How you implement your Conversion Rate Optimization campaign will largely determine its effectiveness. For instance, many companies make the mistake of building an entire website based on a few assumptions of what upper management believes will “look good”. This is often a lengthy and expensive process as the website is painfully perfected over many months. In doing so, a company runs the risk of having to make wholesale changes down the line when the “perfect” website ends up not converting because it was never tested. Rather than making subjective decisions, it is more important to stick to a “fast and lean” development cycle that allows you test individual variables and make data-based decisions. You must always validate your assumptions. When you test smaller elements like the headline of a landing page you can test for specific factors and gather more important information. This iterative process of objective testing provides objective information to back up the functionality of a site.
Although there are many statistical tests available, two types of conversion testing are helpful in gathering data and being able to tell a story from what your results end up showing.
A/B Testing or Split Testing – A/B testing is when you create two slightly different versions of the same page and test their performance against one another. Doing so will allow you to test for specific page variables to see what works and what doesn’t.
Multivariate testing – Multivariate testing is when you test many different variables (which are often small differences) across your website at the same time. While multivariate testing is an effective strategy for huge websites with millions of visitors (such as Amazon.com or eBay.com) it can be an overly complicated and unhelpful process for most businesses. By testing so many at any given moment, you run the risk of testing too much and getting lost in a sea of data. When testing, it is important test just enough on your website to make fast improvements that boost your return on investment.
A website should be able to tell a story that can be backed up by tested data. By setting up site elements to track and measure key metrics such as: bounce rates, time on site, page goals, conversions, cost per lead, cost per acquisition and revenue. When you start optimizing your site for conversion, it’s important to setup the site up to be measurable and trackable. This allows you to see where in your website’s story your consumer stopped listening.