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Site testing on a budget

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The problem with most websites is that they have so many pages it’s impossible to know where the leaks are. The truth that nobody wants to admit is that they don’t know what’s happening on their site. For bigger sites this might be something they think they can solve with money. The bad news fro the big guys is that money alone does not solve the problem – it’s hard work to fix the leaky bucket.

For the smaller sites trying to break through, this is great news. Having nothing more than hard work between the small impostor and the large incumbent means the playing field is very flat.

Whether you’re a big site or a small site the best place to start getting yourself to the top is to test what you have. Testing your website is the easiest way to find improvements that will either prevent bounces or increase conversions to your specific goals.

Here are a few things you can test on your site:

  1. Gather data first before testing the site, you need a baseline to measure from
  2. Test all the way down the funnel, not just the primary pages
  3. Test one or two things at a time so you can see results from changes
  4. Headlines are the most important way to make instant improvements. Match the headlines on all your pages to the link that brought them there
  5. Test the questions in your forms
  6. Look for high bounce rates. First find the average and look for anomalies

Make sure the actions you want visitors to take on your site are supported by the right content, information, instructions and calls to action. You may also want to check our UserTesting.com and Google’s Wesite Optimizer.

Author Richard Banfield

As CEO, Richard leads Fresh Tilled Soil’s strategic vision. He’s a mentor at TechStars and BluePrintHealth, an advisor and lecturer at the Boston Startup School, and serves on the executive committees of TEDxBoston, the AdClub’s Edge Conference, and Boston Regional Entrepreneurship Week.

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