When we think of web testing, we often attribute it to the role of QA professionals. However, digital marketing teams also have a lot to gain from testing different aspects of their website.
There are many ways to perform web testing in marketing, which we’ve outlined in our Marketer’s Guide to Testing.
One of the more common testing practices that marketers experiment with is A/B testing, which lets you test two scenarios at once to determine which your audience responds to better. This is done by having control and variable scenarios, which are randomly displayed to users when they visit your site.
These changes can be as small as testing the color of a CTA button to seeing whether adding a video on a landing page will increase registrations. For example, one user may see a green “Sign Up Now” button, while the other sees a red one. During an A/B test, you may look to see which one gets more clicks in order to inform which color you want to set the button to.
Just like in QA, different testing methods in marketing often require the assistance of tools. For A/B testing, Optimizely is the gold standard. Optimizely allows you to go into your page and live edit through the dashboard to make two versions of the same web page and see which performs better with site visitors.
It also keeps all your results organized so you can make informed decisions about what resonates most with customers and use data to make intelligent changes in the UI of your application.
However, while those changes may consistently look great in the Optimizely editor on the browser you’re using, it’s also worth seeing what your experiments look like outside the editor and in different environments.
With Preview Mode, you can see what your A/B tests look like across browsers and devices with the CrossBrowserTesting integration in Optimizely. This feature will load your page and take screenshots in all of the major desktop browsers including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, as well as mobile with Android and Mobile Safari.
By clicking “Cross-Browser Test” under “Preview,” you’ll be presented with thumbnails of screenshots in each browser that you can click into. This will allow you to verify that the changes from the A/B test are visually consistent, and if not, you’ll know to go back and make those changes in the editor. For more information, you can read more about how to run a cross-browser test in Optimizely.
How do you prevent cross-browser issues in the first place? Optimizely provides a few valuable tips on using the editor so you can avoid common pitfalls. For general tips on creating a cross-compatible website, check out our eight essential tips.
A/B testing is the first step in understanding your users and what they want, but to ensure your tests are effective, it’s also important to preview those tests on different environments before going live. Collecting browser screenshots of your tests is the next step in collecting reliable data from your customers.