1) How do you convert more of your website traffic to leads?
2) How can you convert more of your visitors to customers?
These are critical questions for any business person interested in making their website work harder for them.
Although converting Internet traffic to leads or customers is only one component of the entire sales process, it’s a very fundamental and critical one.
The answers to both the questions above is not one of opinion or conjecture. The ultimate answer is obtained via testing. And the more testing you conduct, the better. (For more info, click “Testing” Your Way To Internet Marketing Success and view the video).
Testing is not a new thing. In fact, back in 1923 Claude Hopkins emphasized its importance in his book, Scientific Advertising.
What is new is how readily it can be conducted. As a point of comparison, I have a background in direct mail marketing, which includes testing different copy for the letters themselves, as well as different headlines, different envelopes, different offers, different calls-to-action, and other components.
I conduct such tests using volumes of Excel spreadsheets in conjunction with special codes in all the letters to ascertain which variables and combination of variables generate the greatest number of responses and sales.
Each test takes weeks to write, print and mail all the versions, and then measure all the responses. After the results are tabulated, I repeat the process to increase the responses even further.
If this sounds like a lot of work, well … it is.
But since 2006, sophisticated online testing can be conducted using Google Website Optimizer. Although this doesn’t work for direct mail letters, it works fantastically well for websites, which is the point of this article. (However, as a bonus, it can be used to test some variables for direct mail, as well).
Google Website Optimizer is a free testing application that helps online marketers answer the two questions above (and more).
In brief, Google Website Optimizer allows marketers to test different versions of complete web pages as well as specific elements on pages, to let your visitors tell you which variables help them to buy your products, or download your information, or whatever it is that you desire visitors to do on your website.
Following are two general categories of online market testing that can be executed via Google Website Optimizer:
A/B tests allow you to test two or more versions of different pages against each other to see which performs best. If you are testing 3 different versions of a page, then you are conducting an A/B/C test and so on.
A/B tests are especially useful because they allow you to test major design decisions by placing two or three completely different designs against each other to find out which one resonates best with your visitors.
Of course, the downside is you can not pinpoint the elements that persuaded more visitors to convert.
Multivariate tests allow you to test multiple elements of a page at the same time. This way you are able to test different headlines, different images, or different colors on a single page.
You can always think of A/B tests as a simplified version of multivariate tests.
The beauty of multivariate tests is the speed in which testing multiple elements can be conducted, and distinguishing which combination of elements inspired users to convert.
For more info on Website Optimizer, visit the following links: