Predicting User Reaction For Website Changes

Continue to Part II: A/B Testing for Website Features»


Websites need continual updating and maintenance, but making changes - even the smallest ones - can have far-reaching consequences on user's experiences, and if your site is an ecommerce site especially, changes can just as easily negatively affect profits as positively. Making changes to a site is no small undertaking, and many webmasters feel such a sense of nervousness that they will delay making any changes out of fear of losing business. Changing and updating a site shouldn't be a stressful undertaking, especially since split testing software allows users to test a number of webpages at the same time, and automatically choose the best performing one. With split testing programs, webmasters can change images, button locations, content, or the entire layout of the site, by creating separate pages which show continually to different visitors and record the data.

Costs and Skills Required

Split testing software is easy to use for those webmasters who have some higher skills. In order to test different pages, webmasters will need to have the pages at their disposal, and should be able to make the changes to individual sites and pages. This software is relatively cheap, and should run around $100. Some advertising programs offer free testing software to their clients, and many free tools can be found online as well, although it's important to try out any software before dedicating it to a site.

Checklist for Selecting A/B Testing Program

  • Tests banners, colors, prices, images, headlines
  • Tests across programs such as Flash, Quicktime, and audio
  • Tests without changing search engine ranking
  • Tests multiple pages simultaneously
  • User-friendly
  • Automatically displays highest converting test page
  • Tests multiple websites
  • Free lifetime upgrades
  • Easy installation
  • Ability to geo-target and geo-segment users

Usage Details

Split testing software allows users to try out many different changes to their website, such as changes in graphics, addition or subtraction of bullet points, logo changes, font changes, content changes, and more, and automatically tests as many different versions of a webpage as the user decided to create. What's more, many of these programs automatically choose the page with the highest conversion rate (after a certain number of tests) and uses that one.

Continue to Part II: A/B Testing for Website Features»

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