Elements to Test Using GWO

Emily Creech - September 7, 2011

Website testing is something that we as an agency can’t stress enough. Despite what some may say, there’s really only one way to tell if a particular change is going to lead to increased conversions, and that’s through testing. Every website is different, with different calls-to-action and different audiences. What may resonate with the visitors for one website and its audience may not for another.

So where do you begin when it comes to testing? First, I would recommend the use of Google Website Optimizer (GWO). This tool can make your experiments run much more smoothly than conducting manual tests. (We wrote a great post on the 6 critical steps for starting your Google Website Optimizer experiments.)

Next, you will need to determine what you want to test. Is your website an ecommerce website? If so, there are almost endless elements you could test. You may consider starting with:

  • Your call-to-actions. These are probably throughout your website in multiple places — on the homepage, category pages, product pages, etc. Try changing these elements. If you currently don’t have a button, such as Buy Now or Add to Cart, on your product pages, I would definitely start there. Your website visitors have grown accustomed to looking for buttons, particularly on ecommerce websites. If you are using buttons, review their size and color. Some studies have shown that orange buttons out perform red buttons. Test to see what works best for your audience.
  • Elements within your shopping cart. Do you currently feature secure symbols to help build trust and credibility? Are you asking for too much information in the first step of the check out process? The only way to know is by testing.
  • The homepage. Are you featuring calls-to-action to drive visitors to certain top sellers, products or brands? Do you have too many calls-to-action on your homepage that might be confusing visitors?

All of these types of test may seem small, but small changes like these can mean the world of difference when it comes to conversions. Begin running tests on your website soon. The holidays are just around the corner and you want to enter the holiday season with your best performing website yet.

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