Unit 2: Marketing Analytics
Part 4: Testing and Experimentation
Becoming an Authorpreneur Through Testing and Experimentation
First things first; I hope everyone had a 🎇 most excellent🎇 July 4th yesterday! I’m still at my in-laws as I type this post and send it off into the ether! I like being up before everyone else and getting a little work done. 👩🏻💻
Now, on with the good stuff! This post is about how to test your website performance.
We all know War and Peace wasn’t written in a day. Building a business doesn’t need to be as grueling as writing your masterpiece, but it shouldn’t be expected to happen overnight either without a good portion of trial and error. As an authorpreneur, you should continuously look for new areas to attract attention, grow your pool of readers, and convert interest into book sales. We have already been through different marketing tools and tactics in previous posts, and today we will look at the importance of testing and experimentation.
Basically, the idea is to always look at your main marketing techniques with a critical eye, searching for areas where you can significantly improve your reach. All throughout this article, we will use the epicenter of your activity, your landing page, to serve as testing grounds.
The first place of action will be to identify your objectives, then to set up different tests from your landing page, and finally to analyze the results of these tests. Your main aim is to work on your Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), converting visitors to readers, and readers to book sales. There are lots of different tests that you can create: the optimization and resharing of old blog posts, pushing the use of social media from your landing page as a tool to create awareness, changing a button on your landing page to make it more visible or enticing, even moving things around on your page to create a better look and feel. You can even create several landing pages, and leave them up for a certain length of time until you have gathered enough data that will tell you what is working and what isn’t.
Your landing page may look amazing to your eye, but have you optimized it correctly? Here are some good tips to make it really work for you: remember what attracted your viewer to your page in the first place (your work), and make sure your layout reflects that. Keep your layout and wording clear and concise, and don’t give your viewer too much work. Easy-to-read content, no clutter, a few important images, and accessible buttons and/or sign-up forms are all your friends – use them to your advantage!
Marketing Mojo has a very clear infographic on landing page design that I’d like to share:
Another important area to focus on is the exact tests that you will be performing. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with too much information; instead, you want to implement a few experiments that are going to give you what you need: the data to help with your CRO tactics. There are quite a few easy experiments you can do that will yield trackable data. Start off with using a social media share button where viewers get something in return for a tweet or a Facebook share. Create a follow-up email to thank customers for their purchase and give them the option to sign up for blog updates. Work on your submit buttons to see if the text and color bring you more leads. See if you can come up with a catchier landing page headline and copy, and refresh it every so often. Offer a more “personal” visit, using data from previous marketing tactics to pinpoint location, returning visitors, customer preferences… Everyone loves to feel a little special! Also, make sure your social media share buttons are always visible because if visitors are impressed they won’t hesitate to share!
All of these experiments are pretty easy to set up, and you can track all the data you need through your Google Analytics Dashboard. This Dashboard allows you to use your Analytics data to quickly identify areas of your site to improve upon. In addition, if you have a WordPress site, consider the Simple Page Tester plugin. If your site is built on Wix, click here for a link to their A/B testing instructions. If you need more ideas, please login and let me know in the AuthorpreneurLaunch Forum. Keep your eyes and ears open when you are surfing around for other simple tricks that can really help you boost your visitor numbers and convert those numbers into sales.
The thing about tests is that they only work if you have a sturdy plan (hypothesis), a way to collect and a way to analyze data in place. While your first step would have been to devise the hypothesis, the second to create the method, the third will be to ensure you can actually use the results of the experiment to your advantage. Each experiment should focus around a specific plan, with a beginning and an end, and all data should be identified, compiled and analyzed to provide you with a clear result. You can manage these experiments in all types of ways, depending on the size of your business, from analytics dashboards and spreadsheets, to case studies and customer examples. It all depends on what your main testing goals are in the first place!
As a budding authorpreneur it is very important to continue to look for new experiments that will help you grow your target reader pool, as well as finding new areas of readers that you hadn’t thought of approaching before. It can be as easy as slipping a Twitter share button onto your “Thank you” page, or even just changing a word in your landing page’s headline!
Growth Hacking Tip: Use Facebook lookalike audiences
Leverage the power of your email list by creating a Facebook lookalike audience. Using this hack you can target people with similar characteristics to your pre-existing email list on Facebook and Instagram.
Photo of the Week: Visiting our favorite summer spot & jumping for joy at Nathan’s Famous at Coney Island.🌭🌭🌭
Meal of the Week: PICADA SALAD & Fries at our fave lunch spot Cafe Zona Sur. 😋🥗🍟
Goat cheese, avocado, roasted yellow corn, sesame seeds, and romaine lettuce — mmm!
— Marquina (@Marquina) July 5, 2017
Also published on Medium.