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I’d never really thought about split testing until recently. It’s a relatively simple process whereby you offer 2 variations or more of something to your target audience and let THEM decide which one they like (Yep, imagine that. Letting your customers tell you what they want…)
Before, I used to use a lot of blue on my sites. You see, I like blue. And I used to use clever, corporate style headings and titles because I wanted my business to be perceived as bigger than it was. I liked that too. But my mistake was to assume that because I’d been an avid student of marketing, with more than a couple of accomplishments up my sleeve, that I knew what was best for my customers. But relatively low sales proved that I was very, very wrong in this assumption.
Enter split-testing. For our Question and Answer Site offering at Qhub.com, we decided to employ some very cool split testing software called Visual Website Optimizer. It gives us a snapshot of a live page on our Question and Answer Site, let’s us experiment by moving, removing, re-colouring and re-wording certain elements, then splits visitor traffic between those variations and measures what visitors to that page actually do.
In one of our most recent tests, I wanted to know what combination of elements on the Qhub.com home page encouraged visitors firstly to click on our Get Started button to create their own Question and Answer Site, and secondly to actually complete the registration process and see an up sell page to a discounted version of our software. The results were a real surprise.
Here’s a snap shot of the original home page at Qhub.com before split testing where we tested about 2000 visitors, mixing combinations of the Take the Tour button, the brown voicemail tab at the edge of the screen, and a testimonials box at the bottom of the page which isn’t shown in this shot :
Now here’s a shot of the test results, showing that while Combination 8 that showed visitors no voicemail tab, no Take the Tour button and no testimonials box resulted in a 71% improvement over the standard page for clicks on the Get Started Now button, it resulted in a nasty 60% decrease in the number of visitors who actually completed the registration process and saw the up sell page :
By comparison, Combination 7, which showed visitors no voicemail tab, no tour, but showed the testimonial box, resulted in a massive 131% improvement for clicks on the Get Started Now button, plus a 62% improvement in the number of visitors who actually completed the registration process and saw the up sell page :
Now, you’ve probably heard how effective displaying testimonials on your web site can be, but I think you’ll agree that a 131% improvement is really something. I had, in fact, expected that the losing combination, with less distractions for the visitor, would be the winner, but my intuition was incorrect, and our Question and Answer Site was under-optimized as a result.
So, if you have a web site and you’re interested in what your customers want, I highly recommend you use a split testing tool like Visual Website Optimizer and learn that intuition is no substitute for exact data on what your visitors want from you. I’m so sold on the idea that I now split test everything, even posts like this one!
Take advantage of Qhub’s easy to use advanced customisation tools.
2. Use your own domain
Easily add your Qhub to your own domain or subdomain.
For example: http://answers.appbistro.com
3. Member Mailshots
Send customised html emails to all of your members.
Add your own analytics code to your Qhub and keep track of your visitors.
5. Private ForumsKeep it secret! Create private invitation only forums.
6. Moderation ControlTake full control of the contributions to you site.
7. Unlimited Members & Admins.Unrestrict the number of members and administrators on you site.
8. RevenueStart making money by adding custom advertising to your Qhub.Check out our pricing page to see some more reasons.
Wow! We just discovered that Inspired Magazine rated us number one in Q & A software, even against some pretty tough competition! Checkout the review at http://inspiredm.com/qa-websites
We have recently needed to update the way Qhub implements Facebook Connect due to issues with the previous implementation.
We are now using Facebook’s new ‘graph’ implementation, but because of this we are now missing a key piece of information for domain forwarded hubs. We used to only ask you for Application name, Callback URL, API Key and API Secret; but you now also need to supply your Facebook Application ID for this new implementation to work. If you are using your own Facebook application within your Qhub then please provide this information as soon as possible to get Facebook Connect working again.
Along with the new Facebook implementation we have also included Twitter Connect. Members will now be able to Sign in or Register using Facebook Connect, Twitter Connect or by filling in the form provided.
We were asked the question “Can you edit the way the question URL’s display for SEO purposes? Or is this in the plans at all?“, and today we have released this functionality. This is on by default in new Qhubs, but so as not to affect any SEO work already in place we have not turned it on for existing Qhubs.
The more search engine savvy Qhub owners among you will have been frustrated at the lack of a tools for verification and sitemap submission. Well, now you can do this in the Webmaster Tools page (accessible from your Settings Page).
Sustainable businesses are a reality because of trust, goods are purchased and services are consumed because of trust, literally every relationship – be it commercial or personal is based on trust and yet, we don’t see businesses taking it seriously enough to make it a part of their business strategy, not doing so is leaving money on table.