Stop The Bleeding
Your website, much like a body, lives. It communicates and provides services and products. It may even be your sole source of income. That website of yours, just like the human body, needs blood to survive. This life-blood is called traffic. If your traffic does not get what it wants when it comes to your site, it will go away, potentially forever. If you are not running Multivariate tests, or at least A/B tests, your website is bleeding out, and so is your cash flow.
Most businesses see Conversion Rate Optimization, AKA Website Optimization or Growth Marketing, as a nicety. Imagine placing a small amount of text at the start of each landing page and increasing revenue by 100%. Is doubling your income JUST a nicety? What if you could double your high quality leads on your lead generation site? This is the sort of thing that business/website owners look forward to, and it is why people like me have jobs.
Website Optimization is not about doubling the leads/sales, it is about learning. There is a very systematic and scientific approach to this, which I learned all about from MECLabs. MECLabs taught me that each test you run (provided you plan it properly) will provide a “learning” even if the test does not result in increased sales or leads.
Why would a learning trump increased sales and leads?
When you learn more about your site visitors, you learn how they like to communicate. Do they like heavy amounts of information, or very little? Do they like many options, or only one? The list goes on. The list is as long as each user in each industry, and that is why personalization is so important. How else will we know what user A responds to? Using A/B and Multivariate testing makes it all possible.
The standard for Website Optimization teams seems to be 3-4 people (on the small side). If you can not get a full team, at least start with 1 person. First aid is better than no-aid. Where I work, we have seen substantial gains through simple changes to our form, and I am a team of 1. Those gains were not the only up-side. As I worked on the research, running the tests, analyzing the data, and implementing the changes, I spent time on other tests which were less successful. With the learnings from every test run, I have a better idea of our users and how they want to be approached in their browsing experience.
Whether you start with one “jack of all testing trades,” or a full team, the question is not whether or not you want to make more money, the question is “How fast do you want to stop the bleeding?”
So the bleeding has stopped, what then?
As you learn more about your user and improve the website, it is true that your successes decrease over time, until you reach the point where all gains likely stay in small percentages. How is it possible to keep gaining? There could be many reasons but one thing is for sure, People are a fickle bunch and they seem to change faster and faster. Today they like one style, and tomorrow another. Both big and small changes occur in the mind of the user that alters how they perceive things, and you wont know unless you test.