Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Split Testing and Website Maintenance

by Ajay Prasad

Pay per click advertisers often advocate split testing. Split testing help improve conversion rate and hence increase website sales. No one is at 100% conversion rate online, so there is always a room for improvement and that is where split testing comes in.

Split testing is a method for testing two versions of a web page including audio, video and text. The goal is to test multiple versions of the web pages, i.e. product/service page, landing page, FAQ etc. to determine which version is more effective and appealing to the customers. Significant improvements can be noticed through testing different copy texts, form placements, landing page images and background color.

Split Test your website home page copy. Try changing the headline, sub-headline, first paragraph and the last paragraph of your home page. Use two different landing page URLs on two advertisements and see which one generates more conversions.

Be sure to include sales letters that includes benefits and testimonials. Others who have already purchased products or services can brag on you much better than yourself.

Split testing involves sending visitor traffic to one of two web pages. One page normally acts as the reference design and the other page will have one change made to it , compared to the reference.

The splitting of traffic is also done with a split testing script that also tracks what page each visitor is presented with. The results of action on each landing page design are compared and the page with the greatest increase in conversion rate can be determined. The action could be of sales, completion of a form, ad or the landing page design.

Split testing allows you to test components of your emails, identify combinations of content that get the best results and reuse winning components in other campaigns. Test different subject lines, text, links and images for better result.

When you have just one ad out there, it is difficult to say that's working. Creating another page or ad that is very similar to the previous one with a minor change may give you further information. If your current ad includes an offer for a 20% discount at the bottom of the box, create another ad that puts that offer at the top. From there, you could track which ad receives a better response and drives more traffic and sales.

In a pay per click campaign, run your ads for about 30 seconds each. Keep a spreadsheet that shows the click through rate you get for each one. That gives you enough of a sample to be able to tell what is working and what's not. The longer you keep up this process, the more you will be keyed in to the features that best attract customers. Repeating the entire process will lead to more clicks and more sales.

Any web maintenance service is worth it if you keep your visitors coming back to become your leads and then buy your service or product. The longer they stay on your site, the more likely you will get a sale with a favorable conversion rate of 1 sale per 4 unique visitors. As part of maintenance work, you must check your website frequently to find any link glitches, headlines needing keyword optimization and sales letter that don't hook and sell your audience.

Know you can optimize every unique marketing message by changing the testimonials every week or month. Every time, you change something in your site, your visitors notice that and return with a bang.

Split testing provides a reliable and scientifically based approach for understanding customer's preferences and optimizing website accordingly.

About the Author

Ajay Prasad is President and CEO of Global Marketing Resources an Orange County based company that specializes in website design, website maintenance and website marketing. For affordable packages on website maintenance click on the link. You can check our website maintenance cost here.