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The Ultimate Guide To A/B Testing - Smashing Magazine

The Ultimate Guide To A/B Testing - Smashing Magazine
Advertisement A/B testing isn’t a buzz term. A lot of savvy marketers and designs are using it right now to gain insight into visitor behavior and to increase conversion rate. And yet A/B testing is still not as common as such Internet marketing subjects as SEO, Web analytics and usability. People just aren’t as aware of it. What Is A/B Testing? At its core, A/B testing is exactly what it sounds like: you have two versions of an element (A and B) and a metric that defines success. This is similar to the experiments you did in Science 101. 1Large version2 A/B testing on the Web is similar. What To Test? Your choice of what to test will obviously depend on your goals. Even though every A/B test is unique, certain elements are usually tested: Create Your First A/B Test Once you’ve decided what to test, the next step, of course, is to select a tool for the job. You can set up an A/B test in one of two ways: Do’s And Don’ts Don’ts Do’s Know how long to run a test before giving up. Which Test Won? (al)

6 Best Practices for Modern SEO Erin Everhart is the director of web and social media marketing at the digital marketing and web design company, 352 Media Group. Connect with her on Twitter @erinever. Google’s search results aren’t what they used to be. Need proof? Just look at its results page. If you rely heavily on search engines for pageviews and sales, as many businesses do, Google search results will drastically affect how your customers find you. 1. There’s a good probability that a large chunk of the Google searches you perform will display Google Places listings – and consumers are taking notice. If your business relies on local listings, concentrate on scoring a seat at Google Places. Citations: Ensure that your correct business information is listed in as many (reputable) sources as possible around the Internet. 2. The separation of search and social has officially ended. 3. People search in Google because they have a question. 4. Google is not stupid — it can spot paid and spam links. 5. 6.

Multivariate Testing in Action: Five Simple Steps to Increase Conversion Rates Advertisement The attention span on the Web has been decreasing ever since Google had arrived and changed the rules of the game. Now with millions of results available on any topic imaginable, the window to grab a visitor’s attention has decreased significantly (in 2002, the BBC reported it is about 9 seconds1). Picture yourself browsing the Web: do you go out of your way to read the text, look at all the graphics, and try to thoroughly understand what the page is about? We make snap decisions on whether to engage with a website based on whatever we can make out in the first few (milli)seconds2. In this post we will talk about how to tweak a website for generating more sales, downloads, membership (or any other business goal) in a scientific manner, using A/B split and multivariate testing. Step 1. How to have website visitors notice your offering, then get them to act on it? Key point: Clearly identify the goals of your website (or a particular Web page). Quick overview: A/B Testing.

B2B brand management [electronic resource] - Philip Kotler, Waldemar Pfoertsch - Google Books Advanced Google Analytics - Tips and Tricks Google Analytics affects everyone in search engine marketing (unless you use another analytics package!) but not everyone knows how to take full advantage of it. To take full advantage of it we have to share knowledge and that's what I'm here to do. I'll be sharing some great advanced segments, how to do multiple goal conversion tracking and the secret success behind cross domain tracking. 1. Advanced segments provide you with the ability to take your reporting up a gear. Social media segment If you are paying for social media traffic then it's imperative that you check the value it yields to sales i.e. does it even generate any direct sales? Click on the My Site tab > Advanced Segments > Then click on +New Custom Segment > Choose a name for it > Then click on +Add a dimension or metric > then add "Source" as a dimension > have it as "include" and "matching regular expression" then using a bit of regex, type the following in the field. Click on test segment (check that it works!). 2. 3.

Writing Decisions: Headline tests on the Highrise signup page by Jason Fried of 37signals We’ve been rotating some headlines and subheads on the Highrise signup page to see if they have an effect on signups. Answer: They do, sometimes significantly. The test Here’s how the test works. We used Google Website Optimizer to randomly rotate five different headline and subhead combinations on the signup page. Note: We recognize that switching both the headline and the subhead isn’t quite as informative or scientific as just switching the headline or the subhead. The original: Worst performer This is the headline we launched with. The winner: 30% better conversion than the original This combo put the emphasis on the 30-day free trial by making that the headline. Second place: 27% better conversion than the original This one also promoted the “30-day Free Trial” in the headline, but instead of highlighting signup speed, we highlighted other benefits: Pay as you go, no long term contracts, no hidden fees, no surprises. Third place: 15% better conversion than the original What did we learn

How Startups Can Use Metrics to Drive Success You Manage What you Measure One of the things I discuss the most with the portfolio companies I’m involved with is that “you manage what you measure.” It’s a very important concept for me because in a startup you are constantly under pressure and have way too many distractions. And the more public you can make your goals for these key metrics the better. Commitment & urgency are key drivers of success in startup businesses. You already know it from your personal lives. I ran my first marathon in London this way in 2003 raising $3,000 for Parkinson’s disease (and finishing in under 4 hours – my publicly stated goal). I know with the recent emphasis on measurement form Dave McClure & Eric Reis you’d think everybody is measuring. On measurement I was recently talking with a startup company who wanted me to try their product. He told me in some combinations of device / OS / network they are crashing 4 times per 100. But what is industry standard? Don’t. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Happy measuring.

How Big is Your Long Tail? - Whiteboard Friday Choosing keywords to optimize for is a tricky business, made all the more tricky as keyphrases grow longer than a couple of words. As Google has said, up to 20% of search queries in any given day are completely unique. Should you try to optimize your tauntaun sleeping bags product page for "tauntaun sleeping bag," for "childrens' tauntaun sleeping bag," or for "childrens' star wars tauntaun sleeping bag from hoth"? How can you research whether or not to optimize for such a long tail query? In this week's Whiteboard Friday, Rand is back to explain just how long of a tail you should be optimizing for. Have any suggestions on how you do this research? Howdy, SEOmoz fans.

Multivariate testing In statistics, multivariate testing or multi-variable testing is a technique for testing hypotheses on complex multi-variable systems, especially used in testing market perceptions.[1] In internet marketing[edit] In internet marketing, multivariate testing is a process by which more than one component of a website may be tested in a live environment. It can be thought of in simple terms as numerous A/B tests performed on one page at the same time. A/B tests are usually performed to determine the better of two content variations; multivariate testing can theoretically test the effectiveness of limitless combinations. The only limits on the number of combinations and the number of variables in a multivariate test are the amount of time it will take to get a statistically valid sample of visitors and computational power. Some websites benefit from constant 24/7 continuous optimization as visitor response to creatives and layouts differ by time of day/week or even season. See also[edit]

10 New Google Algorithm Tweaks By Navneet Kaushal Expert Author Article Date: Whenever Google makes a change in its search algorithm, it makes for big news. The search engine has recently revealed a compilation of the latest algorithmic tweaks it has made. Google’s Matt Cutts, has posted a blog about the recent 10 algorithm changes made by Google. As Matt says, We make roughly 500 changes to our search algorithm in a typical year. Google has been working all through this year to provide some insights to site owners, as to how the search engine works it algorithms, and even released a video of the same recently. Cross-language information retrieval updates: This tweak assured that the English web pages were translated into certain languages and displayed right below the English titles in search results. Why Has Google Done This? This blog revealing the tweaks in the closely guarded Google algorithm has given way to several theories as to why has Google done this sort of compilation now? Comments

A/B testing In marketing and business intelligence, A/B testing is jargon for a randomized experiment with two variants, A and B, which are the control and treatment in the controlled experiment. It is a form of statistical hypothesis testing with two variants leading to the technical term, Two-sample hypothesis testing, used in the field of statistics. Other terms used for this method include bucket tests and split testing but these terms have a wider applicability to more than two variants. As the name implies, two versions (A and B) are compared, which are identical except for one variation that might affect a user's behavior. A/B testing has been marketed by some as a change in philosophy and business strategy in certain niches, though the approach is identical to a between-subjects design, which is commonly used in a variety of research traditions.[2][3][4] A/B testing as a philosophy of web development brings the field into line with a broader movement toward evidence-based practice.

Getting Started Most webmasters are familiar with HTML tags on their pages. Usually, HTML tags tell the browser how to display the information included in the tag. For example, <h1>Avatar</h1> tells the browser to display the text string "Avatar" in a heading 1 format. However, the HTML tag doesn't give any information about what that text string means—"Avatar" could refer to the hugely successful 3D movie, or it could refer to a type of profile picture—and this can make it more difficult for search engines to intelligently display relevant content to a user. provides a collection of shared vocabularies webmasters can use to mark up their pages in ways that can be understood by the major search engines: Google, Microsoft, Yandex and Yahoo! 1. 1a. Your web pages have an underlying meaning that people understand when they read the web pages. 1b. itemscope and itemtype Let's start with a concrete example. To begin, identify the section of the page that is "about" the movie Avatar. Back to top 1d.