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Split Testing 101 – What you need to know

You’ve put a lot of time and money into developing a professional, custom website to promote your top of the line product or service, but your website visitation seems to be sporadic at best. Is the investment really translating into more sales? It can be hard to tell, but don’t worry, there are some techniques that we employ to find out.

If you’re an online marketer or sell some type of product or service through your website, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of something called A/B or “Split” testing. If you haven’t heard of it, or if you’re a little shaky on the details, what follows is a brief overview of the techniques, the benefits and applications.

What is Split Testing?

Split Testing 101 – What you need to know
Simply put, split testing is nothing more than a tactic used by digital marketers to put you as in touch with your customers as you can possibly be.

As a business owner or web designer you may love the way a certain page looks or how a product description reads, but the cold, hard truth is that it doesn’t matter what you think — it’s all about how your choices influence your potential customer.

Split testing (sometimes called A/B testing) is used to test multiple versions of website components to see which ones lead to more conversions (Actions). Its purpose is to improve marketing efforts, and the reason it’s often referred to as A/B testing is because you’re showing potential customers two versions of a page, email, etc. You review metrics to see which page yielded the best results–A, or B.

What are the benefits of Split Testing?

Split testing can provide some substantial benefits to your business.

First and foremost, split testing eliminates guesswork. You’ll have hard data and metrics that you can use to steer your website in the appropriate direction, ensuring that you’re maximizing your return on investment (ROI).

Split testing will give you and your company cold, hard and measurable results. You can set up any number of parameters, but rest assured that a good split test can show you site visits, audience engagement, revenue and even something as simple as the number of clicks on a given webpage.

How and What to Split Test?

Getting started in split testing involves setting up analytics, which will normally use tracking codes to show results. 

Sales page headlines are among the most common components that are split tested. This is important because these headlines are often what will draw a potential customer to your website in the first place.

Page headlines will show up in search engine results, and the law of the land is that the customer will go with whichever headline is the most engaging. Split testing different options will let you know which option gets the highest number of conversions.

You can also test images in various areas of your website. If you have multiple logos or photos, it’s easy to test and see which ones entice visitors to click the most. This is extremely useful, as customers generally respond to visual components like photos and video more than written long-form copy. Don’t believe me? Test it! You can easily set up a test to see if written copy generates more conversions than a video.

And speaking of conversions, one other component that often gets tested is the call to action prompt.

Do you get more sales by placing an “Add to Cart” tab on the page, or do customers respond better to “Order Now”? Split testing can make it crystal clear.

Split testing is one of many tools used by our team at Sanctuary to help its customers design websites that are beautiful, informative and most importantly, convert visitors into clients. Split testing, combined with other digital marketing tactics provided by Sanctuary will ensure your digital marketing efforts are successful and turn your marketing investment into real results.

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Chris Auman is a veteran Internet marketer, website developer, and designer with over 20 years of experience in the trenches. As President and Senior Strategist at Sanctuary, Chris has successfully guided the online marketing efforts for companies large and small. Chris’ clients range from family owned & operated retail operations with a local footprint of 1-10 stores to multinational Fortune 500 companies.

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