MOBE Affiliate Program: Split testing is a great way to improve your marketing strategy. You can test two variations of your webpage’s elements to see which one converts better.
How Split Testing Works
Optimizely defines split testing, also referred to as A/B testing or multivariate testing, as:
“A method of conducting controlled, randomized experiments with the goal of improving a website metric, such as clicks, form completions, or purchases.”
Incoming traffic to the website is distributed between the original (control) and the different variations without any of the visitors knowing that they are part of an experiment. The tester waits for a statistically significant difference in behavior to emerge. The results from each variation are compared to determine which version showed the greatest improvement.”
Split testing is often used to compare multiple versions of a web page’s design and content like the copy, position of buttons, colors, calls-to-action, sign up forms and images. As an example from Optimizely:
“Testing changes to an online checkout flow would help to determine what factors increase conversions from one page to the next and will lead to increased orders for the website owner.
Seemingly subjective choices about web design can be made objective using split testing since the data collected from experiments will either support or undermine a hypothesis on which design will work best. Demonstrating ROI (return on investment) for a testing platform can be measured easily because tests are created with a quantifiable goal in mind.”
Work on the Important Changes
A common mistake is becoming obsessed with testing the small things. The most important things to test are the big differences—those that will have a huge impact on conversions.
Let’s say you have two lead capture pages. Rather than testing something like the lead headline or the offer, for example, a lot of people might end up testing the position of an image instead. It’s unwise to test small elements or changes because that will not help in determining what makes your visitors convert.
When to Go Small
Once you’ve tested the important elements and still don’t know which variation works best, you should then drill it down to your web page’s smaller components. For example, after testing your offer’s copy, call-to-action, guarantee, price terms, payment structure and headline, you should then move on to test the colors you use in the sales letter. It doesn’t have a major effect on conversions, but according to Kissmetrics, visual cues, colors being the strongest factor, influence people to buy or opt in.
When split testing, the rule of thumb is to start with the things that have the biggest impact on your conversions, and only when you’re done should you move on to the smaller things. The importance and efficacy of split testing cannot be argued. According to the statistics on Ad Pushup, “Google ran more than seven thousand A/B tests in 2011 alone,” and “President Obama raised an additional $60 million, using A/B testing.”
A lot of people and companies are already using this testing methodology, and you should be quick to do the same to improve your conversion rates. Just ensure that you take the above points into consideration to get the most out of split testing.
Matt Lloyd is CEO and Founder of MOBE (My Online Business Education), an education company with over 750,000 subscribers, 165 staff and over 12,000 active affiliate partners. MOBE’s mission is to be the number 1 training resource in the world for small business owners and entrepreneurs. This is achieved through the company’s products, services, and live training events.
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