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Webinar: Website Optimizer - What Should I Test?
Host: Tom Leung - Google Website Optimizer
Guest Presenter: Bryan Eisenberg - Future Now (blog is at GrokDotCom)
Slides will be archived and available within a few weeks on the Google Website Optimizer website in the resources section.
Tom Leung’s Presentation:
What is the website Optimizer? (For those not familiar with the product.)
It is part of an entire system of tools that Google provides to website owners that will help improve their website - AdWords and Analytics are a couple of these tools. AdWords brings the traffic in, Analytics monitors that traffic, and the Website Optimizer helps to improve conversion rates from AdWords and results can be measured in Analytics. They can be operated independently but using all three will bring a synergy to the table.
How does the Website Optimizer Work?
It essentially let’s you perform controlled experiments on your website by taking the guess work out of increasing your conversion rate with your website. Website Optimizer basically asks your users to vote with their actions.
Some features are A/B split testing, Multivariate Testing, Follow Up Testing, Works with ALL traffic - not just ppc, Statistical Analysis, Platform Independent, consistent updates, and more. (You do need an AdWords account to access the Website Optimizer…)
Benefits are that it is absolutely FREE, Easy to use, Does NOT impact SEO, Backed by Google, big increases in conversions are not uncommon, there is a variety of support in discussion groups, tutorials, consultant network.
Quick thoughts on Stats and Reporting
Combination reports show the customer’s favorite page combination. Take the debate out of website design and improvement by testing with the Website Optimizer and reviewing the reports/stats.
What To Test
This is a rendition I did a while ago on the graph about which pages to optimize used in this webinar (I think Google designed the original visual?):
Every Page Has an Optimal Recipe
Info Rich vs Short n Sweet
Left Layout vs Right Layout
Fact based vs Aspirations/emotions
Leads vs Sales
There are definitely more combinations and tests to conduct besides those listed above.
There isn’t ever really a set answer for each website. The only way to know which combination will work is to simply conduct tests.
More Ideas for Experimentation
Headline / Image/ Call to action
RSS button clicks
Colors, Fonts, Sizes
And many, many more.
Everything depends on your audience, a portion of your audience will react differently to each test. You can find out more about your audience with testing…do they like certain kinds of widgets? Do they like videos? Testimonials? Etc.
At the end of the day, there are an infinite amount of tests you can perform. Focus on the tests that are most likely to give you the results you are looking for.
Best Practices in Marketing Experimentation
Test a small number of variations.
-Rule of thumb is about 100 conversions per combination
Test bold changes
-If you can’t see difference between two combos in 8 seconds, visitors probably won’t either
Consider early indicators if you don’t have enough conversions
-E.g. if you have modest conversion volume, optimize for leading indicators such as request info, view product details, remain on page features page >5 seconds.
Don’t jump to conclusions
-Less than 2 weeks is no good, focus on absolute conversion differences, don’t get too excited by silver or green or red
Bryan Eisenberg Intro
Bryan is co-founder of FutureNow, Charter member of Google Website Optmizer Authorized Consultant network, Blog located at Grokdotcom.com, Pioneer in persuasion architecture.
Bryan Eisenberg’s Presentation:
Case Study of Overstock.com (Multicategory Page)
Overstock was noticing a 90% exit/bounce rate
It’s about understanding people first
Test small variations so you can get the learnings and understand the variables
Secret of Online Conversion…
Dates back to 470 BC when four personality types were written down - the GrokDotCom translation gives us four types/patterns as displayed in this graph (a rendering based on Bryan’s slide/image)
Four types or patterns: Competitive (Fast Logical), Spontaneous (Fast Emotional), Methodical (Slow Logical), Humanistic (Slow Emotional)
*Holy crap Brian talks fast, flips through slides like crazy and bounces around sporadically (probably not Bryan but software/conferencing issues)…very hard to follow while typing so this is going to get choppy…
Eyetracking Slides (summary found on GrokDotCom)
Spontaneous people are looking for features
Humanistics care about reviews
Methodicals find by generally sorting
Competitives search by specifics that they have in mind
Went through 4 personality types for Overstock.com - Does it accomplish each type? Found that one single image needed replaced to target Competitives - and that gave them a lift of $25m!
HUGE gain on Overstock website by simply changing one image near a search box and it increased results by 5% or $25 million! The image was excluding competitive types of people due to search functionality/bounce rates on a specific page.
Every day that Overstock did not fill that hole, they were losing $70,000 a day!
Framework & Optimization Process
1. Know your profiles - Personas, Four Perspectives, or simply emotional and logical
2. Define the conversion goals - what action do you want your visitor to take and what is the success page going to be
3. Do the Creative - based on the first two perspectives
Heirarchy of Optimization (detailed blog post can be found here)
Functionality first - Does it work?
Accessibility second - Can everyone access it?
Usability third - Is it “user” friendly?
Intuitive fourth - Does it feel natural and doesn’t “make us think”?
Persuasive final - Do people really want and understand what their buying?
The higher levels take the most time and effort but give you the greatest return.
5 Formulas to Online Success
1. Product Images Tell A Story
2. Test Your Headlines & Copy
-Test fractions vs Percentages
-Test Asking Questions
-Self Focused vs Customer Focused words (I am, we are vs you can)
-Switch Paragraphs (ordering of copy)
-Informal vs formal (Attitude)
-Wording on call to action
-Wording on images
3. Forms & Point of Action Assurances
-We value your privacy (next to action button)
-Guaranteed Response time
-Reviews next to add to cart button
4. Calls to Action - Get Them To Click
-8 variables for cart buttons (wording, shape, size, style, icon, color, legibility, location)
-Emotional vs Logical (learn more vs help me choose)
5. Don’t Make Them Wait
-Fast load speeds
-Optimize image file sizes (58k vs 7k)
Golden rule: he who has the gold, rules. Customers have the pocket books so they rule. Also, another golden rule to online marketing is not like the biblical or religious adage of do unto others as you would have them do unto you…but the golden rule on the web is “Do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.”
Q: What if you have a small amount of traffic but you don’t want to wait 6 months for results?
Bryan: Focus on the top half of the hierarchy.
Q: Ecommerce merchants who have long funnels - where do you begin with a multi-step checkout process?
Bryan: First, worry about the point of action assurances. Other things to do would be to add progress indicators and try to reduce the multi-step checkout process as soon as you can. Can you combine one or two pages?
Q: Do you begin at the beginning or the end of the checkout process?
Bryan: It depends on your analytics - target the biggest bottleneck and work from there.
Q: What are some things that you can do after you feel like you have done the basics like Headlines, copy, etc?
Bryan: Start dealing with persuasive and intuitive things like images, words in hyperlinks, words in point of action assurances, and more. Work up the hierarchy if you already have the basics down.
Q: What goes through your head during the first 30 seconds of reviewing a website?
Bryan: If I were a customer and I were spontaneous/methodical/humanistic/competitive, what would I get out of this page? Try to see what questions I have while reviewing the page as a customer.
-Controlled content experimentation is critical to maximizing your conversion rates
-Google Website Optimizer is a free tool that lets you do unlimited tests on all your traffic on any page
-Personas and scents can dramatically increase the likelihood of improving your conversions
-Almost everything can and should be tested
-More resources at www.Google.com/WebsiteOptimizer
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