Website Split-testing

The Easiest, Cheapest & Most Reliable Way To Increase Your Online Sales

Split testing is one of the most powerful tools available to marketers - but one that’s overlooked by most businesses.

With the release of Google’s Website Optimizer, website split-testing is now free for anyone.

And, one of the benefits that Website Optimizer offers is that it allows you to test more than one element at a time.

For example, I have a client who has a lead generation website. We recently tested two variables on his sign-up page: headline and deck copy.

We had two different headlines and two versions of the deck copy, giving us four combinations.

Website Optimizer then rotated these four combinations until we had enough visitors (and sign-ups) to produce meaningful results.

Once the testing was over, Google gave us estimates of the difference between the headlines and copy.

Because our goal was to find the winner, rather than to know the exact difference in performance, we stopped the tests once there was more than 95% confidence in the results.

So, Google’s estimates have a certain degree of uncertainty.

Here are the results:

Headlines: headline 1 (the original headline) was 21.7% better (with +/- 11% uncertainty) than headline 2 (the test headline).

Deck Copy: copy 2 (the new version of the copy) was 37.5% better (+/- 16%) than the original.

So, wekept the old headline and thenew copy.

This means we can expect an increase in website conversion of between 21.5% and 53.5% over the original version of the page.

(Why such a wide margin for error? - If we had run the test for longer, we would have gotten a more precise result. However, the purpose of split testing is to find the winner, not to get a precise set of numbers)

Now, for a business that makes approximately 28,000 p.a. and only generates leads via their website, that means this simple test (which cost nothing and lasted around 2 weeks) can be expected to increase my client’s profits by 6,020 to 14,980a year.

If you’re not split testing, I suggest you look into Web Optimizer and use it to create these sorts of breakthroughs in your business.

And, if you find Optimizer too technical for your tastes … or you’d rather just have a marketer design and run these tests for you, I offer a low cost split-testing service.

To learn more, contact me on steve@ppc-services-uk.co.uk.

Steve Gibson, August 2007

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