Split Testing Made Easy:12 Absurdly Easy Ways to Increase Profits
Posted on August 30, 2014
Yeah, no. Not that kind of split.
Websites aren’t like diaries. You don’t create one only to hide it under the bed (figuratively, of course). If you have a website, you want people to visit. And if you have people visiting, the next logical step is finding ways for the site to make money, that is converting visitors into buyers. Your conversion rate, therefore, is the number of visitors who end up reaching the goal, in this case it’s buying whatever it is that you’re selling.
Why do you want to prioritize your conversion rate?
- to know where you need improve on – you could be losing money just because you aren’t doing a very good job of actually selling yourself
- competition is stiff
- to make money (or increase whatever you’re already getting, aren’t you listening?)
A higher conversion rate means—
- You can pay more for ads to bring more visitors to your site.
- You can utilize other advertising media you cannot afford to before.
- You earn more money.
Yes, I keep going back to making more money, I know! But that’s why you business isn’t it, to make money? Otherwise, you’d just be running a charitable institution.
Okay, now that we’ve established that we all love money, let’s talk about how to make more of it from your site. And one of the best ways to do that is by split-testing.
More more money.. More more Fun..
Using split-testing software, you can run an A/B split test to determine which of , say, two possible headlines work best. You can set it up so half of your visitors see headline A and the other half, headline B. From there, it’s a simple matter of taking a tally of which generated more orders.
Here I list down 12 very easy ways to increase your profits using split-testing techniques. Whether you run a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) enterprise, these should help you attain better conversion. Read on and double your moolah in no time.
- Imitate what works.
I really wanted to say “copy” but imitate sure has a nicer ring to it, right? Anyway, both Google and Amazon are known to use split-testing. So find out what you can about how they, or others like them, track and test and imitate their techniques within limits. You can also check how marketers do their testing, especially ones who are very successful in their fields.
2. Utilize the best people.
Get your best staff involved in the split-testing process. If you don’t want to do it in-house, or if you think you have a bunch of morons who can’t do it (why do you have them at all?), then hire professionals to carry out the tasks for you.
Here’s another tip: get your company’s best salesperson and have him be a part of the split-testing. He’d probably be in the best position to say which works best on clients.
3. Go big.
You want to get results quicker and make improvements, so why worry about the small stuff? Test the big ones in two stages: to fix what’s “broken” and see what new ideas can help the business grow further.
List down your biggest products, the ones that make the most profit and put them in a prime page location. Test them with high and low prices (Trust – not everyone is looking for the lowest deals, there is something called “reassuringly expensive”, you know.) Test odd pricing. Those are the ones ending in 7’s or 9’s, like $9.99 instead of $10.00. People for some reason are sometimes fooled into thinking that is cheaper even if it’s just a difference of $0.01. (Yes, you might not be so stupid and neither am I but there are people who are, okay?) You can also test different offers like free trials, BOGO deals, installments, and all that.
4. Tap into the customer psychology.
Now that sounds like a whole lot of work but it’s really quite simple. Direct your customers’ decision-making into an uncomplicated either/or instead of yes/no. How? By offering just a couple of choices- one for the price sensitive and one for those who aren’t.
Influence the decision further by offering bonuses like free gifts or accessories to go with specific products. Or maybe, offer a guarantee.
5. Add Testimonials.
Add testimonials to the page. Don’t turn your nose up! You know you read reviews yourself before you buy any product online. Why do you think those Amazon review trolls are so happy these days?
Anyway, testimonials work. By that I mean happy ones, but you know that already. If you can wrangle a happy one from someone famous or from the media, all the better. But here are a few things to remember about them to make them work:
- anonymous testimonials aren’t as effective as named ones
- testimonials with images are better than those without
- video testimonials trump every other testimonial because people are naturally lazy, they’d rather watch than read
6. Calls to Action (CTA) matter.
Calls to action are really just sales-speak for “get that person to click the BUY button.”
So, test your CTAs by making the button visible. Draw the visitors’ attentions to it. Make it big, bright and bold. Bold, italics, highlights, anything to make the product pop is a CTA.
Check if “Buy Now and Get $10 Off” works better than “Learn More.” Test if indicating how many days are left into the promo will generate more sales than saying how many items are left or how many already bought in.
Testing, 1… 2… 3….
7. Test Images.
People are naturally visual. Exploit this by adding images of your product. But more than that, include pictures of the product in use. Also, pictures of the product being able to successfully pull off what it claimed to do or customers being happy with the results can work wonders. So add some of those in and see what converts more. Give visitors a zoom in option, add captions under images. Test ovals and banners and other attention-grabbing shapes, too.
8. Focus on the body copy.
The body copy has split marketers for a good long while. How much should be communicated in the actual body copy? Everyone will tell you something different. So go ahead and test what actually works. Use straightforward language – keep it short and simple. Or fill it up with benefits and not just the product features. Include common objections and counter-objections. Heck, test font sizes and color while you’re at it.
9. Exploit multi-media resources.
Will audio be more effective? Maybe adding a video will increase conversion more?
10. Optimize your shopping cart.
Many customers abandon their carts before checking out. Here are a few things you can test in this regard:
- repeat the offers and benefits on the first page of the shopping cart
- don’t require too much info
- include thumbnail images of the product/s
- include a place for entering coupon codes
11. Include a dash of “borrowed” credibility.
People buy from those they trust. They may not trust your brand so much yet, but there are ways to influence that. And that’s by adding the logos of other, more trusted names. If you have a PayPal payment option, for example, then add the PayPal logo. Include the logo of your SSL certificate, privacy seals, etc. Then check which made the most impact towards conversion.
12. Don’t end the test too soon!
Testing, whether it be split-test or another kind, can take a while and even lower conversion rate while you’re doing it. Don’t panic! That only means what you’re doing isn’t working and you can use that to tweak your strategies. That’s why you’re testing in the first place, right? At the end of the day, a day or two of bad conversion is worth the possible lifetime of success that will come out of the entire thing.
Make sure you have enough data before calling it quits.
Split testing doesn’t have to be complicated. And with the 12 easy tips listed above, you can start your test and have your website running better and more in tune with your target customers than ever before.