“Growth hacking,” a term for the business trend of finding ways to optimize a company’s marketing strategy, has been around for almost a decade, but most companies haven’t fully taken advantage of the benefits growth hacking has to offer. A/B testing, or split testing, can play an essential role in hacking your website’s expansion. This involves comparing multiple versions of what a website could look like to determine which one would be most successful.
You’ll just need a little bit of background information to get you started:
• What is growth hacking, actually?
• How can you use growth hacking strategies to make your A/B testing as effective as possible?
Growth hacking is pretty similar to marketing. Both of them are designed to get as many people as possible to take a certain action, whether that’s buying a product or signing up for a email list.
So what’s the difference? Growth hacking was born in the startup community, which doesn’t have access to the funds and other resources that the marketing departments of most major companies rely upon. This means that the foundation of growth hacking is creative thinking: how can you can be even more effective than your competition while using as few resources as possible?
The basic premise of growth hacking can be applied to virtually any endeavor. You can hack your daughter’s girl scout cookie sales, your social media presence, and even traditional design assessment tools like A/B testing. The key is simply to think through your problem thoroughly to find a solution that is low cost, requires few resources, and provides a provable return on investment.
Before you start trying to growth hack it, A/B testing is already an excellent way to improve your designs and projects. For websites, A/B testing typically involves splitting traffic to your site 50/50, sending half of the visitors to one version of your site and half to the other. This allows you to compare the results of two different options directly, which is a powerful tool.
When it comes to fine-tuning a company’s online presence, A/B testing is a popular solution. The Olympic Game’s online store, for example, conducted A/B testing to see whether or not removing the sign-up step from their checkout process would lead to increased sales. They found that the version of their website that did not require customers to sign up had at 21.8% higher rate of completed purchases. Other companies that have made significant improvements to their sites or marketing campaigns using A/B testing include Duolingo, Hubspot, and Humana.
Unfortunately, A/B testing with entire web pages can be kind of tricky. You aren’t able to see exactly how visitors are interacting with the different versions of your website, so it can be difficult to pinpoint why one version is performing better than another.
Luckily, there are ways to hack A/B testing to make it even more effective. You can run a heuristic analysis, technical analysis, or digital analytics of your A/B test to help pinpoint ways to improve your setup, or you can simply get more out of the data you are already gathering using visitor tracking tools. Visitor tracking tools, such as session recording and heat mapping, allow you to see exactly how your users are interacting with your site, which is valuable information you don’t want to miss. This kind of information facilitates a deeper understanding of why your visitors prefer the version they prefer, allowing you to make more informed decisions about your website overall as you move forward.