Testing — What you measure you can improve

So. . . what should you measure, and how do you improve it?

No matter how bad your current website is, there’s a good chance that it will sell something to someone. . . eventually. But my guess is that’s not a situation you’re willing to live with.

It can and will get better.

But how do you make it better if all you’re trying to do is “make it make more money?” That’s much too vague a goal. The key is to break down your web business into its component parts, and measure each one. Once you’ve done that, test each part to see if you can improve it. Then modify your website with the winning processes, web copy.

Measurement, Testing, and Modification of your web marketing performance are the keys to making your first dollar or your first million dollars.

Every good web marketer knows two very important numbers about his website: the cost of getting a new lead, and the value of that lead (see “How Fast Can You Spend $1,000,000″). The way you learn those two numbers is by measurement.

Here are the top 3 things you need to measure on your website:

Costs

You can probably figure out what your costs are. Just take a look at your checkbook, credit card statement, or Quickbooks to find out what you’ve spent on internet marketing. That’s an easy thing to measure. How much did you spend last month?

Traffic

Do this by checking your web traffic logs using a statistics program. Your web hosting company should provide this for you (at least a basic one) at no cost. The things you want to know most are

Total Visitors
How many people came to your website in the last month?
New Visitors
How many of those visitors were brand new?
Referring Websites
What websites are sending you this traffic?
Search Engine Keywords
What keywords are people using to find your website?
Conversions

Out of all of the traffic you had last month, how many leads did your site create? That’s your lead conversion ratio.

How many sales did you create from those leads? That’s your sales conversion ratio.

And now you know these individual details, you can work to improve each one. And the key to that is testing.

But How To Test?

Always Test so you can Always Improve

The simplest way to test things like your headlines, your pricing, and your web copy is by using split testing, sometimes called A/B testing. To do this, you need just three things:

Two different versions of your web page (with the different headlines, for example)
A method of splitting traffic between them, and
A way to measure conversions separately on each page.
Run the test until you get at least 30 actions (a sale or a lead) on at least one of the pages. The one that gets there first is the winner. The larger the gap between the winner and the loser, the more confident you can be that the winner is actually better.

This test might take an hour if you have a lot of traffic, a month if you have very little, or some time in between. But whatever amount of time it takes, at the end you will KNOW that you have the better of the two pages. And if the winner is the new page you created, then you’ve improved your sales without spending a dime on advertising. And that’s a good thing.

And once you’ve run the test and found a winner, set up a new test and try to beat the winner again.

Testing is a continual process.

If you are not at least split testing your sales and lead generating web pages, you are wasting your time!

1ShoppingCart has a split tester built into its shopping cart. As a matter of fact, you’ll find there’s only half as much work you need to do to put 1ShoppingCart’s “Ad Tracker” to work for you than other stand-alone trackers. Take a look at it when you get a chance. And you can even test it out for about $3 (yes, just three dollars).

And if you don’t know what to test, start with testing your headlines, which is typically the most influential factor on a sales page.

But sometimes you want to test more than one thing at a time. You may not know what the critical elements are on your site. It could be the headline, or the body copy, or the offer, or the font size. It might be the color of your site, the text of the optin form, or something you don’t even expect.

How do you test it all at once?

The Fastest, Most Accurate, Least Expensive Testing Method For Web Conversion

With a little bit of math (which thankfully is built into some very intelligent software), you can test multiple elements on a web page all at once. The process is called Taguchi Testing, and with it, you can test up to 15 things at once time.

You can do it with a fraction of the traffic required if you were to split test each item. For example, let’s say you were going to test all combinations of 15 different elements on your web page, and each element had 2 options. That test would require that you build 32,768 different pages (That’s 2 to the 15th power). Remember this number. . . if only for about 5 seconds.

Now let’s think about the traffic required to get definitive results. Let’s assume you had an optin rate as high as 20%, on your best page. You’d need roughly 4,915,200 page views in order to get 30 optins on the winning page and determine a winner.

That’s a very big number.

With Taguchi Testing, you’d need only 18 pages, and you’d have results in under 2,000 page views. (Your 5 seconds is up now.)

The difference is so huge between the effectiveness of Taguchi testing and Split testing, it almost seems unreal. But the math and results bear this out.

There’s no room here to explain how this works, but the results are faster, more informative, and more accurate than anything you could do with split testing.

Shortly, we’ll be adding more pages on this website that will explain more about how you can split test your own pages, run Taguchi tests on your own pages, or how you can have TrafficandConversion.com run tests for you at virtually no out-of-pocket costs to you.

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