The ultimate goal of all affiliate marketers is to make money online as much as possible. To do this, they have to:
- Increase traffic from traffic sources or to their website, blog, YouTube channel, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any other platforms they are using, and also increase the traffic to the landing page.
- Secondly, the traffic needs to be converted to actual customers.
Well as easy as that may sound, that is not the case. There are lots of other processes involved in affiliate marketing which may hinder try to hinder your success. But that should not scare you. As an affiliate marketer, you should be ready to try new things and methods to present yourself to the online world.
As product manufacturers have to compete with other companies creating similar products, affiliate marketers also have high competing with others who are running similar ads, targeting the same niche, selling the same thing, etc. Another drawback to the affiliate marketer is that they do not have control over the product, the messaging, the checkout process, etc.
Yes, there is lots of competition, and one of your main tasks as an affiliate marketer is to stand out and make yourself unique. You can do this by split-testing your lead sources, landing pages, ads, and incentives. This leads us to the ultimate question, what is split-testing.
What is split-testing?
Split-testing is the process of trying completely different variants of a sample to note which one brings in better results.
This should not be compared with A/B testing where single-variable test is compared to the control sample to note which one does better.
You can know how well your site is doing through the page objective or goal. For example:
- The lead capture page goal is to get as many subscribers as possible.
- The Product reviews page goal is to know the usage of your affiliate link.
- The contact page goal is to amount of people contacting you.
- The Homepage goal is to get as many clicks as possible using call-to-action buttons or banners.
- And the list goes on.
From the list above, you can set tests to improve on various aspects of your page which will eventually give you better results.
Why Split-test is important?
Split-testing has lots of benefits for your marketing campaign and traffic:
- It will help eliminate any form of guesswork by removing doubts about your marketing campaign.
- It would show you how customers actually react to your site. This is better than online surveys because here the visitors are not thinking how they will react, they are already reacting to the real deal.
- split -testing will give you lots of insights and ideas that will improve your brand in the long run.
- It will help you create more engaging content.
- With split-testing, you will be able to improve on visitor engagement and web traffic.
- It helps reduces the risk of failure.
What do you need to test if you earn with a website?
Well, you can test almost everything on your website including the website itself, but that will take lots of time and energy. You need to focus on what the visitors are telling you to change. This is because they are the ones using the website or blog and not you.
Normally, your website needs to have 3 fundamental aspects that will determine the amount of traffic:
- Knowledgeable and interesting content – People don’t just visit websites for visiting sake. They are either looking for information or entertainment. If your website does not provide any of those two, then you need to improve on it.
- The interface needs to be user-friendly – This has a lot of influence on how users interact with your website or blog. The easy it is to find information on the website, the better. The website or blog needs to be structured and organized in a way that users can easily navigate without any difficulty.
- Fast loading time – this speaks for itself. If users have to click and wait for a long time to get the information they need, you will notice that lesser people will visit the site. You also need to make sure that you optimize your website for mobile devices. Lots of people will be accessing your website from them.
Split-test the website itself
You can make changes to the structure and other features of the website such as:
Split-testing the incentives
This is also another important thing to experiment on as an affiliate marketer. The incentive is the reason(s) you give the visitor to buy using your affiliate link instead of buying directly from the merchant or another affiliate marketer. This is most important when you are launching your blog or website. You could experiment with discounts, promo codes, access to webinars, etc. It all depends on your creativity. This could actually be what makes you stand out.
How do you monitor the activity on your site and know what and how visitors interact with it?
Google Analytics is one of the most important data sources for websites. It tells you everything about how users are interacting with your website. It shows you the activity level of all your pages so that you can use this information to know what to change or what to improve on. Fortunately, it does this job for free. It is very easy to use and understand. Here are some of the key states that Google Analytics gives you:
- Bounce Rate: this depicts the percentage of visitors that visit only a single page on your site. You should expect a high bounce percentage with your product reviews because visitors may be leaving through affiliate links. But you should be concerned if the bounce rate is high in pages you expect visitors to interact with such as the landing page. The bounce rate should be low there.
- Average session duration: You should want this value to be high because it shows you how long visitors stay on your site. If it is low, you can try other techniques and put out more engaging content.
- Affiliate link conversion: this value gives you are the idea of which pages are making you money and which ones are wasting it.
On-site surveys are also simple and good ways to get real visitor data. Try to keep the questions short so that visitors will not be bored and answer the questions. Sincerely. Note that your ultimate goal is to get useful information that you can use to improve your site. So, you should use split testing to information provided by users to see how it does.
These are tests you ask the visitor some questions as they navigate through your site. There are two types of usability testing which are moderated and unmoderated:
- The unmoderated is the most common one where you use a tool such as UserTesting.com to set up a test for your visitors. You can also set up demographic filters. This often produces results in a short period of time. It usually comes with a cost
- The moderated one entails that you print out some questions and get someone to answer them sitting next to you or on skype. Later, you should ask the person to go to your site and ask them the questions again. This time, noting their answers and their activities on the site.
Once you have gotten the ideas, you now need to use them for split-testing. Here are some tools that will help you in this regard:
- Visual Website Optimizer - $49 per month
- Convert - $69 per month
- A/B Tasty - $34 per month
- Marketizator – free for up to 10000 visitors
- Google Experiments - free but permits you only to test organic traffic
Testing your content plays a very important role in the way visitors interact with your site. If you have a very high bounce rate, then you need to check your content. Maybe it is not interesting or engaging enough for the visitors. If you were using only text, trying mixing the text with videos to see how visitors will interact with it. Also, you can try changing the amount of content you put out. You can increase or decrease it and see how the visitors will react to it.
Split-testing the source of your leads
The lead sources are very important for the affiliate marketer because it is where you get your traffic from. Many affiliate marketers just find one strategy for getting traffic and stick to it. while this may work for some time, it is not advisable to do it long term. We live in a digital world today, and the internet is rapidly expanding and give us new opportunities. There are lots of other traffic sources nowadays. Here are some examples: Facebook, Twitter, Google AdWords, CPV ad networks, MSN/Yahoo/Bing, Email, JVs, etc. You can split-test a mixture of these sources to see the results. Also, do compare not only the absolute conversion numbers but also the cost of the traffic relative to the conversion.
What to split-test if you do affiliate marketing without a website
First, check our guide on how to do affiliate marketing without a website, and then optimize it.
Split-testing your Ads
The next thing you should split test is the call-to-action or ad that is presented to your visitors. The ad is very sensitive so you should treat it with care. Here are some examples:
- You need to split test the headline of the ad to see which one does better.
- Split-testing the body of the ad can also produce various results. So, you can try various variants and see the outcomes.
- You can also experiment with the call-to-action. For example, “learn more” vs. “Click here” or “Get instant access” vs. “Buy now”.
Split-testing the landing page
The landing page is where all the magic happens, so you need to make sure you are using the variant that produces the best result. These are some things you need to test on your landing page:
- The Headline: the headline should be able to captivate readers and make them want to know more about what is on your page. So, you need to make different variants and see which ones work best.
- The page format: you can experiment this the amount of text or video on the page.
- Colors: different colors have been proven to trigger different reactions from visitors. You need to test them and see the one that produces the best results.
- The trust seals: these are the seals on your page that lets the visitor know that you can be trusted. If they trust you, then you get better conversion rates. Experiment with the trust seals to see which one yields better results.
Split-testing the traffic source
Many affiliate marketers turn to forget that we are in the age of digital marketing and many platforms are out there to help affiliate marketer reach their clients. You can experiment on different platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, reddit, etc. Do not just stick to one because you are comfortable there. Try mixing a few to see the results.
Split-testing your Call-to-action
The call-to-action is very important in your marketing strategy. You can test different variants to see how they perform. You need to make the CTA very enticing that the visitors will find it hard to resist.
What to do with the results?
The results of the tests will give you a better idea of how to move forward with your promotions. If the results are positive, then you need to make the necessary changes that produced positive results. But if they were negative, then you need to change the whole idea and think of something new.
We hope that this article was able to give you the information on split-testing. Share it with others who need such information.
We appreciate your ideas and comments, and we are ready to answer all of your questions regarding this topic.
Share the article
Read. Learn. Do. Earn more money on Affiliate Marketing