Outline to Start Testing Your Web Site

Prozessphasen CIP = Continuous Improvement Pro...

Creating a culture of testing and continuous improvement for your web presence is no easy task, but getting started with testing can be. The majority of firms struggle with the idea, process and implementation. The result – very few firms have formal testing as a part of the ongoing web initiatives. Once you get started, see some initial wins and apply the information, you’ll be on your way to making this a regular part of your business.

Whether you’re getting started on testing your conversion rates or improving the call to action on your home page. Here’s a short outline of the elements of an online test that will help get you started.

Outline for Setting Up A Test

  • Name it. Make it a real entity in your company by giving your test a name. It’ll help internal communications and commitment to the program.
  • Define the Team. You’ve got to have dedicated personnel assigned to the program. “You get what you measure” applies to your team as well as your test. Don’t just make it an action item, make it part of their performance review.
  • Determine the Goal. What do you want out of the testing? Are you trying to drive up retention? Revenue? What’s the big goal you’ve got for the coming year and what are the blockers to achieving them.
  • What’s your Hypothesis? I’d then suggest breaking the larger goal into smaller tasks. Start with known issues or the opportunities for the easiest and biggest wins. If you’re getting people to your site, but can’t convert them – then look at the registration or commerce flow. Whatever it is on your site that you’re needing users to perform. Your hypothesis might be “Users don’t see my call to action” so you’ll test new copy or different colors and graphics. You might feel “there are too many steps in our form” so you’ll try fewer fields or a different layout.
  • Track your Data. You need to confirm or dispute your hypothesis. You’re probably running Google Analytics or some other metrics system. Make sure you’re tracking the data points as well as saving them for future reference. Testing is an ongoing effort and you’re constantly trying to find the new winners.
  • Create your Test Design. There is a fair amount of effort that goes into your test design. Many of the suggestions can be found in the blog post How to Start a Successful Online Testing Program.
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