Sunday, September 5, 2010
Tracking and Testing - the ONLY Way To Attract More Visitors
by Jim Edwards
Every serious online business owner eats, sleeps and breaths targeted traffic to their website. They spend the most money and time trying to attract first-time visitors to their sites in hopes of generating new sales and subscribers. But, believe it or not, it’s easier to increase your income by simply selling more of the visitors you already get than trying to chase down more traffic.
The solution? Tracking & testing! Probably the most overlooked and underutilized, but certainly the most powerful strategy for increasing sales and opt-in subscriptions. If you spend any time or money on advertising, you must start testing and tracking. Simply put, “tracking” means you measure the effectiveness of each individual advertising source you use to promote your business.
For example, if you advertise in email newsletters, you should know how effective each newsletter ad rates compared to all the others in terms of sales and subscribers generated. This enables you to know whether an ad makes or loses money. Testing means you constantly look for ways to improve your ads in small, incremental amounts that add up over time.
The most common (and effective) tests you can run are A-B split tests, which pit two variables against each other to determine which converts more lookers into buyers. Split testing headlines, price points, and guarantee periods make, from my experience, the best places to start testing.
The reason testing and tracking can double your profits (or more) lies in the power of small, incremental improvements. Lets say, for example, you decide to do a series of split tests on a website that currently converts 1 in every 100 visitors (1% conversion). You test, headline, price, guarantee and a payment plan. If each of the 4 tests yields a .25% increase in conversion, you would not see an increase in sales to 2% (4x.25%), but actually an increase to almost 2.5% since each improvement builds on the last!
The most basic tool in testing and tracking revolves around the use of advertising link tracker software. These tools measure the number of clicks on individual advertisements (text links, banners, pay-per-click ads, etc) and then measure sales or subscriptions generated as a result.
You get two choices with link trackers: a hosted service or software you install on your own server. A hosted service offers the advantage of easy setup and use. Most of the time you just sign up for the service, enter the link you want to track, get your tracking code, and you’re off to the races.
The disadvantage of a hosted service is that, if it gets abused, using the URL of the service in your links can get your emails blocked or your pages banned by search engines. The advantage of hosting the software on your own server is that you maintain a higher degree of technical control and can avoid the banning issues. The main disadvantage of hosting it yourself involves the fact that you really don’t have anyone to call for help if something goes wrong.
One of the most popular hosted link trackers online is HyperTracker.com, though I’ve not used the service. My favorite link tracker is actually part of an integrated e-commerce system at http://www.MysiteSales.com. This service enables you to track your sales and subscriptions made through the shopping cart.
Two options for software you install on your own server are Dynatracker.com and ProAnalyzer.com. Both provide decent link tracking, though no system I’ve tested provides 100% accurate results. But, with that said, failure to test means you’re leaving money on the table by wasting visitors you could otherwise convert to buyers with basic effort at improving your sales messages.
Copyright 2006 Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-creator of an amazing course that will teach you step-by-step and click-by-click how to get your own money-making videos posted online... "Finally! A Quick and Easy Way For YOU To Painlessly Create, Post and PROFIT From Your Own Money-Making Online Videos... Without Being a Computer Geek or Paying Outrageous Fees To A Webmaster!" => http://www.WebsiteVideoSecrets.com
Check out this One-Stop Ads, Visitors, Clicks, Actions & Sales Conversion Tracking / Split Testing Solution
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