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A/B Testing and the Value to a Company's Lead Generation Efforts

By Justine TimoteoSep 12, 2012
a b testing and lead generation

When it comes to raising the customer retention and conversion rates of your base, there are few exercises more helpful than A/B testing. A/B testing is pretty much what it sounds like: comparing one method to another. And when I first learned of A/B testing, I was immediately intrigued. It’s almost as if you get to conduct a virtual competition to see which element will perform better for your marketing campaign and generate more success for your business overall.

A/B What?

With A/B testing, certain marketing variables are compared to each other to identify the one that brings a better response rate. The element that is being tested is called the “control,” and the element that you’re hypothesizing will provide a better result is called the “treatment.”

The real value of A/B testing, however, comes from the way it is implemented into an overall marketing campaign. For it to truly work, A/B testing should be conducted in small stages with the variables to be tested ordered in a specific fashion.  If this is done correctly, A/B testing and lead generation can be driven in an organized way to benefit the company.

This type of testing is also known as multivariate testing.

Small but Mighty

Now, the first thing that people usually test in multivariate testing is key words. I can’t stress enough how import keywords are for your marketing campaigns, because they truly form the basis of all of your online marketing efforts. As they are becoming much more difficult to find and control, having the right keyword phrases in your web content is absolutely essential in having a successful marketing campaign.

Determining your keywords may seem simple, but there is a lot more consideration that needs to go into selecting these words that you may think. Not only must you find keywords that appeal to your human audience and flow naturally inside of web content or an advertisement, but you must also find keywords and phrases that will be considered relevant to your business by the search engine algorithms. And ever since Google started leading updates to major search engine algorithms over the last 6 to 12 months, websites that do not conduct the appropriate keyword search are actually penalized as spam sites. And I’m sure I don’t have to explain how detrimental having your website labeled as spam can be for your business.

Multivariate Testing to the Rescue

Multivariate testing can really be your saving grace in keeping your website from being punished in the search engine rankings and from having any lead generation efforts that you may have begun destroyed. Since high-ranking search engine listings are essential to your overall visibility, they are also essential to your lead generation efforts. You must also test the rich snippets that you use in your search engine listings as well as your keywords in order to maximize these listings.

Making A/B Testing a Reality

Of course, A/B Testing is best understood when you can see some real live, actual tests. A few months ago, Hubspot ran some interesting A/B Tests on some of its content.

It ran A/B tests across three marketing channels

  1. Landing pages
  2. Email
  3. Calls to action

Essentially, the tests advised companies to optimize landing pages that don’t convert at a high rate, start your optimization process with an offer test, and use the knowledge you’ve gained to improve existing processes. All good advice! 

So, what A/B Tests have you run? What have you determined from the data?

sales qualified leads

photo credit: hyper7pro

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