Digital experiments: a three-minute guide to channel testing

Dan Aston

Content & Outreach Executive

With online marketing, you can measure and adapt every aspect of your strategy, learn what your audience responds to best, and gain an advantage over your competition.

But what should you test? We’ll take you through some essential pointers when looking to improve the performance of your online marketing.

Reduce Friction

The ultimate goal of your online marketing is to achieve conversions, and there are elements present on all landing pages that slow this down in one way or another. Some of these cannot be avoided, such as essential questions in form fields, but they can be minimised.

Take a look at your landing page from your audience’s perspective. Are your forms on the lengthy side? Are there more steps in the process than absolutely necessary? These are things that could cause a visitor to lose interest, ultimately reducing conversion rates. The length of a page plays a key factor in its bounce rate. Don’t overload visitors with too much information - keep your content clear and concise.

Don’t settle for top spot

It might seem crazy to aim for anything other than the top with Google AdWords, but sometimes crazy can trump common sense. You may find more effective levels of conversion in one of the lower positions after making some budget calculations. For example, a significantly larger bid price between positions 1 and 2 may outweigh a potentially small difference in traffic, proving the lower ranking to have a better ROI. The results of a recent study by Adobe Media Optimizer back this up, showing that the 4th position can often produce the best results, especially for smaller businesses.

Don’t overload visitors with too much information - keep your content clear and concise.

Experiment with social features

It’s almost impossible to avoid social media these days and the presence of social share buttons on product pages has become pretty commonplace. Why? The thinking of some companies may be that consumers might like to shout about their recent purchases and therefore encourage others to do the same. This is often not the case. Instead, the presence of social buttons can actually deter conversions, as some products are too sensitive to share, and their general appearance can appear spam-like and clutter the checkout process.  

Imagery

The most powerful way to engage the eye is with striking imagery. You can never have too many quality photos to choose from, and it is good practice to rotate your featured imagery, keeping it fresh and new. In social campaigns, try alternating the tone of your photos. Subtle branding on imagery can appear sleek and professional, but it could discourage some from sharing your post if it appears too invasive. Try testing how your audience reacts to branding across your imagery. Alter the size, positioning, and colour of your logos. You may be surprised by the results.

Market research

A great way to get fast insight into how to improve your site is by asking your target audience directly. Eliminate the guessing game and discover exactly what your audience wants by giving a simple survey. This can be presented after checkout or via an email blast. Information collated can be stored and implemented into future marketing campaigns.

Tying your questionnaire in with a competition is an effective way to maximise the number of participants. Don’t just focus on your own brand, ask your audience what their favourite brands are and what they think of your competitors. This way, you can learn from the successes and failures of neighbouring brands and incorporate these findings into the development of your own business.

Eliminate the guessing game and discover exactly what your audience wants by giving a simple survey.

Conclusion

When your site and social channels are performing well, it can be easy to take a back seat and let things tick along on autopilot for the foreseeable future. Whilst this may be a nice easy way to go about things, you could be missing out on even better results.

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