In order to maintain a competitive edge for your home service business, you must continually refine your website. But how do you know which changes will actually make a difference on your site? How do you know which changes will drive the most conversions, such as calls and new appointments set?
It all starts with getting to know your site visitors and what drives them to action. One good way to do this is through A/B testing, which is also commonly called “split testing.” With A/B testing, you test out two variations of the same web page at the same time to see which one gets better results. For example, you may want to test your current home page headline against a new one that is more attention-grabbing (such as “Los Angeles Pest Control” vs. “Top-Rated Pest Control Specialists in Los Angeles”). In that case, you will have two versions: Version 1 with the original headline and Version 2 with the new headline.
And how do you test two versions at the same time? There is technology that allows you to show Version 1 to half of your traffic and Version 2 to the other half of your traffic. You can then collect visitor behavior data from each version and compare them to see which page performed better. For example, you may find that one version led to more clicks on your “Request a Free Estimate” button, more visitors filling out your online form, or more calls to your business.
Here are a few different ideas for web page elements you can test:
- Call-to-action (CTA) buttons
- Page design
When you do A/B testing correctly, you can use your results to learn more about what your website visitors like and how to get them engaged. And that’s always good for converting your web visitors to new customers for your home service business!
5 Tips for A/B Testing Success
A/B testing only works if you do it the right way. Below are a few crucial tips you should follow if you decide to try it out for your home service business’ website. These tips can also be applied to your other home service business marketing strategies.
Test the most impactful web page elements, such as the ones listed in the section above. Don't get bogged down testing minute details that would not typically play as a large of a role in conversions, such as a single paragraph in your content.
Test one element at a time. For example, test variations of your headline OR your CTA button — not both simultaneously. This will allow you to determine which change on your web page is resulting in changes in your visitors’ behavior, such as increased clicks or calls. If you alter multiple elements at once, you won’t know which one to credit for the improved results.
Decide what your "conversion" will be before you conduct your A/B test. This will depend on the element you are testing and your overall goal. For example, if you are testing how different page designs lead to more business, you make your conversion new appointments set. Meanwhile, if you are testing out different placements on the page for your newsletter sign-up CTA button, it is probably best to make newsletter sign-ups the conversion to the track. Don’t switch from tracking one type of conversion to another or you won’t be able to make meaningful comparisons.
Measure your website metrics before starting the A/B test and then use these as your baseline. This will give you something to compare your new results to. You can’t measure your success if you don’t have a baseline to work from! Example: How many CTA button clicks, content downloads, website-driven calls, etc. did you get per before you applied your change?
Keep testing until you get clear-cut results. If you find that both versions of your web page are creating very similar results, you may need to keep the test going so you can build a larger sample size (more people viewing and responding to page). If you find that the results are still close even after a longer period of testing and a larger sample size, this may be because the elements you are testing are not as impactful, or the changes you are not big enough. See tip #1.
If you need assistance setting up A/B testing for your website or your other Internet marketing efforts, contact our home services business marketing team at Scorpion! We can help you identify which changes will help drive the most business your way.
For more information about how to track the return on investment (ROI) of your website and other online marketing campaigns, check out our free guide below.