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The Power of Testing

Often times, companies either stick with what they’ve always done, or they make haphazard changes without checking to see if they’re helping or hurting their business. Either way, you can lose out on clients and purchases. However, you can make sure the changes you’re making are the best for your website with some simple testing.

The key to effective testing is to test one thing at a time. You can’t test a color change and a text change at the same time; the results won’t tell you which change made a difference!

Using your call-to-action as an example, here are just a few things you might want to test:

  • Size. This applies to both the size of the call-to-action box and the text, and it can be different for different audiences.
  • Location. While having your call-to-action above the fold is almost always the best idea, different placements might work for you, depending on the overall layout on your site.
  • Color. Color psychology is a frequently studied subject, and it would be worth looking into the affects different colors can have on users. After all, you want to make sure your call-to-actions match the feelings you’re trying to evoke.
  • Text. Of course, testing your wording, font, and font size are all great places to start!

Once you’ve chosen your tests and had the design changes set up, then you need to pick a program to use to set up your test. There are many different options, but today I’m just going to cover a few of the most well known.

  • Google Analytics Content Experiments. While this program is free, it does require coding to be able to do the tests.
  • Optimizely. While you do have to pay for Optimizely, you only need to make one-time coding updates, which makes testing simple for those without an on-staff developer. Plans start at $17 a month.
  • Unbounce. This is also a paid service, but it features a simple drag and drop update interface that makes it extremely easy to use. Plans start at $49 a month.
  • Five Second Test. This tool allows you to test first impressions of your content by giving testers five seconds to view your content, and then answer some questions of your choosing. It’s a great way to check on the quality of the first impression your site gives. Plans start at $20 a month, but there are free options available.

One last thing to keep in mind: testing isn’t a one time thing. Just because a specific wording or color works this year doesn’t in mean it will work next year. And if you’re a site with frequent repeat visitors, the same set up may lose effectiveness over. For the best results, constantly experiment to find out what’s working for you!

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