I had a chat with our upcoming webinar guest, Bryan Eisenberg at Search Engine Strategies San Jose, 2008. Bryan’s an expert in both Google Website Optimizer and testing for conversion optimization – he’s also the author of Always Be Testing: The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer.
In a brief 7 minutes, we discussed several issues around testing your website. Be sure to attend our full hour webinar to glean more tips and tricks for making the most out of testing with Google Website Optimizer.
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Here’s a recap of the interview:
Just because Amazon does something, doesn’t mean you should follow. On Bryan’s blog GrokDotCom, you can find a visual history of Amazon’s add-to-cart buttons over the years. Bryan recalls clients calling him up and saying “Amazon changed the button and we want to do the same.” But changing the cart button was not done to improve Amazon’s conversion – in fact, it lowered conversion. But Amazon was changing its business model to offer used books from other sellers and wanted to make room for the used book links. Even with lower conversion, Amazon could make higher profits. So to simply copy the giant without testing on your own site or understanding the reason for the change is poor decision-making.
A friend of Bryan’s saw conversion plummet 1000% when following another site’s course of action!
Internet Retailer reports 76% of sites are not testing.
Seems trivial to spend so much time testing a cart button? Don’t laugh. Incremental gains from small improvements to calls to action can have large impact over time.
And it’s okay to start small. Dont’ test sacred cows, start small and work big. Testing is like tasting: when you eat spicy food for the first time your mouth hurts, but after getting used to it, you’re hooked!
It all comes down to tools, people and process. Get good at free, and then pay. Like a web analyst, your people are important and they should have a process.