50 Split Testing Ideas You Can Run Today

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    17-Feb-2016

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<ul><li><p>neilpatel.com</p><p>50 Split Testing Ideas </p><p>(You Can Run Today!)</p></li><li><p>Ive broken the 50 tests down into 10 categories:</p><p>1. PPC .............................................................................................03</p><p>2. Email marketing ........................................................................................03-04</p><p>3. Social media ........................................................................................04-05</p><p>4. Load time .............................................................................................05</p><p>5. Graphics and video .............................................................................................06</p><p>6. Mobile ........................................................................................06-07</p><p>7. Call to actions .............................................................................................07</p><p>8. Website navigation ........................................................................................07-08</p><p>9. Content and copywriting .........................................................................................08-09</p><p>10. Landing pages ........................................................................................09-10</p></li><li><p>Email Marketing</p><p>PPC Ad Testing</p><p>7. Test Dynamic Content in Your EmailsYou could split test the following in your messages:</p><p>1. Split Test the Who/What/Why HowSearch Engine Watch has a great example on people who search for motorcycle pants theycould be seasoned street riders, first-time motorcycle owners or looking to take up motocross.Therefore, your split testing ads and subsequent landing pages would each reference things likelooking good while you ride, leg protection and so on.</p><p>2. Test Quality, Selection and PricingAsk yourself, what appeals most to my customers to encourage them to click? Are they concerned about quality? What about pricing?</p><p>3. Use Social ProofIt can also demonstrate to potential customers that you really do walk the walk rather than justtalk the talk</p><p>4. Word OrderEven small changes can make a big difference in your ads such as word order and the use ofpower words.</p><p>5. Power Words in the HeadlineUsing power words in your headline positions it in a more active voice rather than passive (andable to be lost in a crowd of me too ads). Words like emergency, cheap, easy, fastand new can all get more clicks than a simple business card-style ad.</p><p>6. HTML vs. Plain TextIts the age-old debate of the 21st century which gets more response? The answer is it depends. </p><p>For instance, your email marketing provider may allow you to design a page with both plain text</p><p>and HTML elements, but it also may insert its own proprietary code.</p><p>Using the subscribers first name versus no name at all.</p><p>Including the company name in the From: line versus the name of an employee at the </p><p>company whos in charge of customer relations.</p><p>Test sending out messages specifically to users who follow you via Twitter, Facebook, </p><p>or both.</p></li><li><p>Social Media</p><p>8. Call-to-Action in EmailCall-to-action should follow the same processes as the HTML vs. Plain Text test. For example,</p><p>does an image-based call to action perform better than a text link? What about including both (for </p><p>those users who have images turned o in their email).</p><p>9. Day of the Week and Time of DayTo make matters more complicated, dierent types of emails have a better open rate depending</p><p>on the time of day, such as from noon until 2pm, when news and magazine-style emails are most</p><p>popular, compared to consumer promotions, which are popular during and aer dinner.</p><p>10. The Subject LineDo you go for a more playful or professional tone? Even President Obama got into the email split</p><p>testing game with some cryptic subject lines, like Hey or Join me for dinner? In fact, one of</p><p>those emails, with the subject line I Will Be Outspent generated over 2 million dollars in</p><p>donations.</p><p>11. Date and TimeUsing tools like SocialBro, you can see precisely when your Twitter followers are online, and when your tweets can get the most exposure and reach.</p><p>12. Content LengthStudies have shown that content length matters in terms of likes and shares. Testing contentlength (one 2,400+ word article) versus frequency (two 2,000 word articles) is worth doing just tosee how it matches up to the likes and shares you get.</p><p>13. Do You Really Need Social Buttons?A content experiment was done on Venture Harbour to determine if the sidebar position of socialicons worked better than placing them below the headline.</p><p>14. Using Heatmaps with Content BlocksCombine this chunking with heatmaps to see just how far your social readers are scrolling,and where their attention drops off. Then use this information to add in some sub-headlines,images or other relevant details that will perk up their interest at the most common drop-offpoints.</p><p>15. Split Test Your Headlines</p><p>Heres what Adam Mordechai, Editor-at-Large for social sharing behemoth Upworthyhad to say about headlines:</p></li><li><p>Dont make obscure pop culture references. 90% of the American audience has never seen half </p><p>the shows you are referencing. Instead of Jennifer Lawrence Talks About What Its Like To Be </p><p>Judged, its That Lady From The Hunger Games Nobody knows who your favorite character </p><p>is played by.</p><p>Dont oversell. Weve worked hard to tone ourselves down, as occasionally our headlines </p><p>would veer towards THE BIGGEST THING EVER, when it was actually THE PRETTY INTERESTING </p><p>BUT NOT BIGGEST THING EVER. Its not worth dragging people to your site if they feel ripped o </p><p>aer they get there.</p><p>Dont be shrill and judgy, let the facts speak for themselves. Anytime Ive made that mistake, </p><p>the content dies a horrible death.</p><p>16. What Should I Split Test on FacebookCheck out this guide from Social Media Examiner . They shared some great ideas on split testingfor Facebook, including how to properly use images, text and call-outs etc.</p><p>Loading Time</p><p>17. Do Split Tests Aect Loading Time</p><p>Loading time is even more important. Prioritize which areas of your site are most needed by</p><p>mobile users, and split test a version of your site where you remove any superfluous elements like </p><p>large image carousels/sliders or even smaller images that might be dragging down the load time</p><p>on your pages.</p><p>18. What to CutWhat to SaveBe ruthless about your editing and test cutting out anything that isnt 100% relevant to getting</p><p>the user to click or act. That can even mean things like beautiful slideshow or even your naviga-</p><p>tion menu.</p><p>19. Shave O Seconds with Tag ManagementTag management lets you take all those third party apps and services and combine them all into</p><p>a single Javascript container for faster loading.Its a bit technical, so grab your web developer and </p><p>have them look over all the instances being called in your tag before you jump right in. But </p><p>the end result will look.</p></li><li><p>Graphics and Video</p><p>Mobile Optimization</p><p>20. Images of People vs. ProductsHumans by nature are hard-wired to recognize faces. Its in our genes. But what would happen if you swapped out images of your product for images of people using your product.</p><p>21. Video ThumbnailsIf your goal is to encourage more people to watch your video, why not split test your video thumbnails? Video marketing site Vidyard allows users to use video thumbnails. Check how you can split test their video thumbnails.</p><p>22. Do Professional Photos Always Win?Since the focus of the webinar was all about revenues and increasing cash flow, youd think that a professional suit and tie would be appropriate.</p><p>23. Fonts and TypographySans serif (Arial, Helvetica, Verdana) seems to be a longstanding favorite on many websites, but even increasing the size of the font by 30% or the line height between fonts can encourage read-ability, and make visitors stick around on the page longer.</p><p>24. Split Testing the Header</p><p>25. Product Video versus DemoWhen split testing videos, some people like a more passive introduction to a product through an informational video.Others will want to jump right in and interact directly with the product through a hands-on (or virtual) demonstration.Try split testing a more informational approach versus an interactive one and see what they prefer. </p><p>26. Blinds, Buttons and Blocks, Oh My!Depending on your target audience, they may find blinds the most welcoming option, or they may </p><p>prefer the larger, more easily viewable blocks. Split test each option to see</p><p>27. Icons or Text?Text ultimately won over icons, but there were many other findings made during the testing</p><p>process that only a solid split testing environment and a keen understanding of analytics could</p><p>demonstrate.Try split testing your own text versus icons on your mobile see and see which ones</p><p>your customers prefer.</p></li><li><p>Call to Actions</p><p>Website Navigation</p><p>35. Primary vs. Secondary NavigationOn many sites, two sets of navigation menus:</p><p>The primary, which is for your main categories.</p><p>The secondary which is typically reserved for things like About Us, FAQ, Contact, etc.</p><p>28. The Hamburger IconWebsite Caffeine Informer set out to do a variety of split tests to learn user identified with the hamburger icon, versus the Menu text, versus both with and without a border. They discov-ered was that the version with the Menu text AND the border outperformed all the others by nearly 13%.</p><p>29. Filtering versus sortingYour mobile shoppers (and all shoppers for that matter) are looking to get in, get what they need, and get out, so split testing your results pages according to their needs and letting them filter or sort items in just a tap or two will make the process remarkably simpler.</p><p>30. Responsive or Standalone Mobile Site?The downside of standalone mobile site is that you effectively would have two sites to update instead of one but for specific promotions and time-limited sales, a standalone mobile site may be a less expensive alternative. Here again, its best to weigh your options and rework your site using your baseline analytics data to make a concrete decision.t </p><p>31. My vs. Your Button CopyContentVerve did a variety of call-to-action case studies, including button copy. So, It always pays to test rather than blindly following the best practices you read from case studies on the web.</p><p>32. Call to Action Button ColorYou can actually enhance and detract from your buttons through the colors that you use. Try enhancing the color of the button you want users to click, and muting the color palette of the one you want to give less emphasis to and see what happens for your own tests.</p><p>33. Arrows and Navigational Cues</p><p>34. Positioning is EverythingMany call-to-action buttons are wedged in between content, headlines and slideshows, to the point that it can be overwhelming for first time users. Split testgiving your buttons some breathing room. </p></li><li><p>Content and Copywriting</p><p>Try running a split test turning your secondary menu, at the top of your pages, into your core </p><p>menu with drop-downs etc.</p><p>36. Less is MoreAnalyze your own navigation and determine which pieces are truly needed, and which can bereserved for areas beyond the home page.</p><p>37. Dropdown Boxes vs. Text Linkswhat if you replaced those text links with dropdown boxes? You dont have to settle for plain,uninspiring HTML form elements either. Some of the most beautiful drop down menus actuallyenhance navigation by incorporating the best of both worlds.</p><p>38. Using Icons in NavigationTry split testing your navigation menus with icons and without to see if more attention is drawnto them (heatmaps are a great way to measure this!)</p><p>39. Remove Navigation EntirelyFor some sites, actually removing the navigation gave the user less choices, and focused theirattention wholly on the call-to-action button. Take a look at YuppieChef.</p><p>Try split testing removing your navigation so that users are focused squarely on the call-to-action, </p><p>and see what your testing results show.</p><p>40. Free SamplesHow can you actually split test this without diminishing the quality or muddying the</p><p>tests accuracy? Try split testing your sample alongside an offer. For example, if you were selling</p><p>a weight loss supplement, and you were giving out free samples of your metabolic shake</p><p>powder, why not split test your offer with a months worth of supplements for just $1 plus</p><p>shipping?Sometimes, people are willing to pay for an offer thats more closely aligned with</p><p>what theyre looking for, rather than a freebie that isnt.</p><p>41. Short Copy or Long?It depends on not just who youre engaging, but what market youre in, and who youre servingwith your offer. Marketing Experiments created a short vs. long copy matrix some time ago thatused empirical data and various case studies to arrive at their conclusion.Split test both and seewhich works best.</p></li><li><p>Landing Pages</p><p>42. Broad or Segmented OerUser behavior is a smart split testing strategy that can not only help you close the sale and earn</p><p>that coveted conversion, but can provide you with invaluable details about your potential</p><p>customers as well.</p><p>43. Dont Always Follow Good AdviceIts worth testing just to see how your audience will respond. Try split testing a clever or more</p><p>light-hearted headline to see what it brings you. You may be surprised at the outcome!</p><p>44. Personal Story or ReviewWhat if youre an ailiate for another product? Why not split test the option of sharing your own</p><p>personal story with the product (how did it help you? Did it meet your expectations? Why or why</p><p>not?) or a critique/review of it, as is common on many ailiate sites.Just because a review is the</p><p>way it has always been done, doesnt mean its the best way.</p><p>45. Radical RedesignSometimes you dont need a few small changes to spice up a websites conversion rate, but rather a major shift in the way you approach the design of the page itself. Dont be afraid to experiment with your pages and think outside the template.Sometimes the biggest changes yield the best results.</p><p>46. Generic versus Geo-targetedOriginally popularized by local daily deal sites like Groupon, geo-targeted content has taken on a life of its own to appear in everything from car parts ads to apparel.Test and see what will happen.</p><p>47. Video versus CopyMindvalley Insights has written an extensive post about using video in landing pagesversus regular sales copy.Even if you decide on using video, its worth testing the type of video you use. For example, will you use a whiteboard-style explainer video? Or a more personalone-on-one style?</p><p>48. Forms with or without PhotosIts worth testing the inclusion of a photo with your form. It could be a photo of the product, a photo of you (or a customer) using the product, or even a landscape shot that references your product. </p></li><li><p>49. Should You Include a Countdown?Page countdowns are incredibly popular on landing pages for marketing products, but seldom </p><p>seen elsewhere.</p><p>A countdown can also be used to generate excitement and anticipation of receiving the product, </p><p>and to our brains, the thrill of anticipation of owning something releases good, fuzzy fee...</p></li></ul>