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Increasing Responses Using Split Testing Basics

By Miles Burke



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Recently we wanted to trial two messages for lead collection. We built a landing page template, and then created two headlines and copy variations. One was using a very active tone, and one less so.
We ran a straw poll within our team, and we were fairly certain which one would work better – but how do we test this? That’s where split testing comes in! Using Google’s free Website Optimizer tool, and a humble budget to be spent on Google AdWords, we did just that.

Rather than publish a page and make a few tweaks every few months, split testing can achieve greater results in shorter time, and it doesn’t need to cost a lot. The way Google Optimizer works, is that it will allow you to send traffic to both pages, and set a goal for conversion. We had a simple contact form on these landing pages, so determined we wanted that form to be completed as our goal.

Then, using Google AdWords, we ran two Ad Groups, each pointing to one of the two landing pages. Then, we bumped up a budget so we could get at least a few dozen visitors to each page over two weeks.

The result? We found one page (the very direct, active voice one) had nearly 50% more form completions than the other. The cost ended up being under US$100 and a few hours of our time.

Now, we can roll that page on our main website, knowing with confidence we’ve chosen the right one. If we really wanted to (and I’m positive we will soon) we could then make further subtle changes, and run a second split testing campaign.

Give it a go by testing two variations of contact forms, or two variations of your homepage – you’ll be surprised how quick you’ll get some real results!

As Director of Bam Creative, and Chairperson of the Australian Web Industry Association, Miles spends his time managing his business or speaking about managing businesses. Recently awarded as one of the top Western Australian entrepreneurs under 40 years old, Miles can also be found writing at his blog.

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