A/B Testing: Tracking Results Through Unique Domains

A/B Testing: Tracking Results Through Unique Domains

Do you remember the ad for Head-On? “Head-On–Apply directly to the forehead.” It likely qualifies among the top of the list for most annoying ads. But guess what? People remember it. And it is guaranteed that the process to choose that specific ad was a meticulously researched decision. A/B testing is creating several different ads, so that you can compare them. This first article will go over ways to test the results.

Tracking Sources

An old trick, when TV ads dominated the center of any marketing campaign, was to have several different phone lines, and for each type of ad or channel being used to have unique contact information for each ad. Originally it was numbers and P.O. boxes for each one. And eventually, starting in the mid 1990’s, having unique website names along with phone numbers became a tracking source.

Using One Website to Track Ads

Using a Subdomain to Track Unique Ad Interactions

Examples: ad1.tekrescue.com, ad2.tekrescue.com, ad3.tekrescue.com

Using subdomains makes people more likely to enter in the entire domain name as it is, compared to entering entire domain folders (tekrescue.com/example), so you can use one website for all of them. But instead of “ad1”, name it something related to what the advertisement is showcasing. For example, seo.tekrescue.com, search.tekrescue.com, or google.tekrescue.com. This way it isn’t implied that you have a huge amount of different ads because you’ve used “ad41” and avoided giving away how many ads there are.

Using Domain Folders To Track Analytics and Conversion

Examples: tekrescue.com/service1, tekrescue.com/service2 or tekrescue.com/searchcoupon, tekrescue.com/seocoupon

The reason that coupons are used here as one of the examples was that many readers will often ignore anything after the slash. So instead of example.com/free they will just remember “example.com” if they visit the site. But a coupon gives them a reason to go to the specific page you wanted them to visit.

Using Different Websites

Using different websites can be a great option to make sure you know the true source of web traffic. You can either have identical sites and just change the branding, or have each different domain redirect to your main business domain.

Using Identical Sites

The first method would be using “techdoctor.com, PCfix.com, and ComputerRescue.com,” having one for each ad, and each website is pretty much the same except for the title and branding. The customers would stay on that URL.

Using Redirects

The other option is having “codingking.com, webdev.com, and appbuilders.com,” but they all go to the same website. Either it redirects and they end up at tekrescue.com instead of what they typed, or they end up at tekrescue.com, but the browser reads “webdev.com” as the URL they entered.

What These Methods Achieve

The reason you use these different domains is so that each ad has a unique domain. That way you can take the guessing out of which ads work best. If one of your ads is proven as 200% more effective than the second most effective then you know to focus on that ad and similar ones. And it doesn’t just have to be online ads you track with this. You can also have domains and numbers for newspaper, radio, TV, and local ads with unique domains.

If you would like more information about tracking your marketing campaign results, contact tekRESCUE in San Marcos, TX.

conversion optimization, inbound marketing
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