What is Split Testing?
Split testing is a method of conducting controlled experiments, which allows companies to examine the performance of one factor against another. For instance, with split testing, you can determine whether one version of a button on a webpage leads to more clicks or conversions than another. The goal of split testing is to optimize various forms of content, like emails, landing pages, and websites, for the best results.
Most split testing is conducted through the use of special tools. Landing page builders or email marketing tools, for instance, usually come with “multivariate” or “split testing” services which allow you to test specific changes in your landing page against a portion of your website traffic or an email against a select group of people on your subscriber list.
Why is Split Testing Important?
Split testing is a form of experimentation intended to improve the ROI (Return on Investment) from various web assets. By conducting experiments on various elements of a piece of online content, you can see exactly which factors are most likely to influence positive results, like a lead converting into a buyer. This marketing methodology is most commonly used to reduce marketing costs and enable “conversion rate optimization”. Split testing can:
- Help with audience insights: Split testing can help you to better understand your audience, by showing you elements of a design or piece of content which might convince a customer to abandon a purchase.
- Reduce marketing spend: When you know which factors successfully drive sales or positive actions on your website, or in your marketing campaigns, you spend less cash on ineffective strategies.
- Help with discovering new opportunities: Split testing can also help companies to experiment with new promotional strategies they hadn’t tried before, and determine which efforts are worthy of further investigation.
Habitual split testing for a business helps to build a process of data-informed decision making focused on the preference of the target audience. Conflicting opinions among marketing and design teams can be put to the test with the split testing methodology, so visitors to the website eventually inform the final decision on what’s “best”.
What Can Companies Test with Split Testing?
Split testing can be used on signup forms, registration pages, squeeze pages, product pages and checkouts – virtually anywhere a measurable goal can be improved. While companies could run split testing experiments on their own, tools make it easier to track the results of different experiments and make decisions based on significant statistics.
Most split testing campaigns look at the influence of specific elements in a webpage, or marketing campaign. Some points companies can test with split testing might include:
- Text: Marketing copy, headlines, descriptions, and Call to Action content
- Visual elements: Pictures, photos, videos, colors, infographics, and designs
- User experience: Elements of how customers navigate an experience
- Layout: The arrangement of formatting of elements on a page
- Offers: The deals or promises made in a piece of marketing copy
Some companies also use split testing to determine whether certain aspects can be removed from a page. Often, fewer page elements lead to fewer distractions from the primary goal.