You absolutely MUST test all of your online marketing

Did you know that even the best marketers don't know what works? They are not arrogant, they understand that the smallest, seemingly inconsequential difference could have a massive difference in the effectiveness of their marketing. You just don't know. The only way you know what works is by letting the market tell you. The way you let the market tell you is by testing at least two variations. The easiest way to understand testing is to consider an advert.

Two ways of testing

  1. Split or A/B testing: You test one element at a time e.g. a different colour or a different heading. You can test multiple variations but it must be the same element you are varying.
    1. Simple statistics will identify the better advert.
    2. Suitable for lower traffic sites since a smaller sample size is required.
  2. Multivariate testing: You can test variations in multiple elements e.g. Text colour and wording. In this case, if you tested two colours and two wording variations you would actually have four variations.
    1. More complex software is required to identify the better advert.
    2. Suitable for higher traffic sites to generate reliable statistics.

Have fun!

Since you have different versions of adverts running you don't need to be so careful wording or designing your adverts. If you have an idea, put the advert up and test it!  If you are a big organisation, don't let the committee decide, let the market decide!

The real power

When you test, you don't just make marginal improvements, you can make massive improvements! You'll see that doubling your revenues is easily possible through testing.  Consider a typical sales funnel. I will use a 10% conversion for each step to simplify the example:

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Call to actions

When someone is browsing your site they are continually scanning the page looking for what to click on next. They will leave your site when they think they have clicked on everything that is of value to them. What you need to do is make sure that one of the links they click on leads them to your goal, whether it's to sign up for a newsletter, buy a product or contact you. You should tell them what to do next.

A call to action should be a carefully designed element on the page that attracts attention and becomes the obvious thing the user should click on next.

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SEO is not about your home page!

"I want my site to appear at the top of search results" is a phrase I hear time and time again. First of all you need to decide what you want your site to rank for and then realise that your home page is only a single page of your site and therefore you can only really target one or two keyword phrases. If those phrases are highly competitive then you really don't stand a chance.

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Why is it so hard to build a great website for your business?

When I was working for agencies we built some amazing websites, truly... amazing. But they would be when they cost hundreds of thousands. However there was always something lacking. You see web agencies know how to design, they know how to create great call to actions, how to get in the mind of a user and create an effortless user experience. What they do lack is the entrepreneurial side. The passion for ranking up high, bringing in the traffic and optimizing the whole business around and within the website.

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