A/B Testing for Web Design: A Critical Key to Higher Conversions

building a landing page for an email list while A/B Testing different elements

Designing a website often involves a mix of intuition, best practices, and a dash of personal preference. But what if you could eliminate guesswork and let your actual website visitors decide what works best? That’s where A/B testing comes in. It’s a data-driven approach that can transform how you optimise your website for success.

Think of all those times you’ve debated between two headline options, the colour of a call-to-action button, or even the placement of an important form. With A/B testing, you don’t have to choose based on gut instinct. Instead, you can run controlled experiments to see which variation drives the highest conversions.

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing (also known as split testing) involves simultaneously showing two or more variations of a web page element to different segments of your website traffic. You then track key metrics like click-through rates, form submissions, purchase completions, or other conversion goals relevant to your business. By analyzing the data, you can confidently determine which variation is the “winner” and implement it for all users.

Benefits of A/B Testing for Web Design

  • Boost Conversions: The ultimate goal of A/B testing is to identify the web design choices that lead to more visitors taking your desired action, whether subscribing to your newsletter, requesting a quote, or making a purchase.
  • Improved User Experience: A/B testing reveals what your target audience responds to most favourably. These insights help you create a more intuitive, frictionless user experience that boosts engagement.
  • Reducing Risk: It’s less risky to test a major design change on a smaller subset of your audience before rolling it out sitewide. A/B testing helps you avoid costly mistakes based on assumptions.
  • Continuous Learning: A/B testing instils a culture of experimentation and evidence-based improvement. You always strive to get better, one test at a time.

What to A/B Test on Your Website

A/B testing title tags and meta descriptions of a landing page that acquires emails

The possibilities are nearly endless, but here’s a short list of high-impact elements to prioritize:

  • Headlines: Test different word choices, lengths, tones, and the benefits they highlight to see what grabs attention. Also, test the emotional appeal. Does urgency (“Act Now!”) outperform a benefit-focused approach (“Get the Results You Want”) for your audience?
  • Call to Action Buttons: Beyond basic design tweaks, consider the language itself. Does “Get Started” feel too generic compared to “Claim Your Free Trial”? Experiment with colour, text, size, and even placement on the page to maximize clicks.
  • Images & Videos: Test product photos vs. lifestyle imagery, or whether including a video boosts engagement and time on the page.
  • Form Length: Balance the information you want while reducing friction. Test if shorter forms boost completion rates.
  • Navigation: Experiment with menu organization and labelling to determine what helps users find the content they need most easily. For sites with many categories, you may need to decide which is better between a dropdown and a mega menu. How about a “Sticky” navigation when menus stay visible while scrolling?

How to Run an Effective A/B Test

  1. Choose a Tool: In choosing a tool, consider your needs and budget, ease of use, integration with CMS, and advanced features. Tools like Google Optimize (a free option), VWO, Optimizely, and many others offer varying features and pricing plans. 
  2. Define a Goal: What is the primary metric you want to improve? Focus on one key conversion goal per test. Examples include;
    1. Homepage: Increase click-through to specific product pages
    2. Landing pages: Boost form completion rates
    3. E-commerce: Reduce shopping cart abandonment
  3. Form a Hypothesis: Before running the test, state your prediction. Specificity strengthens your test. For example: “Changing the product page headline from a feature-focused statement to one highlighting the customer’s desired outcome will increase add-to-cart clicks by at least 5%.
  4. Ensure Enough Traffic: A/B tests need a statistically significant sample size. Smaller changes may need longer tests to reach statistical significance.Online calculators can help you estimate how much traffic is needed. You should also be aware of seasonality or day-of-week fluctuations that might skew data.
  5. Run Until Clear Winner: Resist the urge to end a test as soon as one variation inches ahead. Look for a designated confidence level in your A/B testing tool to determine when to declare a winner. Document even “failed” tests: You gained insights about what doesn’t work for your audience!

Tips for Success

  • Start with High-Impact Elements: Focus on testing the things most likely to influence conversions first. Prioritize your homepage, top-performing landing pages, and crucial steps in your checkout process.
  • One Change at a Time (Mostly): To isolate the cause of a difference in results, it’s usually best to test a single change per test. If you change multiple things at once, it’s hard to know what caused the results. The only exception is with multivariate testing which allows for controlled testing of multiple variables but requires more traffic and expertise to analyze.
  • Consider Your Audience: Always tailor your test variations to what is likely to resonate with your specific target demographic.


A/B testing empowers you to make design decisions based on real user behaviour, not just opinions or what seems to work for other websites. By embracing the scientific method within your web design process, you can unlock the potential for increased conversions, a better user experience, and sustained growth for your business.

Want to turn your website into a conversion machine? Contact Edens Digital for expert A/B testing and optimization services. Let’s uncover the data-driven insights to boost your bottom line!




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