Manageable New Year’s Analytics Resolution #1: Test Your Pages

Manageable New Year’s Analytics Resolution #1: Test Your Pages

With 2009 fast approaching, is your list of New Year’s Resolutions growing?
Are there many making a return appearance?
Although it’s great to have some stretch goals, too many can be unmanageable.

So let me add 3 actionable (really!) resolutions to your growing list that will help you get started next week, see results and accelerate progress towards a longer term vision. Here’s Number 1 (2 and 3 will follow in future posts):

  1. Ultimate Vision :> Multivariate Testing

Short-term Goal :> Run three text-only A/B tests in 3 months.

Why A/B?
– Testing equivalent of crawl, walk, run.
– Start with A/B (two options) first before moving to multivariate.

Why text only?
– No need to engage graphic artists.
– Easier to get buy-in and approval.
– Faster to implement.
– Can progress to a more complex A/B1/B2/B3 test fairly easily.

Any ideas of useful “text only” tests?
– The specifics you choose should be relevant to conversion on your site.
– The following are examples to show how simple it could be to get started and get meaningful insight and useful testing experience under your belt.
– Questions could be as simple as…

1) Which causes more downloads?
Hyperlinking on the phrase “Download the white paper” or hyperlinking just on click here in the phrase “To download the white paper, click here“.

Trivial? How many times have you been in this argument?
Does it matter? Maybe it doesn’t matter?
Or maybe it matters sometimes, depending on the context?

2) Will less dense, scannable body copy on landing pages reduce unpaid search bounce rate?
Create a second option with concise copy and serve it up to web visitors. Measure the difference in behaviour
What does “less dense, scannable text mean”? See this oldie but goodie Jakob Nielsen 1997 Alertbox about How Users Read on the Web. The example at the bottom shows the difference in promotional writing and scannable, concise, objective text (124% increase in usability).

3) Can different calls to action increase leads by a measurable 10% or more?
Does your site have a generic “Contact us for more information” or “Request a quote” at the bottom of every page?
Do you think other more relevant leading copy would help, such as “Want to learn more about the topic on this page? Contact us by email or phone.”

What tool can you use for this testing?
Consider Google Website Optimizer and we also suggest reading our brief article about setting up a valid test.
With Google Website Optimizer, the copy is changed within the page, so you don’t have to worry about search engine optimization impact.
Moving from A/B to A/B1/B2/B3 to multivariate will be easy as it’s just an extension of the same tool.

We’d love to hear your outcomes! And stay tuned for resolution 2 & 3.

June Li

By |2020-02-19T10:21:22-05:00December 29th, 2008|2 Comments


  1. web analytics February 7, 2009 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    Good wrap of items, I am still learning and appreciate this info. Still checking out vendors like Coremetrics, etc for paid and free options.

  2. June Li February 9, 2009 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Thank you for your feedback. Learning is never done in analytics, and it’s certainly not boring!

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