By testing your digital marketing assets, you can save a lot of time and money. Not to mention, you can learn what works and replicate your success.
Professional digital marketers know the importance of testing. Testing enables you to learn more about your audience, content and operations. Then, you can make more informed decisions.
More importantly, you can achieve your goals faster. Digital marketers continually pressure-test their strategies for these reasons.
Doing digital marketing the right way is full-time work. As a result, many small-to-mid-sized businesses hire an outside company for the job. Still, it’s helpful to know more about how digital testing can help you to improve your marketing campaigns.
The following are the top five digital tests for online advertising.
1. Content Testing
It’s always good practice to perform A/B testing with a third-party testing tool. This is one of the best ways to optimize the performance of your digital assets.
You may find some success with a free tool such as Google Optimize. However, you’ll most likely yield better results by purchasing a premium testing tool.
A/B testing tools offer an advantage in that they yield scientific results—more on A/B testing in a moment. Unlike other methods, you can trust in the results a premium testing tool produces.
However, getting the full potential out of an A/B testing tool takes time. What’s more, they’re costly. Furthermore, they are equally complex.
These tools are highly capable. However, there’s a steep learning curve involved in figuring out how to use them—even with Google’s free optimization tool.
Once you learn how to use these tools, however, you’ll enjoy remarkable benefits. For example, imagine that you have a basic messaging system on your homepage.
A premium A/B testing system will give you a good idea of how customers respond to different verbiage. It will also show you how your customers react to different features on your website.
2. Transaction Testing
If you’d like to start with something simpler, you can perform a basic A/B test one transaction at a time. This method is a guerrilla tactic often used by salespeople.
For example, a salesperson might tell some prospects one version of a pitch. Meanwhile, they’ll tell the other half of their prospects another version of their pitch.
Over time, they’ll take note of which pitch worked best. In this way, they can optimize their sales pitch. Likewise, you can use this kind of simple A/B testing on select features of your website.
Of course, this method isn’t as scientific as using a premium testing tool. However, it can still prove beneficial.
With this in mind, you’ll want to keep your tests simple. Going back to our salesperson example, you don’t want to deliver a completely different pitch to both testing groups. There are too many variables to track. Instead, you might try varying the feature or benefit that leads your pitch.
You can apply the same concept to testing small features of your website. For example, you can use transactional guerrilla A/B testing during one-on-one audience engagement, such as a landing page chat with customers.
3. Email Testing
Email campaigns are relatively easy to test. You’d simply send one version to half of your subscribers and another version to the rest.
Again, you only want to make small changes to your email campaign. For example, you might perform a minute tweak on your sign-up form.
Alternatively, you might make a small change to your landing page or another marketing asset. A small change can result in an extraordinary improvement in results.
Imagine that you perform in A/B test for 20 days. During the test, you send each variation of your email to 8,000 potential customers.
Now, version A outperforms version B by 80%. Because you only changed a small element between the two email messages, you now know what to do to improve conversions.
You’ll base this conclusion on a few things. You only changed a single element on one page or form.
Also, you sent your email messages to the same amount of people and each group. Finally, you ran the test long enough for it to provide statistical significance.
The only way to find out what works is by performing tests. By providing your customers with different text or images, you can perform tests that produce actionable results.
4. PPC Testing
If you invest in pay-per-click advertising (PPC), you should always have an A/B test running.
Fortunately, automation makes performing this kind of test with PPC advertising a little easier. At the same time, it will enable you to keep control of your campaign.
For example, Google has a smart bidding tool that’s perfect for helping you increase brand awareness. It’s called Target Impression Share.
With the smart bidding tool, you can choose the amount that will appear in the ad auction as it applies to your page position. In other words, you can include the maximum cost-per-click that you’re willing to pay.
This kind of strategy works well when you want to increase or stabilize visibility and build brand awareness.
If your competitors are stealing the spotlight, it’s a good time to test your PPC marketing strategy. For example, you may want to look for cost-per-leads that are trending too high. You could also decrease the impression share ad percentage.
This process is a delicate balance. Thus, you’ll want to test only a few core terms as you begin to test your PPC ads.
5. Call-to-Action Testing
There are many ways that you can test your call-to-action (CTA). For example, you can test your CTA text.
Here, you want a call-to-action to instruct visitors to perform a specific action. This kind of CTA always outperforms a generalized CTA.
For example, you may have several CTAs that read “Click Here,” “Sign Up,” or “Download Now.” Instead, you’ll want more personalized instructions.
When creating a CTA, you want to speak directly to your users. Personalized instruction is a great way to compel users to click on a call-to-action that’s otherwise boring.
You also want to consider the visual content of your call-to-action. If your potential buyers don’t notice your CTA, it might as well not exist.
There are a lot of ways that you can tweak your CTA image. For example, you can change the background color.
You can also incorporate CSS animations. Additionally, there are numerous ways that you can make your CTA stand out.
For instance, you might use a plain hyperlink for your CTA. If so, you’ll want to upgrade to a stylized button.
When people see buttons, they automatically know what to do. It’s an intuitive reaction to push a button when you see it.
Optimizing Your Digital Assets for Top Performance H3
An important digital marketing testing area to consider is conversion rate optimization (CRO). CRO testing will inform you how well your overall marketing strategy is performing. What’s more, there’s always the potential to improve your conversion rate.
Surprisingly, many digital marketers stay away from conversion rate marketing. In part, this circumstance exists because there’s no cookie-cutter solution for CRO testing. Every business is unique.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when testing a business’s conversion rate. There’s a multitude of things to test. Furthermore, the process can prove frustrating.
It takes patience and diligence but the results are well worth the effort.
In short, CRO optimization involves testing and adjusting elements of your website to promote the most conversions. You might use a tool such as Google Analytics Experiments to perform this kind of test.
As an example, your call-to-action is one of the easiest places to start with CRO optimization. Testing this website feature is straightforward and highly measurable.
A considerable amount of traffic might visit your website. At the same time, you may experience dismal conversion. If so, your CTA is a good place to start when investigating the problem.
A CTA is anything that invites your website visitors to perform the desired action. Again, everything from the wording to the images that you use can affect the performance of your CTA.
The Importance of Testing
With testing, you’ll learn how to solve pain points. When customers come to your website, they have a specific goal. For example, they may want to understand more about your product or services.
Or they may also want to buy something. Yet other visitors may simply want to read or learn more about specific topics, and some visitors just want to browse your site.
Despite the reason why someone visits your website, they may have common pain points while trying to achieve their objectives. For example, your website may have confusing copy.
Alternatively, you may not have made your CTA button readily available. As a result, most of your potential customers will never see it.
When customers can’t achieve their goals, it leads to a bad experience. A bad experience increases buying friction. What’s worse is that it diminishes your conversion rate.
You can find your visitors’ pain points by using tools such as Google analytics. Heat maps and web surveys can also help you to pinpoint visitor pain points.
Making Progress with Testing
Bounce rate is another important website metric that you must monitor. There are many reasons why your website may have a high bounce rate.
For example, you may provide your visitors with too many options. Your advertising may also be mismatched with what your site offers. In fact, there’s an endless number of reasons why you may have a high bounce rate.
Again, all businesses are different. Different websites have different purposes. They also cater to different audiences.
There’s no cookie-cutter way to fix a high bounce rate. However, A/B testing can get you pointed in the right direction.
Here, you want to test multiple variations of your website elements until you find the best version. This tactic will help you to improve the user experience.
More importantly, you’ll find that customers spend more time on your site. In the end, you’ll reduce your bounce rate and increase conversions.
As with all other A/B testing, you want to take baby steps. Stick to minor, incremental changes.
Remember, you don’t want to jeopardize your current conversion rate. You also don’t want to make so many changes that you can’t keep track of what works and what doesn’t.
Getting Started with the Testing Process
Before you perform an A/B test, you’ll need to conduct thorough research. Firstly, you’ll need to access the current performance of your website.
With this in mind, you’ll need to collect data on everything related to it. For example, you’ll need to assess how many users visit your site.
You’ll also need to evaluate which of your pages drives the most traffic. Furthermore, you’ll need to establish the conversion goals of your various pages.
Your testing tools might include a range of applications that perform quantitative website analytics. They’ll help you to figure out these kinds of important metrics.
These tools will also help you to discover problem areas. For example, A/B testing tools can help you to find the pages with the highest bounce rate. They can also help you to pinpoint the pages with the highest daily traffic.
After unearthing this kind of basic information, you want to dive deeper into the qualitative aspects of your traffic. Here, you’ll turn to other tools, such as our previously mentioned heat map tool.
Establishing Your Goals
Now, you’re getting closer to establishing your business goals. As you perform your research, you’ll want to record your observations carefully.
You’ll need this information to develop a data-backed hypothesis. As you record information, remember that your goal is to increase conversion.
You want to test both the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of your digital assets. With this information, you can make actionable observations.
Without this kind of structure, you’ll find yourself testing aimlessly. Both qualitative and quantitative research tools can only help you gather data.
It’s your job to make sense of that information. You’ll only extract value from your data collection by analyzing it and you must evaluate it intensely.
Now, you can develop insight into user behavior to formulate data-packed hypotheses. Once your theories are ready, you can test them against various parameters.
For example, you might test your theory against how much confidence you have in it succeeding. Alternatively, you might test your hypotheses on how much they impact your goals.
Again, you’ll implement our friend A/B testing. You’ll test a variation of your hypotheses against an existing version. In this way, you can determine what theory works best.
Other Types of Digital Tests
Now, you’re ready to start testing. Before you begin, it helps to understand more about the various types of testing methods that are available.
The tests you’ve learned about so far involved A/B testing. There are also three other ways you can discover more about your digital assets.
These alternative testing methods include multivariate, split URL, and multipage testing.
Split URL Testing
People often confuse split URL testing with A/B testing. However, the two disciplines are profoundly different.
Split testing involves testing multiple versions of your web page on different URLs. Here, you’ll split your website traffic between the control and variations.
Now, you’ll measure their respective conversion rates. You’ll decide the winning version based on the measurements.
The primary difference between A/B testing and split URL testing is that the variations live on different URLs with split testing. Meanwhile, the variations reside on the same URL with A/B testing.
If you’re only performing a front-end change, A/B testing is the preferred evaluation method. However, if you’re making a significant design change and don’t want to alter your existing design just yet, split testing is a better option.
Multivariate Testing (MVT)
Multivariate testing encompasses making changes to multiple sections of a webpage. Here, you’ll create variations for all possible combinations.
With MVT, you can test all possible combinations during one test. This method will help you to figure out which webpage elements make the most impact on your conversion rate.
Multivariate testing is much more complex compared to A/B testing. This technique is more suited for a digital marketing professional.
After running the test in all possible combinations, you can use the results to figure out what combinations affect your conversion rate the most. Now, you can use that information to deploy changes on your active website.
Multipage testing is another form of experimentation. You can use it to test changes to specific elements across several web pages.
You can perform multipage testing using one of two methods. With the first method, you can create new versions of all the pages of your sales funnel.
Now, you can test it against the control. This practice is called funnel multipage testing.
Alternatively, you can test how adding or removing elements such as security badges or testimonials affect user behavior. This tactic is also called classic or conventional multipage testing.
Evaluating Test Results
Finding the winning campaign or element is the final step in any digital asset analysis. It’s the most important part of the process.
Continuous A/B testing is required for effective optimization. But the testing process does not end with analyzing the results.
At the end of your test, you’ll analyze the results. You’ll consider metrics such as percentage increase, confidence level and direct or indirect impact. With this in mind, you’ll need to develop a measuring system to test these kinds of variables.
Once you’ve collected your measurements, you’ll deploy the winning variation if your test is successful. If your test fails, you’ll gain important insights as to why. Additionally, you can incorporate this new knowledge into future tests.
A holistic approach to experimentation is vital to learning more about your digital brand. With testing, you can systematically work through your digital assets to improve marketing results.
For instance, there’s a lot riding on your digital sales funnel. You’ll need to optimize every piece of content that you put in front of potential buyers.
Testing can help you to optimize elements that influence visitor behavior and, in turn, your conversion rate.
Getting Help With Testing
Most marketing campaigns have three goals. Business owners typically want to build brand awareness and increase customer retention. Plus, they usually want to boost sales as well.
As you perform testing, it’s important to make goals that fit into one of these three categories. By categorizing your goals, you’ll automatically limit the metrics that you can track. This helps make SMART goals.
SMART goals make it easier for you to focus on actionable metrics. More importantly, they enable you to build a plan designed to work towards those goals.
In this way, you will spend your marketing dollars smarter. More importantly, your marketing campaigns will serve your company’s purposes.
Your Partner in Digital Marketing Success
Now you know more about the top five digital tests for online advertising. You’ve also taken a deep dive into the world of testing digital assets.
As you can see, digital testing and optimization are complex. Because of this, many SMEs hire a consultant to perform ongoing digital testing. If you want to improve the performance of your digital assets, you’re in the right place to find a partner who will help you to do just that.
Bear Fox Marketing is more than an agency—we’re committed to your success. We’ll match your unique selling proposition to your customer’s pain points. What’s more, we’ll make your customers the hero.
Our methods build loyal customers and will deliver profitability that will help build your brand.Contact Bear Fox Marketing today at (208) 820-1932 or connect with us online to learn more about how we can develop a laser-focused digital marketing strategy for your brand.