In Friday's Daily Golden Nugget we outlined these 9 things to test with Google Website Optimizer:
1. Captions on images
2. Font size, line spacing and font family
3. Adding or reducing white space around the site
4. Culling your content or swapping it with bullet points
5. Font and link colors, underlined or non underlined links
6. Button sizes and colors
7. Jewelry photography methods using different background other than pure white
9. Repositioning your call to action message
Let's continue our brief explanation of each, picking up at #5...
5. Font and link colors, underlined or non underlined links - Black color text (hex code #000) on a white background might be simple, but what about an almost black color like #111? Depending on your overall site design, you should pick your font colors according to testing. As explained in #2 above, you could put a call to action inside the paragraph of a page and see if the font color affects the readability.
Link colors and underlining are always a big debate. Should it be underlined? Should you use the standard blue color links? Using Google Website Optimizer you can find out for sure what the best method is. Keep in mind that the best font and link colors might not always fit perfectly within your design. A blue color link might not look so nice on a brown and gold color jewelry site, but if Optimizer shows you overwhelming data, you should consider what's better for your bottom line profits rather than aesthetics.
6. Button sizes and colors - Those standard gray buttons are so passé now. Website styles allow for so much more. More color, larger sizes, different font faces, and even different button edges. If you have those plain old gray buttons you should start testing various colors and styles. Start with button styles that match your design and test them against the standard gray. Then take that button winner and test against something completely different. We saw some recent testing that said larger orange or yellow buttons are good for the "Add to cart" or the "Buy Now" buttons. Be creative and it should pay off.
7. Jewelry photography methods using different background other than pure white - Here's an idea we've had for a while. A high percent of jewelry websites photography their items on plain white backgrounds, although sometimes that "white" looks more like an "ugly gray." We'd like to see more jewelry sites with a sparing use of color instead of gray/white. Try solid black, or a mirror, or a black mirror. You can also stage your jewelry on a flower display, colorful plastic, or even stained glass. Test a few of these images around your site against the standard gray/white backgrounds. Tip: since colorful surroundings also affect the color of jewelry, you still need to have an alternative view photo with a normal white background in your product catalog.
8. Headlines - This is an obvious item to test, but we didn't want to put it first on our list. Please don't use the standard "Welcome to our Website" header on your home page. People will always read your headline, so make it creative and compelling so someone will want to read the rest of your page. Write the headline of each page LAST after you've written all the paragraph copy for the page. Then write a few different headlines that make sense and test them until you find out which is the best. Keep in mind that your headline will also change the way people scan your page. Shorter headlines will create a different eye movement pattern than longer headlines.
9. Repositioning your call to action message - Your call to action could be an image, a larger block of text, or a button. Actually, your call to action could be anything you dream up. What makes it a call to action are words like "Click here" or "Continue" or "Sign up" or "Buy now" or "Add to cart" or any other verb that makes sense. It also doesn't need to be at the bottom of a page; it could be at the top, in the middle, and at the bottom. Make it easy to see, easy to read, and test the location.
Spending time and money on any marketing campaign without testing the conversion results is simply a waste of your time and money. The 9 items explained above MIGHT TAKE 12 MONTHS to fully test on your site. It all depends on how much website traffic you actually have.