Why Do We Test?

Testing is the cornerstone of successful online marketing. All of the world’s greatest marketers achieve the results they do because they understand the power of testing and they test everything.

Some of the greatest advertising and marketing books, such as ‘Tested Advertising Methods‘ by John Caples and ‘Scientific Advertising‘ by Claude Hopkins, spend much of the book explaining the importance testing plays in achieving maximum response from any advertising spend.

Scientific Advertising was first written in 1923, yet the testing methods described in the book are still not only relevant, but critical to ongoing success in increasingly competitive arenas.

What is testing?

An effective landing page, or web page, is made up of various factors including:

– Headline
– Sub-headline
– Body copy
– Testimonials
– Images
– Call To Action
– And more…

The key to a successful landing page is how well it converts website visitors to sales, called the conversion rate.

But how do you know which combination of factors produce the best conversion rate?

The answer is… with testing!

With testing you can test one headline against another.

With testing you can test one image against another…

With testing you can test one offer against another…

With testing you remove any assumptions on what produces the best results.

How Does It Work…

When you do a test (also known as a split-test) you are splitting the traffic you receive between two separate pages (Page A and Page B), which both look exactly the same but with one difference… it might be a different headline, different images, a different call to action, or anything else.

If a visitor comes to Page A and takes an action, that action is recorded as a conversion for that page. If a visitor takes action on Page B, it is counted as a conversion to Page B. The test is considered successful when enough conversions have been made to make an assumption on which version is the best.

With this new statistical information you now know which of the headlines (or factors) produce the greatest results. You now make this headline the default and then test another factor on the site.

By testing every single factor on your landing pages you take away any guesswork on what to say, how to say it, what images to include and everything else. And within weeks or months you can dramatically increase the conversion rate of your website and massively increase your sales from the same advertising spend.

Testing is the secret of all the most successful marketers (both online and off).

Alex Cleanthous

Alex Cleanthous

Chief Innovation Officer at Web Profits

Alex Cleanthous is Chief Innovation Officer at Web Profits. With more than 10 years experience in online marketing, Alex is always on the lookout for smarter, faster and more scalable ways to achieve maximum growth with minimum spend.

One comment

  1. Ashley says:

    Thanks for your great articles!

    January 31st, 2009 at 5:51 am