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Why Test Website Conversion Rates?

Aug 17, 2007
These days, the more you know about optimizing your website (and that goes well beyond keywords and keyword phrases strategically placed throughout your website content) the better your online business will do. That being said, one of the best ways to do that is to test your website conversion rates. Why? Because doing so will enable you to determine the best way to present your online business to you potential customers.

For example, do you have too many graphics, are your shopping or catalog pages laid out and presented to capture attention? Is that Buy Now button large enough? Do you have proper security logos that will reassure your customers? The answer to these questions and many more will help make your website convert more visitors into customers.

Many online businesses make the mistake of believing that once they have SEO keyworded content displayed on their website, that's all they need to do. The truth is, they have barely scratched the surface. These days, marketing is more than producing SEO content, no matter how well written. Website conversion testing, which used to be done with single variable, or A/B split tests, is undergoing a dramatic shift. Today, multivariate testing (also called multivariable) and Taguchi testing is the wave of the future, and it's not just for Fortune 500s with huge marketing budgets.

As with everything else, fads come and go, but multivariate testing is here to stay. It's good business, good website design, good all around website optimization. With multivariate testing options, a website business owner or designer can test a limitless number of variables with a variety of landing page tests. For example, one page may utilize a very straightforward order form design, with a variety of fill in boxes, a Buy Now or Shopping Cart button, and ordering information. Another test landing page might include the same items, but in different locations, sizes and with or without explanations. Running sample tests like these is a simple way for any website owner to determine which landing page is more effective, and yet it goes much deeper than that.

This type of scientific conversion testing is now almost a requirement in order to maximize your site's performance. Website conversion testing allows you to enhance the chances of website visitors clicking that Buy Now button rather than merely browsing and then exiting the website.

Taguchi testing offers another distinct advantage; based on its algorithms, it requires less traffic to get actionable results than a full multivariate test. For this reason, it's an extremely popular choice. You can get statistically valid, actionable results in far less time that with standard multivariate testing.

Logically, most site owners know that testing their sites makes good sense. Yet so many aren't doing it. Some people don't know how to go about it, others feel it's too time consuming or too costly (and let's face it, some of the options out there are pretty pricey!), while others continue to believe that SEO optimization is still the best way to go.

Where to start the multivariate testing? Your landing pages are the most important pages of any business website. Savvy business owners are aware that they have a very short amount of time to interest a customer in their service or product, so determining what combination of graphics, text, buttons, links and other priority issues will keep those visitors interested is worth its weight in gold. Also test each page along the sales path, those critical areas where customers are made. The beauty of scientific testing is that you can keep the best of the results, and then continue testing from there to move your conversion higher all the time.
About the Author
Are you one of the millions of online business owners who wants to do some website conversion testing but isn't sure how to begin? It can be a frustrating experience trying to talk with some of the solution providers out there. Tell us what you think because your opinion matters!
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