Understanding A/B Testing For Facebook Ads And Landing Pages

Facebook ads, landing pages – changes are inevitable.

There are only a few effective ways to test out what works in the real world. One very effective option when using social media sites, and specifically Facebook, is to use A/B testing.

This may sound like a complicated test, but it is really very simple and easy to do. You may also hear it being called split testing, which is perhaps the most accurate definition of the method.

A/B Testing Basics

Think of A/B testing as a split screen. You will use specific headlines, images, text and call-to-action phrases or statements on both A and B sample, but they will be different from each other.

This is a great way to see what resonates with your target audience. What headline is grabbing their attention the best? Is the cartoon graphic getting more response or is the actual photo?

This will help you to choose the top elements from both A and B and combine them into a final option, plus it will help you to sample your target audience to develop your own style of Facebook ads and landing pages that get the type of response that you have set as a campaign goal.

The reason this is so effective is the use of analytics based on the response of your target audience to both options. You can see how often it is seen or shared, how many clicks it gets and the number of sales from those clicks. With this information, it is easy to see in a clear, logical and numbers base approach which copy was the most cost-effective and provided the best return on investment.

Beyond the Basics

Of course, A/B testing isn’t limited to 2 possible comparisons. You can use the same layout and information on both and just change out one component. This will give you pinpoint information on the elements of the design that are most appealing to your target audience.

The drawback is that this can become a very big project if you start out by wanting to test 5 different call-to-action phrases. This will require 5 different tests. If you would also like to test four different images at the same time, you will need to create 20 samples (5 X 4) and so on with each element and possible combination. Just try not to over complicate things!

Tips for Getting Started with A/B Testing

You will find that there are some programs available that can be used for A/B testing. However, to get started consider:

  • Choosing wide variations – to lower costs and to highlight the more effective option of the two, choose wide variations in the elements you are changing. For example, use a picture of a female or a male, a cartoon or a photo or the words “FREE” or “NO COST.”
  • Limiting the test run – to save on the budget, don’t run the test for long periods of time. Keep it short and save your money.
  • Keeping it simple – use what you know works and then work on the elements around that for A/B testing. Don’t get too caught up in colors and font types at the initial stages, wait for a bigger budget to do these types of tests.

Start with the main components of the ad first. Once you have those tested move on to the finer details. Again – you aren’t going to know WHAT works best until you test. Start small. Look at one of your landing pages for a lead magnet. Change up the image. Run 2 Facebook Ads to see which resonates. Pull the ads that are not working. Then change up the headline text. Run 2 ads to see which gets the most traffic but also conversions. Drop the ones that are not working. By reviewing the analytics and results – you can better tweak the campaign for maximum results. Know that sometimes the topic in general doesn’t resonate at all – or the medium (ebook vs webinar). Don’t beat a dead horse and keep sinking money promoting a lead magnet that is not resonating with your target market. Another tip – if your landing page is getting a ton of traffic but the conversion is low – you KNOW something needs to change on that landing page! Change it up and try again. And know that sometimes things don’t always work. Know when to quit and move on.

Good luck!

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