[Guest post by Scott Allen of SightMetrics.com]
A group of local entrepreneurs kicked off a new event series called “Landing Page and Website Optimization” this week at 349. Not surprisingly, based on the title of the event series, we’re rolling up our sleeves and taking a hard look at actionable tips, tactics, and tools that we can implement to boost the money generating potential of our online ventures. After spending a couple of hours working and learning together the consensus answer to the question of “What if a simple test could double your revenue, is that something you might be interested in?” was heck yes!
The bulk of this past event was spent pouring over 3 case studies that demonstrated the impact that A/B testing can have on a companies bottom line. A/B testing couldn’t be more simple. You start by defining a conversion goal (e.g. clicking a “Signup Now” button) and then test whether the original version of your webpage (version A) or the new version of your webpage (version B) leads to a higher conversion rate. Though the methodology is simple it’s absolutely astonishing the improvements in conversion rate that can be achieved by making small changes to page elements like copy text, layouts, images and colours. We studied tests that led to improvements in conversion rate of 100%, 91%, and 190%. Amazing!
With images of the 3 original webpages in hand the attendees split into teams and brainstormed the page elements that they would test if given the chance. They were also asked to guess what the changes were that led to the massive improvements in conversion rate. They all did a great job at brainstorming variables that should be tested. But it became abundantly clear upon the reveal of the actual case study results that instincts just aren’t enough. Don’t get me wrong, landing page and website optimization instincts that are honed are very powerful. They are fundamental to putting a website on the right path. But it’s absolutely indisputable that one must test, test, and test some more in order to reach the goal of achieving maximum results.
Have you heard the one about the company that blindly followed the path of the HiPPO? I’ll spare you the sad tale. Let’s just say that those that joined us at the inaugural “Landing Page and Website Optimization” event now know more than ever that taking a data driven approach to improving your conversion rate is the only way to go. Unless the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion (HiPPO) is to test, test, and test some more your business must simply be afraid of reaching it’s true potential.
While this first session was a bit of a feeling out process, a touch of “attendee discovery” if you will, it’s clear we’re hungry for more. If you’re reading this and your answer to the title question was heck yes too, then you obviously want more. Don’t hesitate to join us at our next event and join the group on Linkedin!