When you’re trying to increase your sales, using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to drive traffic to your website simply isn’t enough. Sure, SEO will get visitors to your site, but what will they do when they get there? How can you be certain that what you are doing is effective? Having a website testing strategy should be first and foremost on your list.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the strategy or process used to convert your website visitors into paying customers – or whatever your website goal may be. Maybe you are interested in getting signups or increased visitor engagement – or, yes, sales. Whatever your goal is for your site visitors, CRO through website testing will help you achieve it.
There are no real standardized CRO strategies, they vary based on many factors including your goals, your audience, your website, and your industry. One thing that is constant though are conversion rate tests.
Types of Website Conversion Rate Tests
Website testing is a viable way to see if your conversion optimization strategy is in fact effective. There are three primary types of tests that can be used to accomplish this: A/B testing, multivariate testing, and multi-page testing.
- A/B Testing (split) A/B testing, also known as split test, is the process of creating two different versions of the same web page and comparing the two in order to see which version performs better. For example, create version A with a direct call to action placed above the fold and create version B with a more subtle call to action at the bottom of the page. After a predetermined amount of time, compare the performance rate of each and determine the one with the best conversion rate to decide which design best suits your needs.
- Multivariate Testing : Multivariate testing analyzes multiple variables as they are modified to find the right combination. Different arrangements of website elements or marketing strategies like calls-to-action or graphics, are changed to find the combination that elicits the best conversion rate. For instance, create a website with a call-to-action that directs visitors to “sign up now.” It is set on a red graphic. Through the course of testing, the call-to-action may be changed to “sign up today” or some other version while the graphic color may be changed to blue or green or even a different shape. This is typically an ongoing test since websites and mobile applications are comprised of many elements that can be changed again and again.
- Multi-Page Testing Multi-page testing, also called funnel testing, bears many similarities to A/B testing. However, instead of creating variations of just one page, this test makes changes over multiple pages. Just like A/B website testing, site visitors are directed to one version of the site or the other then their responses to design style and how they interact with different page elements is measured. For instance, two versions of a website are created, each with different elements that lead the customer through the sales funnel. This could include a different call-to-action, different information at the discovery stage, or different engagement tools. Then conversion rates for each are calculated to determine the top performing version.
Tools to Help with CRO
There are a variety of tools on the market that are accessible and proven effective in helping to improve a website. Google Analytics is a tried and true tool that measures various aspects of a website’s performance. It is easy to acquire, easy to set up, and easy to use. Additional website testing tools include Visual Website Optimizer and Adobe Test&Target for advanced testers.
The Importance of Having a Website Testing Strategy
No website should ever be static. Customers needs change, industries change, and the competition changes. A website that is constantly growing, improving, always testing and evolving is what is needed in order to reach today’s internet customer, regardless of website goals. In order to effectively compete, there must be a testing strategy in place.
While there are website testing tools out there, don’t hesitate to turn to an expert! An agency with solid experience and a background in conducting the various testing methods above can help your company achieve their website goals.
Want to learn more about testing? We are always happy to help.