Increase Sales With Split Testing

So you’ve got your website up and running and you’re getting some traffic.  You’ve probably got a call to action like a contact form, or a purchase button, but not alot of people are taking that next step.   That gets you thinking: “What if I tweaked the wording on that page, or made the button stand out a little more,  would more people click on it?”  Well stop wondering and find out: Split testing is a way to test that idea, and adjust your site based on the results.

Split testing or A/B testing is the process of creating an alternate web page and tracking its effectiveness compared to the original.  The most popular tool for doing this is Google’s Website Optimizer.  The instructions for creating a split test are quite simple.  Create two versions of a particular page, guide traffic to these two pages equally, and test which one sends users to your desired goal at a higher rate.  You don’t want to make the changes particularly drastic, or you won’t be able to isolate the variable that has the most effect.  An example of a good change to test is the wording of your call to action, or the headline on a page.

Once you have your two different pages, you must also decide what is the result page, or the page that indicates success for your test.  For example, the purchase confirmation page or the demo download or the registration confirmation page.

You then insert some JavaScript code from Google into each of these pages and you’re off and running.  Website Optimizer will automatically split the traffic to your original page between the two different versions, and track which one is most effective at getting users to your success page.  Google website optimizer will gather all the data for you and give a high confidence guess as to which design, or text, is the most effective.  You can then make the change permanent and repeat the process.

Building an effective web site is not a one time task.  Its an iterative cycle of developing, testing, adjusting and re-developing.  Using split tests is a great way to get results for your business.

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