It’s amazing to me that after writing about Split Testing so many different times on this blog, that I still receive email’s daily asking me the best methods for split testing, different ways of split testing, which options work best, etc.
If you’ve ever spoken to me via social media sites or via Instant Messaging for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m not the type of person to say one method is better than the other. Unfortunately in this business, certain methods work for some people, while completely different methods work for others. There is no clear cut solution or any clear cut path to follow in order to succeed in affiliate marketing.
However, I received an email about two weeks ago with a very specific question about split testing. I responded to the person with the same advice I’m about to talk about in this blog post. The email asked…
I know split testing is important, in fact, from what I understand it may be the single most important aspect I can do in affiliate marketing to influence the scaling process of my campaigns. However, I’ve seen several methods for split testing and I was wondering which method worked best. Some sites I’ve read say that you should split test two versions of whatever your testing at the same time, while others suggest split testing one type one day and then another the next day. Which method do you feel would have the greatest impact on my split testing efforts?
Now, when I started split testing, I always used the A/B method of split testing which means that you split test two variations at the exact same time giving both equal exposure. In fact, it’s not something I have even really thought about thus my reason for never writing a blog post about it before now. However, after thinking about it, I felt that it was worthy of a blog post because I do believe there is a very clear cut way of doing it that will yield the best results!
The other, most common, method you see affiliates use is the AB split testing method. The only difference between the two is that with the A/B method you are split testing both things at the same exact time giving them both equal exposure. With the AB method you are split testing them at different times, or days. For example, you may split test a landing page on Monday, document the results, and then put up a new landing page on Tuesday, compare the results and pick the best one.
The downside with the AB split testing model is that unfortunately data can be very different on different days and even on the same day but morning vs. evening. Some campaigns do really well during the evenings, but horrible during the mornings, if you are running one page in the morning and one in the evening, your better landing page may actually be the one that you are running in the mornings but because conversions suck for your niche in the mornings, it looks like your landing page doesn’t do well at all.
However, if you are using the A/B method you know that both items you are split testing are getting the same exact data. They are sharing visitors equally and both are being displayed both in the morning, afternoon, and evening. This insures that you aren’t receiving data that is skewed because of changes in the visitors you receive throughout the day.
Now, as I said in the opening paragraphs of this blog post, not every method works best for everyone. There is one other method that I’ve found works decent and that is the ABAB method.
This works just like the AB method, but there is one major difference. You split test landing page one on Monday, then landing page two on Tuesday, however, you then continue on giving each one more time. So you’d split test landing page one on Wednesday for the second time, and then split test landing page two on Thursday for a second time.
Personally I still don’t believe this is the best method and when compared with the A/B split testing method, I’m not sure why you’d choose it, however, there are some that believe that the ABAB method is the best choice. In fact, it is a common way of split testing in other fields like Pyschology. These fields use the ABAB method for most experiments.
Ultimately the choice is yours, however, I’d highly recommend going with the A/B method or at the very least the ABAB method. Using the AB method is in my opinion simply being lazy and it will impact your business in a very negative way!