Benefits of A/B Testing for Your Website

Benefits of A/B Testing for Your Website

Benefits of A/B Testing for Your Website

A/B Testing is the secret ingredient of successful websites. You may be thinking, “A/B testing is no secret–even presidential campaigns use it.”

The secret about A/B testing is that while “everybody” talks about it, most businesses don’t do it. This means that using A/B testing on your website gives you an advantage over your competitors.

A/B testing, also called split testing, studies customer behavior by testing hypotheses about how website visitors react to different versions of website content. For example, are potential customers more likely to click on a button that says “buy now for 20% off” or on a button that says “order now for free shipping”?

Results of A/B Testing

Numerous case studies show that when companies modify content based on A/B testing results, they experience

  • Reduced bounce rates
  • Increased conversion rates
  • Higher conversion value
  • More sales

Benefits of A/B Testing:

  • Improved content

The process of A/B testing leads to better website content because you must discuss which content is valuable and why. As you generate the variables to be tested, you create a list of potential content improvements.

  • More profitable companies

A/B testing can cause organizational shifts that increase profits. Organizations using A/B testing value data over opinions. Resources are spent on implementation, not debate. These companies are nimble–they quickly adapt to changes in the marketplace and changes in data. Decisions are made quickly and mid-course adjustments are expected.

  • Lower Risks

A/B testing reduces risks inherent in big decisions like pricing and strategy. Testing customer behavior before making decisions increases the likelihood of success. A/B testing helps companies target their resources for maximum results, increasing the ROI, whether the return on investment is defined in short-term success or long-term customer loyalty.

Why A/B Testing Works

A/B testing lets you see which content causes visitors to

  • Spend more time on your site
  • Click through to additional pages
  • Sign up for more information
  • Make purchases

A/B testing for websites lets you see which versions of content cause your target audience to take the actions you want them to take. If your goal is to have a visitor join your mailing list, you can test different call to action designs to see which one leads to the most sign-ups. Instead of trying to predict what visitors might want or do, you test your theories. You see what website users actually do when presented with different options.

How to Get the Best Website Design


How to Get the Best Website Design

How to Get the Best Website Design

It’s that time again—your company’s periodic website redesign. Website traffic has been declining along with your customer base. The last website overhaul was three years ago, a few updates have been made since then, and you realize your website is starting to look dated.

Senior management declares that a new website design will restock the customer pipeline. Somehow you get chosen to lead the website revamp team. The instructions are clear: hire the best website design firm within management’s budget to make your website better than any of your competitors’. The new site must increase traffic exponentially and have a higher conversation rate. In addition, the website needs to really “pop” and have a “modern vibe.”

Where do you start and how do you keep your sanity?

  1. Hire the right creative agency. Check out the best website design firms in your city. Look at your competitors’ websites and find out who built them. Don’t write an RFP; interview prospective creative agencies and study their portfolios. Make the business case to hire the best agency for your company, not necessarily the cheapest. Creating a dynamic custom website that evolves with the company is a better investment than building a new site every few years. Allocate resources to maintain the site and keep content current.
  2. Understand your role. Your team is the expert on your business. The creative agency is the expert on website design and the internet. You: describe your ideal client and why your product or service is unique; explain what you hope to gain from a new website design; provide details about what you do and do not like about your current website. Agency: translate that information into a visual representation; provide the concept and the elements to achieve the client’s goals.  Both: work together as a team; value the expertise each participant brings.
  3. Define your business problems, not the website design elements. You describe problems and your creative agency offers solutions. Listen when the agency explains which problems won’t be solved by a new website. Trust them.
  4. Set realistic expectations. Understand what a new website will and will not accomplish. For example, website conversation rates average less than 4% for retail and less than 10% for professional services. Set your performance metrics accordingly.
  5. Give constructive feedback by asking specific questions and providing specific comments. Instead of saying, “The fonts look weird to me,” asking “Why did you choose that title font for product descriptions?” may help you understand how the design elements work together to achieve your stated goals.  Instead of saying, “Those photos don’t work for us,” explaining “People in our field wear creative casual attire so photos of people wearing suits make us look out of touch with our industry,” lets the agency know what to change and why.

To help you apply these strategies, think of the services agreement between the creative agency and your team as a road map for working together. Don’t just fill in the blanks on a standard contract. Instead, describe each participant’s roles and how you will work together. Specify goals, deliverables, time frames, deadlines, number of revisions, frequency and manner of feedback. Use the agreement to guide the process.

The Best SEO Companies versus the Mediocre Ones


The Best SEO Companies versus the Mediocre Ones

The Best SEO Companies versus the Mediocre Ones

Over 100,000 internet searches for “best SEO” occurred in November 2013 and a Google search for “SEO services” turns up over 44 million results. Clearly there is a market for SEO companies. How can a business owner distinguish between the best SEO companies, the mediocre ones, and the crooks?

One differentiator between “the best” and “the rest” in this field is the range of services offered by a single company. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a multi-faceted, long-term strategy. The best SEO companies:

  • provide individualized SEO services to accomplish client goals.
  • provide a holistic approach to SEO.
  • understand the changing SEO landscape and adapt their approach as needed.

Effective SEO is not just about page rankings—it’s about conversion rates. Your objective is to ensure that customers who are most likely to buy what you sell find your business easily and respond to your call to action, whether that is a newsletter sign-up or a product purchase.

When choosing an SEO company, learn what they have accomplished for other clients using the following components of effective SEO campaigns.

Keyword Research

Keyword research provides the foundation for an effective SEO campaign. Your SEO provider must understand both the how and the why of effective keyword research. To optimize a website for a particular keyword, you first must know the words and phrases your ideal customers search for. The right keywords bring qualified traffic to your site, resulting in higher conversions. The wrong keywords might drive traffic, but result in high bounce rates.

SEO Audit

How does your business rank in organic search results? If you aren’t ranking in a spot where your customers can find you, you must figure out why. An SEO audit includes a competitive analysis examining how your competitors are ranking and what they are doing to achieve those rankings. It also studies on-page optimization—looking at behind-the-scenes technical details that are important to search engines, and off-page optimization, covering backlinks and social media.

An SEO audit identifies whether everything possible has been done to make your website “crawler-friendly” so that search engines can easily find and index your site. Search engine crawlers or spiders look for specific items and structure on websites including

  • A sitemap
  • A robot.txt file
  • Appropriate use of title tags, header tags and descriptions.

On-page optimization includes everything from source code to content and usability, and the best SEO firms understand how everything works together. Off-page SEO analysis explores how other websites and social media point to your site. The quality and quantity of links to your site affects search rankings.

An SEO audit will reveal changes that should be made to make your site more accessible to search engines, and therefore more visible and more attractive than your competitors’ websites.

Monthly Reporting and Ranking Analysis

Since SEO is an ongoing strategy, not a one-time fix, results must be monitored and tactics adjusted accordingly. Your SEO provider must understand SEO metrics—what is important to measure and why, track the appropriate metrics, and use them to consistently improve your strategy.

Effective reporting analysis goes beyond keyword ranking reports and traffic analysis. The right metrics provide ongoing quality control information and indicate changes that are needed to help your business remain competitive. A basic website traffic analysis report focuses on organic search traffic. But what your business really wants to know is who you are reaching, how you are reaching them, and what visitors do once they are on your site. Organic searches are just part of the equation. You should also analyze how customers are being referred to your site, such as from social media and referral links, and what referral sources result in the highest conversion rates.

Local SEO

If your business serves a specific geographic area, you want potential customers in that area to know about you. Local SEO uses on-site and off-site techniques to make sure that people in your area find you quickly when searching for services like yours. A local SEO strategy includes posting your name, address, and phone number with area code (NAP information), creating location pages if you have more than one physical location, and publishing locally relevant content. Your strategy also includes listing your business with a variety of reputable directories, properly categorizing your business for local business listings, and developing a plan for obtaining and sharing customer reviews.

Video SEO

Website visitors want more than text and pictures. If you are selling a product, they want to see how it works. If you are selling a service, they want you to explain how it will help them. Video has become a standard requirement for websites and is an important part of successful SEO campaigns. Keywords should be in the video label, title, and descriptive information. Videos are easily linked and shared and are more likely to keep visitors on your site longer.

The Best SEO Companies Get Results

The best SEO companies do not promise a certain ranking on Google. Instead, they use “white-hat” SEO strategies and implement a well-crafted, holistic SEO campaign that increases non-branded organic traffic, high quality traffic, qualified leads, conversion rates, and ultimately revenue.