By default, testing tools have the original variant (control), and you have to add variants. However, making a copy of the control without any visual changes is beneficial for several reasons.
3 reasons for a copy control
There are three reasons why you should make a copy of the original variant.
1. Data tracking
In many testing tools, it is impossible to add extra event tracking in control.
By creating a copy of the control, you have a variant in which you can add tracking code. For example, you can add scripts for Google Analytics events (which can be useful for automation) and heatmap tracking for control.
2. Qualitative measurement
Besides scripts for tracking, you can also implement scripts for polls or surveys. Doing so helps compare answers to the questions between the variants—for example, the customer effort score or NPS score.
Now you have quantitative and qualitative data to analyze your experiment.
In some testing tools, control loads faster on the website than the variant. This influences the behavior of your visitors. However, you only want to influence their behavior with the changes in your variants, not due to the performance of the different variants.
Always make a copy control
Once you created the copy for an A/B test, have 50% of traffic go over the copy and 50% over the variant, and enjoy the extra tracking, qualitative measures, and no performance issues. This means that 0% of the traffic will go over the original control.