Let’s update this button, make that logo bigger, and add an arrow pointing to the form. Will these little changes ever be enough? Probably not, if you are an online marketer! We tend to get caught up in the “how can I make my site more effective” chase, and it never ends.
Our philosophy at a(m) is that a test is never a failure; it is an opportunity to learn. Here are 7 things to keep in mind when planning your next on-page test:
- Go with your gut. If you think something will convert better, try it! Whether you’re right or wrong, you will get clarity and learn a thing or two about your marketing and your audience.
- Don’t discount trying something that didn’t work before. This is especially the case from client to client or product to product. Results often differ between customer bases or audience segments. Don’t make assumptions when it comes to testing. Get data and back up your claim.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of testing! Measuring results is crucial whether you are making on-site changes, SEO tweaks, or even PPC optimizations. You wouldn’t drive a car blind; don’t manage your online marketing blind either. Data is the roadmap to a successful site.
- Utilize the tools available to you. We like:
- Google Analytics if you are testing one page vs. another. It’s free!
- Optimizely if you are testing simpler page changes, like changing copy. It’s reasonably priced and it will make your developer like you a whole lot more.
- Know when to call it quits. Sometimes you test something that you really want to work – and it just doesn’t. So, you tweak it a little more and it still doesn’t work. So, you tweak it again… Don’t fall into this trap. It’s over baby, let it go! (However, see #2 above!)
- If you’re testing a landing page specifically for AdWords paid search, just use Google AdWords experiments. It’s super-easy to set up and allows you to test page A vs. page B without code updating or additional programming.
- Understand site flow, customer interaction, and customer intent. When we test, we take something that works and make it better. But to do this effectively, you need to keep your customers’ experience top of mind: what do they want vs. what do you want?
As for what to test, this list is a good starting point:
- Font – size, style, color
- Colors – new site themes, different accents
- Spacing – change up the layout. White space is fun!
- Images – add them where they weren’t, or try new ones
- Videos – test a video; testimonials are great for service industries
- Offers – try alternate offers and different wording
- Content – use different whitepapers, infographics, etc.; get creative for dry topics!
- Overlays – try an overlay or light box with a “sign up” call to action
- Layout – move phone numbers, images, calls to action. Use heat maps to understand where users are looking on your site.
- Call to Action – try new messaging, new colors, new placement
- Copy – rework or expand existing content. Sometimes more information works better
These are all endless pathways on the road to the perfect website. We’ve explored tons of them on behalf of numerous clients – check out our conversion rate optimization library. The great thing about testing is this: No matter what you do, you will get results. Some will be positive and some will be negative, but you’ll be a wiser online marketer in the end.
P.S. Here’s one final tip: Make sure you give your test enough time to run and that your audience is big enough to create a statistically significant sample size. In 90% of cases, we recommend a simple A/B test (or a series of subsequent A/B tests). Unless you have more than 1,000 visits per day, multivariate tests won’t produce relevant results.