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A/B testing is a technique that our marketing team uses to compare two versions of a marketing campaign and determine which one is more effective in achieving our campaign goals.

You’ve probably heard it referred to as split testing. 

AB and vertical testing

This technique has gained popularity in recent years because it’s proven to be highly effective in improving website conversion rates, lead generation, and increasing revenue. 

In this article, we’ll explore the basics of A/B and vertical testing and how they can be used to optimize your lead generation campaigns. 

A/B Testing

As mentioned, A/B testing is the process of comparing two versions of a marketing campaign against each other to determine which one performs better. Let’s see how this process can benefit your business:

1. A/B testing helps businesses make informed decisions based on hard data. 

AB Testing Process

According to Enterprise Apps Today, 70% of companies that use A/B testing see increased conversion rates, with 16% of companies seeing a conversion rate increase of 20% or more.

By trying out different versions of their marketing campaigns, businesses can identify which version performs better and make changes to maximize growth.

Using this method, businesses can make decisions based on facts rather than intuition or guesswork.

2. A/B testing helps businesses to optimize their websites and marketing campaigns. 

Create the Research Document

According to Finances Online, 62% of companies use A/B testing to optimize their landing pages and ad copy.

By testing different elements of a web page, like the headline, images, and call-to-action, businesses can identify which elements are most effective in driving conversions.

This data can then be used to create a more effective web page that is optimized for conversion.

By repeating the process of testing and optimizing, businesses can improve the effectiveness of their marketing efforts over time.

3. A/B testing helps businesses to understand their audience better.

AB testing helps businesses to understand their audience better

A/B testing can be used to test different user experiences for the different sections of a target audience. 

By better understanding their customers, businesses can better personalize the user experience on their website.

This will improve overall engagement with different members of a target audience and improve conversion rates. 

Let’s take a look at an example: 

For a moment, imagine that you run an e-commerce website. In an effort to drive conversions, you test different versions of your checkout process for new vs. returning customers.

ecommerce website conversion

The new customer checkout process includes more information on the product/brand, benefits, and social proof. The returning customer process is more straightforward. It makes it easy to check out quickly, as the returning customer already has established trust and is familiar with your brand. 

By segmenting your website in this way, you create a more personalized user experience that is tailored to the needs of each customer, creating a higher level of engagement.

Vertical Testing

Now that we’ve gone over the fundamentals of A/B testing, let’s see how we can apply them to your lead generation campaigns.

At Lifted Metrics, we run lead gen campaigns by utilizing a specialized technique called vertical testing. It’s a process that involves two major steps:

Generate Leads Using Vertical Testing

1. Researching to identify relevant search verticals (or keywords).

2. Creating a funnel that resonates with the search intent of each vertical.  

In this section, we’ll break down all the steps of how our company runs effective lead-generation campaigns by testing these search verticals and using them to boost conversion rates. 

Step 1: Create the Research Document

Tools Needed: Google Ad Account, Google Keyword Planner, Google Sheets

To begin, we use Google Keyword Planner to create a list of potential keywords related to our lead gen campaign. For each keyword, we take note of the two major insights from Google Keyword Planner:

Search volume
Average cost per click (CPC)

This information helps identify relevant search verticals that are worth targeting.

AB testing helps businesses to understand their audience better

Once we have gathered all of the information obtained from Google Keyword Planner, we organize it into relevant verticals within a research document in Google Sheets.

Each should have a separate tab or sheet, and each sheet should lay out the relevant keywords side by side with the following three columns:

  • Keyword: column lists the keywords that are relevant to the vertical.
  • Search Volume: This column lists the search volume for each keyword.
  • Average CPC: This column lists each keyword’s average cost per click.

By organizing the keywords into relevant verticals, we can easily identify which search verticals have the most potential for lead generation. We will bring this research document to our client, and it will serve as the foundation for creating our funnel.

Step 2: Collaborate with the Client

After creating the research document, the next step is to collaborate with the client.

Create the Research Document

First, we share the research document with the client and go through each vertical together. This serves as an opportunity to gather more insight from the client about their business, target audience, and marketing goals.

Second, we mark irrelevant verticals in red and leave comments to explain why. This ensures that there is no confusion later on and that everyone is on the same page about which verticals are worth targeting.

Third, we identify the “low-hanging fruit”, which is the best place to start marketing. To find the “low-hanging fruit,” we look for a vertical that has: 

  • High relevance to the offer we’re promoting
  • High search volume
  • Low CPC

The first vertical we identify will have the most potential for generating leads.

Collaborating with the client is key. In this step, we make sure that everyone’s marketing goals are aligned before we begin to build our marketing funnel. 

Step 3: Build the Funnel

How to Increase PPC Conversions The Right Way

After identifying the relevant search verticals with the client, the next step is to build a funnel that resonates with the search intent of that vertical.

We experiment with different bid type strategies, ad copy, keyword exclusions, negative keyword exclusions, and landing pages. The goal is to find the combination of elements that resonates best with the search intent of the vertical and drives the most conversions.

We use tools like Microsoft Clarity to gather information on user behavior on the landing page. Microsoft Clarity provides insights into how users interact with the page, including click patterns, scroll depth, and session recordings.

We make changes to the landing page based on the data gathered from Microsoft Clarity. For example, if users are not clicking on a particular button or link, the team may decide to move it to a more prominent location on the page.

By experimenting with different elements and gathering data on user behavior, our team can create a funnel that is optimized for conversion. 

While this step requires a lot of trial and error, it’s essential for the team to find the combination of elements that resonates best with the search intent of the vertical. Ultimately, our goal is to create a funnel that drives the most conversions and generates the most leads.

Step 4: Cycle Through Experiments

lead generation campaign cycle

Still, many lead-gen campaigns aren’t successful on the first go around. 

So, it’s important to cycle through different experiments until a campaign gains traction. These are the steps we take to cycle through experiments:

1. If a vertical is not working, we reduce the budget or shut it off altogether, and pivot to a new vertical. This ensures that time and resources are not wasted on a vertical that isn’t generating leads.

2. If a vertical is not working, we reduce the budget or shut it off altogether, and pivot to a new vertical. This ensures that time and resources are not wasted on a vertical that isn’t generating leads.

3. If a vertical is not working, we reduce the budget or shut it off altogether, and pivot to a new vertical. This ensures that time and resources are not wasted on a vertical that isn’t generating leads.

Step 5: Scale the Campaign

Step 4_ Cycle Through Experiments

Once we find a campaign that works, we scale it.

We get more precise with experiments and increase the budget. By increasing the budget, the team can reach a wider audience and generate more leads.

We monitor the performance of the campaign closely. If the campaign stops performing, don’t lose momentum. Instead, pivot to a new vertical and start the process all over again.

We continue to cycle through experiments and optimize the funnel for each vertical. This ensures that the campaign remains effective and generates leads consistently.

Final Thoughts

Heat Maps for Conversion Optimization

Vertical testing has always been an effective way for us to run lead-generation campaigns.

By identifying relevant search verticals, building funnels that resonate with the search intent, and optimizing our ad account and landing pages, we can improve conversion rates across the board. 

At Lifted Metrics, we use vertical testing to find the campaigns that really work and scale them to drive growth for our clients.

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