Improving Website Conversion Post 8 â€“ Keep Testing to Improve Conversions and Sales
This is the final part of my series on how to improve the conversion rate of your website using a new tested approach to web design, rather than guesswork and assumptions (if youâ€™re late to the party, you can start at post one or wait for the eBook).
From following the previous posts, you should now have a new version of your website built on the solid foundations of analytics, research and testing, rather than wishy-washy guesses and hope.
You have every right to believe your new version is ready to take your conversion rate racing ahead. But now is not the time to abandon the use of testing to see whether your assumptions are right.
After all, how do you know whether your new website is any better unless you test to find out?
Get started in A/B split testing with Googleâ€™s Content Experiments
When I started writing this series, Google Website Optimizer was to be its crowning glory; a tool worth $1000s you could use for free to keep making improvements to your website.
But since the series started, GWO has been chopped down, lobotomized and grafted into Google analytics. Now renamed Content Experiments, it still offers a quick, easy and free way of testing improvements to your website. Just not in as much depth as before.
Using Content Experiments you can run up to six versions of your websiteâ€™s pages at the same time. It will then track the clickthroughs to a â€˜goalâ€™ page (e.g. product or contact page) so you can quickly find a winner. This can save you weeks of laborious testing time and it will tell you in cold, hard figures which pages have the highest conversion rate.
Keep driving up conversions with multi-variant testing
Google Content Experiments provides a quick, easy way of testing the improvements to your pages. And did I mention itâ€™s free?
But if you want to test individual elements, like headings, calls to action, images and layout, youâ€™ll need to look elsewhere. Not unless youâ€™re happy to keep running test after test with slight variations of each page. Doesnâ€™t sound like much fun, does it folks?
Changing your headline, adding an image of a happy customer or making a bolder call to action can give your conversion rate a healthy bump. So if you want to keep nudging up enquiries and sales, Â youâ€™ll need multi-variant testing software.
Conversion Rate Experts (whose success in rocketing conversions through tested web design helped inspire this series) has put together a summary of all the multi-variant testers out there. But if youâ€™re hoping for a free alternative to GWO then youâ€™re in for disappointment. Only Google can afford to give away such data hungry software for free. Instead, you could now be looking at a four figure monthly fee.
However, one reasonably priced option worth a look is Visual Website Optimizer (yes, itâ€™s an affiliate link readers. If youâ€™d prefer, this link is commission free).Â It packs in all the features Googleâ€™s Content Experiments is now missing and is available on a 30 day free trial, so you can see how it works and decide whether to join Microsoft, Groupon and General Electric as fans.
When (re)designing your website, you now have powerful tools at your disposal to test what people think, what they like and what they donâ€™t. Many of these tools are either free or relatively inexpensive, so there really is no excuse for any business with a decent amount of traffic not to test.
There are plenty of success stories of companies that have literally doubled their turnover through the new tested approach to website design. So businesses that donâ€™t test are simply leaving money on the table for their competitors to swipe away.
Hopefully, this series has given you some ideas and a process for improving your websiteâ€™s conversion rate. If youâ€™d like to find out more about the tested approach to website design, Iâ€™d recommend heading over to Conversion Rate Experts to get all the reports, PDFs and case studies they give away for free. Iâ€™d also recommend reading Convert! by Ben Hunt, which covers the entire process in more depth and is packed with tips on simple changes that can make your website more persuasive and profitable.