I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked me, “Is the website doing enter desired outcome here?” It’s no secret that the average website is created with a specific handful of goals in mind. Some are focused on increasing traffic, others on starting new customer conversations through form fills, or even directing visitors away from the website to third-party affiliates who are going to pay them for that traffic. There are literally millions of possible goals for a website and plenty of ways to find out if your website is achieving your desired goals. But what do you do when goals aren’t being met?
What makes websites successful?
Work never stops on successful websites. It’s more than just creating the bi-monthly blog post. User experience designers and web teams are constantly reviewing website goals and coming up with multiple variants on how to make the website crush them. One of the primary methods is called A/B testing.
A/B testing is easy.
A/B testing is an extremely simple process. Find something you want to test — increased form fills on a landing page, for example. Make a version A and a version B based on your goal. Let's say version A has a button that summons a form to fill out while version B has the form embedded into the page. Once you’ve created your two versions, test to see which version had more form fills — it’s that simple.
The tests you make don’t have to be groundbreaking, nor do they have to be perfect. A test should be one difference and a metric that you can track. Make sure that the test has an equal number of participants for both versions before concluding it and then review your new data. Historically in the test described above, version B has proven to be more successful than version A. So the takeaway here is that when I build out landing pages or contact pages, I often include a form in the page with that knowledge as a backing for my decision.
Test, test, and test again.
The testing process never really ends. From font choices and alignment of text to the wording of a call to action, you’d be amazed at what impacts your website’s visitors. In the end, you’ll come away from the guessing game of what will help achieve your goals and eventually start thinking like your customers, thanks to new data. And that new data will help you highlight your successes while you improve on your failures.
If you’re interested in learning more about testing or improving the conversions on your website’s goals, please feel free to contact us. Or you’re always welcome to continue the conversation in the comments below.