Jargon Buster – Split Testing.
If you’re a regular reader of the Jargon Buster series, you’ll know what we’re about here. But, if you’re new to the series, let us give you the lowdown.
Jargon Buster is all about making the complicated into something clear. As digital marketing terms can be either super simple, or over-complicated. We break them down into what they mean, how they work and explain how they affect your business. Saving you time and hassle when you get in contact with a digital marketing agency, and they try to bombard you with complex-sounding terms.
Today, we’ll be looking at the term ‘split testing’. So, without further ado, let’s start with:
What Does Split Testing Mean?
Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is the name given by marketers to a comparison process. More specifically, the comparison of multiple versions of the same webpage.
Changes are made to a single page of a website, sometimes changes as small as the colour of a text box or simple wording. These pages are put live for a time and, once concluded, the results are compared. The term ‘split test’ comes from the fact that two examples are split from the same page, and then tested. I’d be surprised if you hadn’t put that together by this point…
The most common pages to split test are landing pages and a homepage. However, these pages aren’t the only ones that can be split tested. Any page that demands interaction from its visitors can be split tested to improve its performance and, ultimately, benefit your website.
How Does Split Testing Work?
The basic principle of split testing is this: compare two very similar pages and see which one your audience reacts best to. So, no, it’s not quite as deep and meta as Morpheus offering Neo the red or blue pill. It really is just a question of ‘which do you prefer more?’ to your audience.
The two pages that are compared are similar in almost every way. At least, the most effective split testing campaigns will use two very similar pages. As it makes it easier to compare which change has been the most effective (if you change multiple things in one test, it’s harder to judge which change has been successful).
After the test has been completed, elements such as engagement rate and bounce rate are compared. The more successful page is used as the page going forward, and voila! That’s it. The better-performing page is put in place, and the website begins to improve.
Naturally, for the best results, you’d run a split test on any web page that demands interaction. But, of course, this takes time to perfect. As it’s common for multiple split tests to be done on a single page before testing is complete.
Where Can My Business Use Split Testing?
As we’ve said earlier, the two main pages that businesses conduct split testing on are landing pages, and home pages. As, of course, landing pages are successful only if the audience engages with them. And home pages are the first place many of your audience will go to when first discovering your website. Therefore, these pages want to be the best they can possibly be.
However, these aren’t the only pages you can use split testing on.
Any page of any website can be split tested. But some pages are harder to measure the results. For example, a contact or blog page can be a lot harder to assess during a split test trial. As you only have minimal results to compare, such as bounce rate. Whereas pages with a lot of engagement or interaction, such as services pages or the pages mentioned previously, contain a lot more criteria to assess.
How Can Split Testing Affect My Business?
Split testing can affect your business in a series of ways, with the main being SEO.
The more engaging and effective your website is, the more time your audience will spend on there. This improves your bounce rate, which positively affects your SEO. As well as this, if your page is well-optimised post-split testing, your audience will be in the areas of your website you want them to be. Which will also boost those pages higher in search engines.
Furthermore, having your audience in the parts of the website you want them in will also benefit your business. For example, if your website is e-commerce, engaging and effective pages will mean your audience will follow the links and visit your store. The more people that visit your store page, the more business you’re likely to attract. More business becomes more sales, and more sales help to push your business towards success.
So, split testing may seem like a small cog in the machine that is a successful business. However, it’s something that many businesses will overlook, giving you the advantage to excel and sore above them.
What Type of Businesses Can Use Split Testing?
If you’re a fan of our Jargon Buster series, you might think you know where this is going. But, on this rare occasion, there’s a twist! But don’t worry, there’s some familiarity, too.
Businesses of any size, industry, or location can utilise split or A/B testing to their advantage. In all honesty, this applies more than most times we say this. Because split testing is all about engaging and entertaining your audience more than you currently do. Not attracting more or where to find them.
However, the only requirement for this is that you do need a website. Because it’d be hard to split test a web page if you don’t have a website, naturally. So, if your business currently doesn’t have a website, consider getting one.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out more issues of Jargon Buster right here.
YMG are a full-service digital marketing agency based in Chelmsford, Essex. We specialise in the sporting and fitness market. However, our elite sporting principles and services can be used to enhance any business.
YMG are the home of the Jargon Buster series, helping business owners to understand the technical terms of digital marketing.