We all know that if our websites are not converting at 100%, then we should be running a test. We should be, but we’re probably not. For some reason, even though we know that the payoffs for a consistent and well planned conversion marketing testing campaign can be enormous, the hardest thing to do is to actually start running a test!

Where it used to be necessary to have a team of PhD’s and statisticians design, implement, and analyze a good multivariate experiment, today there are tools that can help just about anyone set up, configure, and run a test and interpret its results.

Google’s Website Optimizer is just such a tool. The tool allows you to create multiple versions (states) of multiple elements on your pages (variables), and then begin the test. The tool takes care of splitting traffic to the correct combinations of each variable and state, and the tool even tells you when you’ve got statistically significant results to look at. Best of all, this free tool becomes your statistician and gives you the information you’re looking for when the test is complete.

Let’s take a simple example: You’d like to see if product photos and descriptions have an effect on your sales conversion rate. In this case, you would have two variables: Photo and Description. Although you could try as many different photos and descriptions as you like, let’s keep this example to a simple 2 variables with 2 states each. You set up the experiment in the tool, insert the necessary Javascript code where necessary on the test and conversion pages of your website, and you’re off. Once enough data has been collected, you’ll have a report like this one:

Google Website Optimizer Sample Report

After enough data has been collected, you can quickly see which of your photos was better at getting people to buy, and which of the descriptions was better. More importantly, you’ll be able to see which combination of photo and description was the best, and you can see what percentage improvement was observed with the winning combination.

Conversion marketing can easily be the single best thing you do for your web marketing program – and with tools like Google’s Website Optimizer it has never been easier to start.

Google Website Optimizer help WebShare is a Google Website Optimizer Authorized Consultant, and can help you establish a good conversion marketing strategy that can include tests of virtually any aspect of your website. Consistent testing and incremental positive changes to your conversion rates can translate into an enormous impact on the profitability of your online revenues. If your website doesn’t have a 100% conversion rate, then you should be testing something now!