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HOWTO'S

How to Prevent A/B Testing from Slowing Down Your Site

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You’ve probably used tools like Google Optimize for A/B testing to increase conversion rates on your site.

These tools allow you to test content by showing different variations of the same page to visitors at random.

A/B testing helps prevent websites from spending time and resources on developing features that turn out to be unpopular with their users.

Sometimes, however, A/B testing can lead to a slower user experience if the page takes too long to load.

This often happens if the content is being tested too often or if the code is used in a way that slows down the site.

If your content takes too long to load, users may navigate off your site, increasing bounce rates and lowering your chance to convert them.

In this blog, we’ll cover how to prevent A/B testing from slowing down your site, using tactics such as:

  • making sure that the scripts are implemented directly into the top of the head tag, not using a tag manager
  • implementing the asynchronous GTM version of Google Optimize
  • using animations can be used to prevent test experiences from loading too slowly and being too disruptive to user experience

Let’s get started.

How Can A/B Testing Slow Down Your Site?

A/B testing can cause an extra step in loading and displaying web pages.

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This happens because two versions of content are being shown to users at random times, collecting data on which page performs better.

All of this back and forth communication can result in a lag in page load time.

It can also cause a flicker of original content (FOOC) that displays for a short moment before the page finishes loading.

A/B testing slows down your site in three ways:

  • making the loading time of your site slower than normal
  • creating a poor user experience that causes users to leave or prevent them from visiting again later on
  • delaying any other events, such as an email campaign, because it’s taking longer for pages to load and finish rendering

Page load time is an important metric for your conversions and SEO.

Research has shown the first five seconds of page load time has the biggest impact on conversion rates.

Similarly, 70 percent of consumers say page speed influences their desire to buy.

Ultimately, if you want users to stay on your site and purchase your products, you need to make sure your site is fast.

google on bounce rates for sites to prevent a/b testing from slowing down your site

How to Prevent A/B Testing from Slowing Down Your Site

To prevent A/B testing from slowing down your site, it’s important to take extra steps to ensure your user experience is not impacted by these tests.

According to Backlinko, the average page load benchmark is 10.3 seconds on desktop and 27.3 seconds on mobile.

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If you’re not hitting these markers, you may have a problem.

Whether you’re using Google Optimize or another A/B testing tool, there are a few ways to prevent your site from slowing down.

How to Prevent A/B Testing From Slowing Down Your Site

1. Implement Scripts in the Top of the Head Tag

When you add A/B testing scripts to your site, make sure they are at the top of your head tag and not a tag manager.

This is important because if you make changes to your site, the scripts will be overwritten.

A tag manager is an external script that loads in place of others which can overwrite them without warning and prevent scripts from functioning properly when you make changes to your website.

If you are using the synchronous version of the script, then make sure it is placed after your site’s scripts.

This will prevent any problems with delays caused by third-party resources on your page, such as ad networks.

2. Use Asynchronous Tracking

Google Optimize has two versions: synchronous and asynchronous.

The synchronous versions prevent any content from rendering until it has been fully loaded. This can prevent your A/B tests from loading in a reasonable time.

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The asynchronous versions prevent any content from rendering until it is ready, but this does not prevent the other scripts on the page from being executed immediately.

The asynchronous version is recommended for most users. It loads in a separate thread from the rest of the website, so it does not prevent other critical tasks from being executed prior to its execution.

The async version will prevent certain animations from slowing down your test experiences while still allowing for other elements on the page to play.

If you use a tag manager like Google Tag Manager (GTM), or another JavaScript management system, it’s important these are implemented asynchronously and not using the standard version of the Optimize snippet.

There should be no delays in page load time when Google Optimize is running on your website. The async version can prevent this by adding asynchronous to each script call so they don’t block rendering.

This is particularly important if you don’t run any tests or if they are played in a non-interruptive manner across all pages.

3. Incorporate Animations to Improve UX

If you are using Google Optimize, then you can also use animations to prevent test experiences that may load slowly and be too disruptive to the user experience.

Animations can be used to prevent A/B testing from slowing down your site by giving users something fun to focus on while they wait for content delivery.

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For example, you can use animations to keep users engaged before a site fully loads, like this.

How to Prevent AB Testing From Slowing Down Your Site Incorporate Animations

This will tell users their content is being loaded and prevent them from leaving the page.

Remember to always center your animations in a place where your user will be focused.

A loading page is a good example of this or a page where the user will be focused on a specific part of the design.

Remember to prevent animations from interrupting other tests and make sure they are implemented correctly across all pages.

4. Reduce the Size of the Snippet

When adding a snippet to your site, try to keep it as small as possible.

This will prevent the script from slowing down other parts of your site, and prevent other scripts on your page from being delayed or interrupted.

You can do this by using a tag manager, such as Google Tag Manager (GTM).

GTM will allow you to shorten the snippet or include the snippet only on specific pages.

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Keep in mind that using a tag manager is not necessary for Google Optimize if you just want to add it once across all of your page’s head tags.

If you prefer to embed the script into each page directly then make sure they are implemented at the top of the head tag.

5. Test on the Server-Side

When conducting A/B tests on different server sides, the delay is often much less noticeable.

For example, you might be using PHP instead of JavaScript on your client-side to prevent content from loading slowly and interrupting users who are trying out their new site design.

Using different server sides works because the async version will prevent browsers from blocking on a callback function, which would prevent all other content from loading while it’s waiting for code to finish running.

The benefit of doing this is the server-side tests prevent users with slow connections or high latency from seeing delays when loading content.

If you can’t do this, it’s recommended to use Google Tag Manager to load these scripts asynchronously so they run after page rendering is complete and don’t affect performance.

Also keep in mind that when testing on different server sides, it might be more difficult to prevent a slower loading experience from interrupting users since there is no way of calling asynchronous JavaScript into service.

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6. Consolidate and Optimize Variation Code

Consolidating and optimizing variation codes can help prevent A/B testing from slowing down your site.

Variation codes are the code that is used by Optimize for each variation.

The more complicated your website, the more variations you need to create and the more often these tests run — which results in slower site speed.

If too many changes are applied at once on a page it can prevent other scripts from running properly or even prevent the page from loading at all.

This is detrimental to your user experience and can prevent testing from allowing you to continue optimizing your website.

For example, if a user has JavaScript turned off or does not have it enabled they will never reach the variation that contains optimized content for them and this can set back optimizations by several weeks!

This is why it’s so important to consolidate all of your Optimize codes and scripts directly into the head tag of your site.

7. Keep All Data in a Single File

Your website is full of data and assets that need to load before the page is shown to a user.

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When you run an A/B test these assets and data need to be shared between the two experiences, but can also cause a lot of issues if they aren’t carefully managed.

For example, say your old site used Font Awesome for all its icons and your new website uses Google Fonts as it is more web-friendly. If your site is running an A/B test, your old site will need to use the same Google Fonts as your new one.

If you don’t manage this correctly it can cause a considerable delay in how fast the page loads for users because of all these extra assets that are loaded on top of each other.

To prevent A/B testing from slowing down your site, keep all data in a single file. This means you prevent the page from having to make multiple requests for information.

All experiments should be stored in a single place that is easily accessible by everyone on your team. This can prevent a lot of issues from occurring, as well as making it much easier to track the progress and performance of each test you are running.

Frequently Asked Questions About Preventing A/B Testing from Slowing Down Your Site

Does Google Optimize slow down your site?

Google Optimize does not have a big effect on page load times. What’s more important is the time it takes your page to load, latency, and visitor connection speeds.

What should you do after an A/B test?

After you complete your A/B testing you should measure your results and take action based on your findings. It’s also recommended to strategize a new A/B test so you can continue learning.

How do I increase my Google page speed?

Page speed comes down to many factors, but optimizing your A/B tests can help prevent testing from slowing down your site.

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When should you not use an A/B test?

If you lack meaningful traffic, don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to testing, don’t have a hypothesis to test, or don’t need more traffic, you should not use an A/B test.

How to Prevent A/B Testing from Slowing Down Your Site: Conclusion

A/B testing can be a great tool for driving conversions and it’s something every website owner should take advantage of.

Understanding how to prevent A/B tests from slowingdown your site, however, is equally important because slow test experiences are disruptive to the user experience.

Sites that use A/B testing effectively will see both an increase in traffic and greater audience insights.

How have you used A/B testing to improve site performance?

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HOWTO'S

How to Manage Your Online Brand?

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You might be asking yourself, “Why do I need to manage my online brand?” It’s a valid question, especially if you’re not sure what managing your online brand means precisely.

In short, managing your online brand is the process of taking control of how others see you and your business online. This can involve creating and maintaining a strong presence on social media, developing positive reviews and testimonials, and monitoring your web analytics to track progress.

By taking the time to manage your online brand, you can improve your chances of success in today’s digital age.

In this article, we’ll explore some key reasons why managing your online brand is essential.

What is an online brand, and why do you need one?

Your online brand is the way you are perceived by others online. This includes your website, social media profiles, online reviews, and all other digital real estate that represents you when someone searches for you or your business.

It’s important to have one because it helps your potential customers get to know, trust, and like you before they buy anything from you. A strong online brand can also help you attract new customers and grow your business.

It’s good to remember that your online brand is the first thing people will see when they search for you, so it’s important to make sure it represents you and your business well.

How to manage your online brand for success?

Your online brand is your reputation. It’s how people perceive you when they see your name, read your work, or interact with you online.

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A strong online brand can help you attract new clients, collaborators, and opportunities. But how do you create and manage your brand for success?

1) Consider what you want your online brand to convey.

Are you an expert in a certain field? A thought leader? A creative visionary?

Once you know what you want your brand to communicate, be consistent in everything you do online.

Use the same name, photo, and bio across all of your social media platforms. Post regularly about topics related to your brand, and make sure the tone of your posts is consistent with the image you’re trying to convey.

2) Interact with other people online in a way that reinforces your brand.

When someone mentions you in a post, thank them publicly. If someone leaves a negative comment on one of your posts, don’t delete it – instead, respond politely and professionally.

By managing your online brand thoughtfully and proactively, you can set yourself up for success both online and offline.

3) Monitor your web analytics to track your progress.

Use Google Analytics or another web analytics tool to track how people are finding you online and what they’re doing on your website. This data can give you insights into what’s working well and what needs improvement.

For example, if you see that most of your website visitors are coming from Facebook, you might want to focus on creating more engaging content for that platform.

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Or, if you notice that people are spending a lot of time on your blog but not your sales page, you might need to work on driving traffic to your products or services.

4) Make sure your website represents your brand well.

Your website is often the first thing people will see when they search for you online, so it’s important to make sure it’s up-to-date and represents your brand well.

Update your website regularly with new blog posts, photos, and products. Use attractive visuals, easy-to-navigate menus, and clear calls to action.

If you’re not sure how to create a website that represents your brand well, consider working with a web designer or developer.

5) Pay attention to your social media presence.

Social media is a powerful tool for managing your online brand. Use it to connect with your audience, share your work, and promote your products or services.

Be sure to post regularly, interact with others, and use hashtags and keywords that will help people find you. You can also use social media ads to reach a wider audience or promote specific products or services.

6) Monitor your online reputation.

Use Google Alerts or another tool to monitor your online reputation. This will help you stay on top of what people are saying about you online and take action if necessary.

For example, if you see a negative review of your business, you can reach out to the customer directly to try to resolve the issue. Or, if you see someone spreading misinformation about your work, you can correct it.

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7) Manage your online brand proactively.

The best way to manage your online brand is to be proactive. Be thoughtful about everything you do online, from the content you post to the way you interact with others. By taking control of your online presence, you can set yourself up for success both professionally and personally.

By following these tips, you can create and manage an online brand that will help you achieve your goals.

The benefits of having a strong online brand

Let’s look at a few benefits of having a strong online brand:

1) Stand out from the competition.

With so much noise online, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. But if you create a well-defined brand, you’ll be better able to cut through the clutter and attract attention.

2) Build trust and credibility.

A strong online brand can help you build trust and credibility with your audience. If people know what to expect from you, they’re more likely to trust and respect you.

3) Connect with your audience.

By definition, a brand is a way of differentiating yourself from others. But it’s also a way of connecting with your audience on a deeper level. When done well, branding can create an emotional connection between you and your audience.

4) Drive traffic and sales.

A strong online brand can help you drive traffic and sales. If people are familiar with your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you. And if they trust and respect you, they’re more likely to tell others about you.

5) Increase your visibility.

A well-managed online brand will increase your visibility online. When people search for you or your business, you’ll be more likely to show up in the search results. And when people see you frequently in their feeds, you’ll be more likely to stay top of mind.

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6) Attract media attention.

A strong online brand can help you attract media attention. If you’re known for something specific, journalists and bloggers will be more likely to write about you. This can help increase your visibility and reach even further.

7) Enhance your career prospects.

Your online brand can have a big impact on your career prospects. If you’re looking for a new job, employers will likely research you online. And if you’re an entrepreneur, investors will want to know more about your brand before they invest in your business.

8) Make a positive impact.

Finally, a strong online brand can help you make a positive impact in the world. If you’re passionate about something, you can use your platform to raise awareness and advocate for change.

The importance of staying consistent with your branding strategy

As you can see, there are many benefits to having a strong online brand. But it’s not enough to just create a brand—you also need to be consistent with your branding strategy.

When it comes to branding, consistency is essential. Your audience needs to know what to expect from you, and they need to see that you’re consistent in your messaging and your visuals.

Here are a few pointers if you’re not sure how to stay consistent with your branding:

1) Define your brand.

The first step to being consistent with your branding is to define your brand. What do you want people to think of when they see your name or your logo? What do you want your brand to represent?

2) Create guidelines.

Once you’ve defined your brand, it’s time to create guidelines. These guidelines should include everything from your mission statement to the colors and fonts you use in your branding. By having a set of guidelines, you’ll be able to ensure that all of your marketing materials are on-brand.

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3) Train your team.

If you have a virtual assistant or team, it’s important to train them on your branding guidelines. Make sure everyone knows what your brand represents and how they can help you maintain a consistent brand identity.

4) Monitor your brand.

Once you’ve launched your brand, it’s important to monitor it. This means paying attention to how people are reacting to your brand and making sure that you’re still presenting yourself in the way you want to be seen.

5) Be prepared to adjust.

Finally, be prepared to adjust your branding strategy as needed. As your business grows and changes, your branding will need to change with it. By being flexible and willing to adjust, you’ll be able to ensure that your brand is always relevant.

Wrap Up

A strong online brand is essential for any business or individual. By definition, your online brand is the way you’re perceived by others online. And while that may seem like a superficial thing, the reality is that your online brand can have a big impact on your business or career.

If you’re not sure how to create a strong online brand, start by defining your brand and creating guidelines. Then, train your team on your branding strategy and monitor your brand over time. And finally, be prepared to adjust as needed.

About:
Oscar is a passionate full-time blogger and a part-time author. In his personal blog OssieRodriguez.com, he writes about software, online influence, and different business models.

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