A/B Testing – Increased Ad clicks by 40% !!!

A/B testing is a simple way to test changes to your page against the current design and determine which ones produce positive results. This is made famous by Google as 1 % test wherein Google would test changes to their websites by driving only 1% of the traffic to the new design and then  measure the impact for changes. The impact is then compared with the conversions for existing  designs and then the new design is implemented on the live website.

This is a statistical and scientific way of testing your designs and making the changes based on data. I read that Redbus.in made  50 changes in their website design in the last 1 year alone and they constantly evaluate and test different varaints to find the best approach. This is a new way of design thinking where every change that is made in the system is validated by data alone !

In the past i  have been doing this to test for conversions in Ad clicks as it was generating revenue for one of my personal website. But the tests earlier were done using crude tools which means we had to write loads of code to test the different variations. But recently i discovered the wonderful too called as Optimizely.com which allows you to conduct A/B testing on your website without having to write code.

ALL You need to do is to include the Optimizely code snippnet in your HTML and then inside the Optimizely you can create different UI by visually editing the existing layout inside the Optimzely editor to create a variation of your design.

Results :  I ran several A/B tests on my websites to modify my ad placement and sizes on my main traffic website to lead to an increase in Ad Click Through Ration (CTR) from 0.96  to 1.34. This simple move ensure that i increased my ad revenue by 40 % !!

Original Design of the page

OldDesign -Page


Modified Design of the pageNewDesign

As you can see the changes are very subtle ..

a) Move the whole bunch of links on the original design to the top so that there is lessor space before the content is shown.

b) Reduced the Google Adsense ad size from 386x 280 into 300x 250 .

c) Removed the grey color background for the Social Share buttons.

To arrive that this final set i tried 10 different design combinations to finally get this. Thanks to Optimizely  S/W i did all the 10 different testing without writing a line of HTML/CSS code.

Note : This design approach works only when you have 1000-2000 visits for each test . Which means that the new design is seen by 1000 people on your website . Before this it is not wise to conclude on the winning design as the results are not statistically significant !

Have your A/B Tested your website yet ? If not you are missing something !!

Avinash MB




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