Optimize Your Website – Test Early, Test Often, Test Variety
Testing is one of the most overlooked business tasks. Without testing, you cannot know what tactics and actions are most profitable. Testing tells you which headline works best. It tells you which ad delivers targeted traffic. Testing tells you what your prospectís priorities are. It tells you where to place you most important information on your website. In fact, testing can tell you just about anything you want to know.
The great news is that there are some truly amazing tools and services. They enable you to test many things before you implement them. You can also test your competitorsí sites using these same tools. This means you can learn what they do well and where you can improve.
What to Test
There are more things to test than you have time for. However, when you create a system to test and track any new feature or idea you can be sure youíre making the most of your efforts. Make sure to:
* Test your headline
* Test your call to action
* Test your opt-in form copy
* Test your opt-in form location
* Test your anchor text
* Test your ad placement
* Test your ad copy
* Test your benefits, promise and proof
* Test your opt-in offer
* Test your bonus products
* Test your pricing
* Test button elements like shape, font, and formatting
* Test how people use your site (and why)
* Test new designs
How to Test
Once youíve made the commitment to test, the simplest way to test is called a split test. This can be used for many of the elements of a sales page, opt-in offer or advertisement. The strategy simply requires you to create two versions of the page. Only the element youíre testing will be different. For example, if you’re testing a headline then you’ll create two identical pages. Each page will have a different headline. The headline with the most conversions or actions, wins.
If you’re testing for design elements or visitor use, then you can use more advanced technology to help. For example, 4Q by iPerception can help you figure out why people are using your site.
A new design can be tested with a service like Feedback Army or FiveSecondTest. You can also test your competitor’s sites with these tools. And you can test load times with a program like Keynote.com.
For real insight into your visitor behavior, consider a tool like UserTesting.com. You’re provided with a recording of people visiting your site.
When it comes to testing, you cannot test too much. Of course, don’t break the bank testing. However, do keep testing in mind whenever you implement a new feature or design element. Split testing is cost effective. Many times it’s completely free. Other testing can cost you money in the beginning. It can also save you money in the long run. Before you take any major action with your business website, consider what and how you can test it for success.