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Virtually all in-house marketers conduct tests of some kind to improve conversion rates, and they’re doing so more than ever, according to a study from Econsultancy and RedEye. Most commonly, marketers are carrying out tests on their websites, with 82% doing so this year, up from 71% in 2013.

Not far behind, 71% conduct tests on their landing pages, down slightly from a peak of 72% in 2015, but up from 59% in 2013. Most respondents likewise test their emails (64%, up from 60% in 2013) and paid search advertising (57%, up from 50%), though few are testing mobile apps (15%).

Agency respondents generally report similar patterns for their clients, saying they test websites and landing pages first and foremost. However, agencies were slightly more likely to say their clients test paid search ads than email.

For both in-house marketers and agencies, paid search testing seems to have gained steam this year. Not surprisingly, PPC advertisers on both the agency and brand side separately report that conversion rate optimization is one of their most important aspects of the digital marketing industry this year.

Which Parts of Their Websites Are Marketers Testing?

Aligning with the general trend for more testing, more marketers this year are testing various parts of their websites than were in 2013, though not necessarily at peak levels for all areas.

Once again, respondents are most apt to be testing their call-to-action buttons, with 82% doing so this year. Page layout (77%) is again the second-most tested website area, followed by copy (69%).

This year sees the largest proportion of the past 5 years testing navigation (68%), while the share testing images (51%), checkout process (51%) and promotions and offers (41%) has dipped slightly.

Search functionality is becoming a more popular area of testing: 39% this year report testing their site search, up from 32% just a couple of years ago. Site search optimization can be particularly important for retailers: research has shown that online shoppers find search to be the most important factor in a great digital user experience. In fact, almost three-quarters of US consumers report being likely to leave a retail site that doesn’t provide good search results, with fewer than 1 in 5 likely to return to such a site.

Meanwhile, half of both in-house marketers and agency respondents conduct at least 3 A/B or multivariate tests per month, with most getting their ideas for testing from analytics and user research, per the report.

The majority of corporate marketers conduct usability tests on their desktop and mobile websites as well as their mobile apps. But while 7 in 10 or more conduct A/B tests on tablets, mobile websites and desktop websites, only 42% do so on their mobile apps.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of more than 800 respondents, two-thirds of whom work for client-side organizations and the remaining third on the supply side (vendors, agencies or consultants). Some 76% of client-side respondents are based in the UK (60%) or Europe (non-UK; 16%), and 64% come from companies with at least £10 million in annual revenues.

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