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Everything You Need to Know Before You Start A/B Testing #bigcitymarketinggroup

Do you think your website is performing to its full potential?

It’s frustrating if you’re not getting enough clicks and conversions on your website.

The layout of your page might be the issue.

Think about the goal of your website.

The layout of your website should match the goal for your website, depending on your business model.

For example, the main goal of an ecommerce site is to increase sales.

But the primary goal of a media or news platform may be to get users to click on advertisements.

The setup of your website needs to reflect your goal.

An ecommerce page will most likely get formatted differently than a news site.

What’s the best way to lay out the content on your website?

Use A/B testing to find the optimal configuration.

Here’s an example of how it works:

image1

The graphic above is a good depiction of how you would use and analyze A/B testing, which is also referred to as split testing.

It’s a simple concept.

Half of your visitors will get directed to one version of the website, variation A.

The other half will be sent to another version of your site, variation B.

Then, you can determine which layout helps you achieve your goal better.

In the example above, variation A has a 23% conversion rate, while variation B only has an 11% conversion rate.

Variation A is the clear winner of this split test.

Again, the concept isn’t difficult to understand.

But applying this model to your website can be tricky if you don’t do it the right way.

If it’s your first time doing an A/B test or your last attempt was unsuccessful, don’t worry.

I’ll tell you everything you need to know before you start A/B testing.

Set a clear goal for your testing procedure

Here’s a visual representation of what your procedure should look like:

image4

The first thing you need to do is determine which conversion to improve.

Don’t change every aspect of your website.

That’s an ineffective approach and won’t give you measurable results.

Instead, make an alteration to something specific that’s related to your goal.

If you’re unsure where to start, here are some examples of different components you can change on your website:

  • the headline
  • subheadings
  • your call-to-action buttons
  • links
  • text
  • awards and mentions in the media
  • testimonials and social proof
  • images
  • videos
  • advertisements

These are just some basic suggestions to get you brainstorming.

All these components can affect the behavior and actions of your visitors.

Ultimately, these actions can impact your conversions.

Once you set a goal, you can form a hypothesis to test to determine whether that solution will help you reach those goals.

For example, let’s say your goal is to increase conversions.

Your hypothesis is that increasing the size of your call-to-action button and making it more prominent on your homepage will increase conversion rates.

Then you devise a split test to test that hypothesis.

Here’s an example from Yuppiechef:

image3

Yuppiechef hypothesized that their website users were too distracted by their navigation menu.

They thought that visitors had too many options to click, so they weren’t selecting the CTA button.

What did they do?

Yuppiechef removed the navigation bar for their variation page of the A/B test.

The test layout resulted in a 100% increase in their conversions.

Highrise used A/B testing to test a hypothesis about the header on their homepage:

image2

Altering this heading increased clicks by 30%.

To sum up the process:

  • set a goal
  • come up with a hypothesis (what elements should I change to try to achieve this goal?)
  • run an A/B test
  • analyze the results

If you change too many components of your website, it will be extremely difficult to accurately test your hypothesis.

Select a platform to run your A/B tests

Okay.

You’ve got a goal and a hypothesis.

But how do you implement these tests on your website?

Not everyone who operates a website is a computer engineer or programmer.

Fortunately, you don’t need to be either to run an A/B test.

There are plenty of tools and resources that can help you do that.

Here are some places to start.

Google Analytics has an A/B test feature.

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I use Google Analytics to get actionable data from my websites.

If you’re already using other features of Google Analytics and you’re comfortable using this platform, I think it’s a great place for you to start.

You can also try:

  • multivariate tests
  • redirect tests

Both of these are options through Google Analytics.

Multivariate tests let you change multiple elements of your web pages.

Redirect tests are also known as split URL tests.

These are great for testing different landing pages.

Google Analytics gives you organized and detailed reports from your experiments.

You can easily analyze this information to prove or disprove your hypothesis.

It’s also free to use, which is always an added bonus.

The Five Second Test is another platform you can try.

image10

It’s super easy to test the design elements of your homepage, logos, and landing pages with this service.

You’ll discover what your website visitors like and don’t like about your page.

You can run:

  • click tests
  • performance tests
  • navigation flow tests
  • A/B tests

It’s a great resource to test the call to action on your landing pages.

Five Second Test also has some free plans to choose from.

Optimizely also offers A/B testing.

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Like with Google Analytics, you can run multivariate tests in addition to A/B tests with Optimizely.

It’s easy for you to edit and change virtually every element of your website’s design.

You do need to sign up for a paid subscription to use their platform.

However, Optimizely offers you a free 30-day trial to check out their software—you don’t need to commit to a subscription right away.

Optimizely generates a line of code for you to insert into your HTML.

It’s easy to follow their instructions, and you’ll see results based on your testing in real time.

If you have a mobile application, Optimizely allows you to run experiments on your app as well.

Unbounce is another popular choice for A/B testing.

image11

Here’s what they offer.

You can build a landing page with high conversion rates.

Integrate your analytics, marketing automation, CRM tools, or email campaigns with their software.

Their A/B testing lets you optimize conversions, converting traffic into leads and sales.

I like their drag-and-drop format to customize your website.

This feature makes it easy to make changes to your A/B tests.

It’s another paid subscription software.

Their packages start at $ 79 per month.

If you’re on the fence about which software to use for your A/B experiments, I would definitely recommend trying one of the options we just discussed:

  • Google Analytics
  • Five Second Test
  • Optimizely
  • Unbounce

These are all easy to use, regardless of your goals.

Understand the statistics behind your data

All right, as I said before, your A/B test will help you test your hypothesis.

Once you have the results, you’ll need to make sense of them.

This is a basic statistical experiment.

If you slept through your high school or college statistics course, I’ll give you a quick refresher so you can effectively interpret and analyze the results.

Here are some basic terms to get familiar with:

  • mean
  • variance
  • sampling

The mean is an average value of something.

Variance measures the average variability of your results.

The higher the variability, the less accurate your mean (or average) will be for the experiment.

You can use an A/A test to detect any natural variance on your website.

Here’s an example of A/A testing to determine the variance.

image7

The two homepages above are identical.

However, the one on the right had 15% more conversions.

You can do the same on your website by splitting the traffic between two identical pages.

It’s important to know this information before you start the A/B test.

Here’s why.

Let’s say the A/B test yields a 15% higher conversion rate for the page you’re testing.

Well, if your natural variance is already 15%, the A/B is inconclusive.

If you don’t know your variance from the A/A test, it could potentially give you a false positive result when you run the A/B test.

Your sample size is also important.

There’s no fixed number of visitors you need to get or set number of days you need to run your test for.

Continue your A/B test for as long as you have to.

Here’s an example of some results you may see after a couple of days:

image5

At first glance, it appears that your variation was unsuccessful.

But your sample size isn’t large enough yet.

Here are the results of that same test two weeks later:

image6

Sure, you want to stay on top of your data so you can measure the outcome.

But don’t do this too soon.

If you ended your test after the first couple of days, you would have missed out on all this additional information.

After running the test for two weeks, you can see there was a 25.18% improvement in the variation of your control page.

It’s statistics 101.

Yes, I know you’re excited to see the results so you can come up with a finalized page.

Rushing won’t help.

Take your time so you can get accurate results.

Conclusion

If you want to start A/B-testing your website, that’s great.

It’s an effective method to figure out what changes you need to make to your website to achieve your goal.

Want to improve conversions?

Maybe changing the color scheme, button size, or button placement can impact the results.

A/B testing is the best way to figure this out.

But make sure you keep everything we discussed in mind before you dive into this.

First, you need to set a goal.

The goal should be actionable, measureable, and realistic.

Next, set a hypothesis for your goal.

For example, if you’re an ecommerce company, you’ll want to increase your checkout rates.

image8

Look at the graphic above.

What elements of your website can you change to minimize cart abandonment?

If your checkout process is too long or complicated, try a variation page with a simpler checkout procedure.

Test the hypothesis.

Earlier we looked at an example where a website eliminated a navigation bar for its A/B test.

This minimized clutter and brought the attention of their visitors to the CTA button.

Analyze the results.

Was your hypothesis correct?

In order to effectively and accurately measure your data, you need to understand the basic statistical concepts we talked about:

  • mean
  • variation
  • sample

You should consider running an A/A test before you start your A/B testing procedure.

The A/A test will help you determine your natural variance to avoid getting a false positive from your experiment.

There are lots of great tools you can use to run A/B tests.

With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to find the best one.

I recommend starting with one of the choices I mentioned:

  • Google Analytics
  • Five Second Test
  • Optimizely
  • Unbounce

These platforms are a great starting point.

Their analytics tools will make it much easier for you to interpret the results of your test.

Do not rush. Give it some time before you jump to conclusions.

Make sure you get a large enough sample size before you draw conclusions about your hypothesis.

What aspect of your homepage will you change to test a hypothesis and increase your conversions?


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Paid Surveys – Joining Forums in Order to Know and Learn More About Paid Surveys

Finding good, legitimate paid survey sites and getting tips on how to earn more is great but where can you ask for information? The answer is not through searching it on Google or any other search engines but through forums. Forums are the ultimate places for learning and doing it like the pro. If you are conducting a research about paid surveys, forums are one of the places that you could turn to.

Most of us turn to search engines the moment we cannot find an answer to something that needs to be answered. Of course, when you are looking for the best paid survey sites, you would no doubt turn to search engines as well which is wrong. The problem with search engines is that they list out everything they could search that has the keyword “paid survey” so the chances of illegitimate sites popping out on the search is big. This is why you need to forget about search engines and join forums instead.

Forums are places where you will get to know members who share their experiences, whether bad or good, on the said topic which is paid surveys. You can also ask questions pertaining to paid surveys. You will meet experts who have been in the field for a very long time and know every little bit of secret to earning the top bucks in paid surveys. It will also make your life easier because you will get a list of the sites that are not legitimate which you can avoid when you encounter them. Paid survey experts who are members of these forums usually blog about their experiences so you can ask them to give you their blog so you can further read up on their experiences on how they made it to the top.

Another good thing about forums is that it is heavily guarded by moderators who maintain the cleanliness and orderliness of the site. Any misbehaving or dishonest person is thrown out of the forum. Forums also forbid spam, link displays, personal message call outs, etc that will help in avoiding rule breakers and miscreants who are likely to direct you to illegitimate sites.

With forums, you are rest assured that the information that you get is completely honest and true.

Here is a free Top 5 List of Paid Survey Sites to Answer Surveys, paying -5 for each survey taken.

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14 Advanced SEO Tactics That Your Competition Doesn’t Know About #bigcitymarketinggroup

Believe it or not, SEO is still an ultra-powerful tool in 2016.

I posted recently that SEO isn’t dead—far from it. If Google is still taking it seriously after all these years, you should too.

In fact, SEO might be more powerful than ever, and for one simple reason: Most sites are neglecting their SEO.

A lot of people have convinced themselves that SEO isn’t worth pursuing. Others tell themselves it shouldn’t be a priority.

It’s an easy mistake to make, and believe me, I’ve been there. I wasted time not taking SEO seriously, and it hurt me.

What does that mean for you? If you pay attention to your SEO, you’ll see real results. It might take some time, but it’ll be worth every second.

And it doesn’t hurt to be in the know. If you do some simple research on little-known SEO techniques, you’ll be miles ahead of your competition.

To get you started on the path to SEO mastery, here’s a list of 14 advanced SEO tactics your competition doesn’t know about.

1. Expand your presence

You’ve heard the saying “don’t put all your eggs into one basket.” That’s true for SEO, but so many people still focus on only one or two aspects of SEO.

For this tactic, you’ll concentrate on becoming more visible across multiple platforms.

One way is to create as many social media profiles as possible for your brand. In short, you need to be actively involved on as many networks as possible.

And don’t skip some channels because you think they’re unpopular. For example, you might not include Foursquare or Periscope in your current social media strategy, but if you do utilize them, you can reach an audience you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

Think of this technique as marking your territory. Your SEO will organically improve because you’ll be in more places. It’s a simple yet powerful strategy you can start using today.

2. Create a mobile app

You probably think I’m crazy, but hear me out: creating a mobile app can help bolster your SEO.

Granted, this is a rather expensive option, but it’s also an investment.

How exactly can an app boost your SEO? Google is now indexing apps on Google search with Firebase App Indexing.

When people are searching for keywords in your niche, they could find your app, and that creates some juicy SEO.

For example, when you search “reserve a restaurant” on Google, you’ll find an app on page one:

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When your app pops up on a Google search, it automatically becomes a valuable resource.

But back to the main point—you can see the benefits of having a high-ranking app on Google. Yes, it’s costly, but it’s so worth it.

3. Fix any crawl errors

According to Google, URL errors are “specific errors Google encountered when trying to crawl specific desktop or phone pages.” Some common examples are 404, DNS, and server errors.

image00

While these errors seem harmless, they have a big impact on your SEO. If you have any crawl errors, your SEO is hurting.

But don’t worry—crawl errors often have simple fixes. I highly recommend checking out Moz’s awesome article on fixing crawl errors.

4. Optimize your images

If you haven’t been optimizing your images for SEO, start now—there’s no time like the present.

And if your site is especially image-heavy, you need to put the extra work in here. As a result, you’ll get a faster-loading more SEO-friendly site.

Here are a few easy ways you can enhance your images’ SEO:

  • Give your images specific names (e.g., traffic-analysis-graph.jpg)
  • Give your images keyword-rich alt titles (but don’t go overboard!)
  • Use the smallest possible file sizes (but don’t sacrifice the quality)

5. Use latent semantic indexing (LSI)

Although latent semantic indexing (LSI) is very powerful, not very many sites are using it. And that’s a shame because LSI can give your site a serious SEO boost.

LSI is the process search engines use to find related keywords in addition to your main keywords. In other words, LSI finds synonyms for keywords.

For example, if you’re writing an article about Facebook, you’d include “social media network” as an LSI keyword.

Let’s take a look at LSI in action. When you Google “buy new laptop,” one of the first pages that pops up is this TechRadar post:

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Right away, you can see that “best laptops” is one of the post’s keywords.

You can see other keywords and phrases sprinkled throughout such as “budget” and “affordable.” And sure enough, when you Google “budget laptop” and “affordable laptop,” the post appears on page 1.

This article is a great example of how LSI can improve your SEO. Take it for a spin, and you’ll see just how effective it can be.

6. Optimize your landing pages

When you create your landing pages, are you thinking about SEO? If you’re not, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

You’ll be driving tons of traffic to your landing pages, but if they’re not SEO optimized, you’re doing yourself a major disservice.

Let’s take a look at a landing page from Copyblogger that I analyzed on NeilPatel.com:

image05

Copyblogger’s landing pages perform so well only because the team put a lot of work into them. Here’s how you can do the same:

  • use one or two long-tail keywords to write your landing page;
  • make sure your copy is at least 2,000 words long;
  • make sure your copy is strong, clear, and relevant to your audience.

It’s not rocket science, but it does take effort. Put in the effort now, and reap the rewards later.

7. Spy on your competitors’ keywords

This is a sneaky trick that will put you way ahead of your competition.

By spying on your competitors’ keywords, you can see exactly what you’re up against and compare your own performance to that of your competition’s.

You can use SEMrush to easily find keywords. This is a crazy useful tool, and it’s free!

Enter the site of your choice (e.g., quicksprout.com), and you’ll see something like this:

image02

You can see the top organic keywords, their volume, and traffic amount. But I especially like that you can see a site’s main organic competitors as well.

If you scroll down, you can also see the top paid keywords and competitors. And if you need more detail, just click on “View full report.”

Don’t forget to enter your own site on SEMrush. Like I said, it’s a crazy useful tool, and you should use it regularly.

8. Fix your broken links

I use a lot of links in my blog posts. Unfortunately, linking isn’t a set-and-forget process. What’s new today is old tomorrow, and some links you use may die in the future.

If your site has lots of broken links, search engines will view your site as less accessible. That’s why you need to make sure all of your links, both internal and external, are alive and healthy.

I like using SEO Spider by Screaming Frog to check for broken links. Plus, it’s handy for a lot of other SEO areas.

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9. Sniff out unnecessary code

Code is good, but you know what they say about having too much of a good thing.

In this case, if your site has excess code, search engines will take longer to crawl your site, which is bad. On-page JavaScript and CSS are among the main offenders here.

Your code should be as lightweight as possible. This will also help your page load time, and a faster load time means better SEO.

10. Fix any errors in your code

Excess code is bad, but erroneous code is even worse.

Errors in your code will also cause search engines to take longer to crawl your site. Too many mistakes can signify that you have a poorly maintained site, which will cause your SEO to tank.

You can check for errors using W3’s markup and CSS validation services. Depending on the size of your site, it may take a while to fix the errors, but it’s well worth the effort.

11. Tell a story with your internal link structure

This idea comes from Ben Oren of Search Engine Journal. He says that your link structure should tell a story. In other words, when you read your anchors consecutively, you should get a clear idea of your site’s theme.

When you’re creating your anchors, make an anchor story of your own. Link from your newer posts to your older posts, and make sure you’re following internal linking best practices.

12. Join question-and-answer sites

People are hungry for knowledge. That’s why so many people post on Q&A sites like Yahoo! Answers and Quora.

But there aren’t many answers out there. That’s where you come in.

The trick is to compose a thorough, well-written answer to someone’s question, preferably a question that doesn’t have many answers. You need to write the best answer possible and include links to your site when it’s relevant. (Don’t get spammy here!)

By doing this, you’re accomplishing two things at once. First, you’re helping the person asking. Second, you’re getting attention to your links, exposing them to countless readers. You’ll be seen as a valuable resource by the community, and people will be more likely to click your links.

13. Use infographics

Infographics pack a huge SEO punch. At Kissmetrics, we used infographics to generate over 2 million visitors and 41,142 backlinks. And our infographic strategy is still flourishing:

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For your infographics to be super powerful, you need two things: great design and great content. Don’t overlook the content when creating infographics. Lots of people do, and guess what? Their infographics don’t perform well.

I also recommend coupling your infographic with at least 2,000 words of high-quality content. That’s because Google won’t index the text on the infographic itself, so writing longform content will give you extra ranking power.

14. Consider making videos

Video marketing is relatively new, and it’s absolutely blowing up.

Marketing Land found that videos make up 62% of all Google searches. And it’s easier to get a video to rank on page 1 of Google than a site.

If you’re not making videos already, check out this post for more on enhancing your SEO using videos.

Conclusion

SEO is more alive than ever before.

If you want a thriving site in 2016 and beyond, you have to have a firm grasp of SEO principles. And if you go beyond the basics, it’s even better.

Need another reason to start taking SEO seriously? Here’s one: as SEO moves forward, many sites will stay in the past. They won’t pay attention to Google’s algorithm updates or the effect of mobile use on SEO.

But if you stay up-to-date with SEO, your site will improve by leaps and bounds while your competitors’ sites get left behind in the dust.

You can tell I’m a fan of SEO. That’s because I know the power of SEO. It’s not an outdated gimmick—it’s a long-term strategy with lasting benefits.

Put in the work to keep your SEO in tip-top shape. Trust me, it’s so worth it.

What’s your SEO strategy for out-hustling your competition?


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Know Facts About Coupon Promotion

Coupon promotions are ideal to pull in new customers. Normally, they offer new discounts or benefits for the customers who have the coupons. Naturally, this can be a very effective business strategy. This is why you need to pay special attention to this.

First of all, you have to mark the eligibility of having the coupons. At the same time, you have to mark the expiry date and whether the coupon can be combined with another one. However, you also have to decide whether the coupon will be applicable to specific products or in general. Finally, you have to state clearly whether the coupon will be only for online purchase, or for offline purchase or for both.

Once you have decided with the policies, it is time for you to make the announcement. This can be done though the blogs, email, twitter and any other medium. However, each announcement should include a log in link so that the users can access the coupon instantly. You can also make a pre-launch announcement where you can offer your affiliates incentives for using the links. You may go for a bonus payment for those affiliates who activate certain links. Remember, the coupon distribution is the most important factor to make your venture successful.

Well, if you are looking to drag in new customers, you have to make extra efforts. There, you have to go for effective marketing strategy, regular promotions and targeted emails and other such methods. This will earn you new customers. Also, you can go for the test coupons. Make sure, you seasonize them with necessity.

There are two major types of online coupons discount links and discount codes. In the discount code, the customer has to get a code placed in the website and that will enable the person to shop online. So, getting the code is important here. After selecting the item, the customer has to submit coupon code in a specific place and in return he or she will get the discount. On, the other hand, the discount link leads the customer to a specific section of the website where the person will get discounts.

Also, the policies of the coupons changes as well. There are coupons effective only for a particular store. Again, there are coupons that can be produced at any chain of stores. There are coupons that can be saved for the next shopping. Whatever, the type of the coupon is, they save a lot of money for the customers. This is why they love it. In keeping to this demand, every type of stores starting from grocery to clothing, are coming up with coupon promotions.

Generally, the online coupons are applicable to one particular purchase; so they can not be used again and again. Also, they have an expiry date so that the vendors can not abuse it. The discount here is deducted from the total price. Though the customers will have to do a bit of research, they love to do that because of the profit they make of it.

Guna manages several e-commerce shops which offer coupon and promotional codes. He works for submitinme.com who provide Coupon distribution service. Submitinme.com offers unique and affordable seo services.