Thursday, September 6, 2007

64 Tips for Getting Started with Google Website Optimizer

Posted in Landing Page Optimization | A/B Testing | Accountable Marketing

Just getting started with online testing? Getting ready to take Google Website Optimizer out for a spin? Here are 64 tips on elements you can test and some helpful info to get you going.

Calls to Action

1) Is your call to action distinctive? Does it stand out on the page?
2) Button language and/or hyperlink anchor text
3) B2B Concerns - Are you asking leads to submit?
4) Button Colors & Shapes

Point of Action Assurances

5) Privacy policy: is it easy to understand?
6) Return policy and 3rd-party security verification: are they prominent?


7) Choice of font
Readability: how easy are your fonts to read?
9) To bold or not to bold


10) Use fractions or percentages to prove your claim.
11) Ask questions in the headline.
12) Use words that evoke emotion.
13) Different types of formatting: bolding, fonts, colors, capitalizations, sizes
14) Number of words used in the headline
15) Use exclamation points.
16) Use text to convey the benefits versus the features of your products or services.
17) Self-focused (we/I) versus customer-focused text (you)
18) Use quotations in the headline (consider the length of the headline).
19) Reading level of the headline

Get examples and more details on testing your headlines

Product Copy

20) Is the copy more than just a blurb?
21) How enticing is the copy?

Product Images

22) Present different Image sizes.
23) Pay attention to image quality, it affects the perceived value.
24) Does the image show the product in a different context? (If you are selling tents, are you presenting the package or an image of the constructed tent?)
25) Product zoom and/or different angles
26) How enticing is the image?

Product Reviews

27) Do you use Product Reviews?
28) Do you provide more than just a simple score? Try a more multidimensional scoring system (i.e., quality, support and setup scores).
29) Are there positive and negative reviews, transparency is important?

Category Pages

30) Are you accounting for customers early in the buying process when they don't know the terms associated with the product?
31) Are you making it easy for those who know approximately what they want?
32) How quickly can those who know exactly what they want find their product? Ask the big three questions.

About Us Pages

33) Do you tell the story of your company?
34) Are you doing something more than just posting a mission statement? Take advantage of the about us page by letting visitors see the personality and the people behind your company.

Contact Us Pages

35) Build more effective 'Contact Us' pages. Make it easy for them to find the information they seek.
36) Whom should they contact?
37) How soon can they expect a response?


38) How intimidating are your forms? Too many drop-downs and long text boxes make forms seem intimidating.
39) Remove unnecessary drop-downs.
40) Remove reset buttons.

Shopping Cart Tips

41) Check how many steps are in your checkout process.
42) Include a “Progress Indicator” on each checkout page.
43) Provide a link back to the product.
44) Add pictures inside the basket.
45) Provide shipping costs as early in the process as possible.
46) Show stock availability on the product page.
47) Make it obvious what to click next.
48) Make it easy for the shopper to edit her shopping cart.
49) Make it your fault if visitors input something incorrectly.
50) Make shoppers aware that you're a real entity; give them contact info.
51) Give the visitor the option to call.
52) Make it always about your new customer, do not force a new registration instead make it a part of the checkout.
53) Add 3rd party reinforcement messages.
54) Present coupon codes carefully.
55) Deal with pricing issues head-on, include a price match guarantee.
56) GTC (Get the Cash) - offer numerous payment options.
57) Offer point-of-action reassurance; make anything the visitor may be concerned about available and visible during checkout.
58) Save it for them. Save their cart in case they want to come back later.
59) When all else fails, survey. If they didn't complete the checkout, ask them why.

Get more examples and more information about these shopping cart tips in "Save the Sale."

Load Times

60) Test your load time. Also, be aware of how fast a page appears to load. Shrink the file sizes of your images, clean your code, etc.

Offer Incentives

61) Test different incentives; discounts, __% off, added value.

Online Testing 101

62) Learn proper testing methods
63) Practice effective testing
64) Never give up

Welcome to the world of website optimization! Why travel it alone? At the very least get ahead of the game.

[UPDATE: Bloggers, don't forget to add Content Robot's Google Website Optimizer plugin for WordPress.]

Technorati Tags: AB Testing, Google, Google Website Optimizer, Landing Page Optimization, landing pages, Multivariate testing, MVT

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