Aside from content creation, testing and tracking are among the most important responsibilities of Internet marketing professionals. Marketers should be constantly testing, analyzing and adjusting their marketing programs to determine which strategies are performing well. Knowing which web pages are leading to sales and which aren’t can allow marketers to pinpoint areas of success and use those methods elsewhere throughout their online efforts.
Below are five high-level aspects of Internet marketing that should always be tested.
Choose a few variations of subject lines, messages and offers in different email blasts and run a simple A/B test on small sections of the audience. Whichever subject, content and offers perform better can be sent to the remaining audience members to help verify effectiveness.
Test different types of social media posts, such as questions, links to content, images or polls to see which type of post receives the best response. It also helps to pay attention to how users respond on each individual social platform. If the Facebook fan base prefers to engage with different topics than Twitter followers, the two should receive varying content. Finally, test posts at various times of the day, and days of the week, to see which leads to more page views and comments.
In addition to testing various headlines, include a call-to-action (CTA) in each post. This could be a request for comments or link to a sales page or lead form. Test the wording of CTAs to see which phrases perform best.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Keyword testing is significant to SEO. Note which keywords are most pertinent to your brand and test variations of them when optimizing website content. Local businesses should also include variations of their geographic region.
Website and Landing Pages
Test the performance of different offers, messages and CTAs on these pages and note which options generate greater user response. For landing pages, also test different content and try varying the lengths of your lead forms.
Monitoring key performance indicators (KPI) will help Internet marketers gauge their progress toward marketing, sales and customer service goals. A KPI is quantifiable data used to measure performance relative to a goal. For example, if a marketer aims to increase website traffic by 40% over the course of a year, the main KPI would be the number of visitors their website receives in a day. The marketer will also want to know whether those were unique or repeat visitors, where they come from, how long they stayed on the site and whether they filled out a lead form or made any purchases.
In addition to visitor statistics, marketers should measure incoming links and their anchor text. Link measurements will reveal who is linking to the webpage and why, and which links are performing well. Also, experimenting with different website headlines will help reveal which attract readers and keep them on the page.
Of course, the ultimate goal of Internet marketing is to drive profitability. Successful and knowledgeable Internet marketers will know how each individual online business effort relates to profitability and return on investment. While this can end up becoming quite complicated, expertise in this field can be attained with a formal education, like an MBA in Marketing.