How to Improve Your Online Business through Testing (“Signups Increased by 60%”)

You run a small business and use your website to sell goods or generate interest from consumers.

You might even use analytics tools to track your visitors’ behavior. If you want to make more informed decisions about your website, include testing in your online marketing plan. It’s an effective way to determine what works and what doesn’t with your website.

Conversion Rate

To start, you need to know that conversation rate is the percentage of visitors who complete a conversion goal. For example, you want to know how many visitors to your website purchase a product. In this case, your conversion rate is the number of sales divided by the number of visitors. Other examples might include the number of visitors who register new accounts, fill in forms or click on a particular link.

In order to optimize your conversion rate, you need to know your current conversion rate and clearly define how much you want the conversion rate to improve (e.g. 10% increase in sales or 15% increase in leads). Now that you know the basics, you’re ready to make some changes to your website.

How do I start improving my conversion rate?

Testing can be described as a series of experiments that enable you to comprehensively track the activity on your website. By conducting testing, you can effectively determine the variations that are impacting results. Possible variations to test include redesigning the landing page, featuring a single product or service, changing the headline to include a more direct call to action or  changing the color or text of action buttons.  Here are some variations to test.

A/B Split Testing

This type of testing is called A/B split testing because visitors are directed to variations of your website in order to track your conversion rate. You can test variations simultaneously and get real-time results, which means that you can implement changes to your website as soon as you get conclusive results.

For example, UK job site WikiJob changed their landing page by highlighting customer testimonials while greying out the rest of the page. This variation proved to be very effective, increasing sales by 34%. You can read more about this test here.

Signups Increased by 60%!

It’s important to test because you can never be certain of your customers’ behavior. Vendio, an e-commerce business was able to improve signups by 60% in a very counter-intuitive way: by removing the sign-up form from their landing page! You can read about this test in detail.

Why Testing Really Matters

Your customers are talking to you every time that they visit your website; their mouseclicks tell a story that you can better understand through real-time testing. Whether it’s implementing testimonials,  adding photos, or improving your site’s copy, testing helps you understand which variations improve your conversation rate and help create a site with a great user experience. And all that hard work will pay off when a potential customer becomes a paying customer. After all, isn’t that why you’re in business?

If you’re new to testing, I encourage you to give it a try. You will gain valuable insights into your customers’ behavior that can improve your business decisions and your revenue. You don’t need any technical expertise: paste a piece of code, create a test with variations of your website and prepare yourself to enter the world of online marketing. Enjoy testing!

About the Author: Anish Kothari is associated with Wingify, the company behind world’s easiest A/B testing tool: Visual Website Optimizer. Thousands of businesses worldwide (including Fortune 500 companies and SMBs) use it daily to increase their online sales and conversion rate. For interesting tips on conversion rate optimization, follow us on Twitter @Wingify.

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