"8 conversion rate tactics" was posted by Marianina Manning and received 3 commented
billyshih said,         
January 7 2008

Overall I agree with a lot of the things you said but want to point out a few things. I think the scent trails tip is just about making sure you use the proper messaging to reach your audience. Find the right messaging and apply that to all aspects of your page in images, design and text.

About testing, it’s not advisable at all to test in under a week time span, no matter how small your test is. I bet the traffic on Monday to your blog is way different than the traffic on Saturday and that’s the way it is with almost any website. You’ll have a lot of different types of traffic arriving all week, so you should test your page at least for 1 week. Also if your expecting certain traffic because of an event (increasing PPC, sending an e-mail campaign, seasonal activity, etc.) then your traffic will change also and that traffic probably should be segmented into a different test from your normal traffic.

Lastly, while I can’t comment on other multivariate testing companies, we at Widemile focus a lot on testing methodology and not testing just to test. I often have to persuade my clients to not test certain things that most likely have very low influence.

Thanks for sharing your experience with testing though. It’s helpful for me to know what others are going through.

Marianina Manning said,         
January 8 2008

Billy, Thanks for your comment. About messaging 100% agreed – tailoring different scenarios by persona can help those scent trails too.

Re testing, I think it depends how much traffic your site has – if you have 10 or 15 million page views a day then testing for a short period of time can provide meaningful results, even if there are cyclical fluctuations as a result of natural visitor activity or marketing activity.

billyshih said,         
January 8 2008

Hi Marianina,

The biggest difference Widemile has against Offermatica or Google Optimizer is that we are a full service firm. Meaning we provide everything including in-house creative. So our creative team is experienced in creating conversion focused pages. In addition, our staff is all very marketing oriented. We don’t test just to test. We believe that while we have very strong technology that more important is the methodology behind testing.

Another important difference is that we have a new platform. Since our company is newer, we benefit from having a faster and more scalable platform than Offermatica. In terms of Google Optimizer, the general consensus is that Google Optimizer is like Google Analytics, in that it is a great way to get started and a powerful tool in itself but leaves a lot to be desired in terms of solving specific problems and customization needed by enterprise level companies. There are more specifics, but that is a good overview.

In response to your last sentence, I believe its true that you can get meaningful results quickly with a lot of traffic, however we tend to play it more conservatively. In my experience, there is a lot of danger in running a test short, although in no way do I want a test to be long just to be long! Widemile’s chief scientist always goes over these extreme situations and we have not found a situation where the amount of traffic automatically meant quick stabilization of results, meaning statistical validity has not been reached.

We actually have had experience with a client that got a high page view count and wanted us to cut the test short against our advice. It ended up bringing a temporary but unsustainable conversion lift. Obviously this may not happen every time but when you’re dealing with statistics it all depends on how you want to roll the dice. If you’re willing to risk your results working only 80% of the time (or less) rather than 95% of the time, then you can shorten the test. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you 

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With web analytics, we can transform the way we see and act on our marketing performance to make it, our site and conversion rates better. My blog shares my experiences on how to get good insights and put them into action.



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