A/B testing, also called split testing, is taking two similar Web pages and comparing the conversion rate. It basically involves serving 2 Web pages (A page and B page) with differing elements but similar content to 2 similar audiences. The one that has higher conversion wins. This can be very helpful to building a more successful domain shop.
The goal of a domain shop is acquire qualified leads through BIN sales, offers, or contact form enquiries. Those conversions are extremely valuable because they can lead to sales or repeat sales in either the short or long term. As a side-point, you don’t want to blow off a lead just because there is no sale today or tomorrow. But that is for another article topic. What we are concerned here is converting the maximum amount of visitors to your domain shop. To get the maximum out of your existing traffic. A/B testing can be extremely useful to attain this goal.So the question is, how do we do A/B testing for domain shops?
How to Run A/B Tests on Domain Shops
The key word here is “similar”. Both A and B pages must be similar. On similar URLs, with similar content, and pitching domains of similar quality. This is very important. You can have the same domains listed on both A and B sites but some domains will point to the sales pages on A site, while other domains (of similar quality) will point to B site. As for the URL, you can have the same brand for both but each can use a different extension (i.e. dot com for A and dot net for B, or dot domains, dot xyz, etc.). This way you can keep the same branding (i.e. logo) while only tweaking the sales or lead-gen elements. Make sure to redirect similar domains to both sites.
Elements That May Affect Sales & Leads
This can vary for the type of visitors that are coming to your domain shop. For example, what countries are they coming from, what is their level of online skill, what is the average age, etc. This naturally will be impacted by the type of domains you are selling. A portfolio with many virtual reality or techie domains will target a different audience than a portfolio with many travel domains or medical domains and so forth. Here are some elements of your domain shop you may want to tweak on your A/B test sites.
BIN options/Offer forms – have these elements on the right column on one site and left column on the other.
Sales blurb – change up the sales pitch on each site to see which works better.
Domain data – put more domain info on one site (reg date, upper/lower cases, length, extension, URL/email examples, etc.) and less of such details on the other.
Similar domains – include similar domains on sales pages on one site and not on the other.
Type of captcha – sometimes the captcha can create a problem. For example, Google’s reCaptcha can be very little intrusive or very much intrusive, depending on how much it feels you need to prove you are a human. At times I had to click through 2 or 3 screens to remove all images with vehicles. This may be an issue with some users. So you may want to use a simple math test captcha on one of your sites.
Home Page – you can have one site with more graphic elements such as sliders and many domains, while on the second site keep things more simple.
You may think of or be aware of other aspects that may affect conversion rates and apply these to your split testing.
Why Do A/B Tests If Buyers Will Contact Me One Way or Another if They Really Want a Domain
While it is true that for some domains that are in a higher class the buyers will even use the Whois data to contact you, this is not the case for many other domains. And, of course, you do not need to run an A/B test. This is only a suggestion if you want to do a real-world test as to what is working best. This will matter to you especially if you are one of those investors that does not want to sit on domains for a long time to wait for the right buyer.
It is important to remember that there are many motivations to purchase a domain. This can range from sentimental or emotional reasons, a spontaneous idea, searching for a name for a new project or product, or even, “it sounds cool”. There may be a small window in which a buyer is willing to pull the trigger on a purchase or start a negotiation. You want your domain shop to be able to capture the buyer in that window.
How DMP Makes it Easy to Run A/B Tests
We have built Domain Market Pro to be a very flexible tool to create unique domain sales brands and project a unique voice or message. You can also operate multiple shops from the same interface which makes it an ideal tool to do A/B tests. Additionally, the two higher plans include a free basic plan domain shop.
So you can run 2 shops, one (site A) on your chosen plan and another (site B),a free shop, on the basic plan. You can customize and tweak the home pages, the sales pages, content pages, and even the landing pages. You can market the same domains on both sites but you should forward some domains to site A and others of similar quality to site B for testing.
We recommend you first start with testing the sales pages. Once you forward the domains to the landing URL, you can then redirect them to the sales pages using the option in the DMP Shop backend office.
Some of the customizations you can do on the sales pages include placement of the “make offer” form (left or right column), type of captcha (math test or reCaptcha), sales pitch, domain details, turn on/off similar domains, etc.
Traffic is a very valuable asset to any business online and is difficult to grow. As such, you want to maximize the conversion of your existing traffic to your portfolio. Running an A/B or split test as described in this article is one way to accomplish this objective.