There was a point after working at Facebook that I figured I am the web business god. I could create any web business and all my judgments were spot on. Damn, I was so wrong. I lacked a key thing that I am sure so many people over look. Measuring and testing! I recently started getting heavily interested in this field and my whole perspective on things have changed.
I started reading Call to Action and realized it was a great muse for inspiring me to think more about testing in web development. I have learned no matter what I think, nothing is stronger than facts.
* Usability studies are great but also having hard data can show you a different story. Saying and doing are two separate things. A usability study said font did not affect a certain behavior whereas an A/B test on font and font-size in an email campaign produced dramatic results.
* Make your communication personal and relevant to your audience. Go to their forums, drain brains from everyone who interacts with your customers and look into keywords your ideal users type into their browsers.
* Interesting metrics to consider:
1) Single-Page Access: % of people who land on a page and made it their first and last page. How can you remedy it?
2) Scenario Analysis: Follow your visitor’s path through your website. Look at the pages they reject
* If you require registration try to shift that to the last moment possible. [Noah’s note: A great example of this is geni.com]
* A search engine is not always the best way for your customers to find the right thing. Also, spend the time to evalute what people are searching for the most and make those easier to find.
* Shopping cart notes:
a) Allow shoppers to call with an order # to reference what they have in their cart.
b) Give meaningful and descriptive error messages [Noah’s Note: preferably in real time using Ajax]
c) Add pictures inside the basket
d) Show stock availability on page, scarcity sales
e) Include a progress indicator and a back link
f) When all else fails, survey. Do This!
Bottom line: Get Call to Action from the library for free. The book has some great content but you can get the majority of it online. I did enjoy a few of the case studies but would have preferred more of those and more exact take-aways.