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A/B testing is a popular method used to improve user experience by comparing two versions of a webpage to determine which performs better. However, A/B testing is not just about increasing conversion rates, but also improving the overall user experience.

In this post we discuss with examples some A/B tests that you should try that go beyond just improving the conversion rate.

Reduce Bounce Rates & Increase Engagement

The bounce rate of a website refers to the percentage of users who leave a webpage without taking any action, such as clicking on a link, filling out a form, or making a purchase.

A high bounce rate is a sign of many things that could be wrong with your website. For example: if a web page has low-quality content that creates a significant negative impression, users won’t feel encouraged to check out other pages. Or, if the content is not interesting or useful, users will not click on any call-to-action button. Moreover, if the web page doesn’t meet visitor’s expectations (that is, it does not have the information they’re looking for), they will leave the website without clicking on any other place within the website.

Other reasons for leaving a site can be having inaccurate title tags and meta descriptions that cause users not to find what they were looking for, or a poor or inaccessible website navigation structure that makes it difficult for users to browse your site, or a poor website design that causes an unpleasant user experience.

A/B testing can help reduce bounce rates by optimizing the design, layout, and content of a webpage. You can create two versions of a webpage with different design, layout, and content elements, and test them against each other to determine which version performs better in terms of keeping users engaged. Let’s see some examples of how A/B testing can reduce bounce rates and improve engagement.

Headlines

Your headline is the first, and perhaps only, impression you make on a prospective reader. Without a compelling promise that turns a browser into a reader, the rest of your words may as well not even exist. So, from a copywriting and content marketing standpoint, writing great headlines is a critical skill.

copyblogger.com

Several headline/idea generator and analyzer tools are available, including ChatGPT, to overcome this challenge. However, A/B testing is the tool that can best help you identify which headline is most effective in capturing users’ attention and encouraging them to read further. By testing different headlines, you can find the one that resonates the most with your target audience and encourages them to stay on the page.

Definition of variants of a headline A/B test with Nelio A/B Testing
Definition of variants of a headline A/B test with Nelio A/B Testing.

Page Layout

The layout of your page directly impacts how users interact with your content. A/B testing different layouts allows you to understand which design elements and arrangements resonate best with your audience and keep them engaged. Let’s see some examples.

A well-designed and visually appealing page layout can capture users’ attention and create a positive first impression. A layout with attractive visuals, balanced white space, and a pleasing color scheme can make users more likely to stay on the page and explore further.

Website Layouts
Website Layout Vectors by Vecteezy.

Experiment with different levels of white space and clutter on your page. Test variations in the amount of content, images, or ads presented simultaneously. Evaluate which layout reduces distractions and creates a cleaner, less cluttered visual experience that encourages users to engage with the primary content.

Page layout also plays a crucial role in establishing an effective information hierarchy. By strategically placing important elements such as headlines, subheadings, and key content, you can guide users’ attention and help them quickly understand the most relevant information. Clear and intuitive organization in the layout can enhance user engagement by facilitating easy comprehension and navigation.

In addition, users typically scan a page before deciding whether to read it in detail. A well-structured layout with clear headings, bullet points, and concise paragraphs makes it easier for users to quickly grasp the main points and engage with the content more effectively.

On the contrary, a cluttered or busy layout with excessive ads, irrelevant content, or overwhelming visuals can distract users and hinder engagement. By decluttering the layout and emphasizing the most important elements, users can stay focused on the desired content and engage more deeply.

To improve the layout of your website, experiment with different arrangements of content sections on your pages. Test variations in the order of content blocks, the number of columns used, or the placement of important information. Determine which layout enhances readability, information comprehension, and encourages users to engage further.

Also test variations in the length of your content sections, such as shorter versus longer paragraphs or condensed versus expanded information. Determine which layout keeps users engaged and encourages them to consume more content.

Images

A/B testing can help identify which images are most effective in capturing users’ attention and encouraging them to engage with the content. By testing different images, you can find the ones that resonate the most with your target audience and encourage them to stay on the page.

What aspects can you focus on when A/B testing images to engage users?

First, try to know what kind and style of images are your audience’s favorites. A/B test images that are relevant to the content and context of your website. Determine whether using images that directly relate to the topic or purpose of the page enhances user engagement and comprehension. You can try using images featuring people, objects, landscapes, or illustrations.

You can also test different styles of images, such as illustrations, photographs, or infographics, to determine which appeals best to your audience. Consider the overall aesthetic of your website and the message you want to convey. Assess which image types and styles elicit a stronger emotional response and engagement.

Experiment also with different placements and sizes of images within your page layout. Test variations in image positioning, such as aligned left, aligned right, or centered. Test variations such as larger images versus smaller images, and assess the impact on user attention, comprehension, and overall engagement with the content.

Test different image orientations, such as landscape versus portrait, to see which format captures users’ attention and creates a stronger visual impact. Consider the overall layout of the page and the context in which the images are presented.

Finally, test how the context surrounding an image affects user engagement. Vary the accompanying text, headlines, or captions to assess how different messaging influences the user’s perception and interaction with the image.

Improve Usability

Usability refers to the ease of use and user-friendliness of a website or digital product. It focuses on ensuring that users can navigate, understand, and interact with the website efficiently, effectively, and satisfactorily. A website with good usability is designed with the user’s needs and goals in mind, allowing them to accomplish tasks smoothly and without frustration.

Navigation Menus

One of the key aspects of website usability is to have a clear and intuitive navigation that enables users to move through different sections and pages easily. Navigation menus provide a structured and organized way to present content and pages, acting as a roadmap for users.

The navigation menu and internal links should be logically organized, consistently placed, and labeled in a way that aligns with user expectations. Users should be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and without confusion. By offering clear and intuitive navigation, they reduce the effort required for users to find information, creating a user-friendly experience.

Test different placements for your navigation menu, such as horizontal versus vertical menus, or fixed versus sticky navigation. Assess which layout encourages users to explore more sections of your website and facilitates easy navigation. Clear navigation improves the user journey and increases the likelihood of achieving website goals.

Calls to Action

Call to actions (CTAs) are elements or prompts (buttons, text links, forms, banners or popups, multimedia content, or social media icons) within a website that encourage users to take a specific action or engage in a desired behavior. CTAs are designed to capture the attention of users and guide them towards a specific goal or conversion.

By refining your CTAs based on user preferences and responses, you can not only increase conversions but also improve the overall usability of your website. A/B testing can help identify which interactive elements are most engaging and encourage users to interact with the site.

Test different placements of CTAs on your webpages. Experiment with variations such as above the fold, within content sections, or at the end of the page. In addition to placements, A/B test different designs for your CTAs, including variations in color, size, shape, and typography. Determine which design choices make your CTAs more visually appealing, stand out from the rest of the content, and attract user attention.

You should also test different variations of CTA copy, including variations in wording, tone, and length. Experiment with different action-oriented phrases, value propositions, or personalized language. You can test the inclusion of urgency or scarcity elements in your CTAs. Experiment with variations that convey limited availability, countdown timers, or time-sensitive language. Determine whether creating a sense of urgency motivates users to engage more quickly.

Forms

Forms, also considered a specific type of CTA, play a crucial role in websites because they are the primary means of collecting valuable data from users, they encourage users to engage and interact with the website, and they are also integrated into any checkout process.

There are several elements you can experiment with to improve usability of forms. First, test different form lengths to determine the optimal number of fields to include. Compare shorter forms with fewer required fields against longer forms with more fields to find the right balance between collecting necessary information and reducing friction.

Test different wording and formatting for field labels and instructions. Try variations in the language used, the placement of labels (inside or outside the field), and the use of placeholder text. The goal is to make it clear and easy for users to understand what information is expected in each field.

Experiment with different form layouts, such as single-column versus multi-column designs, to assess their impact on completion rates. Test variations in the placement and alignment of form elements, including labels, fields, and buttons, to determine which layout performs best.

Test different text options for the submit button, such as “Submit,” “Get Started,” or “Request Quote.” Additionally, experiment with different button designs, colors, sizes, and placement to determine which combination generates the highest click-through rates

A/B test different error messages that appear when users make mistakes or omit required fields. Vary the tone, wording, and placement of error messages to determine which approach reduces user frustration and encourages error correction.

Test the use of autofill and pre-filled data in form fields to reduce user effort and increase completion rates. Experiment with autofilling fields based on known user information or using contextual data from previous website interactions.

To Sum Up

A/B testing is not just about improving conversion rates, but also about improving the overall user experience. By analyzing user behavior and testing different design elements, content, and features, you can optimize your website to provide the best possible user experience.

Featured image by Austin Distel on Unsplash

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