With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, now's the time to test. How to get ready. Part one of a two-part series.
I'm frequently asked about the best way to start testing on a corporate Web site. The options are endless, but until you get started and get all the powers that be within your company aligned with the ideas of constant testing, it can be hard to get started.
There's no right or wrong way to get started, as long as you run tests correctly and that will improve site performance. Let's start with a few key tips, then get into a few great test types to start with.
Where to Start Testing
While we want to focus on what drives your business, there are a lot of ways of doing so. Testing of landing pages from campaigns, partners, and paid search can be a great place to start testing and can return a high ROI (define). Often this traffic is just dumped on a generic landing page, product page, or -- worst of all -- the home page. Take a look at that traffic's bounce rate. You spend all sorts of money on that traffic, then watch it land, turn around, and immediately leave. Test different versions of landing pages that tie specifically to what they clicked on to get them to the site. Try testing different messages based on the creative, type of site they came from, time of day, and day of week. Even doing a few small things to make the page more relevant to visitors can have a big impact.
In my next column, we will dig into another great place to start testing: tuning the message based on whether the user has been to your site before.
Now is the time to test: we're into fall and the holiday shopping season is just around the corner. If your business focuses on consumers, the fourth quarter most likely makes the year for you. Even if you are business-to-business, you know things slow down greatly after mid-November; you want to finish the year strong between now and mid-November. The next few months are key. Get in and make some changes and improve your site. Just a few small changes can have a significant impact.
Be sure to check back to read part two of this series that focuses on tuning your message to first time or returning visitors.
Join us for ClickZ Presents: Online Marketing Summit, September 25 at the Sheraton San Diego.
As President of the Americas at POSSIBLE, Jason is responsible for leading the long-term stability and growth of the region. With more than 20 years experience in digital strategy, he is a long-time advocate of using data to inform digital strategies to help clients attract, convert, and retain customers. Jason supports POSSIBLE's clients and employees in driving new engagements and delivering great work that works. He is the co-author of Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions.
Follow him on Twitter @JasonBurby.
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