Google has almost single-handedly transformed how we find information on the Internet. Today, most browsers allow you to conduct searches directly from the address bar without even having to go to a search website. This expectation now extends beyond browsers and applies to most websites.
After the main landing page, it is generally accepted that search is the second-most visited area of a website. Therefore, implementing successful search functionality can be a key to your success, and through A/B testing, you can determine which options work best for your site and your users.
The aesthetic aspects of your search results, such as image size, descriptors, and font, can definitely impact a user’s decision to convert, so A/B testing how your results look is important. However, you can also A/B test the back-end functionality of the search components of your website. For example, you can A/B test the impact that different search algorithms have on your site’s conversion.
One of our largest clients A/B tested their search result algorithms to identify which one led to the most conversions. After completing A/B testing, the company incorporated the winning algorithm into their site. Within nine months of implementing the winning algorithm, 20% more searches turned into sales than before. These results are astounding — A/B test results that deliver much lower conversion rates than those are often considered a success.
As your experimentation culture and optimization strategy evolves, reassess the breadth of what can be A/B tested. Consider your entire site — the aesthetics of the layout and design as well the back end that powers your site. As our client learned, it’s important to A/B test not only how your site looks but also how it works.
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