To gain the most profit out of inbound marketing efforts, all marketers must always be testing, evaluating, and fine-tuning their ideas to achieve optimum conversions. Many market testing methods are available for use, but the following list includes the most widely used, and most profitable practices.
The A/B method is a popular and highly effective market testing tool used to analyze the effectiveness and design of landing pages, headlines, CTAs, email subject lines, layouts and web page styles, promo offers, images, product pricing, copy length, form length, type styles, and so much more. The A/B test process involves two identical creations, two items or a single element are changed to determine which version is more appealing to the target audience. Later, the separate versions are displayed randomly, to see which one receives more of the desired results, such as downloads, sign ups, shares, etc.
Remember: Both versions must always be tested simultaneously to ensure trustworthy results. Don’t rely on your gut instinct alone.
Marketers can spend hour upon hour, creating a landing page, white paper or crafting, and email. Starting from the developer’s work backstage, to the creation of layout by a web design firm, all the way to the selected tools and wording, everything must be tested. What may appear flawless in your eyes, may not resonate well with your target audience. Consider these tips while evaluating your content:
- Can viewers clearly recognize the purpose of your site within the first three seconds, without having to scroll?
- Is your company name and logo posted in a prominent location?
- Is your page content clear about what is being offered and what actions you want visitors to take, such as download an eBook or whitepaper, or fill out a form?
- Is your page content clear and concise about what your business can offer, company knowledge and expertise? Is the information current?
- Can anyone access your site regardless of user-ability, modem speed, computer type, browser size, or preferences?
- Is your page organized well with an ample amount of white space?
- Is the layout too busy? Have you overloaded your site with images, calls to actions and colors?
Remember: Keep the sales pitch, offer and end message consistent in the content test. Adjust the page layout, wording, CTAs, and images to determine which elements work best with your customers.
There is no need to create multiple page versions with this method. Multivariate testing analyzes one page by altering the surrounding elements after using them for a set time. Test images, buttons, colors, and headlines on the same page, by comparing varying components to uncover the best elements and combinations.
Remember: Perform multivariate testing with useful tools like Google Website Optimizer, Test&Target, Metrics, Optimost, Verster, Maxymiser, and Omniture.
Geo Target Testing
Visitors land on your site from all over the world – they arrive from different countries, cultures, climates, speak different languages and use their regional currencies. It is important to consider how to cater to these variables all at the same time. The answer is through geo-targeting. Geo-targeting uses Geo-Location to identify where site visitors are located through their WiFi, IP or GPS data. Using this valuable information, the correct data is transferred to the seeker. The user location may be a state, city, country or somewhere else. Therefore, if you are looking for Thai restaurants, geo-targeting will pull up relevant information to your IP address or physical location.
Remember One of the best sources for more information on geo-targeting in Google Webmaster tools.
Eye Track Testing
Eye track testing is a popular approach used to provide insight into exactly where viewers are looking when they browse a web page. Eye tracking measures eye motion or where the viewer’s eye is focused most. Through research methods and software like gaze plots, gaze replays and heat maps researchers can study a page layout and adjust according to what the test subjects look at first. The eye tracking software generates valuable data about these visual movements. Eye tracking can help answer important questions, including:
- Do viewers understand the software and layout?
- What do users view, but don’t click on?
- How effective are the symbols and icons at directing visitors?
- What is guiding the viewer’s decision-making process?
Remember: Eye track tests offer more concise results because there are no interruptions. This method also provides behavioral insight that may not have been shared otherwise.
Even though your site design may be stunning, full of compelling visuals, calming colors, and a good amount of white space, it may be difficult to navigate. If users find it hard to hunt down the information they need you will lose your audience fast. The most successful websites provide whatever products or information that brought viewers to them up front before they leave for a competitor’s site. Evaluate and analyze your website in stages using explorative, assessment and comparative testing. The various types of usability tests include remote usability, hallway, expert review, automated evaluation, paper prototype, controlled experiments, interviews and questionnaires, and do-it-yourself walk through testing.
Remember: The usability test method you use should be determined by your what your budget will allow.
When it comes to successful inbound marketing, it all comes down to tracking the performance of your ideas and refining your strategies accordingly. Market testing helps businesses discover what content, images, messages, CTAs, etc., resonate with the desired audience and enables them to implement these ideas on a regular basis, or in the next marketing campaign.
Business websites and landing pages are no longer company brochures displayed on an electronic screen. Keep this in mind, sites are now dynamic tools, live and engaging avenues that lead to your customers. To ensure that your marketing idea will always deliver the correct message to your target customers, market testing is vital. It is not only about knowing that all your site functions and features work properly, it is a means of constantly knowing that you are putting out the best possible presentation of business.