Remember learning about the scientific method in school and thinking, “How will this ever help me in real life?” We have the answer . . . in marketing.

Split testing, or A/B testing, is like doing an experiment on your website, landing page, call-to-action, or any other piece of content. It helps you by putting two variables against each other: one you have used in the past or are currently using, and the one you think will make your content perform better.

The Question

Determine a general question – “How can I improve my click-through rate?” Then, narrow down the question to a very specific issue. For example, Does the color of my call-to-action button affect my click-through rate?

The Hypothesis

Once you have a question, determine your hypothesis. The hypothesis is your best educated guess at what will happen during the test: Yes, the color does affect my click-through rate. Blue will increase my click-through rate more than red.

The Materials

Just like in a scientific experiment, it’s important to have the right tools. Make sure that your website has analytics to measure views and clicks. And many website creation and content management tools, like HubSpot, include the option to split-test.

The Test

When your question and hypothesis are complete, it’s time to test which performs better.

Create two different versions of the same content, in our example a landing page, with the only difference being what you’re testing. In this case, one landing page would have a blue CTA and the other one a red button. Use your preferred split-testing tool and release your test into the world. Unveil both at the same time to accurately see how the variables perform.

While it might sound tempting to test ten different colored CTAs at once, or test CTAs and email subject lines at the same time, resist the urge. Testing too much at once won’t help you determine what performs better; at best it will confuse you and your audience.

The Analysis

The test is over once your prescribed number of people have seen the landing pages and responded accordingly. You can then see which CTA performed better by comparing the click-through rates of both. If the blue one has a higher rate, then shut down the landing page with the red CTA and consider using blue in the future.

The Conclusion

Split testing isn’t just a one-time process. You should frequently test, update, and optimize all of your various content, from an email subject line to an image, from a headline on a landing page to the location of content on a web page. This will help you to continue to increase your conversion rate and target the right prospects to turn into clients.


{{cta(‘f9a31016-1ce6-47c2-958c-f104f031889c’,’justifyright’)}} If you want to learn more about how split testing can help you and your business, we’re always here to chat.

Split testing is a useful way to spend marketing time and money, but have you thought about what’s holding you back? As 2015 approaches, we’ve outlined 10 Useless Things to Cut From Your Marketing. Click on the image to download the free white paper.

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