March 3, 2024

Web Content Experiments

New A/B Testing Tool

From Google Analytics

As a website owner you have goals that you want to accomplish with your website. Actually if you really think about it you have goals that you want your visitors to accomplish.

A visitor goal may be to:

  • Sign up for your newsletter.
  • Fill out your “contact agent” form (if you are a real estate agent).
  • Download your white paper or e-book.
  • Click though to a particular page.
  • (Need I forget) . . . Make a purchase.

You want your visitors to achieve the goals that you (the site owner) have set for them.

If you are a website owner then you need to conduct web content experiments that allow you to test how well different versions of your website pages work in getting your visitors to accomplish specific goals. With the new Web Content Experiments tool from Google you can test up to five variations of a page.

Content Experiments is a somewhat different approach from either standard A/B or multivariate testing. Content Experiments is more A/B/N. You can test up to five full “experimental” versions of a single page, each delivered to visitors from a separate URL.

What can you do with Web Content Experiments in Google Analytics?

With Content Experiments, you can:

  • Compare how different web pages perform using a random sample of your visitors
  • Define what percentage of your visitors are included in the experiment
  • Choose which objective you’d like to test

Web Content Experiments

An example of using experiments to improve your business

Let’s say you have a website where you present house-cleaning services. You offer basic cleaning, deep cleaning, and detailed cleaning. Detailed cleaning is most profitable of the three, so you’re interested in getting more people to proceed with this option.

Most visitors land on your homepage, so this is the best page to use to initiate your content experiment. For your experiment, you create several new versions of this web page: one with a big red headline for detailed cleaning, one in which you expand on the benefits of detailed cleaning, and one where you put an icon next to the link to learn more about detailed cleaning.

Web Content Experiments


Once you’ve set up and launched your experiment, a random sample of your visitors see the different pages, including your original home page, and you simply wait to see which page gets the highest percentage of visitors to take the action you require (the goal) which is to contact you about detail cleaning.

When you see which page drives the most conversions, you can make that one the live page for all visitors and watch your conversions grow.

Designing new website pages which are more effective has never been more fun and more profitable.

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Landing Page Guide

Landing PagesTop-Performing Landing Pages

An Easy To Read and Implement Guide

Do your landing pages include:


  • Compelling offers?
  • Arresting headlines?
  • Appealing designs?
  • Strong calls-to-action?
  • A crystal clear next step?

Your landing pages are where your marketing campaign dollars can turn into measurable results. This qualifies them for a starring and primary role in the process of campaign creation. However, this is rarely the case. In fact, they are often overlooked even by experienced web designers and Internet marketing managers.

Campaign-specific landing pages need to be created and this is a smart investment in your marketing. But before you make that investment, you should have a fundamental understanding of what constitutes a successful landing page. We offer you a Guide to Top Performing Landing Pages. In this easy-to-read guide you’ll discover best-practices concepts and ideas.

These include:

  • Including an offer that delivers real value to your visitor
  • Presenting a single, clear call-to-action
  • Making transactional elements easy
  • Designing for visual impact and appeal

Download our Top-Performing Landing Guide and learn how you can assess and improve the performance of your landing pages, and ultimately, the ROI of your marketing campaigns.


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Web Copy – Long vs Short

Web CopyLong Copy versus Short Copy

Soooo Controversial

This is a classic debate and I will answer it with the classic answer of a fellow website developer – it depends.

The real way to determine this is to create two versions – one long and one short and then perform an A/B Test. Note that many higher priced products and services may require more detail. Some target market segments may require more rather then less information before making a decision to purchase. A target market segment may be of a nature to require more research and in this case perhaps a landing page is not the best choice to satisfy this need. Anyway a short copy page will not suffice.

Therefore, the debate on long versus short copy will continue to rage. Do not worry about this too much but continue to think about it for your products and target audience. The more you know about the nature of your audience the better off you will be. You need to think like your audience. You may think that they will be bored with your long copy but if your write long copy and make it entertaining, informative and engaging then it will not bore your audience. You may think that you need to keep it short and sweet but if your audience desires more that they will not be satisfied at your attempt to keep it short.

Ask this important question – what is the goal of the page? Then work to achieve that goal. If it is lead capture then provide enough incentive on the page with your copy (long or short) for someone to complete your download file form or subscription form. You may need to tell a story (short or long) or perhaps you need to offer a gift in exchange for their name and e-mail address.

Do the right thing for your target audience and perhaps do an A/B test (or two) and you will create effective web copy whether it is long or short.

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A/B Testing – What to Test

A/B Testing - Web DesignA/B Testing

What to A/B Test?

Your choice of what to test in an A/B Test will be dependant on your objectives.

Define your objectives and then define factors that have impact on achieving them.

For example, if your goal is to increase the number of sign-ups, then you might test the following: 

  • Length of the sign-up form
  • Types of fields in the form
  • Display of (or not) your privacy policy
  • Displaying (or not) “social proof
  • Bullet list of reasons to sign up versus paragraph wording
  • Image and what image

The goal of A/B Testing in this case is to figure out what enhances visitors to this page to sign up. Is the form’s length intimidating? Are visitors concerned about privacy? Or does the website page do a bad job of convincing visitors to sign up? Does one image help and another hurt? All of these questions can be answered by testing these elements of the webpage design. Even though every A/B test is unique, certain elements of the web page design are usually tested:

  • The call to action’s (i.e. the button’s) wording, size, color and placement
  • Headline or product description
  • Form’s length and types of fields
  • Layout and style of web page
  • Product pricing and promotional offers
  • Images on landing and product pages A
  • Amount of text on the page (short vs. long)

If you have a worthy product or service then it makes a great deal of sense to test which version of your website page delivers the information and offer for this product or service the best. This is the essence of A/B Testing.

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A/B Testing – and Your High School Science Class

A/B Testing - Web DesignA/B Testing

and Your High School Science Class

At its core, A/B Testing is exactly what it sounds like – it is an experiment. You have two versions of an item (A and B) and a metric that you define that defines success of the experiment. To determine which version is better, you subject both versions to experimentation simultaneously. You measure which version was more successful versus your success metric and select the better version for real-world use. You can do this with pages on your website. You can even push this concept further and apply it to an entire contact path.

This is similar to the experiments you did in your high school science classes. You may remember the experiments in which you tested various substances to see which supports plant growth and which suppresses it. At different intervals, you measured the growth of plants as they were subjected to different conditions. You measured and tallied the height of the different plants which were subjected to the variations in conditions. Your success metric was height but it could have been another metric (color, number of leaves, seed production, etc.). You defined a metric and then measured against it. The results told you which conditions were optimal for performance versus your success metric.

In the case of a website page, you define a goal metric (a sale, a booking, a new subscriber . . .) and then measure how well the A version of the page performs versus the B version. You let the data define the best performance.

Consider how A/B Testing can help the performance of your website pages.

A/B Testing – What to Test

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Lead Capture

Lead CaptureLead Capture & E-Mail & Testing

Make OPT-IN to Your Subscriber List a Great Option

The enduring value of opt-in email lists to eCommerce efforts is one of the longest Running success stories in digital marketing. Email is still going strong as a channel for delivering traffic and sales, even as other channels continue to emerge, such as social media, SMS, and mobile apps.

The implication is clear: You should acquire a name and an email addresses whenever you can.

Presenting an email signup box for visitors who are not yet on your list is a best practice that can pay dividends for years. Also, email lists are one of the assets by which companies are valued these days.

There are numerous ways of presenting an email signup box that are both effective and inoffensive. You can use some form of light box and you might include some sort of incentive (like a discount coupon or one-time reduced shipping charge).

Deciding on the best approach for a specific website calls for testing. Whenever you test options make sure that your decision metrics include other important conversion events such as product purchase. A well planned series of A/B tests can help you quickly achieve the right balance.

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SEO & Market Segments

SEO Market SegmentsSEO Market Segments

How well do you know and your best clients and potential client market segments? 

Many targeting and personalization best practices are based on three simple truths:


  • Different visitors respond to your website in different ways.
  • Visitors with shared characteristics constitute segments.
  • Matching content and features to segments pays dividends.

You need to define and then understand the differences in your websites visitors. If you are a B&B and near an international border does your website have a way to appeal to people from both countries? If you are a company based in the United States your product could appeal to visitors from the UK and you can see that people from the UK visit your site then it is wise to match your web copy to this market segment.

Consider what happens when you open an online store on the World Wide Web. Even if your marketing focus is domestic potential customers from around the world will eventually visit your site and, depending upon what your site is selling, they may want to buy  from you. This is an international segment and it may be more lucrative than you think.

To find out how lucrative, first check your site metrics to see how much international traffic you have and how it is converting. If this segment is converting below average, consider targeting some of your site content to the top 1 or 2 countries in the international segment.

For example, let visitors from the UK know that your business is happy to sell and ship to the UK. It could be a simple as that to boost conversion.

International traffic is but one example of visitor segmentation. Do you know your markets? Have you considered how to speak to your segmented markets and how adding certain customizations could help key segments convert? Give this some serious thought and increase your conversion rate.

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