From the desk of Roy Furr, February 12th, 2008
It’s easy to get excited about testing your marketing. The prospect of increasing conversions from 10% to 2,000% or more is really motivating. But when you get in there to actually do the testing, it can be a little confusing — what should you test to get the best results, and why?
In my ebook — The Taguchi Testing Handbook — soon to be released with Bob Bly‘s CTC Publishing, I cover this topic in a lot of detail. Much more detail than I can cover in a blog post. But I’ll share some of the basics here, to get you started on the right track.
Test high probability areas
On your landing page or other web page, there are inevitably a few areas that jump out and attract the eyes from the moment you load the page. These probably include your headline, any image at the top of the page, the first paragraph of body copy, the first list of bullet points… the list could go on, and is different from page to page.
When I’m looking to run a test, I want to know the first couple things that jump out to any visitor to the page. Why? Because these are what almost every visitor looks at, and what will probably have the most impact in testing. When there’s something that every visitor to a page focuses on, even for a split second, it has the potential to increase conversions through testing.
Once you’ve picked out the two or three most prominent page elements for testing, you may wonder what else to test (especially for Taguchi testing, which requires many more than 2 or 3 variables). Here’s a list of landing page elements that qualify as “high probability areas” — they’ve been influential in quite a few of the tests run:
- The main headline
- The subhead right below the main headline
- The greeting (“Dear friend,”)
- The offer (Including bonuses, packaging, delivery method, etc.)
- Guarantees (30-day, 1-year, 100% money back, 100% money back + $100 donated to a charity in your name)
- The main picture at the top of your ad
- Trust/credibility icons (BBB, Hacker-safe, payment processor)
- P.S. (restate offer, restate guarantee, a mini FAQ, etc.)
- Reinforcement copy in the checkout process or on the order form
These may or may not be influential variables on your landing page. And they may not be the only influential variables on your page. But each is worth testing because just one could increase your response by as much as 2,000%. And by testing multiples the increases will stack up even greater.
Once you’ve decided what to test, you need to decide what your different input will be. This is the most crucial step of the testing process. I’ll cover that in my next post, so make sure you’re registered on the right for updates.
Tags: testing your marketing, increasing conversions, The Taguchi Testing Handbook, Bob Bly, CTC Publishing, Test high probability areas, landing page, headline, body copy, bullet points, increase conversions through testing, Taguchi testing, landing page elements, subhead, offer, credibility icons, increase your response
Posted in Google Website Optimizer, Marketing Testing, Website Design | No Comments »
From the desk of Roy Furr, February 5th, 2008
The blogosphere has been buzzing with news of ConversionUniversity.com, Google’s recently-launched site on how to make your website perform better — in SEO, SEM, PPC, Analytics, website testing, and more. So what’s the deal?
What’s Google up to?
Why do they want to give all this free information on how to make your website make you more money (even if it’s not an e-commerce site)? Why aren’t they charging for this info?
Here’s my take.
Google — for as long as they’ve been in business — has been all about giving users the best possible experience. It’s been the secret to their success.
Every time Google changes their algorithms — the infamous ‘Google Slap‘ — it always works out in the favor of the website owners who are already giving a superior customer experience, and punishes those who diminish the customer experience.
They really want you to have a good customer experience on your website — and one way for you to do that is to have increased traffic, and increased conversions. Increased traffic means your site is more relevant to visitors — it appears to fill their need when it shows up in the search engine (either paid or organic). If Google shows searchers sites that are more relevant to what they’re searching for, Google’s doing their job, and they’re happy.
Another way to improve your customer experience is actually to sell more — increase your conversion rate. Here’s how this works. If you’re converting more of your website visitors into customers, that means a higher percentage of website visitors actually found what they wanted when they visited your website. If Google directed them to the site where they could find what they wanted, then Google did their job, and they’re happy.
Similar to selling more and getting more traffic, just keeping traffic on your site longer with more and better content keeps Google happy — again, if you’re keeping the people who found your site through Google happy, then Google is happy too.
And finally, the hidden profit motive.
Google knows that if they educate you about how to do better in SEO, SEM, PPC, Analytics, website testing, and everything else they have their fingers in, that you’ll be more likely to use their paid services such as AdWords.
It’s an old law of persuasion and selling — the law of reciprocity. When someone gives something to us without an obvious motive of getting something in return, we feel obligated deep down to actually return the favor. It’s the secret behind all educational marketing (and it’s something you can use too).
Google’s flooding us with information on how to profit more by using their services. This, in turn, encourages us to use their services. And they profit more.
Anything wrong with this?
I don’t think so. They’re using these persuasion principles in an honest and ethical manner. And if you ask, they’re pretty open about why they provide so much education.
Maybe there’s something we can all learn from this…
P.S. — Here’s another great resource: How to Use Google Website Optimizer.
Tags: ConversionUniversity.com, how to make your website perform better, SEO, SEM, PPC, Analytics, website testing, free information, how to make your website make you more money, e-commerce, Google Slap, website owners, customer experience, increased traffic, increased conversions, sell more, conversion rate, website visitors, content, AdWords, persuasion, law of reciprocity, educational marketing, persuasion principles
Posted in Google Website Optimizer, Marketing, Marketing Testing, Persuasion, Website Design | No Comments »