Meta Matters

Comments and discussion of (mostly) Joomla-related topics by the author of MetaMod and Chameleon.

Oct 01
2012

A/B Testing for Joomla

Posted by: metamodguy

Tagged in: guest blogabtesting

Online entrepreneurs who are observing a sharp decline in their sales may need to re-structure their site to make it conducive both to traffic and conversion rates. But no matter how easy as it sounds, revamping a website can be daunting especially when webmasters are running low on creative juices.

This is where A/B Testing becomes their saving grace.

traffic

(Courtesy of Mil8)

A/B Testing is a process that involves the creation of two page variants, which will be shown to website visitors. Web developers observe the navigating and purchasing behavior of their niche, without making the audience aware of their participation in the experiment.

At the end of the test, entrepreneurs need make an analysis on which version performed better in motivating buyers to make a purchase. Several metrics can be used, including click out rates, conversion, and traffic.

Basics of Split Testing

Most webmasters get started on the experiment by tweaking the look and feel of a page, and crafting a couple of variants for it. One may opt to use varied banners, logos, buttons, tabs, menus, color palettes, and layout. Note though that in split testing, you can only test one element at a time.

Another option is to make amends on the web content. For instance, instead the usual company information in the homepage, they can opt to include snippets of information about each product coupled with thumbnails. After some time, they have to assess which style can effective ensnare the attention of their target consumers.

Running an A/B test requires some tools, depending on which platform it is conducted.

How To Run Split Testing on Joomla

Typically, running an A/B testing on Joomla comes with two phases:

1. Formulating two variants for the homepage

Web developers should start crafting diverse versions of the web page containing different design, content, or product pricing. To do this, you should pass a specialized variable in the website’s URL. This gives a command that your website should display another version of the page.

Based on this variant set, you need to modify the core of Joomla according to the adjustments you made. Be wary that tweaking Joomla’s core can be cumbersome and delicate. Webmasters with limited knowledge on programming should then seek assistance from professionals who are well-rounded in this job.

2. Running Google’s website optimizer

Google’s website optimizer is believed to be the easiest-to-use tool for A/B Testing. The program allows web developers to conduct the experiment simply by filling out some forms available on Google’s site. They are also required to add a snippet of JavaScript on the website tested, but this is not too difficult to do.

These snippets will get the work done on time, without the webmasters necessarily breaking a sweat. It automatically displays the variants to the visitors, while ensuring that same visitors will be presented only with a single version. This way, you can avoid encountering problems in the analysis of data, especially in gauging conversion rates.

Plug-ins for Joomla A/B Testing

Note that in performing split tests in Joomla, you need to download and install plug-ins which will provide all the necessary tools and features for hitch-free experiment. Among the most recommended plug-ins include:

Optimizely

This plug-in is known to be the easiest tool to integrate on Joomla. It eradicated the need for complex coding usually required for split testing. The experiment can be launched within minutes after adjustments of the settings.

The code from Optimizely can be quickly embedded in your Joomla Administrator interface, without necessarily delving into the variants through HTML coding.

Press9

Press9 is just as simple, but the process of A/B testing differs from other plug-ins. This tool accommodates testing of just about any element within the website. All it takes is to create an account and click A Test.

Load your URL into the Press9 visual test designer. Then you can already create a CSS or HTML variation. You may also opt to add custom JavaScript in this step.

Click Next to generate the code and track visitors.

If the plug-in is run within Joomla, go to Manage Plug-ins. Click Content and paste the JavaScript displayed in the Visual Designer. Enter the article IDs for both the variants you want to test.

 

Ruben Corbo is a freelance writer and writes about a number of online marketing websites including Maxymiser who help online businesses improve conversion through techniques such as A/B and split testing. When Ruben is not writing he’s producing or composing music for short films or other visual arts.


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