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How to Improve Website Personalization with A/B Testing

If you’ve visited your dashboard recently you might have noticed the newest functionality in our Audience Targeting rules creator – the ability to create A/B tests with multiple rules to see which perform best (learn how to set up your first test!). Paired with the ability to create sophisticated and customized messages, Audience Targeting is now better than ever. But why are A/B testing and personalization important? Let’s find out.

If you run a website, you probably already understand the independent value of both A/B testing and personalization. What you might not have considered, however, is how those two factors can be even more effective if you use them together. First, let’s take a look at how each is vital to a successful website in its own right.

A/B Testing Helps Refine Strategy

A/B testing—also known as split testing—is delivering two different versions of the same web page to visitors to determine which one performs better. The results can then be used to inform website redesigns, refine new tools and functionality, and most importantly, improve conversions. Here are just a few things that you can A/B test:

The list of site elements that can benefit from A/B testing is long and constantly evolving. You can use it to test virtually anything, but it’s important to not go overboard. If you try to test too much at once, you might not have a large enough dataset to pull anything meaningful. Focus on one test at a time, and when you’ve exhausted it for learnings, move on to the next. Over time, you’ll have a winning formula for delivering web pages that work.

Personalization Drives Conversions

As more websites begin offering personalized experiences, more visitors will come to expect it. If you visit a website populated with products, services, and content that you’re interested in, you’ll be more likely to continue on the path to purchase or sign up.

Here are just a few ways to personalize content to your visitors:

A/B Testing and Personalization Make a Great Team

A/B testing and personalization are both effective on their own, but if used together, the possibilities are endless! Consider this: you’re A/B testing shows you that 65% of your audience wants X, while the other 35% wants Y. If you then decide to go with X across the board, you’re potentially throwing away more than one third of your audience!

Use analytics to figure out what makes a user more likely to be in group X or Y. Is it the website they came from? Where they’re located? Whether they’re new or returning visitors? Once you know who each audience is, segment them and do more A/B testing.

Rinse, lather, repeat—and watch your conversions grow.

The important thing to remember about A/B testing and personalization is that your work is never done. Seasons change, trends change, and audiences evolve. Continually trying new approaches, testing their effectiveness, and refining your strategy based on what you learn will ensure that you’re meeting the needs of your website visitors. If you do that, they’ll reward you with traffic, sign-ups, sales and most importantly, customer loyalty.

To get started running your own A/B test, simply login to the dashboard, create an Audience Targeting rule and you will be given instructions on how to launch the test!

Visit the AddThis Academy and check out the newest article “How to Run A/B Tests With Audience Targeting” by our very own Software Engineer, Josh Horwitz.