How To Do A/B Testing On A WordPress Site? Ultimate Guide

How To Do A/B Testing On A WordPress Site? A/B testing, also known as split testing, is an invaluable technique for improving your WordPress site’s performance. By comparing two versions of a page against each other, you can make data-driven decisions about which version leads to more conversions or other goals.

In this guide I will walk you through the concept of A/B testing its advantages for WordPress websites and provide you with a clear step, by step approach to properly set up and execute A/B tests on your WordPress site.

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing involves showing two variants of a page to different segments of your website traffic, then measuring which version performs better according to your goals. The two versions are referred to as:

  • A – Original Page
  • B – Variation of the Page

By splitting your traffic between the two pages and tracking conversions on each, you can determine if the B variation outperforms the original A page. If the B variant shows improved performance, you make it your new default page.

Benefits of A/B Testing for WordPress Sites

Here are some of the key benefits of implementing A/B testing on a WordPress website:

  • Increase conversions and revenue – A/B testing allows you to optimize landing pages and ecommerce elements like product pages to maximize conversions. Even small improvements can add up.
  • Lower bounce rates – Test changes to your site layout, content, headlines and calls-to-action to keep visitors engaged.
  • Improve signups and leads – Try different homepage designs, offer incentives or test confirmation pages to generate more emails and leads.
  • Enhance user experience – Test changes to navigation, page load times, button placements and more to see what resonates with users.
  • Drive more traffic – Experiment with meta-titles and descriptions for your blog posts and pages to increase click-throughs.
  • Make data-driven decisions – Take the guesswork out of optimization with hard statistics on what works.

These benefits show why A/B testing should be a pillar of any WordPress marketing strategy. Now let’s go through how to set it up.

How to Set Up A/B Testing on a WordPress Site

Follow these steps to start A/B testing on your WordPress site:

Choose an A/B Testing Plugin
You’ll need a dedicated A/B testing plugin to run experiments properly on WordPress. Some top options include:

  • Google Optimize – Free and easy to use but limited to A/B testing, not multivariate.
  • Optimizely – Very full-featured with advanced targeting and analytics.
  • HubSpot – Free basic package but limited to their platform.
  • ConvertExperiments – Simple drag-and-drop editor to build A/B tests.

Install the plugin and set up your account based on the requirements. I recommend Optimizely or ConvertExperiments for their combination of ease-of-use and customization for WordPress sites.

Identify a Goal

You need to establish a goal to properly evaluate the performance of your A/B test variations. Goals could include:

  • Increasing conversion rate on a landing page by 25%
  • Decreasing bounce rate on blog posts by 15%
  • Growing email list signups from the homepage by 30%

The more specific your goal, the easier it will be to analyze the data.

Create a Hypothesis

Form an hypothesis about how changes to a page will better achieve your goal. For example:

  • Changing the headline will increase clicks from search engines.
  • Adding customer testimonials will boost conversions.
  • Simplifying the navigation menu will lower bounce rate.

Your hypothesis will guide the changes you test in the A/B test.

Set Up the Original Page

Use your chosen plugin to select the page you want to test and install the necessary tracking code. This will be version A.

Use your chosen plugin to select the page you want to test and install the necessary tracking code. This will be version A.

Make Changes to the Variation Page

Copy the original page and make the changes to it you believe will better achieve the goal – this is version B. The changes can be design tweaks, content variations, different headlines or calls-to-action.

Run the A/B Test

Configure your plugin to split traffic between the original and variation page based on your desired allocation. 50/50 is common. Run the test for a set duration, such as two weeks. Disable caching plugins to ensure accurate tracking.

Analyze the Results

Once the test is complete, analyze the conversion rates, bounce rates and other relevant metrics of each page variation. See if the differences are statistically significant and whether version B outperformed version A.

Pick a Winner

If version B achieves a clearly higher conversion rate, lower bounce rate or other improvement, then make it your new default page. Don’t forget to keep optimizing it further.

A/B Testing Tips for WordPress Success

Follow these tips to get the most out of A/B testing on WordPress:

  • Test one change at a time – Comparing multiple variables makes it hard to determine what caused an improvement.
  • Use an appropriate sample size – For high traffic pages 2000+ visits may be needed. Lower traffic pages can produce actionable data from 500 visits.
  • Try qualitative and quantitative data – User surveys, heatmaps and scroll-tracking can supplement hard metrics like conversions.
  • Test pages with high visitor volume first – You will get results faster on popular pages.
  • Keep an open mind and use data to guide you – Don’t just assume your hypothesis is correct.
  • Be patient – Statistical significance takes time to emerge. Don’t stop tests too early.
  • Appoint a dedicated tester – Have one person manage all tests for consistency.

Conclusion

Implementing structured A/B testing will provide invaluable data to enhance your WordPress site’s ability to attract, engage and convert more visitors.

Leverage one of the featured plugins and follow the step-by-step process outlined above to start optimizing through A/B testing today. Focus on pages important to your goals and use the learnings to fuel ongoing improvement.

With the right hypotheses and tests, you can better convince visitors to become customers and take the key actions that make your WordPress site a success.

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