An online content strategy is critical to ensure the success of any business. Without a content strategy, your business might as well be invisible. No one wants to put effort into their online presence just to be passed over.
Content has never been more important than right now. With so much content available online, if yours doesn’t draw people in immediately, you will lose them. And along with them goes your potential income.
There is a way that you can improve and optimize your content easily. You will also be able to find out what type of content strategies work for your clients and implement these strategies from now on. This information is invaluable to anyone who markets their business online.
When you test your content, you are taking your marketing seriously and growing your business online. Taking the plunge into A/B testing can bring your online business to new heights.
Our expert author on the topic is Alex Lysak from Scanteam. He guides you on how to test every element of your content.
Define Your Goals for A/B Testing
A content strategy and A/B testing may sound very technical. But if you break it down, it is split testing. You create two types of content that are related but test them in two different ways. There are a few things that even novices can implement to improve their content strategy.
Before you start testing, be clear on what your goals are. What do you hope to achieve by testing your content?
Is your goal to gain more traffic to your website or blog? Do you want to grow your mailing list? Do you want to raise your brand awareness? Or do you want people to buy items from your site? The answers to these questions depend on the type of site you have. Knowing your market is important, and what they want will make content testing easier for you.
Now, taking into account your goals and your market. Where do you even begin with testing? It may seem overwhelming, but this guide will help you through all the different areas of your site that you can test content.
Testing Your Content-Type
The type of content that you produce is subjective. There isn’t a single right way to create content, and you have to take your audience into account. When you are creating content, think about what your content is offering your market.
So how do you test your content type?
A/B testing the copywriting of your website greatly comes down to the length of your content. That makes the best way to test your content type by experimenting with different content lengths. Research shows that the ideal word count range for content is between 800 to 1500 words. This might not be true in every case, but it is a good place to start.
You can easily test which content length is best for your audience with A/B testing. All you do is write a longer piece of content, like a guide or longer blog post. As well as some easy-to-produce, shorter content. Then you analyze the results of each and see which length works best for your market.
Testing Your Headlines
Headlines are extremely important, as they are the first glimpse into your content. The quality and appeal of your headlines can be the difference between people sticking around to read your content or just passing by without a second look.
CoSchedule tested almost a million headlines, and their results were surprising. The main takeaway from this research was that headlines with an emotional quality got shared more often. So when you are deciding on headlines, make sure they appeal to the emotional side of your readers.
Remember your first headline will not necessarily be the best, even if you add an emotive quality. That is why you need to come up with a few. Then, through A/B multivariate testing, you can establish which one is the best to use.
Once you have a few options to test, you can send them to your live audience to see how they are received. A simple way to do this is by splitting your mailing list in half and sending the content with two different headlines to each group. Next, evaluate the results of your A/B testing metrics.
Testing Your Posting Frequency
This is one of the easier elements to test. Everyone is online at different times of the day. Learning what time your target audience is reading your content is valuable to your marketing strategy.
There are a few ways you can test your posting frequency:
- Testing what time your content is consumed.
- Testing what days they consume your content.
- Test the number of posts you create in a week or day.
A/B testing your posting frequency does not require much. But you have to keep your goals in mind throughout testing. Experiment making posts at different times, days, and frequencies per day. Then all you have to do is analyze the results to see what performed best.
To simplify this you can focus on each area one at a time. For example, the first test is focused on what time your content is most relevant to your audience.
Then once you have these results, you can move on to testing which day is the best for your audience. Do not exclude testing the weekend as well. Finally, you can test your audience’s response to increasing the number of posts in a day.
Testing Your Images
This is often an overlooked element when it comes to A/B testing. People don’t always realize the importance of good quality images and captions. If you haven’t looked into captions for your images yet, do so now, as it makes a big difference.
Make sure that you also test the images you use for your social media; and not just the images used on your website or blog. A/B testing with social media is a great way to get results for images. By posting images on social media, you can quickly see which types of images your audience interacts with the most.
Here are a few image optimization tips before deciding which one to test:
- Pick an interesting image.
- The image must apply to your content.
- Always use high-quality images.
Testing Your CTA’s
A call to action (CTA) is something we hear a lot about online marketing. But it is not always used optimally. Your call to action drives your reader to the next step in your sales funnel.
The most common CTA’s urge the readers to leave a comment, share the page or subscribe in some way. But there are many more options you can look at to make the best use of CTA’s. When writing and planning your CTA’s, make sure you keep your goals in mind. What is it you want the readers to do next?
Remember that call to action can and should appear in all of your content, including your social media, for optimum results. A/B testing your CTA’s can lead you to the call to action buttons that your audience responds to.
Testing Your Opt-In Forms
Your sign-up form, also known as the opt-in form, is another useful tool in your online marketing strategy. An opt-in form can give your readers a quick overview of your overall focus. It can also provide you with a great baseline to use for A/B testing of distinct elements of your material.
Finally, it also gives you another way to share your content and improve your online reach.
The first thing to test when setting up a sign-up form is the length of the form. Too many fields can put some people off, and they might leave your site without signing up. Too little information might also hurt your conversions.
Think carefully about what information you need from your audience when they sign up.
Remember, this list is important for the future growth of your business. Experiment with opt-in forms of different lengths to see which your audience prefers.
In testing your opt-in forms, you can also look at the position of your forms. Where are these forms located? Are they at the bottom of your page? Do they automatically pop up when a reader enters your site? Or are they in the sidebar?
Try putting your forms in these different places and monitor how they perform. Remember you do not want to add forms to all of these places at the same time. That will overwhelm your readers, and that may cause them to leave the site.
Try one week with the sign-up form at the bottom of the page. The next week, have it automatically come up. And so on, until you have enough results to know what works best for your consumer base.
Things to Bear in Mind When Testing Content
Below is a list of someA/B testing’s best practices to help you along the way:
- Don’t expect your content to be perfect right from the start. Always work to improve how you offer information to your audience.
- Do not test every element at the same time. This will just give you unclear results and headaches. Start with one element at a time.
- Testing your material is not a quick process. But the result can be invaluable to your marketing strategies.
- There are companies that specialize in testing content and can help you optimize your content.
What Does All This Mean?
Content testing can provide you with great marketing insight for your business. By testing all the elements of your material, you will know what works for your audience. This can save you a great deal of time, energy, and money when creating future content.
Start testing your content now to find out where you can do better for your business.
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