Digital Marketing Split Testing: What does it mean?

Split Testing In Online Marketing

Otherwise referred to as multivariate or A/B testing, split testing is a course of action digital marketers and companies use in order to set two or more variations of a website, email campaign or anything that has to do with marketing the brand or company, side by side in order to examine the differences in terms of number of clicks, conversion rates, the amount of time a visitor or user spends on the website, email open rates. In short, split testing is a technique used by marketing teams to decipher, through trial and error, which version of a particular marketing tool or platform is most popular, user-friendly and effective.

Is split testing necessary?

Split testing is a useful way of finding out how effective a marketing campaign or website is at converting visitors into leads and eventually clients. It’s a simple yet effective way of performing a quality control of your company’s online presence by exposing visitors and potential clients to two versions of a marketing campaign or web page in order to see which one is most successful in achieving the end product, whatever that may be depending on individual company’s marketing targets.

A/B Variant Split Testing

Split testing gives a marketing team the ability to find out exactly which features, such as pictures, keywords, colors, and layouts, are most effective and favored by its audience.  Small changes, therefore, could have large impacts on the rate of conversions and level of traffic however, the results from one split test ought not to be considered a universal rule for every marketing campaign. A/B testing is designed to help understand the specific preferences of specific audiences interested in specific industries.

What influence does split testing have on SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization can be improved by alterations made from the split testing results. Findings from split testing can help a company tweak and modify a website in order to enhance loading times for example.

Google, the world’s largest search engine, ranks and lists websites according to various criteria and loading speed is an important factor when being placed high in Google’s search results.

What are some key marketing assets to perform A/B testing on?  

  • Titles, subtitles, and content – an appealing title will entice readers and visitors to your website or encourage more people to open your emails. Through trial and error, you can understand the type and style of content that your audience prefers, and you can therefore change and update your marketing strategies accordingly.
  • Call to Actions – a compelling CTA ought to make potential clients unable to resist. Modifications of CTA color schemes, fonts and layouts can determine the success of generating leads.
  • Subject lines of email campaigns – similarly a compelling and interesting subject line will determine whether the recipient will open the email or disregard it. So, experiment with different variations of phrasing and syntax and see which one works best.
  • Customer reviews
  • “61% of customers read online reviews before choosing to buy a product or service.”
  • “Consumerist found that nearly 70 percent of online consumers look at a product review before making a purchase.”
  • “91% of 18-34-year-olds trust online social proof reviews as much as recommendations from someone close to them.”
  • “100% of those aged between 18-29 said they “checked reviews prior to making a purchase” in a 2018 eMarketer survey”
  • “82% of Americans say they value endorsements from friends and family before buying a product.”
  • “70% of Americans seek out opinions from independent review sites before making purchases.”
  • “63% of consumers indicated they are more likely to purchase from a website with product ratings and reviews.” statistics taken from oberlo.com:

Social proof is a strong influencer when it comes to persuading a potential client or lead to purchase or sign up to something. As we can see from the statistics, more than 60 percent of customers refer to social proof during their decision-making process, making it an important and vital marketing asset.

  • Email marketing campaigns – by sending one version of an email campaign to half of your recipients and another version of the same email campaign to the other half you can see which version is most effective through the open and click-through rates.

Google Analytics is a useful tool to help understand the behavior of users who visit your website and to pinpoint any weaknesses that could be damaging your conversion rates.

Key features of A/B testing:

  • Reduce and eliminate common problems that visitors face when browsing your website.
  • Increase conversion rates without spending money on advertising.
  • Potential leads could spend more time on the website, therefore, decreasing the bounce rate
  • Results are gathered through objective statistics based on factors like click-through rates, how many times the CTA was used, and loading speed.
  • Through trial and error websites and email marketing campaigns can be optimized to enhance their full potential.

Things to avoid when A/B testing:

  • Not having a plan of action – before starting an A/B test, you should set out what your objectives are and identify the specific areas that need modifying in order to enhance conversion rates, click-through rates and so on.
  • Trying to change too many marketing elements at the same time – this will blur the accuracy of your findings because it will be hard if not impossible to identify the reason the A/B test failed or succeeded.
  • Running the A/B test for too short or too long a period– this runs the risk of inconclusive results because conversion and bounce rates, for example, fluctuate. During the first week, there may be few visitors to your website but in the second week, there may be a huge influx of visitors which skews the results.

A/B testing depends on the industry

  • A/B testing for real estate – Some targets of a real estate business could include increasing the time visitors spend on the website, increasing the number of buyers interested in real estate investing. So, you could try to A/B test the types of images used on the real estate website, the style of the content on the page, the color and layout of the CTAs.

 Last Word

A/B testing can prove one of the most effective methods of investigation in terms of how to properly, efficiently and effectively engage with your audience. Seeing as it is based on objective statistics and metrics, like conversion rates, visitor behavior and amount of time visitors spend on the website, A/B testing can offer an accurate evaluation of what does and doesn’t work on a marketing campaign or website.

Affiliate Marketing Guru

With many years of experience in the world of digital marketing, Ben combines his love of affiliate marketing with an international outlook on the real estate markets. From his start in the legal profession to his transition to the world of marketing, his passion for what he does is the driving force behind his success.