If you’ve ever watched a late-night infomercial, you might remember a man by the name of Ron Popeil. Ron is an American inventor and television personality who often showcased a number of products on his late-night infomercials. Perhaps one of Ron’s most popular catchphrases was “Set it, and forget it,” in reference to his line of rotisserie cookers. The premise is simple. Set the cooker with your meal of choice, and forget about the hassle of cooking until the meal was done. The marketing behind the message is brilliant: let the device do the work for you.
Digital advertising has given us an unprecedented look into how users interact with our ads, the content on our websites, our social posts, and so much more. The amount of data we can gather and use to effectively target seems to be endless. It’s because of this access to data, we, as marketers, need to be constantly vigilant—for our customers and for ourselves.
Set it and forget it tactics don’t work when it comes to digital ads or website design.
Say it with me one more time: Set it and forget it tactics don’t work.
True, measurable results happen when your marketing agency incorporates A/B testing into your digital advertising efforts. A/B testing allows us to gauge the user’s response: from the number of clicks an ad might produce to the time spent on a particular webpage to the final goal.
What is A/B Testing?
A/B testing is also known as split testing or bucket testing. Simply put, A/B is a method of comparing two versions of a digital ad, webpage, or app against each other to determine which one performs better. Basically, A/B testing is an experiment where two or more versions of a digital ad or webpage are shown to users at random. Then, we complete a statistical analysis using analytics to determine which version of the digital ad or webpage performs better for a specific conversion goal.
At RSA, we look for webpages or digital ads that are not performing well. We then analyze the data and pinpoint non-performing ads or webpages (e.g. webpages with high bounce rates or no goals being performed, digital ads with a high impression count but low click-through rate, etc.). A/B testing allows us to focus on those particular webpages or digital ads and test the changes we make until we learn what performs and helps increase our client’s goal.
Types of A/B Testing
A/B Split Testing – This is the simple testing of one element on a page or digital ad against another element to see which version results in better performance. These elements could be anything from color, type of image, the wording and content in an ad, placement of assets, fields in a form, etc.
Multiple-element A/B Testing – Multiple-element testing requires testing more than one element within a page or ad at a time. The goal is to get an idea of which elements work together on a page and plays the biggest role in achieving the goal or a conversion.
Unfortunately for Ron Popeil, we don’t believe in a set it and forget it mentality at RSA. We’re constantly crawling through website analytic data and the performance metrics of our digital ads. We do this to gain insight into how our ads are performing and use this information to make sure that the digital ads we’re running for our clients, and the webpages on our clients’ websites are performing at their peak ability.