Category: Website Design

How to Improve Your Website Conversion Rate by Using A/B Testing.

(Courtesy of Mil8)

Although there are many ways you can test changes to your website, none of them are as simple and as effective as A/B Testing. It’s important to remember, however, that A/B testing – even with all its positive features – will not always be suitable to use. In fact, the first step in ensuring its success is to determine if it is the right testing method to use for the kind of problem or situation you are dealing with.What Is A/B Testing Anyway?It’s important that you have a correct understanding of what A/B testing can and cannot do, and that means understanding its definition thoroughly.
  • A/B testing involves testing two elements.
The first one is your "control" or the element that currently exists in your website. The second element involves the new change that you want to introduce in your website.
  • A/B testing must be conducted under the same circumstances.
Say you have a website for kids. Running tests to determine the success rate of Element A from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. is a good idea because that’s the time when kids are likely to be home. It would not, however, be a good idea to conduct the same tests for Element B from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. because your target market – grade school students – is still likely in school at that time.The best way to go about this is to test A and B on the same time slot but on different weekdays. You can also do the same on different days of the weekend.
  • Use the right and best metric tools to determine the results.
You can’t rely on guesswork or your “instincts” to determine how effective A is over B or vice versa. You need quantifiable results, and you can get that from metric or conversion tools. Naturally, which tools you should use would be determined by the type of conversion you are interested in.The most commonly used conversion rate is sales.
  • Element A brought in 100 visitors and 10 of those made a purchase. That means Element A has a 10% conversion rate.
  • Element B brought in 100 visitors but only 5 of those made a purchase. That gives Element B a lower conversion rate at 5%.
Sales conversion rates can also be made more specific or detailed if you don’t just base it on the total number of visits your website received. You can also base it on the number of visits Element A drew in per hour. There are also other types of conversion rates that may be ideal to use.
  • Newsletter sign-ups or subscriptions
  • Leads or getting contact information from prospective clients
  • Amount of revenue generated by affiliate links
  • Amount of revenue generated by click ads
  • Amount of time spent on a particular page
When Is A/B Testing Ideal to Use?The list below is just an example in which A/B testing has proven to be effective. Other areas not listed here may also benefit from A/B testing, but it ultimately depends on the number of changes you are proposing to introduce. Anything more than one would make multivariate testing more suitable.Here are other parts of your website that are likely to benefit from this type of test.
  • Types of buttons used for call to action
  • Use of online trust and trade association seals and logos
  • Number of images used
  • Headlines
The sky’s the limit to what you can discover with A/B testing, but it all boils down to figuring out what’s wrong with your website first.Lastly, most people mistakenly assume that methods such as A/B testing are only good for evaluating your website and all its components. In reality, you can apply this test as well to marketing methods you may be performing “outside” your website. A good example of this would be your email campaign, and most of its elements may be subject to A/B testing as well.Want to learn more about A/B testing? You can find more information on the Maxymiser guide to AB testing. You might also be interested in "What's the Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative Research?" on the 60 Second Marketer blog.Ruben Corbo is a freelance writer that writes about technology, gaming, music, and online marketing especially topics about A/B split testing and how to run multivariate tests. Ruben is also an avid gamer and music composer for short films and other visual arts.

10 Essential Tips You Can Use to Convert More of Your Visitors into Customers

Online business is all about conversion. Naturally, if your conversion rate is low, it makes no difference how high you're ranked on Google. Ultimately, your success or failure will be determined by your conversion rate, which means you should focus as much energy on converting your traffic as you do on getting the traffic to your site in the first place.Here are some simple techniques that can help you improve your conversion rate.1. Build trust through quick response You may have your email address and your phone number listed on your website, but how quickly do you respond to an inquiry from a potential customer? People desire a quick response from a real person. A simple prerecorded voice on the telephone is the surest way to put off a potential buyer. An auto generated email response may be quick, but it lacks the human touch. Try to follow-up in person as quickly as you can.2. Make contact information easy to access Sometimes your contact information is tucked away in a remote corner of your website. You should make it easy for visitors to see your contact information. Make the phone number and the email address standout on the first page itself. If possible, have a toll free number on your website. This may be expensive, but it will prove a worthwhile investment in the long-run.3. People hate hidden charges Don't surprise people with add-on or hidden charges. If you have international shipping, then you should display clearly the charges a customer will have to pay for delivery. This helps to build trust and confidence which, in turn, helps improve conversion.4. Make your pages easy to read Make sure your information easy-to-read and error-free. Sloppy work does not inspire confidence. If you display that you are sloppy with your website, you cannot expect people to buy from your website. 5. Include an "about us" page If you don't have an "about us" page, then you are never going to improve your rate of conversion. You need to inform people all about who you are and what your company does. If possible, give a brief description and history about your online business since this helps to build trust.6. Make your website visually appealing If your website does not have a visual appeal, then your conversion rate is always going to be poor. The first page should always have a few images and, if possible, at least one video. Current data suggests that adding a short video introduction to your website can improve your conversion rate significantly.7. Offer a freebie Another great tool for raising the conversion rate is to offer a freebie on the website. If you can offer a free downloadable product such an eBook then you can raise your rate of conversion considerably. Some websites offer free utility software or other premiums. No matter what you offer, research indicates that freebies often pay for themselves by improving conversion rates.8. Make your website accessible on mobile phones Gartner predicts that by 2013 the number one way people will access the internet will be via a mobile device. Given that, it's important that you've optimized your website to be mobile-ready. (For tips on how to do this, read "How to Build a Mobile Website" on the 60 Second Marketer blog.)9. Make certain all links are live and working properly When was the last time you checked the links on your site? It's important to have live links that work well on your site. Links that are dead will kill your conversion rate. As time consuming as this may be, it's worth having someone go through each page of your site to test all the links.10. Drive your visitors to action When a visitor lands on your page, he or she should feel compelled to take action. Make certain that you use words and phrases that call a visitor to read on and explore the website further. This will improve the rate of conversion as well. (For more on this topic, read "The 14 Most Powerful and Effective Words in Marketing" on the 60 Second Marketer blog.)These are just some of the ways you can improve their rate of conversion and become successful on the web. Do you have any tips of your own? If so, share them in the comments section below.Sam Mauzy is a marketer and blogger who has learned much of what he knows by trial and error while improving his own site’s average conversion rate and sharing his knowledge and tips in marketing forums.

8 DIY Services for Building a Website on a Budget

Your company's online presence begins and ends with your website. However, hiring a design company can be expensive. Fortunately, with do-it-yourself options, it is easier than ever to create a high-impact website without breaking the bank.Check out these 8 services to help you create your website at little to no cost:
  1. Squarespace: Squarespace has subscription prices ranging from $12 to $36 per month with accounts including hosting, the Squarespace content management system, the visual designer tools, and access to widgets/add-ons to incorporate into your site. You can also use your own domain name with all levels of Squarespace accounts. Larger plans give you room for more pages, more bandwidth, more management staff, and access to advanced features like FAQs, SSL, form builders and member registration.
  1. Weebly:  Weebly is an entirely free service that allows you to use your own domain name and choose from more than 100 professional themes, which can then be further customized. Weebly also has gallery/slide show functionality, audio and video players, a custom form builder, and built-in blogging platform.
  1. Jigsy: Jigsy's plans range from free to $30 per month, and all paid plans will let you host multiple websites from the same account. Jigsy also has a blogging platform, handles e-mail hosting, and utilizes a widget-based system. Widgets are available for features like Google maps integration, RSS feeds, and PayPal/eBay selling. Jigsy also offers tools for easily creating photo galleries and slide shows.
  1. SnapPages: SnapPages is a drag-and-drop website builder and hosted service provider with plans ranging from free to $30 per month. Features for all plans include a blogging platform, customizable themes, photo galleries, calendars, and basic access control through a "friends" list. With the paid plans, you can host your own domain name, add your own custom HTML and JavaScript code, gain access to powerful analytics, and control various SEO options.
  1. Yola: Yola is a website creation service offering free and paid plans from $99 to $499 per year. Yola offers more than 100 themes to choose from and customization options. Other features include analytics and traffic statistics, premium styles and multi-site hosting. Both paid plans include advertising credits on popular ad platforms like Facebook and Google AdWords.
  1. Moonfruit: Moonfruit is a free website host and editor with extremely customizable designs and detailed editing options. A site you build in Moonfruit is designed to render in Flash, HTML, or mobile HTML5, depending on how the user is accessing it. Moonfruit's basic services are free for one website with up to 15 pages, 20MB of online storage, and 1GB of monthly bandwidth. For those who need more, Moonfruit has packages from $6 to $50 per month. Its Business package is $25 per month, offering 15 websites with unlimited pages, 2500MB of storage, and unlimited bandwidth.
  1. Qapacity: Qapacity is a business-oriented social networking site and a business directory. Instead of adding your website, you add a "service" to Qapacity's network of businesses, and then build an associated website to promote your service. Qapacity's basic features are free, including one website with five pages, 16 images, 1GB of storage, and 500GB of monthly bandwidth. Qapacity also offers packages from $12 to $40 per month.
  1. Jimdo: Jimdo is another easy-to-use website designer with integrated e-commerce. Jimdo has three membership tiers: Free, Pro ($5/month), and Business ($15/month). The free membership lets you list up to five items for sale, with Jimdo taking a 10 percent cut. The $15 Business membership lets you list unlimited items and Jimdo takes no cut. The service also optimizes your site for the iPhone and other mobile devices.
The Take-Away: You do need to put something into your site if you expect to get anything in return, but you don’t need to break the bank to create your site or build an online presence. There are great services on the web that will help you do just that. To check out more information, visit Mashable.Brittney Leigh Smith is a marketing analyst for the 60 Second Marketer.