Nothing like a little A/B Split testing to see which of your pages are a hit or miss when it comes to conversion.
Although conversion means different things and can have a subjective connotation based on the objective that is under the scrutiny of measure. In this instance it was a user engagement metric that was the common denominator, mainly Sphinns (the act of receiving a vote from a Member of Danny Sullivan’s, Sphinn Community).
Although Jeff Quipp from Search Engine People had already indicated this too me in a previous conversation, call me lug-headed, stubborn or just plain superfluous, for the life of me, I couldn’t write a post that was less than 1700 words.
As a result, the thought was, what better way than using A/B Split testing on a post just to see what happens. Tim Nash from http://www.timnash.co.uk/ also helped out by setting the stage for the A/B testing via a Stumble of both posts for research. Not that the post was phenomenal (we all have our days), but the thought was noble enough at the root of it all.
So, lets take a look at the results which would later convince me to mend my ways and write shorter more informative and concise posts.
The obvious conclusion was; Writing shorter posts receives a higher percentage of votes and reader engagement for social media (at least in this regard for Sphinn and Stumble Upon Users).
Here is the breakout… The Name of the Post was Optimizing your site for the “Most Searched Keywords” – Condensed Version and Optimizing the “Most Searched Keywords” to Target your Niche! (Long Version)
Long Version: 6 Sphinns since 1/21/08
Number of words: 2511
Average Estimated Reading Time: based on 200 words per minute: 12.5 minutes (6 Sphinns) over 7 days.
Original post: Optimizing the Most Searched Keywords to Target Your Niche
692 Stumbles (on day introduced) 1/22/08
24 visits on 1/21/08
Total over 6 days of going live at Sphinn.
Stumble Upon Stats: 1,525 stumbles with an average time of 35 seconds (high bounce/bail rate) most definitely flunked the reader engagement ratio.
On the contrary
The Short Version of Post: Optimizing your site for the “Most Searched Keywords” – Condensed Version is currently at 14 Sphinns and rising.
Condensed version Number of words: 901
Average reading time based on 200 words per minute: 4.5 minutes.
31 Stumbles (on day introduced): 1/21/08 yet higher conversion from visitors
17 referrals/visits: as a result of the story that day
Stumble Upon Stats: 260 Stumbles over 7 days average time of 01:27 per viewer.
As it is no surprise, the shorter condensed version had a Higher engagement ratio / per Sphinn User and Stumblers. This is really the summation, conversion in this case refers to number of Sphinns from user community and reader engagement (time on the page) and by using such standards a 200% higher reader engagement/vote conversion as a result of clicks from Sphinner’s and Stumbler’s for the shorter version/post.
Although this was not the most thorough A/B testing scenario, since it was done on the fly, it still paints an interesting picture that for most is obvious, but took a bit of convincing for me. Shorter posts definitely have higher conversion and reader engagement. So, for the next week, I will be sticking to this rule to see what the response is from other social media tracking.