Top 50 Google Website Optimizer Tips on What to Test

Posted by on Fri, Mar 27, 2009
Filed Under | Web Site Optimization


Below is list of what to test (from my session on ‘Radically Improving your Conversion Rate’ using Google Website Optimizer at Search Engine Strategies New York 2009) in really no specific order because each site is different. If you are new to Google Website Optimizer check out our Top 7 Google Website Optimizer Tips before you start testing. Then use this list to generate ideas of what to test on your site using Google Website Optimizer.

  1. Put the best info and calls to action Above the FOLD (avoid false bottoms that make users think there isn’t any more content)
  2. Repeat your Call to Action throughout a long page
  3. Add a Form to the page to generate leads or even order your product
  4. Make Calls to Action contextual and specific to content of page versus generalized calls to action
  5. Call to Action Button Design (shape, style, size, color, white space, grouping, etc)
  6. Customer Centric copy with benefits not just features (test using the customer focus with the We We Calculator)
  7. Remove Clutter (Dense well organized and separated content is not clutter)
  8. 1 versus 2 versus 3 column layout
  9. Move content (text/images/calls to action/etc) around on page
    • Move from Right-side to Left-side and vice-versa
    • Change paragraph/content order (Make sure you use the funnel style of writing for the web with most important point at top to fine points at the bottom (i.e. details)
  10. Test Variations of Navigation and on some landing pages it might even be best to remove some or all navigation
  11. Add categories/sub-categories to your home page (order and weight by popularity/importance)
  12. Emphasize Important Content (Bold, Larger/Colored Font, etc)
  13. Large Headlines with clear user benefits
    • ‘Top 5 Reasons to stop ____’
    • ‘Why you need ___’
    • ’3 Things you may not know that could kill you’
  14. Make your content scannable
  15. Add Sense of Urgency messaging like ‘Sale Ends Today’ or ‘Only 5 Left’
  16. Readability! Different Fonts (Sizes, Colors/Contrast, Styles)
  17. Tagline/USP in header that provides distinct positioning/differentiation
  18. Increase body copy (just enough) to overcome all common objections
    • Rearrange order that you address objections
    • Answer who, what, when, where, why and how
  19. Summarize/bulletize benefits at bottom of page (Don’t forget that most important point goes at the top of the page)
  20. Add Testimonials (with photo, name, company, logo, title)
  21. Add Media Logos (if featured in news) or other third party logos that will add credibility
  22. Larger/Wider Search Box
  23. Remove Instructions since it should be easy to use and not require any explanation (of course you may need to improve your page first)
  24. Proximity of content elements
  25. Add vertical/horizontal space
  26. Move closer or farther away from certain content on the page to see if proximity helps or hurts
  27. Phone Numbers – where they are placed, how obvious, and know that different phone numbers may actually impact conversion
  28. Faster loading pages (Optimized Images, etc) as load time can be a big impact
  29. What is clickable – users expect almost everything to be clickable (use free tool www.CrazyEgg.com to see where your users are clicking)
  30. Images
    • Show your product/service in use to demonstrate benefits and so user can better imagine what it would be like to own it and how would improve their life
    • Show happy customers (with product if applicable or after using product, etc)
    • More than one image (especially different views from side, back, top, bottom)
    • Tell a story with product/service images
    • Larger versus smaller versus no images (no images has surprised many as the best result in some cases)
    • Add Ability to Zoom (and even offer quick zoom icons of key points in image)
    • Add Captions under your image
    • Add Call-outs to draw attention to parts of a photo/image and add info to point out most important aspects
  31. Offer other ways to order by phone and fax (in cart)
  32. Removal or de-emphasis of coupon/promo field in cart/checkout
  33. Ajax to hide optional form elements unless needed
  34. Remove unnecessary fields or change order of fields
  35. Visually Group Related Fields (especially in larger forms)
  36. # of checkout steps (1 vs 2 vs 3 vs 4)
  37. Repeat main offer and benefits in cart
  38. Upsell on add to cart action or in cart
  39. Add Guarantees, Return Policies, Privacy Protection (especially within close proximity of request for personal email/info)
  40. Credit Card and other payment logos when asking for payment info
  41. Add Reassurance Logos like Verisign, BBB online, McAfee Secure, Trust, and etc.
  42. Increase/Decrease Prices (your pricing can actually cause concern by being lower than someone expects especially compared to your competitors)
    • Odd Pricing ending in 9′s and 7′s (interesting forum discussion on pricing)
    • Different Offers
    • Free Shipping
    • Save 20%
    • Buy 1, Get 1 Free
    • Buy now, pay later
    • Pay in installments
    • Free trial
    • Longer/shorter commitment
  43. Add Reviews
  44. More/less Product Copy
  45. Tabbed content versus long page of content
  46. In Stock Messaging (above or below add to cart)
  47. Product Detail Headings (instead of ‘related items’ try ‘you might also be interested in’ especially if the items really aren’t related accessories for the product)
  48. Rich media like Video and Flash Animation
  49. Click to Call, Live Chat, and other widgets
  50. Ability to sort, filter, rank, and search product category and sub-categories

More Google Website Optimizer Resources you might enjoy:

Enjoy and feel free to ask any questions or add new ideas of things to test in the comments.

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This post was written by:

has written 51 posts on the Web Analytics Blog.

Kayden is the founder and Managing Director of Blast Analytics & Marketing. He lives to do better and loves sharing his ideas and experiences. Kayden uses his seemingly infinite knowledge of web-based technologies to lead from the front and constantly push the edge of what is possible.

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