How to test on a low-traffic website?

How to test on a low-traffic website

Written by Ruben de Boer

January 4, 2023

If you have a low-traffic website with insufficient visitors and conversions for statistically valid A/B testing, you still can and should do Conversion Rate Optimization.

There are five things you can do with a low-traffic website.

Five things you can do with a low-traffic website

1. Set the KPI to a micro-conversion

The first and the best thing you can do is set the KPI to a mico-conversion instead of your final primary conversion.

For instance, if you have an A/B test running on your product detail page, track the number of cart visits instead of transactions. A cart visit is the next step in your funnel.

As you have many more visitors in your cart than visitors on your thank you page, you need fewer visitors in your test to make it statistically valid. This is because the conversion rate to your cart is much higher than the conversion rate to a transaction.

For example, if you have 1,000 visitors on your product detail page, and 100 of those visitors reach the cart, the conversion rate to the cart page is 10%. If, from those 1,000 visitors, 20 complete a transaction, that conversion rate is only 2%.

Better yet, set the KPI to two steps down the funnel.

You can game one step. Simply make the call to action button massive, with arrows pointing towards it, or make a fake promise. However, if the visitor takes two steps towards the final conversion, it shows a stronger intention to buy. So, if possible, take two steps as your KPI. For example, if you have an experiment on the product page, the KPI will be a checkout visit.

2. Make big and radical changes

The second thing you can do is make big and radical changes in your A/B tests, above the fold, and test for six weeks. This only works with a minimum detectable effect (MDE) of 10-20%. If the MDE gets higher than 20%, there is no use testing as you simply do not have sufficient data. If that is the case, check out the following email.

Don’t know how to calculate your MDE? Check out this calculator (select pre-test analysis):

3. Test with lower significance levels

Another thing you can do is run A/B tests with a lower significance level. You need fewer data to find a potential A/B test winner when you test with lower significant levels.

This does mean you will take more risks. Declaring winners with low significance will result in more statistical errors, like a false positive (a change that results in an uplift during the testing period but, in reality, has no effect). But you will still be able to test and learn, and it will always be better than simply implementing changes on your website without testing.

4. Compare different periods

The fourth and fifth thing you can do is validate through research.

You still have all your data and user research insights. You can implement the (test) ideas based on several research resources. Next, compare the previous period’s data with the period after implementing these changes.

Imagine you have five ideas based on several research resources. Two of those might result in an increase in your conversion rates. One might result in a small decrease. And two might not have an effect. When you implement those ideas, you will likely see an increase in conversion rates. You just don’t know which idea resulted in this uplift and if this uplift was caused by something other than the changes you made.

Of course, when comparing periods external factors can play a huge role and heavily dilute your date. However, if you have a low-traffic website and cannot run A/B tests, comparing two periods is better than nothing at all.

5. Qualitative testing

The fifth and final thing you can do is qualitative testing. You can implement the changes and interview users, have a survey on your website, or conduct a five-second test. However, a much better option is to conduct usability tests to validate your ideas.

First, conduct a usability test on the current website. Next, implement the changes, perhaps in a test environment, and run another usability test. Now analyze the differences between the two tests.

With a low-traffic website, you can still do CRO

In summary, if you have a low-traffic website, you can and still should do conversion optimization. The best way is to track micro-conversions, two steps down the funnel. Alternatively, you can test radical changes, lower significance levels, analyze two periods, or run usability tests.

If you want to learn about statistics and conduct proper research, including usability testing than check out my Complete Conversion Rate Optimization course. Through the link on this page, you will get a big discount.

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