3 ways that trial and error can optimise your website

22 Jul 2016

Thanks to HealthHosts’ detailed-yet-clear admin dashboard powered by Google Analytics, your website has access to instant statistics measuring your pages’ performance. This data is not only useful for calculating traffic to your webpage, but can also inform decisions about your layout, website design or language.

You may find that your website is getting a lot of visits from potential clients and customers; however you might not be achieving the conversion that your business needs. Trial and error testing, also known as ‘test and learns’ or ‘A|B testing’ is a brilliant way of improving your website design over time.

So what is trial and error testing? Simply put, it is the comparison of performance between two or more options when all other variables remain constant. In practice, this means making small tweaks to your website design and monitoring results on your website’s admin dashboard and responding to any rise or fall in engagement (usually measured in clicks or time spent on a page). Here are just 3 examples of how trial and error can optimise your website using real data.

1. Language

The way you use language can have a marked effect on conversions, particularly at the ‘call-to-action’ stage. Your call-to-action should be considered a moment of truth, as it’s the point at which a browsing customer becomes an engaged (or paying!) customer. The effect of language in your call-to-action is subtle but has a big impact. For example, someone considering therapy for the first time might prefer to “find out more” rather than “book a session now”. Monitor and record the ‘click-rate’ of your existing call-to-action for 7 days before changing it to something completely different. If you see an uplift, you can assume that the new language in the call-to-action was more effective.

2. Placement

Your website design dictates the likely journey your visitors will undertake when visiting your website. In the UK, over 50% of web-browsing is done via mobile, so it’s important that your website design is optimised and your call-to-actions are in the right place. As before, test different layouts and monitor performance over time. Be sure to only make one change at a time, otherwise you won’t be able to pinpoint which variable contributed to any rise or fall in performance. One thing you could test is the placement of your call-to-action, at the top, middle or bottom of the page, or even repeating the call-to-action at the top and bottom.

3. Imagery

It might seem a bit far-fetched, but in actual fact the imagery used in your website design can effect a visitor’s likelihood to click or stay on the page. The wrong image might make visitors feel isolated or unwelcome, for example, “a slim, attractive woman doing yoga means that this yoga class is not for me”, but the right image can be aspirational or relatable – for example, “a diverse group of women laughing at a yoga class means that this class looks like fun”. Remember that when it’s you that’s selecting an image it’s because you like it, but that doesn’t mean that the thousands of visitors will like it also. Don’t leave anything to chance and let the data dictate your website design to optimise performance.

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