As a serious internet marketer it is essential that you keep your costs low and your profits high, in fact this is a core principle of any business. A more specific way to look at this from an internet marketing point of view is to increase your conversions while reducing the amount used to advertise.
If you are using paid advertising such as pay per click (Google AdWords, MSN Ad center, etc) your aim is to increase the click through rate (CTR) and in turn conversions, while reducing your cost per click (CPC). This therefore yields a higher return on investment, and so you make more money.
One of the most effective ways of optimizing your website or advertising campaign is to do split testing. Split testing is a form of continuous optimization and monetization, it involves creating two or more variations of your ad copy or website/landing page.
Here is a practical example; if we were running an AdWords campaign, and we decided to split test using two variations of the same ad text. However there would be a slight difference between the two, it may just be the headline that is different (or they could both be very different). AdWords gives you the option to rotate your ads evenly so that they all get roughly the same exposure to traffic. Using this method we can then let the two variations run for a week or so. Once the week is up its time to check the results. You will more often then not, see that one ad variation has outperformed the other. This is obvious when you compare which one has a higher click through rate (CTR). Based on this hard evidence we can now scrap the lower performing ad and replace it with a different one that has not been tested yet. This can be done continuously to improve CTR, reduce CPC and in turn reduce costs.
The same can also be done for a website/landing page using Google’s Website Optimizer software. This software allows you to display different versions of your home/landing page to visitors. You can customize what text, images, lay out, colors they see and much more. After creating two variations you can then simply refer to your analytical software to see which one has a lower bounce rate (the one that increases conversions or keeps visitors there longer). I personally use Google Analytics for this part of the optimization. Some of you may be thinking, ‘well most of my traffic is free natural traffic’. Its not really free is it? You are paying for your domain costs, your hosting costs, your server costs and maybe a lot more. Time is money and the better your conversions, the more money you save (and make).
The task of optimization is an on going one and a very necessary one at that too, so make sure you optimize everything you do with regards to Internet marketing. And split testing is the first step to lower costs and increased profits.