What Is Split Testing? How To Use It To Improve Your Marketing Campaigns

 22 Nov 2018

Marketing professional are everywhere working on a single objective to boost landing page conversions with tight tactics or techniques. This is the reason businesses are ready to spend a huge on a power and painless method of optimization that is named as the split testing. So, how much are you sure of Split Testing?

There are chances that split testing for you is just a technique to boost the conversion rate of an email, web page, or any advertisement etc. But have you ever considered split testing to boost the performance of content marketing campaigns? Despite its significance in landing page optimization, split testing can be actually used in any situation where you wanted to optimize the performance.

Based on the latest marketing trends, more than 88 percent of B2B Companies are using content marketing and only six percent of them are very effective. The stats say that there is clear certain space for the improvement here. The best way I will recommend here using Split Test. So, you wanted to explore more? If yes, let us start our discussion with split test definition.

Topics to be covered in the blog include –

  1. What is Split Testing?
  2. Common Mistakes committed by marketers while performing split testing
  3. How to conduct a split test successfully?
  4. Four areas to conduct Split testing and optimize the result

What is Split Testing?

Split Testing also named as A/B testing at some places, it allows marketers to compare different versions of a web page to check which one performs the best in terms of conversions. Ideally, there are only minute differences that can be better understood by split testing. Let us understand the concept little deeper with the help of an example –

What Is Split Testing? How To Use It To Improve Your Marketing Campaigns

There is one web page with two different headlines, one is actually witnessing more conversions than the other. As you know there is only one difference between the two pages, so you know the reason here that headline has been lifted the conversion rate certainly. So, split testing would perform in an ideal world where only one change is made at one time.

The major problem here is that we don’t live in an ideal world and when one change is tested then a number of trials for the performance could be infinite in that case. So, let us see a practical approach for conducting split testing in the marketing space. If you wanted to boost the conversions for your landing page, you should make the following changes as discussed below –

  • Change the headline first from “how to generate leads for your business” to “secrets to generate more leads used by successful marketers”.
  • Change the call-to-action from “Submit” to “Show me the Secret”.
  • In the end, make the form little small and reduce the fields to Name and email address instead of asking Company Name and contact number along.

With these changes implementation, you could surely increase the conversion rate up to 8 percent more than the original. Hurray, this is the success! Well, do you know the reason why it happened? Most of the businesses are focused on outputs and not the reasons behind it but we recommended you to focus on logic as well for long-term success. And this is possible with split testing here.

Common Mistakes Committed By Marketers While Performing Split Testing

Every marketer is putting maximum efforts to boost the conversion rates. So, as soon as they hear of benefits of split testing then they readily dive in. This is the reason why this attitude leads to make them common mistakes while performing split testing.

What Is Split Testing? How To Use It To Improve Your Marketing Campaigns

1). They Start Testing Without A Reason

In most of the cases, marketers try the same strategy that was successful for other campaigns but they don’t realize that their business, landing page, audiences, goals all were different. We are not saying that same tactic wills not for you, it probably may work good for you but chances are really negligible. So, do a favor to yourself here and stop these things right away.

Instead of following others, try something relevant to your business area based on data analysis insights. It would be great if you can identify where are you falling behind in performance. In this way, you can always design a hypothesis that actually has the potential to boost conversions.

2). They Are Following Best Practices Blindly

Everyone is busy discussing who is wrong but failed to realize that they all are right but there they are making some methodological mistakes in testing. The conversion of a landing page depends on multiple things like audiences, your business niche, and services etc. This is true that what is working for you may not work well for others. This is the reason why all tests should be rooted in your own data.

3). They Are Not Sure Of Best Practices At All

When you are following best practices blindly, there are certain rules that are common for all web pages. For example, this is not a good idea testing landing page with navigation because it kills the conversion rates and giving prospects multiple gates to exit. Also, focus on the call-to-action button, its content, color everything for the best results. This is true that there are always best practices for web design and they are not necessary to test every time because it would be merely a waste of time nothing else.

4). They Test Stupid Things To Make A Lift

Once google tested 41 shades of Blue to make sure what attracts the people most. But tell me can you support this type of testing? I hope, this is not possible for common businesses. Google has all revenues and dedicated testing team to perform these types of things but a normal businessman cannot spend that much time on such things. So, you should test necessary things only that makes sense for your business.

5). They assume that split testing is the biggest asset in campaign conversions

Split testing could be one of the functions for conversion equation but it cannot be taken as the optimization method for the biggest lift. For example, instead of increasing conversions all the time, sometimes the increasing number of visitors will also work for you. Sometimes, increasing advertisements and making them more attractive will work. Before you start with Split testing, make sure that there is no bad hole in your existing marketing technique.

So, now you are familiar with common pitfalls that are committed even by experienced marketers too. This is the time, to be honest with yourself to make your campaign ready for the Split testing. If you are ready, let us talk about the methods of how to conduct split testing successfully?

How To Perform Split Testing Successfully?

From beginning to end, here are steps that you should follow when conducting the split testing.

What Is Split Testing? How To Use It To Improve Your Marketing Campaigns

A). Always Start Testing With A Reason

As discussed earlier, split testing should always be data-driven. Check on Google Analytics how much average time is actually spent on your landing page by potential users? If there are leaving the page within five seconds only then the reason could be heading, image, or content etc. There is something that is not able to help you in getting attention by potential users. It may be the case that users feel mislead and they are redirected to any other web page. The best idea is hiring some expert and design content properly that suits your landing page and business niche perfectly.

B). Create One Hypothesis

First of all, ask yourself what are you trying to improve actually? For example, the average stay time for each user is 5 seconds merely. So, you need to work on it seriously. Either change the headline or call-to-action and test them one by one to see what works best. Ultimately, you will get something that leads to better conversions and increasing the average time spent by users. Based on the final outcome, you are free to reject or accept any particular hypothesis.

C). Calculate The Sample Size

Before you actually conclude the split test, there is a need for working on statistical significance first. The term statistical significance will tell you about the total number of users for each page you need to get before you can conclude the results. In most of the case, the statistical significance value is 95 percent and only 5 percent chances that your results may fail. So, now you are more than 90 percent sure that your landing page will work in your favor.

Here is the technique how should you calculate the sample size manually. This calculation obviously includes serious math concepts. There are a plenty of tools as well to make the calculation easy instead of following the same old-fashioned way. There is also one calculator for the same purpose where you will add input and split it down into an accurate sample size. Let us see how the process works actually. There are three popular methods for finding the size of the sample precisely. These are –

  • Baseline Conversion Rate: Check the conversion rate of your original landing page. Higher the conversion rate, there are only minimum chances of visits before you conclude a test.
  • Minimum detectable Effect: Here, you have to set a limit for the minimum conversion rate. For example, is it is 30 percent then you can conclude the test when the conversion rate has been reached up to 30 percent. If it is lower then more visits you need to achieve that conversion rate.
  • Statistical Significance: its value can be higher or lower but it is not recommended that you use anything under 95 percent. To make the accurate business results, this is not a wise idea banking on unrealistic data. The higher the value of statistical significance, more visits you need before to conclude a test.

Congratulation, you got your sample size with this discussion!

D). Make Necessary Adjustments

If this is the headline then don’t wait and fix it quickly. If it includes changing the featured image then do it. With a plenty of platforms available in the technical marketplace, this is easy to make adjustments for your web page elements in a few seconds without taking help from some IT person. Keep in mind that the landing page is still the same otherwise the baseline for testing would not be accurate in that case.

E). Eliminate Cofounding Variables

In most of the cases, split tests are performed in a vacuum. So, even a small change can affect the output badly and it may result in the unpleasing result here. Make sure that eliminate unwanted variables here that could affect the test output. This is better to work on these in the beginning otherwise it may result in obstacles later.

F). Make Sure Campaign Is Working Right

Examine everything before your test goes live. Does your landing page look the same in every browser? Is your CTA button working? Are all the links in your ads correct? Before you start running anything, it’s important to QA every aspect of your campaign to ensure nothing threatens the accuracy of your results.

G). Drive More Traffic To Your Site

This is the right time to drive more traffic to your website and check the sources too. Sometimes, traffic comes from someplace that is completely useless. So, when the source is incorrect how it will skew the results of your test. In this case, ask the people to subscribe through email. If they are giving their email addresses then they are more than average visitors and can be useful for your site.

This is the time to optimize your page that could help in presenting the loyal traffic but it happens in rare cases only. Once you are sure on traffic sources, calculated the sample size, this is the right time running test cases. Always visitors have a significant impact on conversions and they are more receptive to marketing messages than others. Try to run the sample size for a complete week and eliminate confounding variables that may affect your data. Once you are done, this is the time to look at the outcomes.

H). Analyze Landing Page And Optimize

Now analyze the changes and find either the conversions produce a big life or it didn’t work well for you. When the conversion rate is above 30 percent then you are sure that adjustments were made correctly. In case, you produce a bigger lift then you have optimized the results perfectly. If not, then your campaign was not perfect and there is something more to test.

Well, don’t get stressed, and try to discover things that will affect the conversion rate on your page. Move on keep testing thoroughly. In the next section, we will discuss the four major areas that are highly suitable for conducting split testing and optimize the final outcome.

Four areas to conduct Split testing and optimize the result

Split testing is one of the most powerful ways for increasing conversion rates and getting outputs you want. Here, are four ideas that you should focus to optimize your online presence.

What Is Split Testing? How To Use It To Improve Your Marketing Campaigns

i). Focus On Page Headline

Page headline is taken as the major criteria to test the average number of visitors on your site. Sometimes, users spend only a few seconds and they leave immediately from the web page. Here, it is crucial making your headline more appealing and test wherever applicable.

ii). Focus on Offers or Promotions

Wonderful offers and promotion schemes can always make a world of difference to your brand. Make sure that they are saving the user time and people are more likely to claim one over the other. For example, it may be the case that your audience is more interested in free shipping. Perform a split test here, make shipping free for a certain time period and focus on conversion rate in that case.

iii). Focus On Call-To-Action

Call-to-action feature binds users to perform a specific action. If it is not interesting then the user will leave your landing page immediately. So, perform the split testing here and find out the outcome in different situations.

iv). Focus On Colors And Images

There is so much psychology behind colors and images. They are taken as one of the important parts of landing page design. Try out different things here and see how conversion rate is getting affected.

So, this is a good idea working on these four areas when optimizing the landing page and conducting the split testing. In more than 95 percent cases, these four areas optimization are enough to increase the overall conversion rate for your web page.

The overall Verdict:

We have discussed something meaningful and interesting here that will actually work for your landing page and makes your split test more accurate or successful. This is possible conducting split testing without any IT expert and analyze with world’s most advanced analytics dashboard. So, wish you luck and hope you have learned something good with this blog.

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