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Always Be Testing: The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer [Paperback]

Bryan Eisenberg , John Quarto-vonTivadar , Brett Crosby , Lisa T. Davis
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 11 2008
Stop guessing, start testing, and enjoy greater success with your website.

If you’re looking for more leads, sales, and profit from your website, then look no further than this expert guide to Google’s free A/B and multivariate website testing tool, Google Website Optimizer. Recognized online marketing guru and New York Times bestselling author, Bryan Eisenberg, and his chief scientist, John Quarto-vonTivadar, show you how to test and tune your site to get more visitors to contact you, buy from you, subscribe to your services, or take profitable actions on your site. This practical and easy-to-follow reference will help you:

  • Develop a testing framework to meet your goals and objectives
  • Improve your website and move more of your customers to action
  • Select and categorize your products and services with a customer-centric view
  • Optimize your landing pages and create copy that sells
  • Choose the best test for a given application
  • Reap the fullest benefits from your testing experience
  • Increase conversions with over 250 testing ideas

Take the guesswork out of your online marketing efforts. Let Always Be Testing: The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer show you why you should test, how to test, and what to test on your site, and ultimately, help you discover what is best for your site and your bottom line.


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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.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
As an experienced web marketer, I felt compelled to write a negative review for this book. In short, I found the book to be a complete and total waste of my time. In my years of working within the web-marketing field, I've never read a book that was as completely inept as this book. It was almost as if the authors wanted to write ten books but they crammed all of their ideas in one book and provided no depth to their ideas.

The book starts off logically by explaining the reasons and benefits for testing of your website. The concepts make sense; you should always be trying to improve the conversion rate of your website. So far so good. The second chapter explains some of the Google Website Optimizer's features and functions. Within the chapter, the authors explain how to set up a test and they also explain the various types of test that you can perform with the Google Website Optimizer Tool.

Where things start to go wrong is in the middle of the second chapter. After explaining how to perform a simple headline test using the Google Website Optimizer tool, the authors proceed to present 30 examples of headlines they think might work in certain situations. The problem I have with this is that they give no explanation for the use of certain headlines. They simply list 30 examples and expect you to put two and two together. This issue is a recurring theme throughout the rest of the book.

From this point on, the authors proceed to talk about projects that they have completed with their clients along with the results of their tests. While this may be impressive to the authors, it has absolutely no meaning to me. Showing me how to drive a car fast isn't the same as me sitting in the driver's seat and learning how to drive fast with the proper tutelage.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book from Eisenberg Aug. 4 2008
Format:Paperback
For years companies have tried to develop THE best website, even shamelessly copying from the so called "best of breed". The reality is although technology can be copied, although business processes can be inspired from best practices, humans can't be that easily copied. If one of the distinctive element of any company is its workforce, the decisive factor of success is understanding the client. And the only way to know if your website works for your clients is to test, measure and optimize your Persuasion Architecture®. A continuous improvement process isn't complete until we reach 100% success... in the meantime, read this book, learn a whole lot about testing, see what others are doing, and get plentiful of ideas to get going!

Although the book titles states "Google Website Optimizer", the book is really an excellent introduction to the concept of A/B and multivariate testing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptionally good piece of creative/practical work about Online Testing Aug. 2 2008
By Daniel Waisberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When I first saw that this book was coming to light I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I was hunger for more testing knowledge, both theoretical and practical. On the other hand, I am always apprehensive when books talk about tools. However, the book impressed me as a comprehensive guide to Online Testing. And when I read the following (p.18), I was sure the book is what the market needs:

"The important thing to keep in mind is that the Google Website Optimizer is a tool. (...)It cannot do your thinking for you. It cannot plan your tests. It cannot produce the creative. It cannot interpret your results beyond demonstrating numerical significance and confidence. These things are up to you. If you want the tests you run on the Google Website Optimizer to be meaningful and to provide the intelligence you need to make well informed marketing decisions, then this is the book you need."

The authors cover very thoroughly the Why, the What, and the How of Online Testing. All you need to know from the value of testing to how should you get started. The examples are very enriching and illustrate the power of testing and the bottom line: Testing = $$$.

Part I covers the Why; the authors delve on the power of testing and provide some amazing examples of it (including a masterpiece on Amazon's testing efforts). In addition they walk us through the Google Website Optimizer and provide powerful tips on the tool.

Part II covers the What and the How; the chapters are structured in a very actionable way: "Questions to ask", "Exercises", "What to test", and "Apply this to your site". As you read you can implement the tips instantly. A few examples of what to test are: usability, look & feel, searchability, product presentation, up-sell/cross-sell......

Part III covers some technical aspects of testing. The authors provide interesting information about Google website Optimizer scripts, statistical tests, and other special issues.

*The book is well structured, insightful and action oriented: exactly as online marketing should be! I warmly recommend it.*
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Day Scientific Advertising - a Contemporary Classic For Today's Marketer Sept. 6 2008
By Susanna Hutcheson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As someone who has spent some four decades in direct response advertising, I know the value of testing. Like all successful ad people and many successful marketers, I have read and re-read the classic, "Scientific Advertising" by the great Claude Hopkins. It's a classic --- even to this day. Of course, it's quite dated.

Fast forward to "Always Be Testing" by Bryan Eisenberg and John Quarto-vonTivadar with Lisa T. Davis. This book brings Hopkin's important work into the modern age and again puts testing to the forefront, where it belongs. And no one is better qualified to write the book than Eisenberg.

The authors explain Google Web site Optimizer in detail. They show how to use it and how to perform your Web site tests. They discuss the A/B test and the multivariable test. But they go beyond that. They tell you what to test and how to test.

Moreover, they go beyond Google Web site Optimizer and discuss other things to test. All of this information will help you to get far more conversions. With all we have at our fingertips, not testing is just inexcusable.

In my opinion, this book is a modern day classic and is as valuable to our time as Hopkin's book was to his. I hope all my clients read this book and absorb it. I hope they put it into practice.

I've had many experiences when I didn't like the copy I wrote and yet it worked exceedingly well when it went live or, if direct mail, was sent out. I've also had clients who didn't like the copy I wrote for them but I'd tell them to test it. When they did, it succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

So testing is key to success in marketing. This book is a must-read if you intend to be successful in your online marketing. I highly recommend it to you.

- Susanna K. Hutcheson
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't start unless you are going to optimize your site while reading the book Dec 29 2009
By Mark Ruzomberka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have to admit I got stuck in the middle of this book. I would not start this book unless you are actively optimizing your website, otherwise as it gets too technical for light reading. However, if you are doing an optimization of your site this book will be very valuable to you. I got bogged down with Part I, and advise you to skim it and go directly to Part II.

I'm going to skip past the sermon about how marketing and tech don't get along, because most of us have heard it before, so you can probably afford to skip it here as well. Secondly, a lot of Part I seemed like I would be able to figure it out just by using Google Online Optimizer, but you may enjoy the reference here. Once you get through the dozens of pages of the marketing vs. tech debate you will find the bit about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs interesting so make sure you don't skip it. Finally, if you learn like I do from examples/case studies, you will find dozens of them in Part II of the book. Many of them even have great screen shots, great for visual learners like me.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have book for any ecommerce or lead generation website manager Oct. 15 2008
By Kayden Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are managing a lead generation or ecommerce website you must read this book.

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:
-Persuasive Copywriting
-Understanding what to test
-Whats in it for me
-Unique Value Proposition
-The Buying Decision
-Categorization
-Purchasing
-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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to start testing and optimizing your website, start with this book Feb. 1 2009
By Gócza Zoltán Károly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a exceptionally well written book on website optimizing and covers a lot more than Google's Website Optimizer. The authors clearly show you how you can benefit from optimizing various elements of your website.
You will get
- a good summary of why and how to optimize with lots of examples
- awful lot of ideas what to optimize and how to try them
- some technical info (but note that this is not the focus of the book)

It is aimed at beginners and does a very good job of introducing the subject and giving ideas to begin testing with.

If you have enjoyed Waiting for you cat to bark then, by all means, read this book. It's the same approach but put into practice.
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