The Value of Testing
One of the most important aspects of affiliate marketing is testing. This allows you to know what works best for your particular website and gives you the warning signs that you are possibly going down the wrong route. Testing gives you the ability to build the optimal website on which every space is filled in the most profitable way.
It is vital that you have access to Real Time stats if you want to be able to test out your ideas. Most affiliate networks offer this feature for free, and there are plenty software packages on the market which will track this for you. In this way, you will be able to see straight away if the change you have made has had any benefit to your online business. Sometimes the crucial make break changes, do not immediately track a huge turn around of your business, but often there will be some hint which gives you the hope that you are moving in the right direction.
What exactly is testing? It can be as small as moving a banner from the top right hand corner to the top left. It can be as huge as rethinking your whole model of how you will get traffic to your site. It could simply mean you need to replace the campaigns you are currently running. Whether your goal is to get visitors to your site, give your visitors a wonderful time or it is to make money from every visitor that enters your site, testing will give you the tools to spot what is working and what needs to be rethought.
Let us look at an example. Trevor is running a website on Disney World. He joins an affiliate network and picks 3 offers which he will run on his Disney World website. They include an email submit campaign, a zip code campaign and a shopping site where his visitors can purchase Disney goods. He also puts a bit of adsense on the top and left hand side of his website. The rest of the site is filled with content and pictures. At these early stages of the website, Trevor already needs to start testing.
The first and most important goal for Trevor is to get traffic to his site. Without traffic, this website is as good as your personal hand written diary. Traffic encourages an excitement about your website and will ultimately make you money. There are hundreds if not thousands of different ways to get traffic to your site. Each feature you add or remove from your site, could change your daily ratio from 10 to 1 visitor or just as easily, from 10 to 10000 visitors. The beauty about testing is it never ends.
Once Trevor has sufficient traffic visiting and revisiting his site, he needs to work a way that encourages the visitors to stay and browse. Through informative articles or interesting campaigns, Trevor is now able to test what works for his visitors and what does not work. As Trevor gains knowledge in the power of testing, he will look for the hidden, less obvious changes to test. A good example of this, is the difference it can make whether the name of the website is displayed at the top middle, top left or top right of the page. The importance of this decision can have a significant impact on the amount of type–in-traffic Trevor will receive to his site.
One of the most important parts of affiliate marketing is testing. This allows the affiliates to know the impact of each new idea and determine whether every change made will benefit or improve their site. Testing hints or spells out exactly what works and what needs to be rethought. Thus, if you are interested in affiliate marketing, make it a goal to be interested in testing.
Testing is not restricted to websites. It is just as effective if you want to improve your mailers or blogs as well. Don’t hold back on testing, it is one of the most powerful tools for success, and vital if you want to succeed. From the moment you decide to build a website, start a mailing list or write a blog, testing each step can only be of benefit to you and help you succeed.