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Always Be Testing: The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer Paperback – Aug 11 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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Although the book titles states "Google Website Optimizer", the book is really an excellent introduction to the concept of A/B and multivariate testing.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"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.*
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
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.
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.
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.
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