Always be Testing: The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer Paperback – 1 Aug 2008
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From the Back Cover
If you want more leads, sales, and profits from your website, then you need to test, test, test. Google Website Optimizer is all about testing, and this book shows you how to use that free tool to discover what is best for your site and your bottom line. Recognized online marketing guru Bryan Eisenberg and his chief scientist John Quarto–vonTivadar explain how to test and get more of your visitors to take the actions you want them to take: contact you, buy something, subscribe, or otherwise engage with your site.
- Learn to develop a testing framework and establish goals and parameters
- Determine how well your site calls visitors to take action and learn how to make improvements
- Discover the best approach for selecting and categorizing products
- Optimize your landing pages and revise your content with copy that sells
- Understand exactly which test works best for a given purpose
- Learn what you need to bring to the testing experience to reap the fullest benefits
- Learn how to design impactful tests in sales, lead generation, B2B, and B2C situations
- Get over 250 testing ideas based on all the factors that contribute to a site s ability to convert online visitors
"I can tell you two things. The first thing is: Testing works. If you re not doing it well, you re missing out. The second? Bryan Eisenberg knows what he s talking about. Time to get started, time to start testing."
Seth Godin, Author of Meatball Sundae
"Bryan and John have combined years of experience in persuasive marketing with their deep knowledge of Google Website Optimizer to deliver actionable insights that will make rock stars out of any marketing team."
Tom Leung, Senior Business Product Manager, Google Website Optimizer
"Bryan Eisenberg delivers the What, Why, and How of closing significantly more online sales."
Jim Sterne, Founder, Emetrics Summit
"Always Be Testing is by far the most definitive work on the subject of website testing and optimization ever written."
Eric Petersen, Chief Executive Officer and Principal Consultant, Web Analytics Demystified, Inc.
"With Always Be Testing, the job of testing your marketing is laid out in a practical fashion that anyone can grasp and do in a way that will practically guarantee your conversion success and blow away your competition."
John Jantsch, Author of Duct Tape Marketing
"Always Be Testing is the essential handbook that gets you testing and keeps you testing. In this game, the difference between Winners and Losers is that Winners take the time to figure out which of their ideas stink. Losers don t. This book is for everyone who wants to be a Winner!"
Avinash Kaushik, Author of Web Analytics: An Hour a Day
"Bryan Eisenberg and John Quarto–vonTivadar take you through not just how to use Google s free conversion testing tool, but continually provide both philosophical reasons and practical tips about why businesses need to test."
Danny Sullivan, Editor–In–Chief, SearchEngineLand.com
"Always Be Testing is a very readable and practical guide to landing page testing from an experienced master practitioner. Pick up a copy before your competitors do!"
Tim Ash, Author of Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions
"Put this book down now, or you just might double your revenue and give your customers the website they ve always wanted."
Mike Moran, Coauthor of Search Engine Marketing, Inc., and Author of Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules
About the Author
Bryan Eisenberg is the cofounder of FutureNow, Inc., an interactive marketing optimization firm and Google Website Optimizer Authorized consultancy. He is a coauthor of the New York Times bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? He is a sought–after speaker at major business conferences worldwide, having keynoted events for Search Engine Strategies, Shop.org, DMA, MarketingSherpa, E–consultancy, and the Canadian Marketing Association.
John Quarto–vonTivadar, having worked on NASA s Hubble telescope (the working parts), is chief scientist at FutureNow, Inc., and coinventor of Persuasion Architecture.
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Top customer reviews
* Lot's of case studies and example improvements to site performance to inspire you
* A great buyer behaviour framework to apply so that your site appeals to different types of behaviour
* Describes different forms of test that can be applied with the Google Website Optimizer
* Provides an outline plan of what to test with a short, 2-3 page guide on different topics like:
Tests you should check out are:
* Do anything test (multiple conversion goals)
* Linger tests
* Multipath tests
* Click tests
Ideas on what to test include:
* Up-sell and cross-sell
* User reviews
* Presence or absence of navigation
On the downside, more details on implementation techniques for different tests such as Linger tests would be welcome although they are nicely explained in a website optimisation webinar on the Future Now Site.
Review by Dr Dave Chaffey, author of:
* eMarketing eXcellence: Planning and Optimising Your Digital Marketing (Emarketing Essentials)
* Internet Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice
Total E-mail Marketing: Maximizing your results from integrated e-marketing: Maximizing Your Results from Integrated E-marketing (Emarketing Essentials)
If you have been following Bryan, Future now (and their blog) you should know that when it comes to the bottom line, these guys know their stuff and are happy to share their knowledge and first hand insights with others.
When you dive in thought the chapters, you'll see that the book is well structured and offers a "best practices" solution to 90% of the problems that an online business might be facing in today's marketplace and financial climate.
If you have a specific challenge, open the book, go to the legend and I am positive that you shall see the solution you were looking for, it is that easy.
This is how the book pays itself in the first week we got it:
We got a query form a new prospect asking us to up lift conversion rate by 2% (gardening related e-commerce website), we said that we are happy to look at their stats and see how we can help them get there. 4K unique visitors later, we have identified what we thought could be an issue.
It was apparent that visitors are going through the checkout process funnel but for some reason, they either went back to the previous step or just left the website. Now that was interesting! Obviously, something on that step was missing since many were trying to go back to the previous step.
To keep things simple, we compared the previous step and the current step and thats what we have found:
Quantities of the product where missing. Eureka, the users could see quantities for each product in the previous step, but not in this step, thats made them go back and forth and pushed to leave the site without completing the checkout process.
Simple test plan, adding quantities and we were on our way to make more money for out clients.
We have managed to increase conversion by 23.4%, needless to say that our prospect is now our client.
This book is a must have in your online marketing arsenal.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I read through it very quickly although I didn't apply all the exercises. I'm a web designer, so I already had a familiar ground with a lot of the stuff discussed and could imagine how much of the things would improve a website because a lot of theme are things I also apply to my own design work. However, there was still a lot of information that was new to me and I had never did testing with Google Optimizer before so that whole first section of the book talking about that was very important for me as well.
I would say, to get the most out of this book, you need to take time to go through all the questions and exercises in the second section of the book. There are a lot of really useful tips, but in order to thoroughly understand them, you really need to apply them and do some experimentation of your own in a live environment. As with anything you learn, you need to take the concepts and make them your own in order to master them and this is no different.
The authors explain the difference between A/B tests (comparing the performance of two or more pages) and Multivariate tests (comparing the performance of multiple components within a page). But be aware that as of August 1, 2012, Google Website Optimizer has been replaced by Content Experiments and the multivariate functions are no longer available.
Regardless of the tool du jour, "technology alone won't give you optimal results... Knowing what to test is still more important than having the ability to do so as cheaply, quickly, and easily as you can today." Part II explains the factors that improve conversion and offers ideas on what you can test, such as headlines, the color of your Buy Now button, and the order content is presented. "Methodical customers do value product specifications... However, these customers will look for the information, so you needn't place it front and center."
The authors warn that best practices should be used only as guidelines, not rules. "Someone else's best practice can be your disaster... Best practices do, however, provide a great starting point for testing."
An interesting term used in the book is "scent trail" which is a consistent look and feel that provides continuity between a banner ad and a landing page. It reinforces what the authors call "persuasive momentum."
The final section of the book deals with technical details.
After reading "don't make me think" I honestly did not believe another
book related to web design could have as much value or impact on
someone 10+ years of web experience. I expected A/B Testing to be a
basic instructional manual on how to use Google Website Optimizer so I
didn't bother to buy it. Lucky for me I attended the SES conference
where Bryan Eisenberg was giving away free copies. Our company, Blast
Advanced Media, has since taken our testing and objectivity of our
website optimization to a level where we are achieving much higher
micro and macro conversion rates for our clients.
Some of my favorite aspects which provided much more value than expected are:
-Understanding what to test
-Whats in it for me
-Unique Value Proposition
-The Buying Decision
-Customer Focused Language
-Great examples such as Categorization, Trust, Reviews, Up-sell
-Breakdown of questions to ask, what to test and how to apply the many testing examples to your site
In one recent test, we used the principles learned from the book such as persuasion architecture to setup a test in only an hour that increased lead generation on a high volume ecommerce site by 51% (greatly exceeding the test hypothesis of a 15% increase). Other ecommerce optimization tests are on track to deliver six to seven figure annual revenue increases. So the return on investment from the ten copies we have purchased has been so high that we feel guilty. Thanks Bryan! Of course, this is why we wanted to show our thanks by writing this review.
Testing not only gives you impressive results like this but it makes it much easier to work with your clients when you can demonstrate the impact of changes and measure the results to build more value for your service fees. Plus it allows you to offer pay for performance fee structures to lower a client's risk in these current adverse economic times in the USA.
Thanks again to Bryan for sharing his deep knowledge related to website testing/optimization as it has taken our marketing strategists, designers, and most importantly our engineers (who all permanently have a copy on their desk) to a new level of objective thinking and understanding around the importance of the smallest details in web development.
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