Why You Should Always Be Testing: Interview With Bryan Eisenberg [Video + Summary]

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.

RSS/Email Subscribers: Can’t see video? Click here. 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.

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13 Responses to “Why You Should Always Be Testing: Interview With Bryan Eisenberg [Video + Summary]”

  1. I most definitely agree with what Bryan said at the end in that you shouldn’t be overly concerned with things like multivariate testing and trying to create tons of different iterations. It is more important to simply get A/B tests under your belt. This also helps acclimate your company to testing and helps foster a culture of testing.

    Also, you’d think after watching the Today show, that people would learn not to gawk in the middle of the shot as someone is recording a video!

  2. I’m particularly glad that he points out in this video and in the book how so many people want to do exactly what Amazon does. Granted, they do a lot of things right, but most retailers don’t understand the complexities involved on why Amazon designs a page the way it does, it’s more than just “this button converts the best”. Testing is the ultimate answer for what will work the best for you – look forward to the webinar.

  3. I have the book and I just started reading it. I am going to setup a simple test here shortly, Add to Cart button, and the sky is the limit.

  4. This may be slightly off topic, but congrats Linda on winning the SEM Scholarship! Well deserved!

  5. OK, I’m convinced and I’ll sign up for the webinar. Bryan does a good job of making it sound both simple and convincing. It’s been hard for us to test lower volume sites, but tools like Google Website Optimizer make it simple to allow the tests to run long enough to get a useful sample. Thanks for the video.

  6. Reader says:

    Wow. She’s hot.

  7. Two interesting interviews but there was a subtle thing going on in both which impressed me the most.

    In these instances, it’s the guest’s wisdom that we’re here to listen to more than Linda’s and the guests had been mic’ed higher/better/clearer than Linda. Smart.

    (Either that or Linda wasn’t speaking up enough!)

  8. Sadly, it’s the latter, Jon :)

  9. Amrendra. says:

    This iterview can unmask many’s myth and and let them find a right way to get more traffic to their website. it is really true only following others strategy can not fit others bill, as every one has different situations.

  10. [...] us. Avinash went first on how to find a great web analyst and I followed with why you should “always be testing“. The video is embedded below. The key takeaway; testing is the way to answer what will work [...]

  11. [...] further returns from Search Engine Strategies, Linda of the Get Elastic blog shares this video with Bryan Eisenberg of marketing optimization firm FutureNow. They discuss the importance of site [...]

  12. [...] got more details on his blog about the hidden secrets of the Amazon shopping cart. He also explains why retailers shouldn’t just copy Amazon in our recent [...]

  13. This video must have been hiding from me. Testing is very lucrative. A lot of organizations of course do not test because they cannot fathom the process, or they figure they can just copy. I have just recently acknowledged the idea of using the google content optimizer.

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