free 30-minute consultation to discuss A/B Testing and more.