In This Chapter
Deciding what to test
Setting up landing page tests
Interpreting test results
Testing continually for massive improvement
In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays a surly, cynical weatherman fated to relive the same day — February 2 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania — over and over again. Along the way, he learns to sculpt ice, play piano, and dance. Eventually, he falls in love with his producer, played by Andie McDowell. In his quest to win her heart, Murray's character fails repeatedly to impress and attract her. But he learns from every failure and adapts his behavior, until he has transformed himself into a suave, considerate, and heroic companion.
When you split-test pages on your Web site, you can accomplish the same sort of trial-and-error adaptation with your visitors and prospects, without having to spend quasi-eternity in Pennsylvania. Your tool of choice, compliments of Google, is the free, powerful, and elegant Website Optimizer.
Website Optimizer allows you to test different variations of your Web pages to see which ones give you more of the results you want. Will your visitors respond better to a product photo, video, or testimonial in a given region of the page? Will more people buy if you offer a 50 percent discount or a two-for-one sale? Should your headline read, "Natural Soaps for All Occasions" or "You Probably Stink"?
Testing, part of the DNA of direct marketing, has been practiced for well over ...