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Optimizing Digital Experiences with A/B Testing and CrafterCMS

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Sarah Weber

Brands use A/B testing to help them decide what content and overall experience to deliver to their audience. Which version of the website gets more traction? Which landing page is converting more visitors into customers? Does this mobile experience appeal to a particular audience, or do you need to change it? These are some questions that A/B testing can help you answer. 

A crucial component of performing a good A/B test is having a content management system that helps you create and manage different content variations. That CMS should also be able to integrate with the best analytics, testing, and experimentation tools so you can truly find out which of those content variations works best. 

In this article, we’ll explain how to do A/B testing with CrafterCMS and the advantages that a Git-based headless CMS that supports composable digital experiences can offer. 

Why A/B Testing Matters

A/B testing allows brands to compare two versions of a content element (website, email, page components like buttons, etc.). They can then determine which version drives the desired result, for example, more signups for a webinar, more new product purchases, or higher open rates with emails.

Through A/B testing, companies can find ways to increase customer engagement, reduce bounce rates, improve conversions and increase sales.

Read More: A/B Testing vs. Multivariate Testing: What’s the Difference?

A/B Testing With CrafterCMS

When brands want to do A/B testing, they often have a predefined goal, such as more landing page conversions, contact us form completions, e-commerce purchases, new account creations, and they want site/app visitors to meet that goal. Through A/B testing, they can experiment with different variations of content assets until they discover what works best. 

CrafterCMS is an enterprise-grade headless CMS and perfect for managing content across different channels for larger enterprises and fast growing startups. It allows you to create the different content assets you need to perform A/B testing and manage them with the help of testing and experimentation tools.

CrafterCMS provides an API-first platform that allows businesses to integrate with experimentation tools like Google Web Experiments, Optimizely, and others. Marketers who want to perform A/B tests can define the tests and cohorts in those tools, while CrafterCMS manages content creation, management, publishing, and delivery. 

For example, you can use CrafterCMS to create different URL structures for A/B tests. These can be unique A/B testing URLs or the same URL as your main website except with different parameters. Meanwhile, the testing platform, whether Optimizely, Adobe Target or something else, will then decide which URL to send users to visit while you control the A/B experience in CrafterCMS. 

Content authors can view A/B tests, see which experiments are running, how they are performing and adjust the content and overall experience as they see fit. CrafterCMS can create content for different audiences or target demographics, allowing authors to preview what content will look across different channels and fine-tune each variation precisely. 

All results tracking can be done in the experimentation tool of your choice, and then you can use the results to alter content variations in CrafterCMS as necessary. 

Advantages of a CrafterCMS For A/B Testing

Along with being an API-first headless CMS, CrafterCMS is also built on top of a Git-based repository. This provides several advantages, particularly for A/B testing.

Composability with No Code Tools

CrafterCMS allows you to embrace composability, so you can use the A/B testing tool of choice with out of the box plugins in the Crafter Marketplace, or easily integrate with others. While some CMS solutions offer their own proprietary built-in A/B testing, we prefer to focus on a best of stack approach and focus on the content experience, and let business users compose the experience using the best A/B testing tool for them. Leading experimentation tools offer ways to define and report on tests plus so much more. CrafterCMS allows you to select a best-of-stack tool to handle A/B testing and other experiments and easily integrate with it while we focus on the content. 

Eliminating Content Silos

CrafterCMS allows you to create a content hub that helps to unify all of your content assets. Managing different content variations across multiple platforms can become overwhelming without proper organization. With CrafterCMS, you can get a complete picture of all of your content assets and variants instead of them being lost across multiple tools. 

Content authors need consistency with their content assets to avoid toggling between multiple tools and decreasing productivity. CrafterCMS can handle all your content needs and edits and reduce the number of tools you work with, to avoid too many workflows. 

Faster Experiments with Git and DevContentOps

With a Git-based CMS, developers can leverage the power of Git to create features in branches to accelerate the development of features used in experiments. CrafterCMS and its Git-based repository supports DevContentOps processes, an approach that brings content management into the DevOps cycle and improves collaboration between content authors, software developers, and operations. Several stakeholders may become involved when performing A/B tests, particularly across multiple channels. 

With DevContentOps, these experiments can be conducted without different groups getting in each other’s way and eliminating the threat of content freezes and other issues impacting the optimization of A/B testing. In CrafterCMS, every project (ie., a website or app) is a Git repo, and experiments can be forks from one another and developers can push/pull code among them. Experiments can be downstream forks. When experiments conclude, they can either be cleaned up if they fail, or their changes can be pushed upstream to the baseline repository.

CrafterCMS: A Headless CMS For A/B Tests and More

A/B testing with CrafterCMS can help you determine the best content variations for your specific audience. Get to the bottom of what matters most when converting visitors into paying customers, the type of content your visitors prefer to see, and what changes you need to make to drive more traffic to a webinar or other digital event. 

But that’s not all companies can accomplish with CrafterCMS. As a headless CMS, CrafterCMS allows developers to choose which tools they use when building omnichannel digital experiences. They don’t need to be limited by a set of templates as they would with a traditional CMS, for instance, and can instead leverage the latest JavaScript frameworks to create unique experiences on any channel.

Additionally, marketers can do much more than just manage content for A/B tests. They can leverage best-in-class authoring tools, including drag and drop experience building and WYSIWYG editing, to have an easier time creating content experiences for any channel. 

Harvard Business Publishing (HBP) sought a solution to its legacy CMS, and after struggling with integration challenges, increased bottlenecks, and an overall poor authoring experience, they chose to implement CrafterCMS. With a user-friendly interface that minimized content bottlenecks, HBP could generate more traffic, increase revenue and easily integrate with the other tools in its tech stack.

Learn more about HBP streamlined its digital publishing in our case study. 

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