The 'Total Profits' of Website Testing

By ​Marifran Manzo-Ritchie

April 17, 2012

Let’s get one thing straight from the start: Your website testing tool should not be a cost; it should be a huge profit-generator. If you’re testing the right things, then the cost of your testing tool should be negligible in comparison with the increase in profits.

The following exercise may help: Calculate what an increase in profits of just 20% would be worth to you, and you’ll probably find that the cost of your website testing tool is negligible in comparison.

How to Test the Right Things

So how do you identify “the right things” to test on your website? One option is to hire a company to guide you through the process. Alternatively, you may prefer to do it all yourself, in which case the following reports will be useful:

1. How to know exactly why your visitors aren’t converting. As any salesperson knows, you can’t persuade prospects to take an action unless you know their main objections. The first step towards increasing your conversion rate is to find out why your prospects aren’t becoming customers. This report describes 15 tools that will identify the barriers to conversion.

2. Three more valuable reports for growing your business using conversion rate optimization, including:

  • a screenshot of a winning landing page, which has been annotated to illustrate the techniques that made it effective;
  • five advanced tips for growing your web businesses, as revealed by sunshine.co.uk, which almost doubled their revenues within a year of beginning conversion rate optimization;
  • a report about how capturing qualitative customer feedback can help in improving conversion rates.

Another Reason to Begin Website Testing

It’s not just about profit. Strategically speaking, you should be aiming to grow quickly. For years, companies like Amazon, Expedia, and Google have focused on conversion and user experience, and these improvements have allowed them to leave many of their competitors in the dust. The sooner you focus on increasing your conversion rate, the sooner you’ll have conversion working to your advantage.

The False Economies of Website Testing

Many newcomers to website testing make the mistake of simply comparing ticket prices. If this describes you, you’ll find Monetate’s latest infographic (shown below) useful. It explores some of the less-obvious costs of website testing.

For example, your testing software may be free, but your staff isn’t, so:

  • Consider whether you want to design your own tests, or whether you prefer to seek the opinion of experts who have a track record of creating winning tests.
  • Choose whether you want your software vendor to do the QA for you, or whether you would rather do it in-house.
  • Decide whether you want to analyze the data yourself, or whether you prefer to leave it in the hands of someone with more experience.

In each case, there’s no right answer. Your decision will depend upon factors such as:

  • Your budget (which should be a function of the value of a potential uplift).
  • Whether you want to outsource these activities or whether you want to develop them in-house.

Either way, it would be foolish to choose a software platform without considering the indirect costs associated with it. A short-term bargain may in fact be more expensive in the long run. And often, the most cost-effective tool is one that gets used a lot.

A quick glance over the infographic below will help you to build an informed testing plan geared towards minimizing costs while maximizing results.

 

Karl Blanks is a former rocket scientist, with a PhD from Cambridge University, England. He co-founded Conversion Rate Experts to show businesses how they can profit by applying scientific techniques to web marketing. Conversion Rate Experts has worked with companies including Apple, Sony, Google, 888, BT (British Telecom), SEO Book, and SEOmoz. Conversion Rate Experts has pioneered a new approach to conversion rate optimization (CRO) called The CRE Methodology™.

Marifran Manzo-Ritchie is the former Director of Corporate Communications at Monetate. She has over 12 years of experience in helping companies create and share the messages that resonate with their target markets. In a previous life, Marifran worked as a radio news writer, producer and occasional on-air talent. She is always trying to learn the Italian language and the piano.

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