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Six Website Testing Ideas

Jun 7, 2008
So you've decided to do some split testing on your website? What now? Here are some ideas:

1. The Headline: This is one of the most important factors to test on a web page. If you want to grab your visitor's attention, and have them read the rest of your page, you need to hook them with a good headline. Test several variations to find one that works well. (important)

2. The Background Color: Some marketers swear that a deep blue background converts best. I'm not so sure. I've had light grey beat deep blue. But you can try all kinds of things. Leave it white? Black? Red? Use a watermark? In my split testing experience this factor doesn't make as much difference as you might think, though, so don't stress out too much about this one. (medium importance)

3. The Layout: Do you have one column or three? Do you have a long sales letter, or a short fact sheet. The general approach you take on your page can make a big difference. This might even be the most important choice to make. Unfortunately, when using multivariate testing software, it's often difficult to test this factor with other factors, because it pervades so much of the page. You can either test this factor separately, or run your multivariate test from a spreadsheet. Or, with a server-side PHP-based software program, you can test it with other factors with some clever work, though it will probably be much easier just to run a simple split test for this factor alone. (important).

4. Your Offer: Do you give them 10% off, or a $100 rebate? Do you offer a free eBook as a bonus? Should you offer three bonuses, or just one? More is not always better. Should you do an upsell before purchase? Or should you do a "One Time Offer" after purchase? These things are extremely important. (important)

5. Text Of Your Order Button: Should your order button say "submit"? Probably not. How about "click here?" Probably not. Well, what about "Yes! Let me Get Started Now!" Probably better. This is an often over-looked place to test. I would recommend testing it, though it's probably not quite as important as the headline or the offer. (medium importance)

6. Referring To Where They Came From: So the visitor clicks on a Google ad, and they come to your site, and it says: "Congratulations for clicking on my Google ad. You have just taken the first step toward . . ." This can have a powerful influence on the user, because it keeps them in their flow of consciousness that started at Google. You can try all kinds of things along this line. (important)

And there are many more ideas where those came from. Keep looking. You'll find more.
About the Author
Jim Stone, Ph.D. produced the Split Test Accelerator, and is an expert at using multi-variate split testing to improve web pages. Visit this page for Split Testing Software. Or this page for free split testing software.
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