What is A/B Testing? And How to do A/B testing? What are the tools used for A/B Testing?

All that you need to know about A/B Testing

Why we chose this topic is simply because it is not used much as the internet marketing. This is a great tool if you want to understand the behaviour of the visitor and change the visits to conversions. What happens with A/B Testing is that people do not understand what it is and how it can benefit the user. We hope that in this article we will be able to explain to the readers more about what the A/B Testing actually is.

What exactly is A/B Testing?

Well as the name explains. A/B Testing is basically about testing two versions or alternatives. You check both the alternatives and then decide on which alternative was better. Both the versions must be experimented simultaneously only then you will be able to judge which version is actually better

It is basically like any science experiment that you must have done. For example you want to study what are the things that promote the growth of a plant and what are the factors that do not allow the plants to grow better. This can be done when you grow the plants under different conditions and try to find out what makes the plants grow better.

Now let’s look at an example from blogging point of view. Suppose you have a website that has two designs. You make some visitors see one design and the other visitors see the second design. Using metrics you can easily see which variation is actually leading to more conversions. The enclosed diagram will explain what we are trying to say here.



What are you testing?

What you are testing will absolutely depend on what your goals are. For example as a website owner you want to see the number of sign ups that are happening. To do this you will have to check the type of fields in the form, display of the privacy policy, length of the sign up form and social proof. Suppose you want to know what is stopping the visitors from signing up then you have to seek answers to the questions like. Is the website not convincing enough and is not able to persuade the visitors to sign up? The questions can also be about the length of the form. Is the form too big and visitors does not have the time to fill such a form? You can also question the privacy policy of your site. All you need to do in order to find out answers to these questions is by doing the A/B Testing.

Each scenario will require a different A/B Testing. However, some elements that are usually
tested are as follows:

  • Amount of text on the page is sufficient or not.
  • The lengths and types of fields that the form contains are fine.
  • Layout and style of the website is fine.
  • The images on landing and product pages are fine.
  • The headline or the product description is adequate.
  • The call to action is fine – for example the size of the button, the color and the placement as well as the wordings.

These are the common things that are tested with the help of A/B Testing. Apart from these you can customise the A/B Testing and check other parameters too.

How to create the first A/B Test

Now that you know what you are going to test the next step is to create an A/B test. This can be done by choosing the correct tool that you will need for the job. A free basic tool and you are fine with a javascript or a HTML then you can always try Google Website Optimizer. Easy alternatives are also available like the Visual Website Optimizer. Some other tools will be discussed at the end of this article.

One thing that you must know here is no matter which tool you are using the basic set up remains the same. Either of the below mentioned two methods can be used:

  • Redirect to another page – Suppose you want to do A/B Testing on a whole page. For example we want to test a blue theme and a pink theme. All that you will have to do is create and upload a new page on your site. As you are experimenting between two variations you will have to create a variation location. As the test is running the tool will automatically redirect some of the visitors to the other location so that you can see the reaction of these visitors.
  • Replace the elements that need to test before the page loads – Another method can be used when you are testing a single element on a web page. For example you are testing the sign up button. You will have to create only variation of this button using HTML as your testing tool. As the A/B Testing goes live the tool will automatically replace the original button that was there on the page with the new variations that you have created before the page is displayed to the visitors.

Once you have set up the variations as mentioned in the above two methods it will be time for you to move to the next step. The next step is to check the conversion goals. You will get a piece of the javascript code. This code you will have to paste on the page that represents a successful test. To explain this better we have to give an example. Suppose you have an e- commerce store and you need to test the color of the “buy now” button on the site. The conversion goal for this page will be the “thank you” page. This page is displayed to the visitors only after a successful purchase has been made. Soon after a conversion even occurs in your site the A/B Testing tool will record the variation of the “buy now” button that was shown to the visitor.

After a number of such conversions happened the website owner can check which variation actually gave the best result. According to the results you can make the necessary changes on the site.
A/B Testing is definitely easy and can be used by anyone.

What you must keep in mind during A/B Testing

A/B Testing is based on a very simple concept and anyone can successfully use it. However, there are some points that you must keep in mind as you are doing the A/B Testing. This will ensure that the possibilities of you going wrong while doing A/B Testing are reduced to the minimal.

  • You must know for how long you must run the test before you give up. Some people lose patience and they tend to leave very early. This can be a problem and can lead to wrong results. Similarly if you keep testing for too long the results can be equally misleading and can cause you loss of sales due to variations that are not preferred by the visitors. There are some tools that are available to understand that for exactly how long you should do these testing.
  • The tool must remember which version of the variation was shown to the visitor. This will ensure that the visitor is shown the same version again when he or she is visiting else it may lead to a lot of confusion.
  • The A/B Testing should be consistent on all the pages of the site. For example if you are showing one variation of the “buy now” button to the visitor you must see to it that no matter to which page the visitor goes he or she gets to see the same “buy now” button. If the visitor gets to see different versions on the same button in different page he or she will get confused and it will affect the results of the experiment.
  • The A/B Testing can have three different types of results like a positive result, a negative result and also no result at all. The best way to get the positive A/B Testing results is to keep doing the tests again and again. This is the biggest fact about A/B Testing which you must remember.

Things that should be avoided during A/B Testing

We will now talk about the things that you should never do during an A/B Testing process. This wills help you to ensure that the whole process of A/B Testing goes on smoothly.

  • As we have mentioned before too the
    A/B Testing should not be concluded too early. There is a concept of statistical confidence this will tell you if you should take the results seriously or not. Only a few visitors studied cannot give you the true picture. A/B Testing tools will come with the feature of statistical confidence. If you are doing the study manually then you might have to check it yourself.
  • Both the versions that you are testing must be tested simultaneously. If you test the two versions are different time the results will never be correct. The traffic between the two versions should be split equally else the results will be misleading again.
  • Never go by what your gut feeling says as most of the time the A/B Testing will give a result that you were not expecting at all. You never know a green button on a red page may actually give you a much better result than you thought. You must look for the variation that works best with your visitors and not for a variation that you like. Basically do not be judgmental have an open mind.
  • Another mistake that people often do is that they guide the regular visitors to the variations being experimented. A regular visitor might be confused to see a new variation especially if the variation is later on not implemented. Try to use only the new visitors to check the results of the experiments.

A/B Testing case studies

There are many case studies that can be associated with A/B Testing. We cannot explain all of them in one article. We will try to explain one such case study here.

It was observed that human images can increase the conversion rate as visitors are more attracted to images with people.

Google Website optimizer case study was conducted by Tim Ferris and it was realized that when visitors were given lesser options to choose from it resulted in more conversion. In this case the winning version was also very easy on the eye of the visitor.

Another interesting study we must mention here is the use of the word “It’s free”. This had increased the sign up percentage by 28%. Another example here would be 37Signals they changed the headline from “start a high rise account” to “30-day free trial on all accounts” and this increased the conversion by thirty percent.

CareLogger increased the conversion rate by simply changing the color of the sign up button from green to red.

Some tools that are often used in A/B Testing

  • A/Bingo and Vanity This is a server-side framework that is used for the Ruby on Rails developers. This requires a lot of programming and integration in code as a result might not be suitable for all.
  • Unbounce and Hubspot This is a landing page creator that uses integrated A/B testing.
  • Google Website OptimizerThis is a free
    A/B Testing tool from Google. It is a good idea if you are trying to learn about A/B Testing. In case you are already into A/B Testing and looking for advanced features then this is not what you must use.

These are some of the points on A/B Testing that we thought must be mentioned. This article is basically about giving an idea of A/B Testing is all about. There are many online materials and articles that you can read if you want to understand more about A/B Testing.


How to Get Google AdSense Approval Quickly

Google AdSense Background:

One of the most common heard term among bloggers is Google AdSense. Since it is one of the big advertising network catering all bloggers. Anyone who is new to blogging, will start with setting up WordPress blog and then apply for Google AdSense program. Because any blogger who wants to earn money online with their blogging will start with Google AdSense only. Many successful bloggers who already established their blogs are earning thousands of dollars daily with Google AdSense program. The reason why every blogger prefer Google AdSense is because it is newbie friendly and moreover, Google AdSense pays higher CPM and CPC rates than any advertising network. That’s why everyone prefer to join in Google AdSense than any other ad networks.

Google Adsense
Image source: marketingland.com

But getting approved by Google AdSense is not an easy thing, as they don’t randomly accept everyone into their Publisher network. The reason why Google AdSense offers high payouts than other networks is because, they maintain quality in accepting publishers into their network. Since, you got quality publishers in Google Ad network, Advertisers are willing to spend more money to get quality traffic. So, in order to get approved into Google AdSense program, you need to show them that your site is of high quality.

Google AdSense is 90% better than many ad networks, that’s why everyone wants to get their hands in AdSense. People hear crazy stories from many experienced bloggers saying that they were earning $1000 a day with Google AdSense. So, by seeing all these stories, people really want to get this Google AdSense account. But, unfortunately, statistics show that Google only accepts approx. 3 applicants out of 1000 Google AdSense applications submitted.

Follow the steps below in order to get approved with your Google AdSense application. Though this guide may not guarantee you that your application will get approved. But, if you follow the below guidelines, there are very high chances that you can get your Google AdSense approved.

Important Things you need to Follow Before you apply for Google AdSense:

So, before you start submitting your Google AdSense application, make sure you follow all these guidelines prior to submitting your application. Don’t compromise on any of the guidelines listed below as it will reduce your chances of getting approved into Google AdSense program.

  • 1. Number of Posts in your Blog

Content is King

Image source: yngmedia.com

Like everyone said “Content is the King”. Google loves more content. If you are using WordPress in your domain, make sure you have at least 40 – 50 articles published in your blog before submitting your application. Your published articles must be 100% unique and hand written. These articles should be of high quality with relevant images posted in each article. Try to include longer articles of around 2000 words if possible in your blog. The longer your articles are, the better your chances will be in getting accepted into Google AdSense program. Make sure you have relevant images posted in each article, as this will prove that you are putting real efforts in writing your blog posts. Blog posts without any images will tend to look like content farms in the eyes of Google, which it doesn’t like.

If you are using any non CMS (content management systems) in your domain means, then try to get at least 50 pages in your website in the form of articles or pages. If you miss following this guideline means, your application might get rejected with the reason saying “insufficient content or Unacceptable content”.

  • 2. Prohibited Content

Google only accepts certain content based sites in their Google AdSense network program. Your chances of approval will be higher if your blog/website is based on Technology, Lifestyle, Internet Marketing, Education, Health etc. type niches. Google don’t allow certain content based sites in their publisher network. To see the list of content they don’t accept in their network, follow this link.

Prohibited content

Image Source: tutniq.com

Google also don’t like websites which are based on single theme. For example: Phen375

A website on Phen375 topic is very narrow, and Google will not allow such kind of content farms in their network. A website or blog needs to fully established with lot of content will increase the chances of getting approved in Google AdSense program. People who create blog on simple topics like Phen375, and they try to rank that keyword since the above keyword is high paying one in Google, they will rank the keyword and generate clicks to that keyword in order to earn money which actually doesn’t bring any value from its blog. So, try to avoid blogs on very narrow topics.

  • 3. Third Party Ads

Third Party Ad networks

Image source: Self

Before applying for Google AdSense program, make sure you don’t place any third party ads like from Infolinks, Chitika, Buysellads or from Media.net. As when reviewing your website by Google AdSense approval team, they hate to see any other ads in your website. As they might think that your website is built for ads and chances will be more in rejecting your application.

Keep your site clean and fresh with some basic WordPress widgets and unique content. Don’t even bother placing amazon affiliate links or Clickbank affiliate banners. Like I said, they don’t like seeing other ad network ads in your website while they review your website. But, this doesn’t apply to high traffic websites. If your website is pretty new, don’t use any third party ad banners in your website until you get approved with Google AdSense.

  • 4. Website Look and Feel

User Experience

Image Source: manifesto.co.uk

Google always wants to give its users the best user experience. So, they are very picky in choosing publishers they want to allow in their AdSense program. If you maintain good look and user experience to your website, then chances are high that you will get approved with your AdSense application. As you know no one will want to advertise on poorly designed website. Advertisers will pay for websites with rich content and good user experience. If your website has both good content and user experience, advertisers will be willing to place their ads in your website and so Google will allow you into their network.

If you are using WordPress, then I recommend you to use a professionally designed premium template for your blog to give the best user experience to your users and also to Google AdSense approval team.

  • 5. Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Image Source: devstrend.com

Your chances of getting approved by Google for AdSense approval will be more if you place Google Analytics code in your website or blog. This shows that you actually care your blog traffic so much and you are tracking your visitors daily with Google analytics. If you haven’t already setup Google Analytics for your blog, click here to login to Google analytics dashboard and add your site in it and generate their tracking code and place it in your website.

Read the above guides if want to setup Google Analytics in your blog or if you own an Ecommerce website, learn how to setup Google Analytics in your Ecommerce website.

  • 6. Google Webmasters verification

Google Webmasters Central

Image Source: megalytic.com

Just like we did for Google Analytics. You also need to verify your website or blog in Google webmasters central.
This shows that you are very serious about your blog’s search engine visibility. You can verify your blog with webmaster central by adding a Meta tag or by uploading an html verification file to your website. This will help your chances of getting approved with Google AdSense.

I recommend you to add your website to Bing Webmaster tools too. By doing so, it will not only help in getting approved by AdSense, but also helps your site’s visibility in Bing search engine.

  • 7. XML Sitemaps

XML sitemaps

Image Source: lugparana.com.ar

Having an XML sitemap will help search engines like Google to understand your website’s structure. It is considered as one of the best practice that every webmaster must follow. If your site is fair new, it will take some time by Google to understand your site’s structure. With the help of XML sitemaps, Google will be able to understand the structure of your site and index your webpages more quickly.

If you are using WordPress in your domain, then you can install WordPress plugin SEO by Yoast which will help with your SEO efforts and also helps in generating XML sitemap.

If you are not using WordPress blog, then you can generate XML sitemaps using XML sitemap generator tool.

  • 8. Robots.txt

Robots txt

Image Source: manojblogszone.com

Adding Robots.txt file to your website will helps in preventing indexing of unwanted pages in Google. With Robots.txt file, you can tell Google that what it can index and what it cannot. This will help in improving your SEO efforts. All of the above factors which will help Google AdSense Approval team asses your site’s quality. If you follow best practices then you will have no problem in getting approved by AdSense.

  • 9. Standard Pages like Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions & Contact Us.

Privacy policy

Image Source: sharingtricks.com

Google is very keen about accepting websites in their publisher network. So before they approve your AdSense application, they want to know who you are, what is your website for, your privacy policy and terms and conditions for your website.

Before applying for AdSense, make sure you have the following pages.

  • Contact Us
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Privacy Policy
  • About Us

Google wants its users should be able to establish communication with your website easily, so make sure, you have provided contact details in your website before submitting your application.

  • 10. Alexa Rank

Alexa Rank

Image Source: copiousblogger.com

There is some speculation around Internet that Google does not consider Alexa rank as one of their AdSense approval factor. But, in my point of view, though they may consider or do not consider Alexa rank. The point is, you need to have good Alexa rank of less than 300k rank for you to get approved with AdSense. Some people have got approved with AdSense even with more Alexa rank also. But having good Alexa rank will help your chances.

As Alexa rank is just rank, it shows about the traffic you are getting for your blog. The better your traffic is the better your Alexa rank will be. Google just don’t need a blog with zero visitors. Try to get some daily visitors to your blog, which will automatically improves your Alexa rank.

  • 10. Custom Domain and Email

Custom Domain Name

Image Source: zepo.in

Most people just register an account with Blogger.com or free WordPress.com and apply for AdSense and will get rejected by Google easily. The reason is that, Google takes custom domain websites more seriously than free hosted blog platforms. Not only with free blog platforms, but also with free webhosting services like 110mb.com. Google don’t really like free hosted platform applications, as they think people are not really serious with their web businesses if they come from a free blog domain name. And also, no advertiser would like to buy an ad on free hosted websites. They love quality and valuable content sites. So avoid applications from free hosted blogging platforms and websites.

If you want to move on with free blogger platforms, I advise you to buy a custom domain name for your free blogger sites. Then apply for Google AdSense from your custom domain email address which will have more credibility than free email services like Gmail, yahoo or aol.com

Try to apply AdSense from [email protected] email which will help in increasing your chances for your approval.

  • 11. Domain Age

Domain Age

Image Source: earningdiary.com

For some certain countries, Google made some minimum requirements which needs to meet before they apply for AdSense program. This includes, the domain age should be of minimum 6 months old. This is because, they want to see if the site owner can bring any decent traffic during these 6 months. If the owner really put some efforts, he will have no problem in bringing some decent traffic to his website in 6 month time.

Some users has reported that, they got approved with AdSense even though their domain age was not 6 months old. Maybe there are some other factors which valued more than their domain age. But, if you follow all the above factors, there are very good chances that your application will get approved by Google team.

Citations:

https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/9724?hl=en
https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/75109?hl=en
https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/48182