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Google Tips for More Conversions

Testing Designs Can Lead to More Sales

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You can use every marketing strategy under the sun, but if they don’t translate into conversions, it’s all for nothing. Some methods take longer than others to lead to conversions, and there are hundreds of variables that come into play for the success of any campaign.

Conversions end with your site.
That’s why you need to concentrate on what is and what isn’t working. There are plenty of web analytics tools that can help you figure out where your traffic is coming from, where you are losing your visitors, etc.

To improve upon the areas you find aren’t working so well, some testing may be in order

(Tell us what tools you use to test design elements). Google’s website optimizer is a good tool to experiment with. It allows for simple A/B testing as well as multivariate testing. When using the tool, take these hints from Google into consideration:

- Test a page that gets a lot of traffic
- Test a few things
- Pick a high volume conversion goal
- Be bold (meaning make different versions very different)
- Pay attention to your combinations
- Consider your traffic percentages
- You are the best judge of what will work for your site

A/B Testing Google suggests using A/B Tests when:

- Your site doesn’t get a lot of traffic

- You want to experiment with different layouts

- You want to alter the overall look and feel of a page.

Before going down this road, you need to choose the page you want to test, create alternate versions of it, and identify your conversion page – the page users see once they’ve completed a conversion.

Multivariate TestingMultivariate tests are better for trying different combinations of elements. Google recommends this kind of testing in the following circumstances:

- You get a lot of traffic

- The layout and overall design of your page will stay the same.

- You want to change specific parts of your page, like a headline or image, simultaneously.

Before you start your multivariate testing, Google tells you to choose the page you want to test, choose page sections (ie. headlines, images, buttons, etc.), review your desired page sections with your marketing and technical teams, and identify your conversion page.

Sidenote: Mike McDonald of WPN recently sat down with Dr. Karl Banks of Conversion Rate Experts who talks about how testing can lead to better conversion rates and big money:

Whichever testing type you choose, Google will walk you through the steps. Before even getting into website optimizer, there are certain aspects of your design you’ll want to take into consideration. Google Website Optimizer Product Manager Sandra Cheng shares the following tips:

1. Pass the 8 second test.

What this comes down to is appealing to the short attention spans of people browsing the web. Competition is always a click away, so you can’t make potential customers search for the reason they’re at your site, because they won’t. They’ll just leave.

2. Tell them what’s in it for them.

People looking to give you their business need to know what the incentive is in doing so. Again, the competition is easy to find. The customer has to clearly see why they should be doing business with you.

Cheng notes things phrases like "Save more! Make extra money! and Look better with our product!"

3. Use compelling images.

Cheng recommends using product images instead of stock photos. She says, "a low-quality, irrelevant image can kill your site’s credibility." Icons with blocks of text and buttons instead of plain links can also add appeal.

4. Close the sale.

Use calls to action. Point customers in the direction to the next step in checking out. You’re whole goal is to get a sale. Why would you not make this as easy as possible? Phrases like buy now and add to checkout will work with appropriate links.

If you’re really looking to get into website testing with Google’s optimizer tool, you might want to read the company’s techie guide on the subject (pdf). The official blog for Website Optimizer frequently offers tips and insight into using the tool, and the YouTube channel has a number of useful videos like this lengthy and detailed intro clip:

 

Google is certainly not the only one to offer testing tools. Digital Alex has a nice list of different vendors offering free A/B and multivariate testing tools and resources. The bottom line is that if you are serious about getting conversions (and I WebProNews readers are), you’re going to have to experiment. Luckily you can do this without cost using available tools.  

Google Tips for More Conversions
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  • http://www.danielmolano.com/category/ mike

    cool tool I did not know about..I will test some stuff out today..thanks so much for giving out this information.

  • http://www.kaplang.com michelle

    WOW looks like a really cool tool, I will take a closer look at this some time today, thanks.

  • http://www.paulsidahohomes.com Guest

    Thank you for your work, effort and informative article. Another site I have found that is VERY useful in checking your progress and where you need to improve is http://www.searchenginegenie.com/ it offers many tools that cater to Google, Yahoo & MSN specifically.

    • http://ripsychotherapy.com Michael Adamowicz

      In addition to the tools in the main article, these will keep me busy for a couple of days.

  • http://www.terryreeves.com Terry Reeves

    I have used this tool extensively about a year ago and other than some inconvenient bugs, it is definitely worth the trouble. I was able to increase conversions to one page by more than 88%. Considering the PPC spend for that page, that increase represented a savings of thousands of dollars a month.

    • Chris Crum

      Wow, that’s a pretty good testimonial. What kind of bugs did you experience?

  • http://www.latterkursus.dk/latterkursus.htm Ejvind

    Great video – thanks for good service.

    Will be trying it pretty soon.

  • http://www.francislee.com.au Francis Australian SEO

    For the most part, A/B testing combined with effective and controlled Multivariate testing almost always does the job. That is ofcourse combined with your other marketing efforts to check if the message you are sending out about your brand is what you want to be percieved as and can help you convert your visitors

  • http://www.theseoherald.com Mark Cijo

    That tool is awesome and I couldn’t find a new tool like this when one of my client (Who hates Google) asked for a testing tool. Finally he changed his mind and now use this tool for all Testing. If you value the time and are looking for better coversion I bet this is the best tools we have seen so far.

  • http://www.crearecommunications.co.uk Nick Rinylo

    Holding a users attention on a site which appears for a highly competitive phrase can be difficult, I have recently placed a video tile on one of my main sites crearedesign.co.uk, The bounce rate has reduced and the time on site increased. So although to a geek like myself, not appealing, to the generate public it seems to work.

  • http://lgkan.com/Blog Lyle Kannenberg

    Although I had an account with google for quite some time, I had not checked out all the different account options that were available until the last couple of months.

    I had heard about Google Webmaster tools, but never found it til the last couple of weeks. Once I added the function to my google account, I was able to see all the functions. Wow, is all I can say. I thought my pages were already optimized, but google found a few errors, such as pages that were still indexed but were long gone.

    A couple links contained a double tag(lazy me still haven’t fixed that particular problem). My biggest problem has been to get google to index pages outside of my site directories.. in other words ones that were not part of my main site.

    For months I’ve been submitting, but no results. Turns out the robots.txt file was completely missing from my site. I was able to create a robots.txt file, and now just waiting to see how things go from there.

    I may have to tweak the robots file, but at this point, I’m slowly getting rid of the ton of 404 errors that have been piling up for months.

    Oh yes, not to forget, about those pages that no longer exist. Did you know you can remove urls from googles index.. Thats in there too!

  • http://www.mypartyplanner.com/ Party

    Using the google optimizer is a great way to provide multivariate testing and really capitalize in terms of gaining critical insight into your visitors.

  • http://www.privatefleet.com.au/ Car

    I would tend to agree here. Metrics are very important in any marketing campaign.

  • http://www.dulyon.com/ Loose Gemstones

    Google Web Optimizer is a great tool to use.

  • http://westcoastvinyl.blogspot.com West Coast Vinyl

    These are really great advice for any marketers trying to get more conversions on their website. Making it easy to buy or opt in and providing a great experience for the customer will be easy to convert.

  • http://www.homesforsaleid.com Guest

    The searcheginegine works great! Thanks for the tip!

  • http://jermainelovepoemsandlovequotes.blogspot.com/ Jermaine

    That’s true, when using images I have become so careful also. Just like many different contents it can make or break your website.

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