Are you expecting high traction on your site in and around Black Friday? Of course, the natural urge would be to test, why let the massive flow of traffic and seemingly perfect opportunity go wasted? However, exercise caution, rendering user, or A/B tests around high traffic periods is not without risk.

Mika the conversion specialist at Symplify Conversion had this to say:

“Yeah well I think the big reason for why testing is not really that good of an idea during black week/Friday is that the behaviour is so unique from regular behaviour, this might result in your finds being unreliable. You could test for just black week/Friday campaigns where you’re just out to see how to add the best structure for Black Friday campaigns. But the potential problem there is that you wouldn’t get enough data in just that one week, depends on much traffic and conversions you would get”

However, if your still keen on testing, check off the four items below before doing anything.

4 easy steps to run the first A/B tests on your website

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the practice of using behavioural insights and testing to raise your conversion rate by getting a person to take a specific action. It is commonly used for small, incremental improvements and plays a crucial role in optimizing the entire marketing process.

Having a well thought out strategy for CRO and A/B testing is critical regardless of your company size. It can have a significant impact on whether you are a global conglomerate working with massive volumes, a SaaS company looking to grow, or a niche shop trying to provide the best possible experience for your visitors.

So how do you get started? First of all, you’ll need to analyse and evaluate how your website is currently performing. Read more about it in our white paper “How to get started with CRO”. Once the analysis is complete, you only need to follow 4 easy steps to run your first tests.

1. Prioritize your ideas

Lack of ideas on what to test will rarely be a problem in the beginning. When you start your project, all ideas are interesting to some extent. To get going, you need to prioritize. But how do you know what ideas to run with first?

We recommend using the PXL prioritization framework to ask (and answer) the right questions. It’s a very useful resource, even for a seasoned professional, and will keep your priorities straight.

2. Create variations

After narrowing down the ideas, it’s finally time to build your test and create design variations. The variations should be based on your hypothesis (what you want or hope to achieve) and tested against an existing version.

So what can you test? Everything from copy to color and placement is easy to change. But you can also use Javascript/JQuery to perform more complex changes and functionality. Don’t forget to set clear KPI:s before you go live as this will help you understand if the test you conducted was successful.

3. Run the A/B tests

This phase is the actual test. Depending on your traffic volume, this could take anywhere from 1 hour (probably not) to 2 months. You want to make sure you have enough time to gather sufficient data. A/B tests will help you in the next step when you evaluate if the changes have positively impacted on your website.

4. Implement, report & learn

Still to this day, many marketers forget this crucial step. This is where the foundation for continuous improvement is lead. Hopefully, you’ll get a good result that can be permanently implemented on your website. If not, save your learnings for future tests. Make sure to document and report your findings.

Now if you’re still struggling with one of those tools that makes all of the above difficult, why not drop us a line. Preparing your Marketing Automation for Black Friday? Download our our MA Black Friday guide, and we’ll show you exactly how you can maximise your Black Friday efforts.