Split testing different elements on your website is one of the most important things that you can do in digital marketing.
But before we get to that, let’s quickly summarize what split testing is all about.
What is a Split Test?
A split test refers to running 2 or more variations of anything at the same time and comparing their performances. This allows you to make data-driven decisions when trying to decide which of your ideas will actually work the best.
Now, you can split test anything – including email subject lines, social post headlines, and landing page CTAs. For this post we’re only going to be talking about the best split testing software for optimizing websites.
Why do we split test web pages?
Split testing different versions of your webpages can unlock the true potential of your digital marketing power. It’s the best way to determine what really works.
The process of creating multiple page variations used to be difficult and required a serious set of programming skills. But these days there are lots of tools out there that simplify the process and some that even allow non-tech-savvy marketers to customize pages on their own.
Here are 3 of the best split testing software options on the market.
Google’s optimization platform was released in 2017 and provides a “free” testing platform for anyone interested in trying out their tool. They keep the process pretty simple and allow non-techies to use a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) visual editor so anyone can create their own page variations.
Just change the copy or design elements to your liking, set up your goals, and you’ll be on your way.
One major benefit of the free version of Google Optimize is the unlimited amount of website traffic that can be included in your tests. Most other free split testing platforms limit traffic, which can prevent you from reaching statistical significance.
The only downside is that the free version is limited to running three tests at the same time. They also limit the number of metrics you can track.
Another caveat is that upgrading to their paid version will cost you $25,000, so it’s not really for medium-sized teams.
The Visual Website Optimizer, or VWO for short, is a split testing platform with software powerful enough to handle extremely custom page variations. It’s WYSIWYG editor is also simple enough for anyone to learn quickly, which makes it a great choice for beginners who want to try running a few tests.
VWO also offers an optional Optimization Platform which includes user video recordings, live website surveys, website feedback, form tracking, and heat mapping software. You can even track goals and funnel performance with their software.
Once you’ve collected enough research to identify webpages with pain points (this could be low conversion rates, funnel drop off points, high bounce rates, etc.), it’s going to take time to determine the best type of test to deploy for the changes you want to make.
VWO allows you to choose between A/B, multivariate, split URL, and personalization tests.
An A/B test is the simplest way to create a test and customize one or more variations of a page. Simply click on A/B under the ‘Test’ section in the left column, then enter the URL of your page, and click next.
Once you’re in the visual editor, click on any elements and choose a function from the box that pops up. Let’s say you want to test a benefit-driven headline against something more like a product name. Just click on the headline, select ‘Change Text’, and enter your new copy. To create more than one variation of your headline, click on the blue button at the bottom of your screen that says ‘Add Variation’.
After you’ve created your variations, you’ll need to set your goal. Typically, this will be page visits on a URL that matches your criteria, such as a thank you page URL for the main conversion on that page.
Once you’ve built your test, you need to add a snippet of code to the pages that will be included in your test. You can easily do this yourself if you use Google Tag Manager, or you can ask your developer to put the code on your site.
Once the code is confirmed and tracking properly, you can run your test.
It’s that easy!
This 800lb gorilla established itself as a leader in the split testing software space by providing extremely reliable testing power. Unfortunately, once they grew in size, they began charging a lot more for the traffic that participated with your tests. Now it’s nearly impossible to reach statistical significance due to their traffic limits in the free version.
What’s your favorite split testing software for optimizing web pages? How about for emails and social posts? Leave a comment below and let me know. For more digital marketing tips, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter.