What is split testing and how to use it to improve your marketing?

Updated: Aug 11




Split Tests or A/B tests have been around for several years now. They are performed to improve your search engine rankings.


What is split testing?

Split testing, also known as a multivariate testing or A/B testing, is a method of conducting controlled experiments with the sole objective of improving website metrics.


By comparing different versions of your web pages such as your homepages, landing pages, a split test will help you identify what helps you boost the conversion rate for your visitors.


When you conduct a split test, your page’s traffic is spread across different versions of your pages. The performance of each page is checked and analyzed using a split testing software to identify which version converts the best.


Why is Split testing important?

Split testing is important as is it helps to improve your web pages and marketing to increase the rate at which people take the desired call-to-action and convert.


Here are a few potential benefits of split testing.

  • Helps eliminate guesswork and reduce uncertainty about marketing campaigns

  • Helps you learn how customers respond rather than how they think they will respond

  • Gives you better insights that can be used to drive improvements

  • Helps create better and more effective content

  • Increase web traffic and visitor engagement

  • Reduce risks by testing changes before making them permanent

  • A cost-effective way of improving your website and marketing

  • Improves chances of making your business more profitable and improves revenue

What is the difference between a split test and A/B test?

While A/B testing works directly from the software, split testing requires technical expertise.

A/B testing uses changes that are like the original. On the other hand, split testing is used where a new version’s page design and content are completely different from the original.


Split testing is useful in making major design changes to your website. For instance,if you are planning to change your home page design completely, split testing is your go-to tool to optimize conversions. However, if you are testing different versions of your website, you will make basic changes that require back-end operations that your marketing team cannot make.

As split testing requires technical expertise, it remains the best testing solution when changes are made on the backend.

What should you split test?

As your homepage and landing pages are geared towards conversions and have a huge impact on your total sales, they need to undergo split testing.

Though you need to test these two pages on your site without fail, you may want to check what blog post layout works best with your audience.

You may run split tests on your most popular blog posts by creating two completely different layouts. For instance, you can test a post having a large header and sidebar against a post with no header and a minimalist header. Change the font choice, CTA, and headline design.

You can also run a split test on your contact page and sales pages. This way you can get more people to get in touch with you via the contact form or test a long sales page versus a shorter page.

Regardless of which page you perform the split test on, you must focus on your goals. Remember, the main objective of split testing is to get to know your audience better and figure out what pages resonate most with them and also what helps them to convert. Split testing is great to start off with if you are not sure what type of overall design you might need for your visitors.

How to choose the best split testing tool?

As it is important to improve your site’s conversion rates, it involves testing, analyzing data, and forming strong hypotheses. Therefore, it is recommended that you use a tool that includes all these necessary features.


Here are a few tools that you can consider for split testing.

  • HotJar

  • CrazyEgg

  • Visual Website Optimizer

  • Optimizely

  • Unbounce

  • Simple Page Tester

  • ABPress Optimizer

  • Title Experiments

  • Nelio

  • WordPress Calls to Action

Takeaway

As there is no clear consensus on the definition of split testing, it is quite confusing. While split testing means testing different variations of the same page for some, it means testing two completely different versions of the same for others. In both cases, you will get actionable data that will help bring about a significant improvement in your website’s design and function.


Split testing will help you make decisions based on hard data rather than making assumptions about your website traffic.

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