David Ogilvy did say “Never stop testing and your advertising will never stop improving”

Have you ever been on a website more than once and noticed that there are 2 versions of it? The layout will look a little different between the 2 sites, and you might just think nothing of it, and keep browsing.

In reality, it is very likely that the company whose website you are on are conducting A/B Tests or Split Tests.

But what is A/B Testing?

A/B Testing involves a company developing different versions of their website to determine which one performs the best. People who visit the site are randomly allocated to one of the many website options, and their actions are monitored.

Let’s say a company wants to see if they can get more people to sign up to their newsletter online. They might use an A/B Test, and their website options could be:

Version A – The “Sign Up” button is in the top right hand corner of the screen

Version B – The “Sign Up” button fills the whole screen when the customer first enters the site (similar to a pop-up ad)

If more people sign up to the newsletter with Version B of the website, then the company should implement this design permanently.

A few things that you could change are:

  • Wording
  • Size
  • Colour
  • Placement
  • Images
  • Test length

California Closets is one of the leading examples of successful implementation of A/B Testing. One test was designed see which final page in a 4 step sequence got more leads from pay per click traffic.


Version A.


  • Videos aren’t always successful – people often don’t watch them
  • The text on the photo makes you look at the closet
  • The form is shorter so people think they have to do less

Consider this simpler test:

AB_Testing_for_Web_DesignersWould you buy more with the blue or black button?


12 Surprising A/B Test Results to Stop You Making Assumptions – http://unbounce.com/a-b-testing/shocking-results/
A guide to A/B testing tools – http://search.lib.monash.edu/primo_library/libweb/action/display.do?frbrVersion=6&tabs=detailsTab&ct=display&fn=search&doc=TN_gale_ofa428876951&indx=1&recIds=TN_gale_ofa428876951&recIdxs=0&elementId=0&renderMode=poppedOut&displayMode=full&frbrVersion=6&vl(41902380UI0)=any&query=any%2Ccontains%2CA%2FB+testing&dscnt=0&search_scope=au_everything&scp.scps=scope%3A%28catelec%29%2Cscope%3A%28catau%29%2Cscope%3A%28MUA%29%2Cscope%3A%28catcarm%29%2Cscope%3A%28mulo%29%2Cprimo_central_multiple_fe&vid=MON&highlight=true&institution=MUA&bulkSize=10&tab=default_tab&displayField=title&dym=true&vl(freeText0)=A%2FB%20testing&query2=A%2FB+testing&dstmp=1458174713642




4 thoughts on “David Ogilvy did say “Never stop testing and your advertising will never stop improving”

  1. thedigitalworld2016 says:

    I would be more inclined to purchase the Black Short Sleeve Tee with the blue button, as I believe the black button clashes with the black of the t-shirt, where as nothing else on the page clashes with the blue button, making it stand out more. Almost half the clothes I own I have purchased online, and I only buy clothes I feel comfortable clicking the ‘Add to Cart’ button. However I feel un-easy picturing myself clicking the black button, and more relaxed with the blue button. Is that similar to your thought process or different?
    By the way, I liked the use of the question in the beginning of your blog ‘Have you ever been on a website more than once and noticed that there are 2 versions of it?’. I have a few times returned to the same page of a website and noticed a difference, thinking nothing of it though as I believed the page must have just been updated or changed. However reading through your blog, I now know that I have been in the middle of a marketing research campaign which is pretty cool!
    Looking forward to reading your next blog! 🙂


    • marketingspeaksblog says:

      I was thinking the same thing. The blue button works so much better, in my opinion. I think it is really important for businesses to have their “Add to cart” buttons standing out – if I have to search around to find the button I am probably not going to buy the top.
      You said that you like the blue button because it was different to the black top. Does this mean if the t-shirt was actually blue you would prefer the black button?


      • thedigitalworld2016 says:

        There is really only one shade of black so that’s what irritated me as I looked at both alternatives. If the shade of blue on the button was the same on the top I wouldn’t like it, however if the shade was noticably different, I would be more likely to click “Add to cart’.


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