The Importance of Testing Creative on the Web

The Importance of Testing Creative on the Web

Posted on December 13, 2016 Mary Merritt

These days, if I know I am going to present a design to a room full of marketing professionals, I make sure I have more than just a design to show them. I have charts, graphs, numbers, data, and insights ready to share. When you make your design decisions based off of data generated from your analytics programs and testing platforms, it's easier to explain why you did what you did. Of course, there are always compromises when it comes to sticking with standards and established visual branding. Let's just say that data really helps make decisions easier, especially when you are dealing with people like me (my husband always tells me that I am part Italian, part German and ALL stubborn).

For instance, right now we are running a test on our website. Yup, this very website that you are on. One of our most highly-trafficked pages is undergoing a simple experiment: We are testing a paragraph of text vs. a list of bullet points. I know it sounds silly, but the results of this test could shape the way we design text on all of our service pages (maybe not this test alone, but a series of tests in which this simple experiment is a part of). If people who visit that page convert higher and/or if the bounce rate goes down on the "bullet point" version of the landing page, then we know that version is the more digestible experience for our users. Muhahahahaha! Just so you know, maniacal laughing is often included with our testing packages.

The fun doesn't have to stop there, either. My favorite thing about testing is the fact that you can bring it into all of your digital marketing efforts. PPC, email marketing, affiliate marketing, re-targeting, social...everything. Here are some simple testing ideas that I would like to share with you today:

  • Test creative on your homepage: Which photograph works better? Which one should we use? Keep the marketing copy the same on the 'banner ad' (or whatever you want to call it) and simply change the photograph that lives in the background. Run a test where you serve 10% of your visitors a 50/50 split and see which photo causes more conversions.
  • Test copy on your homepage: Which TEXT works better? Do the same test as mentioned earlier, but simply switch the copy. Run the winning photograph with two different headlines pasted on them and see which one converts better.
  • Testing colors on call-to-actions: If you have a page with a call to action that happens to be a button, maybe you can test the color of the button? Again, I know that sounds silly, but I've seen it help.
  • Running a PPC campaign? Make two ads that are exactly the same in Google AdWords, and then change the landing page each ad is pointing to (have two versions of said landing page). This way, you aren't testing ad copy, but you are testing the performance of the conversion page.
  • These tests are especially fun to run on highly-trafficked websites.
  • Always make sure that you and your people all understand what a "WIN" truly is.

There are a few programs out there that you can start playing with. Things like Crazy Egg and Optimizely are awesome because they are cheap to get started, and they are a great introduction into how fun testing can really be! If you want to get crazy serious with us, contact the NERDS to hear about our different testing services. Remember, don't be surprised if our data presentations include maniacal laughing and diabolical action-driving ideas.